Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Wednesday Night Open Thread

The New York Yankees game is in the books after playing a getaway game with the Washington Nationals this afternoon so what am I going to do with myself tonight? I could catch up on some television, some reading or some sleep but I’ll probably just keep cranking out posts and content for you guys as the blog creeps up on 1,000,000 (six zeroes) views all-time. With that goal in mind I will need my full concentration to bring that to you so I leave you with this open thread for the night to talk about whatever is on your mind.

Did the Yankees screw up not taking Daz Cameron, Brady Aiken and a slew of other high ceiling prospects in the draft? Did anyone know who Kyle Holder was before the Yankees drafted him because I didn’t. Did you see that according to Baseball America the Yankees have over a 60% chance of making the playoffs in 2015? Talk about all that and more, go crazy and have fun with it.

I leave you tonight with this musical recommendation out of my own personal collection. The name of the song is "sober" by Childish Gambino and the song is off his “Kauai” album. Enjoy the song, enjoy the thread and enjoy the off day tomorrow. Go Yankees!

Miller to DL w/ Forearm Strain & Other Roster Moves

So I guess it's a bad idea to use your closer in multiple non-save situations just because you don't trust anyone else in your bullpen, apparently they get hurt. Andrew Miller pitched with a five run lead in the first game of the series with the Washington Nationals and was placed on the disabled list with a forearm strain during the extra innings loss in game two of the series.

Miller's ligaments are healthy reportedly but the muscles are merely strained. You have to think Miller is out at least a month much like Masahiro Tanaka was out with a similar strain. Tanaka had to build up arm strength to go 100 pitches where Miller doesn't but Tanaka's strain was said to be extremely mild. 

Dellin Betances is the new closer for the Yankees and the rest of the bridge remains a mystery for now. 

Update: 8:10 pm ET:

In other Yankees roster moves the team activated Brendan Ryan off the 60 day disabled list and optioned outfielder Ramon Flores to the minor leagues. With Miller heading to the DL the team is expected to bring back Flores before the series with the Baltimore Orioles while the team sent down Jose Pirela to clear some of the logjam in the middle infield. New York is expected to call up a pitcher before the start of the Orioles series and that player will either be Ivan Nova for the rotation forcing Adam Warren into the bullpen or it will likely be Chris Martin. 

My Evolution From a “Win Now” Fan to a “Prospect Humper”

On Monday as we all know Major League Baseball showcased their First Year Players Draft on MLB Network welcoming many new faces to many team’s farm systems. While I was busy compiling scouting reports and reading every mock draft I could find preparing for the draft, because I am a self-professed prospect humper that even came up with the moniker prospect humper (trademark pending), my friend, co-owner of the blog and colleague Bryan Van Dusen was publishing an article on the blog about his transformation from a “win now” guy to a “prospect humper.” Van Dusen had his tale and now I will share mine about when, why and how I came to love the Yankees farm system from top to bottom almost as much as I love the team itself.

Way back in the year 2005 I was searching the web for trade rumors around the July 31st trading deadline since the Yankees were struggling in their division when I stumbled upon a sports forum that will remain nameless. The forum was littered with people searching for the same information and had the same hunger to win that I had. Since moving from New York to Atlanta, Georgia I was starved for Yankees discussions and baseball talk in general and this forum filled that void for me. First I read, then I finally signed up and commented and I was forever hooked. I craved that forum much in the way I do this blog today, if there was 100 posts posted on that day I read 100 posts that day and commented on probably 95 of them, no exaggeration. When I got bored of reading the trade deadline stuff and when the deadline came and passed, and the playoffs came and passed and the World Series came and went I found myself in the grind that is the MLB offseason.

It was that really dead time around late January and early February where all the major free agents are gone and we’re simply counting down the days until the Grapefruit League when I saw that most of the discussion on the forum had shifted to the prospects related sections of the site. Users were compiling top lists of players I had never heard of while others were up in arms about this player potentially being traded or this other player being ready but blocked by so-an-so and my mind spun. I had never paid attention to the Yankees farm system before so I decided I would check it out. I mean I had heard the stories of the likes of Derek Jeter, Jorge Posada, Bernie Williams, Andy Pettitte and Mariano Rivera coming through the farm system but I was born in November of 1985 so while the Core Four was just beginning to make their names in the Bronx I really had no idea where they came from and frankly didn’t care, we were winning World Series championships and trading any player we had to in order to acquire the flavor of the week and I was happy about it as long as we were winning. Some point in that offseason before the 2006 season winning just wasn’t enough anymore and maybe that was because the team wasn’t doing it as often as they used to or maybe it was because I wanted another Core Four type era that I could truly appreciate.

