Monday, April 20, 2015

Recap: Tigers 2, Yankees 1

J.D. Martinez and Yoenis Cespedes highlighted a late Tigers rally, connecting on a pair of big run-scoring singles in the seventh to lift Detroit past the Yankees, 2-1, on Monday night at Comerica Park.

Sabathia's Gem Wasted: CC Sabathia, for most of this one, was great for New York -- facing the minimum through the first six innings while allowing just three hits. He solidly struck out five and walked three over eight total frames on the evening, but was robbed of the win when his command floundered down the stretch. 

Tigers Fight Back: Aided by a solo home run from Mark Teixeira in the second and a couple of nice catches by Brett Gardner and Jacoby Ellsbury on defense, the Yankees retained a 1-0 advantage into the bottom of the seventh -- a turn in which the Tigers' bats finally broke out. They put two men on with two out to set up the game-tying single by Martinez, followed shortly by another knock from Cespedes to give the home team the lead.

Rally?: The Yankees weren't about to surrender, though, and in the eighth got a runner to third with singles by Chase Headley and Didi Gregorius. Indeed, things looked bright for the Pinstripes with Ellsbury due to hit -- a confidence that would soon prove misguided after Ellsbury grounded into a double play.

Working Out of Trouble: The Tigers then appeared ready to open the floodgates in their half of the eighth when two reached with just one out against Sabathia, whose pitch count was rising and sharpness decreasing at the time. Sabathia was able to escape the jam with a subsequent strikeout of Rajai Davis and flyout of Ian Kinsler, however, keeping the Yankees within one heading into the ninth.

A Quiet Finish: Unfortunetaly, the Yankees couldn't do much with Sabathia's endeavors -- going down 1-2-3 in their final chance of the contest to seal the rough defeat. Closer fill-in Joakim Soria induced the quick three outs, earning him his fifth save in as many chances as the Yanks dropped to 6-7 on the year.

Next Up: The Yankees will hope to even this series at 1-1 Tuesday when they battle the Tigers again on national television -- beginning at 7:08 p.m. ET and airing live on MLB Network. Nathan Eovaldi will start for the Yankees when they match up with Tigers lefty Kyle Lobstein, Justin Verlander's replacement who lasted just five innings in his previous outing April 12. 

Game Thread: New York Yankees @ Detroit Tigers 4/20

It's game time Yankees family as the New York Yankees and the Detroit Tiger start a big four game set this week at Comerica Park in Detroit. While it may be a bit early for this to be a potential season changing series for the Yankees it can drastically change the outlook for New York if they sweep or get swept. Tonight the Yankees send CC Sabathia to the mound to face off with Alfredo Simon for the Tigers. The game will be played at 7:08 pm ET and can be seen on ESPN, the YES Network and MLBTV.

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Enough of me going on and on because it's game time. Go Yankees!!!!

Yankees May Use 6th SP This Series

The New York Yankees discussed this winter the possibility of using a sixth starter to give all their starting pitchers with question marks regarding their health an extra day or two of rest early in the season. The team has yet to utilize that idea but Yankees pitching coach Larry Rothschild has stated that the decision may finally come down during this impending four game series with the Detroit Tigers. The Yankees either want to give their pitchers, specifically Masahiro Tanaka, an extra day either this series where he is scheduled to pitch the fourth game of the series or during his next turn against the Tampa Bay Rays inside Yankee Stadium. How can the Yankees pull this off and who would they choose to make the spot start?

