Thursday, June 25, 2015

Game Thread: New York Yankees @ Houston Astros 6/25

Tonight marks the beginning of a four game set between the New York Yankees and the first place Houston Astros. The Yankees better take advantage of that hill out in center field while they still can because it is being removed from Minute Maid Park after the season. The Yankees will send Adam Warren to the mound tonight to face off with the ace for the Astros Dallas Keuchel. The game will be played at 8:10 pm ET and can be seen on the YES Network and MLB TV.

By clicking the Yankees Tickets link at the top of the blog you can see the Yankees live this series if you live in the greater Houston area or you can get prepared now for when the Yankees return home to the Bronx and Yankee Stadium. If you’re more the home-body type, and who could blame you for it, then simply stay at home and jump on Twitter (@GreedyStripes) to interact with us during each and every Yankees game.

Warren and the Yankees are ready so it’s time for Yankees baseball, let’s see if the hour difference kicks my butt or if I can make it throughout all nine innings. Go Yankees!

2015 Futures Game Rosters Announced

The rosters for Team World and Team USA have been announced for the 2015 Futures Game and a pair of New York Yankees have made the cut. Surprisingly the Yankees top prospect and top pitcher Luis Severino will not be making his return to the game but Triple-A outfielder Aaron Judge and Double-A catcher Gary Sanchez will be representing the team. Sanchez will play for Team World and Judge will represent Team USA in the contest.

This announcement has sparked tons of speculation regarding Severino and the possibility of an impending call up to the major leagues but one thing seems certain, the Yankees had to request his omission. Stay tuned. 

Meet a Prospect: Diego Moreno

Diego Moreno was called up this week to join the ever growing list of Yankees pitchers that are making their major league debuts this season for the team. Moreno was called up on Monday and made his major league debut on Monday night against the Phillies pitching well in an inning of work. Moreno was traded to the Yankees back in 2012 in the deal that sent AJ Burnett to Pittsburgh and is now trying to make his name with New York, but not before we introduce you to him first.

Diego Rafael Montero was born on July 21, 1987 in Higuerote, Miranda Venezuela. Moreno stayed in Venezuela until the 2006 season when the Pittsburgh Pirates signed him to an amateur contract out of Venezuela. Moreno did not make his professional debut until the 2007 season and pitched a total of five seasons in the Pirates system before the trade in 2012. Moreno missed all of the 2012 season with an injury forcing his Yankees debut back to the 2013 season when he pitched for the High-A Tampa Yankees. 

In his first season as a Yankees farm hand Moreno pitched for both the Tampa Yankees and the Trenton Thunder posting a combined 3.89 ERA in 37 innings including a dominant 9.1 innings in Double-A where he allowed just one run on four hits. Moreno was back with the team in 2014 and back in Trenton where he continued to put up zeroes forcing the hand of the Yankees and forcing a call up to Triple-A Scranton. Moreno pitched 46.1 innings in Triple-A last season posting a respectable 4.86 ERA with 42 K's to just 15 BB's. 

Moreno began the 2015 season back in Scranton before the revolving door of the Yankees bullpen came calling to him this week. Moreno may not be the sexy name or the big star that the Yankees fans may have wanted but he's been more than serviceable in his minor league career and can be more than serviceable inside the Yankees system this season. Welcome to the family Diego and we hope to see you back in the Bronx soon! 

The Cole Hamels Deal That Makes Sense for New York

For much of the 2015 season I have been on the fence whether I thought the team should trade for a big name, and expensive, starting pitcher like Johnny Cueto or Cole Hamels. I have been especially adamant against Cueto simply because he is a two month rental but I have been overall indecisive about the potential acquisition of Hamels. Hamels would not come cheap and dealing with Ruben Amaro Jr. you know the Phillies would ask for Luis Severino and Aaron Judge, something I would not be willing to do, but I have also been very vocal that this is the window for New York, 2015. The team will remain pretty much the same in 2016 although key players will be a year older and a year less effective meaning that if the team is going to win before the bad contracts start coming off the books after 2016 and 2017 that this would be the year. Hamels would be expensive and wouldn’t necessarily fit in with those 2017 and 2018 but I may have found the perfect storm that brings Hamels to the Bronx and keeps the team’s top prospects.

Many teams won’t take on salary or don’t have the capabilities the take on hefty salaries but one team that does is the Yankees. Two contracts the Phillies are wanting out of are the contracts of second baseman Chase Utley and first baseman Ryan Howard and both come attached with AAV’s in excess of $25 million per season. While snooping around on Baseball Reference I noticed that Utley is potentially a free agent after this season although he has three season’s worth of vesting options for the 2016-2018 seasons. If Utley reaches 500 at bats this season his contract triggers for next season and so on for the next three seasons but it does not look likely that Utley reaches that plateau. We sit here about halfway through the season and Utley is a shade over 200 at bats which means he has an outside shot of reaching the plateau if he remains healthy… and then I read that he was placed on the 15 day DL with an ankle injury.