The first prospect I truly latched onto was Tyler Clippard and that was simply because of his nickname, the Yankee Clippard. I thought it was a simple nickname although creative enough for me to ignore the T-Clip nicknames and such that were thrown around on the forum by people I thought were too lazy to spell out his name completely. Clippard was born the same year I was and at the time, the time before Phil Hughes was really on the scene in the upper levels for the Yankees, and was the Yankees top prospect in what was a very barren and top heavy farm system. The top seemed like a good place to start. I followed Clippard and updated his stats regularly, much like we’re doing weekly check in’s with other top Yankees prospects on the blog each and every day, in my signature for all to see with every one of my 25K or more posts I put on that site from 2005-2009.

I remember fighting tooth and nail to keep Phil Hughes and Ian Kennedy in the Bronx when the Minnesota Twins wanted to trade Johan Santana to the team. I remember wanting to shed a tear when Clippard was traded for some guy named Jonathan Albaladejo before excelling with the Washington Nationals in their bullpen. I remember when the draft started being televised on television and I remember when I had dreams of starting my own forum dedicated to the New York Yankees and their prospects. I remember meeting Bryan Van Dusen, Bryan Knepper, Jorge Maestre (whose idea it was to even start this blog before an unnecessary and childish fight on both sides ruined what was a great friendship) and guys like Greg Corcoran who currently writes for Rob Abruzzese’s Bronx Baseball Daily in their prospect department on those forums and I remember when we first started this blog here, The Greedy Pinstripes. I was supposed to be the prospects guy on the site, not the daily writer.

Now I remember tweeting every newly drafted player welcoming them to the Yankees family and asking for an interview for the blog. Now I remember doing daily check in posts with seven or eight of the top Yankees prospects and dedicating that whole month of February, the month where I first found my love for the Yankees farm system, to Prospects Month here on the blog. Now I remember beating the drum at least once a week for Robert Refsnyder to be called up or Jose Pirela to be used more or for Chris Capuano to be off the team entirely to make room back on the roster for Jacob Lindgren and Branden Pinder. Now I remember thinking back at 10 years of prospect humping and wondering how did I ever make it without my love of prospects before? Maybe I’ll find that out in another 10 years. 

Game Thread: New York Yankees @ Washington Nationals 6/10

The dreaded day game after a night game where Joe Girardi rests his best players despite the off day tomorrow yet allows Stephen Drew to play in both games for nine innings of both games, I love it. This afternoon the New York Yankees and the Washington Nationals are back at it again in the second game of their quick two game set at Yankee Stadium with a classic getaway game. The Yankees will send Nathan Eovaldi to the mound to face off with the Nationals starter who was a TBA at the time of this writing. The game will be played at 1:05 pm ET and can be seen on the YES Network, MLB Network and MLB TV.

The Yankees are off tomorrow before starting a road trip in Baltimore on Friday so unless you’re living in the greater Maryland area you have time to plan your trip and grab a pair of Yankees tickets off the blog. By clicking the Yankees Tickets link at the top of the blog you can have your tickets in hand for when the team returns home next week to the Bronx. If you can’t make it to the stadium then that’s not a problem simply jump on Twitter (@GreedyStripes) and/or the comments section of the blog to interact with us during every game of the season.

That’s enough babble out of me, Mr. Eovaldi will take it from here. Go Yankees!

Meet a Prospect: James Kaprielian

With their first pick in the 2015 Major League Baseball First Year Players Draft the New York Yankees selected RHP James Kaprielian out of UCLA with the 16th overall pick. Kaprielian is said to be the most polished college pitcher in all of the draft and will likely, if healthy and effective, be the quickest moving pitcher in this year’s draft with a possible ETA as soon as late in the 2016 season. Obviously this is all contingent on if he signs but college pitching usually doesn’t have that sign-ability risk with them so it almost seems like a done deal to many fans. Even after Kaprielian signs his contract he is not officially a member of the Yankees family until we say he is, and we say he is with a Meet a Prospect post on the blog, the James Kaprielian Edition.

James Douglas Kaprielian was born on March 2, 1994 in Laguna Hills, California to parents Douglas and Barbara Kaprielian and has one sibling, a sister Alison Kaprielian. Kaprielian is a right handed pitcher that stands 6’4” and weighs in at 200 lbs. fitting the Yankees profile of big framed Southern California pitching to come over to the team. Kaprielian spent his high school years at Beckham High School before attending UCLA for the past three seasons. Kaprielian is a four pitch pitcher who uses an 88-92 MPH fastball to offset his changeup, curveball and slider and keeps batters off balance. His changeup is considered to be his best pitch and his out pitch which has drawn some comparisons to another Yankee draft pick Ian Kennedy. Kennedy flew through the Yankees system after being drafted in 2005 and was in the major leagues by 2006 and Kaprielian may follow a similar path if healthy and effective.

