Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Yankees Will Consider Six Man Rotation to Start 2015

The idea of the New York Yankees throwing out a six man starting rotation has been circulating for at least two seasons now and the idea may become a reality in 2015. Larry Rothschild is a big component and advocate for the six man rotation and may bring that idea to New York at least in April and May of this season. The exact wording from Rothschild was "at times" so it's not like we the team would carry six starting pitchers all the time, more like a spot starter from time to time, but you have to start somewhere I guess.

New York plays a stretch of 13 consecutive games at the end of April and 17 straight games at the beginning of May which may be the perfect opportunities to employ the idea. The less innings you can put on Masahiro Tanaka, who may be throwing his first bullpen sessions this week, CC Sabathia and others the better in my opinion. The Yankees did not go after one of the highly touted starting pitching free agents this season and it was always argued that the team could get comparable innings and results spread across two or even three pitchers, that notion may come to fruition if Rothschild gets his way.

Obvious candidates that come to mind for the sixth spot are Scott Baker, Esmil Rogers, Adam Warren, Chase Whitley and Bryan Mitchell depending on the health of Ivan Nova. Stay tuned.

When Will New York Run out of Jersey Numbers?

When the news broke that the New York Yankees would be retiring three more numbers this season, Andy Pettitte’s #46, Bernie Williams #51 and Jorge Posada’s #20, the jokes immediately started on Twitter and around the Yankees blog-o-sphere. When will the Yankees start using triple digits they would say or when would they start using letters or fractions others would say. Look, I get it, the retiring of the numbers thing has become a bit watered down over the years and honestly New York will eventually run out of numbers at this point.

Interestingly enough the USA Today did an article on when the Yankees would run out of numbers using some sort of mathematical equation and the results were a little surprising. New York already has the numbers of 16 players retired (remember that Yogi Berra and Bill Dickey shared the #8) and the numbers of two managers in Joe Torre and Casey Stengel already retired. That is before you consider the team’s unwillingness to hand out the #21 Paul O'Neill jersey and before Derek Jeter gets his day in Monument Park with his #2 jersey.

The Yankees, according to the USA Today article, established their franchise in 1903 so in 112 years the team would have retired 20 jersey numbers. Doing the math the team is retiring .178 numbers per year and would really start making things interesting in the year 2225. By 2442 the Yankees will be completely out of double digit numbers at the rate they are going according to the article. What, oh what, is the team going to do then?

Steroids/Drugs Still Run Rampant in Minor Leagues

Thankfully this is not Yankees related, although the team did have one of their farm hands suspended this offseason already due to drugs, but three more minor league players were suspended for steroids and drug abuse this week. This is the side of Prospects Month that I had hoped to never have to cover but it seems like steroids and drug abuse, despite the “clean up” of the game, is still running rampant at least in the minor leagues.

Spencer Edwards is an outfielder in the Tampa Bay Rays organization, Brian Ruiz is an outfielder in the Cleveland Indians organization and Joseph Gardner-Prophet is a free agent RHP and all received suspensions this week. Edwards and Ruiz each received 80 game suspensions after failing tests for performance enhancing drugs while Prophet received a 50 game suspension for a second failed drug test.

All in all there have been 34 suspensions since the beginning of 2014 under the minor league program including 20 for drug abuse alone. Staggering numbers in a “clean” game. 

Greedy Pinstripes Top 28 Prospects List: #11

Prospects Month is in full swing and we're already up to our 11th best prospect in the farm system, Tyler Austin. I feel like I am disrespecting Mr. Austin by ranking him so high after a good 2014 season but this ranking is more a testament to how deep the Yankees system is becoming and less of a knock on Austin. Austin is a great prospect but he just missed out on the Top 10 this season.

Here is the write up from Kyle McDaniel on Austin:

11. Tyler Austin
12. Bryan Mitchell
13. Miguel Andujar
14. Eric Jagielo
15. Jake Cave
16. Austin DeCarr
17. Tyler Wade
18. Juan DeLeon
19. Dante Bichette Jr.
20. Domingo German
21. Slade Heathcott
22. Nick Rumbelow
23. Jose Ramirez
24. Ramon Flores
25. Gosuke Katoh
26. Chasen Shreve
27. Taylor Dugas

28. Johnny Barbato

Meet a Prospect: Robert Refsnyder

The New York Yankees used their fifth round pick, 187th overall, in the 2012 MLB First Year Players Draft on college 2B Robert Refsnyder. Robert has spent his college years at the University of Arizona and signed for $205,900 K. 

