Friday, February 20, 2015

Yankees Work Out Moncada Third Time

Another day and another private workout for the New York Yankees and Yoan Moncada. For the second straight day and the third time overall Moncada was at the Yankees minor league complex in Tampa, Florida working out for the team. 

When there is smoke there is fire, sign this kid already won't you?

MLB Intorduces Plan to Speed up Games

Major League Baseball has discussed all offseason long ways to improve the speed of play in their games in 2015 and going forward. In 2014 MLB games eclipsed the three hour mark on average per game and new Commissioner Rob Manfred wants to make speeding up the game priority number one.

Manfred's first plan includes not allowing batters to take their feet out of the batter's box throughout their at bats. Also time limits will be added to the breaks in between innings while managers will be able to challenge their replay calls from the dugout rather than stalling on the mound for five minutes.

Will the rules be enforced? That much remains to be seen but if they are warnings and fines on players and clubs will be handed down from the league. I like these ideas because they meet in the middle. You're not radically changing the game and you may shave 10-15 minutes off every game, which is never a bad thing.

Pitchers and Catchers Catch Me Up

Pitchers and catchers reported to spring training camp for the New York Yankees today finally marking the return of baseball to all of our lives. Not too awful much went on today but here is a quick catch me up if you will to get caught up on what transpired. 

Joe Girardi held his annual press conference at the beginning of spring training and touched on the fact that this may be the camp with the most competition he has ever been a part of. 

Adam Warren has faced live hitters already which leads many to believe he will be the spring opening starter. 

Girardi is open to having co-closers. I'm not. 

The following numbers have been assigned to the players per Lohud:

19 Masahiro Tanaka
26 Chris Capuano
27 Scott Baker
30 Nathan Eovaldi
35 Michael Pineda
39 Chase Whitley
45 Kyle Davies
47 Ivan Nova
52 CC Sabathia
65 Bryan Mitchell
73 Jose De Paula
81 Vicente (Jose) Campos
91 Luis Severino
29 David Carpenter
31 Jared Burton
40 Andrew Bailey
43 Adam Warren
53 Esmil Rogers
61 Chris Martin
68 Dellin Betances
70 Wilking Rodriguez
71 Jose Ramirez
72 Danny Burawa
75 Domingo German
76 Branden Pinder
82 Nick Goody
88 Diego Moreno
90 Nick Rumbelow
41 Justin Wilson
48 Andrew Miller
64 Chasen Shreve
87 Jacob Lindgren
89 James Pazos
92 Tyler Webb
34 Brian McCann
55 Austin Romine
66 John Ryan Murphy
67 Eddy Rodriguez
78 Gary Sanchez
83 Francisco Arcia
84 Trent Garrison
85 Juan Graterol
86 Kyle Higashioka
12 Chase headley
13 Alex Rodriguez
14 Stephen Drew
17 Brendan Ryan
18 Didi Gregorius
25 Mark Teixeira
33 Garrett Jones
60 Nick Noonan
62 Cole Figueroa
63 Jose Pirela
94 Kyle Roller
95 Greg Bird
96 Cito Culver
97 Jonathan Galvez
98 Rob Refsnyder
11 Brett Gardner
22 Jacoby Ellsbury
24 Chris Young
36 Carlos Beltran
74 Slade Heathcott
77 Ramon Flores
79 Tyler Austin
80 Mason Williams
93 Jake Cave
99 Aaron Judge

Tanaka feeling healthy after first bullpen session

Yankees pitcher Masahiro Tanaka's elbow injury last season was definitely serious, but Tanaka himself apparently isn't stressing it.

Tanaka feels fine with the current state of his rehab a day after throwing his first bullpen session of 2015, he told the media Friday morning in Tampa. 

"I feel it's healed," Tanaka said, according to "I'm confident I can get through the season."

Tanaka partially tore his right UCL during a start in Cleveland last July, sidelining him until September 21. When the issue was first realized, Tanaka was only expected to miss 6-8 weeks, but the then-rookie struggled to recover quickly. 

The Yankees aren't that concerned about Tanaka's ability to stay healthy, however, and don't view his situation as unique.

"What he's been through, it's not really uncommon," team manager Joe Girardi said.

Tanaka, along with all of the other Yankees' pitchers and catchers, reported to spring training Friday, the first notable date of the club's preseason. The rest of the squad is set to arrive February 25, and the first exhibition game will be played March 3. 

It's presently unknown when Tanaka will make an appearance in an active contest, but the Yankees trust he will be okay when he does. 

"There's been a lot of pitchers who have gone through what he's had and pitched for a substantial period of time before anything has to be done," Girardi said.