The obvious candidate and probably the easiest question to answer here is the who, and that's Chase Whitley. Whitley had the best spring of any of the fifth starter candidates including Esmil Rogers and Adam Warren and was still sent down to Triple-A to be stretched out. Whitley could be back with the big club as early as this week to give the likes of Tanaka, CC Sabathia, Michel Pineda and others an extra day off. Whitley's stat line this season looks a little something like this:

The hard question to answer is probably the when as that comes along with a 25 man roster move as well. The Yankees play every day until the final day of the month on the 30th so any day would be as good as any I would imagine. Rothschild did specifically say they wanted to give Tanaka an extra day so (presumably) Whitley would pitch this Thursday against Detroit (currently a TBA but it may be Anibal Sanchez) or on the 28th inside Yankee Stadium against the Rays. One thing I do know if the Yankees are going to pull the trigger on this they need to go ahead and do it now rather than try it again later in the season. And if they aren't going to then they need to stop teasing us all with the idea of it season after season, pee or get off the pot Yankees.

ICYMI: Warming Up to a Jose Peraza Trade

As much as I hate to admit it I think I may have been wrong when I absolutely went off on Brian Cashman yesterday morning in a rant. If Cashman was able to pull off a trade for Jose Peraza for simply Gary Sanchez and another prospect I think I would have to eat crow and admit that it would be a pretty good trade for the Yankees, begrudgingly. I absolutely love Robert Refsnyder and what I believe he will bring to the table in the Bronx and I have been one of the bigger Didi Gregorius supporters there has been but Peraza makes too much sense for the Yankees to not pick him up and I am prepared to tell you why.

First and foremost shortstops that can hit are at an absolute premium these days, even more so than catchers who can hit, so there aren’t many Peraza type players inside the Yankees system or sitting around in free agency. A trade for a Yankees weakness, middle infielders, from a Yankees strong point, catching depth, makes a ton of sense for New York and it really improves the farm system overall. You have to remember that Peraza was basically hand in hand with another Yankees prospect Aaron Judge on almost every Top 100 Prospects list this offseason where Sanchez was left off those lists so New York would be getting a stronger prospect for a lesser prospect or two in a deal that also potentially fills a need in the long term.

I really like Gregorius and I have a ton of faith in Jorge Mateo, Abi Avelino and the rest of the Yankees shortstop prospects but Peraza is just too good to pass up. Mateo may be great but he is so far away he may not be as well. Trading for Peraza is like trading for the best case scenario and the ceiling of Mateo without the growing pains and the three or four year waiting period. Peraza is ready now for the major leagues in my opinion and if he’s not he will truly be ready by June. And while we’re talking projections you have to admit that neither Gregorius nor Peraza are finished products at this point in their careers but projection wise Peraza has to rank just a step or two ahead of Gregorius if all goes according to plan.

Peraza is a better fit for this team as he is a right handed hitter that balances out the bottom of the order. Peraza has the speed to hit 9th and basically give the Yankees three leadoff hitters along with Jacoby Ellsbury and Brett Gardner along with potentially 60 stolen base per season speed and base running skills. Peraza along with Refsnyder at second gives the Yankees exactly what they need as they go into basically a rebuilding phase over the next three or four seasons and that’s a strong defense up the middle and a young core of players to build around. Someone will jump on Didi in a trade if the Yankees acquire Peraza and if not then you designate Brendan Ryan and you rotate Didi in off the bench whenever you can. When you have a slew of talent you don’t turn them away you simply find ways to get them into the lineup. That’s Joe Girardi’s job, not mine. It’s also Cashman’s job to put the best team on the field as possible and honestly, as much as I hate to admit it after my little rant yesterday, that team likely includes Peraza at shortstop. 

Game Preview: New York Yankees @ Detroit Tigers 4/20

The New York Yankees are red hot right now and they travel to Detroit to take on the reddest of the hot in the Detroit Tigers. The Tigers are easily the best team in Major League Baseball this season in an extremely small sample size and they have done it with great pitching and beating the other teams brains in offensively. I may be sounding like I think the Yankees have no chance in this big four game series but sounds, like looks, can be deceiving. The Yankees pitching hasn't been too shabby themselves, especially in the bullpen, and the offense has been red hot of late. Tonight the Yankees will send CC Sabathia to the mound looking to take the next step back to his ace status while facing off against Alfredo Simon for Detroit. The game will be played at 7:08 pm ET and can be seen on the YES Network, ESPN and of course MLB TV.

