Friday, May 8, 2015

Game Thread: Baltimore Orioles @ New York Yankees 5/8

The New York Yankees and the Baltimore Orioles play tonight under the bright lights in the Bronx in front of what is expected to be a rather large crowd inside Yankee Stadium tonight. The two men with all the pressure to put on a good show for this large gathering of fans will be Adam Warren for the Yankees and Miguel Gonzalez for the Orioles. The game will be played at 7:05 pm ET and can be seen on the YES Network and MLB TV.

You only have two day games left in the Bronx after tonight before the team heads back out onto the road to continue their schedule. Get your Yankees tickets now for this series or the next home series where the team honors Bernie Williams on Bernie Williams Day. If you’d rather stay home or can’t make it out to the ballpark then don’t feel bad, a lot of us can’t. Simply jump on the comments section of the site and/or Twitter (@GreedyStripes) to interact with us during each and every game. I’m like the annoying guy sitting behind you crunching on popcorn, drinking too much beer and second guessing every decision each manager makes so it’s almost like being there live!

Warren has a habit in pitching in some big games for New York and doing exceptionally well so I’ll let him take it from here while I catch up on some binder reading. Go Yankees!!

Manfred At Least Entertaining Idea of Shortening the MLB Season

Rob Manfred has come into the Commissioner of Major League Baseball’s job and has made many changes and improvement to the game of baseball in less than six months on the job but he’s not done yet. While Manfred is still working on getting exhibition games and possibly a team in Cuba and in other areas outside the continental United States there are many other agendas he is working on including, but not limited to, pace of play, Pete Rose, domestic violence in MLB, the designated hitter for the National League and even potentially shortening the MLB season from 162 games.

Manfred states that shortening the season has become a popular topic among players and owners as they prepare to negotiate a new collective bargaining agreement and labor deal after the 2016 season. Manfred has made it his mission in the early part of the season to meet with players from all 30 franchises about many of the issues stated above and the idea of giving players more days off has been garnering the most attention. Manfred recognizes the financial ramifications that would come with a shorter season and compares it to when the American League transitioned from a 154 game schedule to 162 games in 1961 with the National League following suit in 1962. Whether this happens or not remains to be seen but it looks like Manfred is at least entertaining the idea and that may count for something with a new labor deal potentially hinging on the idea. 

My Plan for the Return of Chris Capuano

Yesterday afternoon I asked on Twitter what our followers thought the team should do when Chris Capuano comes off the disabled list and presumably returns to the starting rotation in the Bronx. Should the team move Capuano to the bullpen and essentially have two long men? Should the team send Chase Whitley down to Scranton to stay stretched out as a starter? Should the team send Adam Warren back to the bullpen essentially erasing David Carpenter from manager Joe Girardi’s binder? Should Warren stay in the rotation? Well you guys and girls had your say yesterday and now it’s my turn as I reveal my plan for the return of Chris Capuano.

The most logical thing to do honestly is to send Chris Capuano packing in a salary dump to a team like the Los Angeles Dodgers or the New York Mets. While the team does not have a plethora of starting pitching options the team does have Whitley, Bryan Mitchell, Luis Severino within striking distance of the major leagues and enough journeymen starting pitchers and reclamation projects out there to survive until June or July and the trading deadline. Realistically speaking the team will more than likely once again send a superior player in Whitley down on the farm and keep Capuano for insurance purposes and for a possible upgrade over Warren. Warren would take his spot back in the 7th inning of the bullpen while Carpenter would likely be traded or designated for assignment. The team could always stash Chasen Shreve down in Scranton along with Whitley but that leaves essentially just one left handed reliever, I don’t count Andrew Miller since he isn’t used in lefty reliever type situations, in the pen.

I agree with sending Whitley down to AAA if he isn’t going to keep a roster spot because he needs to be stretched out and gives New York much more value as a starter then he does as a relief pitcher. Also I believe that despite him pitching well this season Warren is better suited out of the bullpen. Warren struggled late in 2014 due to overuse but coming into the season preparing to be a starting pitcher and getting stretched out for a possible 100 pitches every 5th day would prepare Warren for the long haul and for the grind that is September and possibly October. Capuano, while I personally do not like him and what he brings to the team, makes a lot of sense as the Yankees 5th starter providing innings and keeping the team close enough to win every time out.

Whether my plan comes to fruition or not remains to be seen but having too many suitable and good pitchers and not enough places to pitch them all has never been a problem in the past and will continue to be a good kind of problem to have going forward. 

Game Preview: Baltimore Orioles @ New York Yankees 5/8

Tonight the New York Yankees stay home inside Yankee Stadium to play host to Adam Jones and the Baltimore Orioles in the second of a four game set. This will be the final night game for these two this series as the next two contests will be played in the afternoon at Yankee Stadium. Tonight the Yankees will send Adam Warren to the mound as he faces off with a thorn in the Yankees side named Miguel Gonzalez for the Orioles. The game will be played at 7:05 pm ET and can be seen on the YES Network and MLB TV.

  • Warren is coming off a start in which he allowed four runs in 5.2 innings against the Boston Red Sox in a victory on ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball. That start actually marked the third consecutive outing that Warren has pitched 5.2 innings as he continues to look for a start in which he can finish the 6th inning. Warren recorded his second victory of the season in the start and looks for win number three against another tough American League East opponent tonight.

  • Gonzalez is also coming off a victory in which he allowed just four hits and one walk in 7.2 shutout innings against the Tampa Bay Rays. Gonzalez recorded six strikeouts in the contest and looks to remain tough against the American League East and especially tough against the Yankees tonight in the Bronx.