Trenton Thunder Announce 2015 Field Staff

Thunder Announce 2015 Field Staff
Al Pedrique takes over for Tony Franklin in 2015

The Thunder, the Double-A affiliate of the New York Yankees, announced on Thursday that Al Pedrique will manage the Thunder during the 2015 season. Pedrique is the ninth manager in Thunder history and the fourth to have managed in the Major Leagues.

Al Pedrique takes over for Tony Franklin who was the Thunder manager for eight seasons and led the team to three Eastern League Championships. Tony will remain in the New York Yankees organization.

Pedrique will be joined in the dugout by new additions to the Thunder staff, Pitching Coach Jose Rosado, Hitting Coach P.J. Pilittere, and Defensive Coach Michel Hernandez. Returning to the coaching staff is Athletic Trainer Lee Meyer who enters his second season with the Thunder and Orlando Crance, the Strength and Conditioning Coach, entering his third season with the team.

"The Thunder are excited for the 2015 season to begin with Al Pedrique leading the charge on the field," said Thunder General Manager Will Smith. "Al has an impressive coaching resume and we welcome him and all of our coaches to the Thunder this season."

Pedrique, a native of Venezuela, guided the Tampa Yankees to a 71-68 record in 2014 and led the RiverDogs to a 75-63 record in 2013 as manager. Before joining the Yankees organization in 2013, he served as a coach or manager in the Houston Astros, Kansas City Royals and Arizona Diamondbacks organizations over 16 years. He spent the 2010-12 seasons as the bench coach for the Houston Astros and also served as the third base coach for the Diamondbacks major league club in 2003 and 2004. He was named interim manager of the Diamondbacks for the second half of the 2004 season. Pedrique was originally signed as a non-drafted free agent by the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1978 and went on to play in parts of three seasons with the Mets (1987), Pirates (1987-88) and Tigers (1989).

New Thunder Pitching Coach Jose Rosado has spent the past four seasons as a pitching coach with the Gulf Coast Yankees. The Jersey City, NJ native played five seasons with the Kansas City Royals where he went 37-45 with a 4.25 ERA in 125 career games. Rosado was originally selected in the 12th round of the 1994 First-Year Player Draft.

P.J. Pilittere returns to the Thunder as the Hitting Coach after serving in the same role for Tampa and Charleston the previous two seasons. P.J. made his professional coaching debut in 2012 as a coach with the GCL Yankees. He was originally selected in the 13thround of the 2004 First-Year Player Draft by the Yankees and went on to play in 470 career minor league game where he hit .264 with 77 doubles, 16 HR, and 183 RBI. P.J. was a catcher for the Thunder during the 2007, 2008, and 2009 seasons where he helped the Thunder win their first two Eastern League Championships in '07 and '08.

Defensive Coach Michel Hernandez joins the Thunder after spending two seasons coaching with the Gulf Coast Yankees. Michel played in 45 games over three seasons in the majors with the Yankees in 2003 and Tampa Bay in 2008 and 2009. In 15 seasons in the minor leagues, he hit .257 with 137 doubles, 8 triples, 35 HR, and 340 RBI in 997 games with eight different organizations (Yankees, Philadelphia, San Diego, St. Louis, Tampa Bay, Pittsburgh, Baltimore, and Cleveland).

Lee Meyer will return for his second season as the Thunder Athletic Trainer. Previously he spent two seasons with the Tampa Yankees. He also worked in the same role for one season with the Charleston RiverDogs and one season with the Staten Island Yankees.

Orlando Crance returns to Trenton for a third season as Strength and Conditioning Coach. He served in the same capacity for the Florida Marlins AA affiliate in Jacksonville, Florida in 2010 and previously for the Savannah Sand Gnats (Class A, Mets).

Meet a Prospect: Jared Burton

Jared Burton signed a minor league deal with the New York Yankees after spending much of his career setting up and closing for the Minnesota Twins and Cincinnati Reds. Burton has an invitation to Spring Training camp this season and will look to latch on to the Yankees overly crowded bullpen with a strong camp so now is a better time as any to get to know the soon to be 34 year old RHP. This is Meet a Prospect, the Jared Burton Edition.

Levi Jared Burton was born on June 2, 1981 in Westminster, South Carolina where he attended West-Oak High School. Burton spent his college years attending Western Carolina University in Cullowhee, North Carolina where he caught the attention of the Oakland Athletics who drafted him in the eighth round of the 2002 MLB First Year Player’s Draft. Burton spent five seasons in the A’s farm system before being eligible for and picked up in the Rule 5 Draft by the Cincinnati Reds.

Burton made his major league debut with the Reds on April 4, 2007 pitching one third on an inning while walking three batters. Four days later he found himself on the disabled list with a strained hamstring which was the icing on the cake to his miserable beginning as a major league player. Burton spent more time on the disabled list on July 19, 2008 when he suffered from a strained muscle in his chest which also led to a setback in August that cost him another two full weeks. Burton spent more time on the disabled list in 2009, he began the 2011 season on the DL with shoulder inflammation and ended his Reds tenure after the 2011 season before latching on with the Minnesota Twins.