  • Sabathia has given the Yankees and their fans more and more to get excited about with every start he has made this season, a trend that hopefully continues tonight in Detroit. Sabathia does have two losses on the season but has 15 K's and just one walk with one home run this season. The last time Sabathia faced off against the Tigers was in April of 2013 when he allowed zero runs in seven innings and got the win for New York. 

  • Simon has had the start that the Tigers were hoping for as he has posted a perfect 2-0 record with a 2.03 ERA this season. Simon allowed just two hits  in eight shutout innings in his last start against the Pittsburgh Pirates and looks to keep his strong start going tonight against the Yankees. 

Remember that big four game series at the end of the 2014 season that was supposed to bury the Yankees chances for the Wild Card? Remember when the Yankees were one blown inning away from sweeping that four game set against all those reigning and former Cy Young Award winners? Yeah let's do something like that again this series. And also, look on the bright side, we miss Shane Greene this series who has easily been the Tigers best pitcher. We can do it, go Yankees!!!!

Most Popular Article of the Week: It's Always About A-Rod

From Adam Hamburger:

With everything else going on during this young season so far, one would think the Yankees front office might want to turn their attention elsewhere, but alas, the A-Rod fracas does not let up.

During the offseason, word was circulating that the Yankees were going to refuse to honor some of their contractual obligations to Alex Rodriguez. At the time, I thought nothing of the reports. However, since then the reports have gained more traction considering A-Rod is performing much better than anyone expected.

A-Rod is only five home runs shy of tying Willie Mays and six shy of passing him on the all-time home run list. When A-Rod passes him, the Yankees will owe their troubled third baseman a six million dollar bonus. The Yankees have no interest in paying him the “bonus money” as they perceive the milestones tainted and not marketable anymore since he used (and just served the biggest PED-related suspension) in MLB history.

While the Yankees are right in the milestones are forever tainted, they still have no choice, but to pay him the money and honor the terms of his contract. The team has no legal grounds to not pay him the “bonus money” unless they specifically included a clause in his contract. Regardless, of how many home runs A-Rod hits in the rest of his beleaguered career, baseball purists still believe Hank Aaron is the all-time home run king. (A-Rod told Barry Bonds when they were training this past off-season that he wants to break his home-run record). The Yankees should just grudgingly pay A-Rod and avoid creating another witch-hunt. It does not the help their case that A-Rod is leading their struggling offense in the early stages of the season! But more about that later…

C’mon Yankees brass, let it go and turn your attention to the many other issues facing your not very effective team right now.

TGP Daily Poll: Alex Rodriguez Not an All Star

No matter what Alex Rodriguez does with the bat from here on out, and even if he is the best candidate for the job, he will not make the All Star Team in 2015. Not by the fans, not by his peers and not by the coaches.

Vote in our prediction poll on

Weekly Check In: Luis Severino

With the MiLB seasons now underway and many top Yankees prospects getting their work in down on the farm now is a good time to check in on one of them, Luis Severino.


This Day in New York Yankees History 4/20: Ivan Nova Makes Yankees History

On this day in 2012 Yankees RHP Ivan Nova passed a few notable starting pitchers in Yankees history when he won his 15th straight decision of the season. The Yankees beat the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park on this day in 2012 and moved Nova ahead of Whitey Ford (1961) and Steve Sundra (1938-1939). This win set Nova one behind Roger Clemens for the franchise record in consecutive decisions won. 

On this day in 1988 Claudell Washington hit the Yankees 10,000th home run in franchise history as a pinch hitter. This total was the most in the major leagues and came off Minnesota's pitcher Jeff Reardon in the top of the ninth inning in a Yankees victory.

On this day in 1912, after two days of rain, the first ever game is finally played at Fenway Park in Boston. Of course the first game in the historic stadium was with the New York Highlanders, soon to be the Yankees, and a Red Sox victory 7-6 in 11 innings.