All Robert Refsnyder seems to do is hit. He has great bat speed and just has a knack for making contact and "hitting it where they ain't". He is also a great athlete which should help him in the Yankees infield. Refsnyder has easily jumped all in his path on the way to the top of the rung on the Yankees infield prospects ladder and is knocking on the Bronx's door for 2015. 

Refsnyder was said to be in line for the starting second base job before the team signed Stephen Drew this season but Brian Cashman, the Yankees GM, states that Refsnyder could still win the job. He is probably a long shot and that's probably the best thing for him and the Yankees so he can get another year under his belt and work on his defense but the kid is close and the kid is the future. 

Looking at the 2015 Draft: 11th Best Prospect

Continuing our look at the 2015 MLB First Year Players Draft we take a look at the #11 ranked prospect expected to enter the draft. As always we will include the mini scouting report from as we introduce the #11 prospect, Justin Hooper. Hooper is a Senior at De La Salle High School in California, a LHP and just outside the Top 10 this season. 

Here is the write up from

Scouting grades: Fastball: 70 | Curveball: 55 | Changeup: 50 | Control: 50 | Overall: 55

Hooper is the hardest-throwing and most intimidating pitcher in the 2015 high school class. The 6-foot-7 left-hander hit 96 mph at the Area Code Games, 97 at the Perfect Game All-American Classic and 95 at the Under Armour All-America Game.

Hooper sat in the low 90s with his fastball as a junior and figures to add more velocity as he adds strength to his ultra-tall frame. He throws from a lower arm slot, creating difficult angle and adding life to his pitches. His secondary pitches lack consistency, but his curveball features impressive depth at times and his changeup shows promise as well.

While he has a huge ceiling, some scouts believe Hooper's work-in-progress secondary pitches and command and his delivery may have him destined for the bullpen. A product of athletic powerhouse De La Salle High -- the alma mater of NFL running back Maurice Jones-Drew, NBA slam dunk champion Brent Barry, soccer star Chris Wondolowski and big league catcher John Baker, among others -- has committed to UCLA.

11. Justin Hooper
12. Carson Fulmer
13. Alex Bregman
14. Nick Plummer
15. Trenton Clark
16. Ian Happ
17. Phil Bickford
18. Mike Nikorak
19. Kyle Cody
20. Cody Ponce
21. Riley Ferrell
22. Chris Betts
23. James Kaprielian
24. Jake Lemoine
25. Beau Burrows
26. Richie Martin
27. Kyle Tucker
28. D.J. Stewart

Baseball Prospectus Ranks Yankees Farm #21

The New York Yankees farm system has been ranked from Baseball Prospectus and their ranking is a far cry from Kylie McDaniel's #10 ranking. BP ranked New York's farm system as the 21st best in the majors according to their rankings. The Cubs, Twins and Dodgers took the Top Three spots in that order while the Yankees are up two spots from last season.

Here is an excerpt from the ranking from BP:

State of the System: A spending spree last summer in the international market, the depths of which might force a change in the international spending structure, has turned the Yankees system into one of the most balanced in the game. There isn’t a ton of impact talent near the majors, though Aaron Judge is emerging as a key piece of the future, and Luis Severino is going to make an impact soon, though 10 different scouts will give you 10 different answers on how. Then there’s the youth movement from last summer, most of whom are still teenagers and won’t be seen in the big leagues for a half-decade, if at all, but could make for some of the most intriguing GCL teams in the league’s history. - See more at:

Baseball America's Top 10 Yankees Prospects

Slade Heathcott, Mason Williams, and John Ryan Murphy stepped aside, as a few newbies found there way onto Baseball America's Top 10 Yankees Prospects.

After a great season, in which he had an ERA of 2.52 and a strikeout rate of 10.1/9IP between three different minor league levels, Luis Severino landed at the top of the list.

Here is the list...

1. RHP Luis Severino
2. RF Aaron Judge
3. SS Jorge Mateo
4. 1B Greg Bird
5. C Gary Sanchez
6. LHP Ian Clarkin
7. 2B Rob Refsnyder
8. LHP Jacob Lindgren
9. C Luis Torrens
10. 3B Miguel Andujar

This Day In New York Yankees History 2/18: Roger Clemens Era Begins in the Bronx

On this day in 1999 the Toronto Blue Jays traded pitcher Roger Clemens to the New York Yankees for David Wells, Graeme Lloyd, and Homer Bush. The rest is history, no pun intended.