Burton latched on with Minnesota for the 2012 season after signing a minor league deal and impressing the team with a strong spring beating out now potential teammate Scott Baker for a spot. Burton made the roster out of Opening Day and went on to appear in 64 games that season posting a 3-2 record with a 2.18 ERA and 55 strikeouts, definitely his break out season. Burton’s ERA rose a bit in 2013 to a respectable 3.82 but his record fell to a miserable 2-9 mark in 71 games for Minnesota. Burton’s ERA continued to climb in 2014 and his fastball velocity continued to dip, now below 92 MPH, which led him to becoming a free agent this offseason.

New York signed Burton to a minor league deal with an invitation to Spring Training as the RHP tries to find a way into a very deep and extremely crowded Yankees bullpen. Good luck to you Jared and pitchers and catchers report TODAY to the Yankees complex in Tampa. The mission starts here. 

Greedy Pinstripes Top 28 Prospects List: #9

Prospects Month is in full swing and we're already up to our 9th best prospect in the farm system, John Ryan Murphy. Murphy is penciled in right now to become the Yankees backup catcher in 2015 and will likely lose his prospect status sometime in 2015. We're into the Top 10 ladies and gentleman and this is where things truly get interesting. 

Here is the write up from Kyle McDaniel on Murphy:

J.R. Murphy, C Video: Murphy is somewhere around Refsnyder as an upper level position player ready to contribute to the big league team, but scouts are a little more wary of Murphy’s chance to become an everyday player. He’s a 50 hit, 40 power type without a ton of offensive impact, but he’s better defensively, with a plus arm and at least average defensive skills. Some scouts still see some aspects of defense for him to work on, but indications from the analytical folks are that he’s an above average framer, so if that holds up and he reaches his offensive upside, there could be an everyday catcher here.

9. John Ryan Murphy
10. Luis Torrens
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

My Hand Written Reply to Alex Rodriguez

My apologies for the penmanship, I’m an online blogger for a reason.

Looking at the 2015 Draft: 9th Best Prospect

Continuing our look at the 2015 MLB First Year Players Draft we take a look at the #9 ranked prospect expected to enter the draft. As always we will include the mini scouting report from as we introduce the #9 prospect, Dansby Swanson. Swanson is a Junior middle infielder currently playing at Vanderbilt University. 

Here is the write up from

Scouting grades: Hit: 60 | Power: 40 | Run: 60 | Arm: 55 | Field: 55 | Overall: 55

Foot and shoulder injuries limited Swanson to 16 at-bats in his first year at Vanderbilt, but he returned with a vengeance in 2014. He took home Most Outstanding Player honors at the College World Series as the Commodores won their first-ever championship, then became the top position prospect in the college class after a strong summer with the U.S. collegiate national team.

To maintain that status, he'll have to prove he can handle shortstop after moving from second base to replace Yankees ninth-round pick Vince Conde. Scouts anticipate that Swanson will have the quickness and arm strength to do so, though they haven't seen him at the position since he was a Georgia high schooler in 2012, when the Rockies drafted him in the 38th round.

Swanson is a technically sound hitter who fits at the top of his lineup with his on-base ability and speed. While he's not a big home run threat, he can drive the ball into the gaps and tied for the NCAA Division I lead with 27 doubles last year. His makeup is off the charts and universally praised by coaches and scouts.

9. Dansby Swanson
10. Ashe Russell
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

The Twitter Reaction to the Alex Rodriguez Apology

I may or may not have made the mistake of asking some of our Twitter followers what they thought about the Alex Rodriguez hand-written apology letter. I received a few hundred mentions, favorites, retweets, etc. and surprisingly there was a mixed bag of thoughts concerning the matter and Alex himself.

Some resorted to calling him a DEA informant….

Many were negative….

But some were surprisingly positive and put the team first.

The guy is damned if he does and damned if he doesn’t. If he issues the apology he gets crap, if he does it at Yankee Stadium (even though it was the team’s idea) then his ego is huge and he’s insincere, if he doesn’t apologize he gets killed in the tabloids. Give the damn guy a break and let him do what he does best, hit that ball over the fence at Yankee Stadium.

This Day in New York Yankees History 2/20: Pitchers and Catchers Report Day 2015

Surprisingly nothing has happened on this date in New York Yankees history so I wanted to take the time to remind everyone that Prospects Month is almost over here on TGP. We appreciate all the comments and views that we are getting and all the Twitter activity, it is appreciated.

Just for fun let's caption the above post. Go!