New York heads back out on the road after this quick little four game set in the Bronx and after having their five series winning streak snapped against Toronto it would be nice to go back out on the road with a series victory. Truth be told I would honestly be happy with a split with this tough team but you don’t start a blog called the Greedy Pinstripes and clamor for a split, I want a win! Go Yankees, get me that win!

My Plan for the Return of Brendan Ryan

Brendan Ryan suffered another setback in his rehab for a back injury he suffered in spring training making this technically his third injury of the young season. There is no timetable for the return of Ryan but until and unless the team announces that his season is done you have to expect that the right handed hitting shortstop will be back with the Yankees eventually this season. With Gregorio Petit in Triple-A, Didi Gregorius and Stephen Drew struggling and Jose Pirela finally off the concussion DL what will the Yankees do when Ryan needs a roster spot and returns to the Bronx? Well I have a plan….

The best option would obviously be to simply designate him for assignment as soon as he is eligible but that does not seem like the most realistic option unfortunately. The most realistic option truth be told is to send Pirela down to the minor burning another minor league option and sending another superior player down to Triple-A but I think I have a better idea. The better idea includes designating Garrett Jones for assignment and turning Pirela into a super utility player of sorts.

Pirela has played every outfield position in the minor leagues and every infield position but catcher and pitcher making the transition seemingly easy going forward. Jones is on the team to serve as the team’s backup first baseman as well as backup right field option, two positions that Pirela could be more than serviceable at in a smaller sample size. With the backup options of Brian McCann, Chase Headley and Ryan to name a few at first base along with Alex Rodriguez the positions would all be more than covered adequately and without sacrificing any defense whatsoever.

Ryan would remain on the bench as the true backup for Gregorius, Headley and Drew while Pirela bounced around all over the diamond. Jones would be off the team and the Yankees would not only be younger, more versatile and better defensively but the team would be better overall in my eyes. Whether my plan comes to fruition or not is a conversation for another day but if I were running the team this is what I would do. What say you?

TGP Daily Poll: CC Sabathia Will Not Finish 2015

CC Sabathia has not looked especially sharp or good in many of his games this season and may not be as healthy as we all were led to believe. He’s not skinny anymore and he has had plenty of time to adjust to a lower velocity. I don’t think CC finished the 2015 season healthy.

Vote in our prediction poll on 

Weekly Check In: Robert Refsnyder

The worst possible news that Robert Refsnyder could have heard this week was that Jose Pirela was finally healthy right around the time that Gregorio Petit went on the disabled list with a bone contusion in his hand. This kid cannot catch a break and his timing is terrible, or impeccable depending on how sarcastically you want to look at it, this season as it seems like every time he gets close to getting a real shot with the big league club something, or someone, happens. Refsnyder’s bat is ready and while he started out slow defensively this season he has really turned it around and looked much improved over the past two or three weeks giving many hope for his future with the team.

I know I don’t tend to include his defensive numbers when I do these posts, and maybe I will with Refsnyder going forward, but it’s just so hard to ignore offensive numbers like these:


Recap: Yankees 4, Orioles 3

Alex Rodriguez went 2-for-3 with a milestone home run and the Yankees snuck past the Orioles, 4-3, on Thursday night at Yankee Stadium.

It's Gone: Rodriguez lined a Chris Tillman offering over the center-field wall in the third for his 661st career homer, passing Giants great Willie Mays for fourth on the all-time list. The solo blast came two innings after A-Rod was robbed of another long ball by the Orioles' Delmon Young, though Rodriguez was still credited with a run-scoring sac fly on the play.

Mini Tex Messages: It's been awhile since Mark Teixeira drove in a run with a normal base-hit, but the veteran infielder did just that in this one. In fact, he did it twice -- singling in Brett Gardner following Rodriguez's RBI in the first and recording the go-ahead double later in the fifth.

Eovaldi Okay: Nathan Eovaldi served up a pair of solo home runs to Jimmy Paredes and Caleb Joseph in the contest's early stages, and frankly wasn't very sharp on the evening. Nonetheless, he was able to hold the Orioles to just three earned runs in his 5 2/3 innings -- striking out three for his third victory of the year. 

This Bullpen, Wow: The Yankees' relief core continued its amazing start to the season with 3 1/3 innings of no-hit ball, allowing just one man to reach when Steve Pearce walked in the ninth. Justin Wilson logged the last out of the sixth as well as all three in the seventh, with Dellin Betances and Andrew Miller easily closing it out from there. 

An Interesting Escape: The Orioles had runners on the corners with one out against Eovaldi in the fifth, and with the red-hot Adam Jones at the plate, seemed bound to take the lead. Eovaldi stopped them from doing so, however, with a pick-off at first and a groundout from Jones -- keeping the game even despite an ugly performance in the frame.

Next Up: The Yankees will look to put together a winning streak on Friday when they battle the Orioles again in the Bronx -- beginning at 7:05 p.m. ET and airing live on the YES Network. Adam Warren (2-1, 4.78 ERA) will get the start for the Yankees hoping for a third straight quality outing, opposing always-dangerous O's right-hander Miguel Gonzalez (3-1, 2.59 ERA).

This Day in New York Yankees History 5/8: Alex Rodriguez Returns w/ a Bang!

On this day in 2009 Alex Rodriguez made his season debut and wasted no time hitting a three run home run on the very first pitch he saw. The blast helps the Yankees beat the Orioles 4-0 and snap the Yankees five game losing streak.

Also on this day in 1961 the Yankees trade fire-baller Ryne Duren, relief pitcher Johnny James and outfielder Lee Thomas to the Angels for right hander Tex Clevenger and outfielder Bob Cerv. This would be the third time that Cerv would be a member of the Yankees. Duren would spend two seasons with the Angels and post an 8-21 record but would set an AL record for striking out seven consecutive batters with the team.