In three seasons with UCLA Kaprielian posted a 17-10 record as a starter and a relief pitcher with a 2.06 ERA. Kaprielian started 31 games for the Bruins while coming out of the bullpen for the other 35 contests. Kaprielian came into the draft riding a hot streak of sorts posting a 2.02 ERA and a 10-4 record in his last 16 starts of his junior season striking out 114 batters in just 106.2 innings pitched. Kaprielian finished sixth all-time in Bruins history in strikeouts with 275 while leading the Pac-12 in wins (10) and K’s (114) in his 2015 season finishing strong before the draft. Kaprielian has thrown the full nine innings three separate times in his career including when he threw nine no-hit innings to combine with teammate David Berg for a ten inning no-hitter, the first in school history.

Kaprielian was not the sexy name like Ashe Russell, Dansby Swanson, Brady Aiken and others but he may be the perfect fit for the Yankees farm system that severely lacks upper level starting pitching depth. Welcome to the family Kaps, I have a feeling you’re going to like it here.

Game Preview: New York Yankees vs. Washington Nationals 6/10

In the finale of the quick two game series between the New York Yankees and the Washington Nationals the fans inside Yankee Stadium will be hopefully entertained by another pitchers duel. Last night fans watched as Masahiro Tanaka and Max Scherzer went head-to-head and will watch this afternoon as Nathan Eovaldi takes the mound for the Yankees and the Nationals had a TBA at the time of this writing. The game will be played at 1:05 pm ET and can be seen on the YES Network, MLB Network and MLB TV.

  • Eovaldi has made eight starts in his career against the Washington Nationals, one with the New York Yankees and seven with the Miami Marlins, and has struggled in almost every single one of them. Eovaldi faced them on May 19th and gave up five runs in 4.1 innings including home runs to Bryce Harper and Ian Desmond which pushed his career ERA against Washington up to 5.32.


New York heads into another off day tomorrow before heading to Oriole Park and Camden Yards to take on the Baltimore Orioles in a bitter AL East rivalry. New York is at the top of this American League East division and are playing like they deserve to be there and deserve to stay there for the long term. Here’s to hoping the Yankees can keep their winning ways going this afternoon and into the weekend, cheers and Go Yankees!

Weekly Check In: Gary Sanchez

Now I know normally we do a TGP Daily Poll in this time slot but I thought this time would be better served checking in on another one of the Yankees top prospects. As we saw a couple hours ago Greg Bird is back off the disabled list and is back to hitting with the Double-A Trenton Thunder while his teammate Gary Sanchez, who was filling in for Bird while he was on the DL in these weekly check ins, got bumped back to the bench.

I felt like we should at least check in on El Gary Sanchez at least one more time since he is hitting so well this season and making great strides with his defense and game calling. Sanchez was once at the top of the Yankees prospects list and is quietly climbing his way back onto the list with a strong season in Double-A. Expect him to get a bump to Triple-A with the Scranton Wilkes-Barre this season while veteran Eddy Rodriguez gets the bump back into retirement because Double-A pitching is not going to be able to keep him down for much longer.

One last time let’s take a look at Sanchez’s stat line: 

Weekly Check In: Greg Bird

Greg Bird is finally back on the field for the Trenton Thunder and has finally been activated off the disabled list after missing the better part of a month with an injury. In this slot we have been filling in with El Gary Sanchez but this morning the Bird, which is the word in case you were wondering, is back on the blog.

Bird has been active a little over a week now and here is what his Trenton Thunder teammates have been missing at first base and in the middle of that lineup:


This Day in New York Yankees History 6/10: Babe Ruth, the Contract and the Curse

On this day in 2005 “Gotta Have It Collectibles” won the bid for the actual contract signed on December 26, 1919 by Red Sox owner Harry Frazee, Yankees owner Jacob Ruppert and by Babe Ruth himself. The winning bid was for $996,000 which was five times what the Yankees paid for the Bambino and the curse that came with it.

Also on this day in 2002 the Yankees Marcus Thames hit a home run on the first pitch he saw in his Major League career, off Randy Johnson in his prime no less. Thames would be the 17th player in history to hit a home run on the first pitch he saw in his career. John Miller in 1966 was the only other Yankee to achieve the feat.

Finally on this day in 1921 the Yankees Babe Ruth became the All-Time Home Run record holder in the Major Leagues with 120 home runs. The historic home run would come off the Indians Jim Bagby. Ruth would hold the record until Hank Aaron hit his 715th home run in 1974.