The ankle injury will presumably keep Utley out anywhere from two weeks to a month if all goes well which will really make reaching 500 at bats difficult this season. If the Yankees were to add on Utley and his contract to the Hamels contract the team could presumably pay lesser in terms of prospects and more in terms of dollars. Between the injuries and the Yankees ability to sit Utley multiple times a week they can find a way to keep him from reaching 500 at bats thus making him a free agent at the end of the season. This way the Yankees keep Severino and Judge, add Hamels to the rotation that already has Michael Pineda and Masahiro Tanaka, and the team can still plug in Robert Refsnyder at second base on Opening Day 2016.

This my friends is not only called getting creative, it’s called getting greedy. 

Game Preview: New York Yankees @ Houston Astros 6/25

The New York Yankees left Yankee Stadium on a sour note after losing a very winnable series against the worst team in the majors, the Philadelphia Phillies, and may now be seemingly digging their own graves. The Yankees did not take advantage of a softer schedule this month and the schedule doesn’t get any easier tonight when the team travels to Minute Maid Park to take on the first place Houston Astros. The Yankees will send Adam Warren to the mound in possibly his last start of the season to face off with the Astros starter Dallas Keuchel. The game will be played at 8:10 pm ET and can be seen on the YES Network and MLB TV.

  • Warren is making his 13th start of the season in 2015 and it may be his last if the Yankees decide to cut down from their six-man rotation. Warren has made one start against the Astros in his career and own a 1-0 record but also has four relief appearances against them under his belt. Warren comes into the start fresh off a victory over the Detroit Tigers where he finished with 8 IP.

  • Keuchel is probably the ace of the Houston Astros pitching staff and will not be an easy task for the Yankees offense tonight. Keuchel owns an 8-3 record in 107.1 innings and a 2.35 ERA. Keuchel’s peripherals are more impressive though as he has struck out 83 batters while walking 30 to post a minuscule 0.98 WHIP. That’s Mariano Rivera-esque.

The Yankees play the next four games in Houston in what should be a tough series for the Bronx Bombers. New York really let a good opportunity go by the wayside in that Phillies series as the Toronto Blue Jays and the Tampa Bay Rays were going head-to-head but what can you do, the past is the past. Here’s to the Yankees growing from it and here’s to becoming a better team going forward. Go Yankees!

Meet a Prospect: Nick Rumbelow

Nick Rumbelow was called up to the New York Yankees this week as a part of the daily roster shuffle that GM Brian Cashman and manager Joe Girardi are orchestrating this month. Rumbelow is a product of the Yankees farm system after being drafted by the team in the 7th round of the 2013 MLB First Year Players Draft and has skyrocketed through the system since as he reached the major leagues in right at two calendar years. Rumbelow was drafted out of LSU as a relief pitcher and has brought that trade to the Bronx, but not before we introduce you to him here this morning on the blog.

Nicholas Bruno Rumbelow was born on September 6, 1991 in Bullard, Texas before being drafted by the Yankees out of Louisiana State University. Rumbelow was the set-up man at LSU and not the closer do to issues with his command but those issues could not be seen when he made his professional debut with the Staten Island Yankees in 2013. Rumbelow pitched to a 0.739 WHIP and a 2.35 ERA in 19 games while dropping his BB/9 ratio to 2.0 down from 4.1 in his final season in college.

Rumbelow flew three the system in his first full season in 2014 making four stops in the Yankees farm system including Charleston, Tampa, Trenton and Scranton Wilkes-Barre. Combined in 2014 Rumbelow pitched to a 2.64 ERA combined across all four stops in 58.0 innings pitched while posting a 1.086 WHIP with 81 K's and just 18 walks. Rumbelow was officially on the map and on the Yankees radar.

2015 has been more of the same for Rumbelow as he has pitched to a 3.31 ERA in 35.1 innings while posting a 1.019 WHIP with 41 K's and 7 BB's. Rumbelow will now look to bring these talents and that plus fastball to the Bronx to blow away some Philadelphia Phillies, some Houston Astros and hopefully the rest of the league while taking it by storm.

TGP Daily Poll: CC Sabathia to the Pen

This may be a losers bet but I’ve never been afraid to go against the grain on here and in life. The Yankees weakest link is CC Sabathia and he will be the one to go to the bullpen when the Yankees drop the six-man rotation.

Vote in our prediction poll on 

Weekly Check In: Ramon Flores

Ramon Flores has been on the shuttle that the Yankees have kept busy for much of the month of June and for much of the 2015 season. The shuttle I am referring to is the bus that keeps bringing the plethora of call ups from Triple-A Scranton Wilkes-Barre and brings them to the Bronx and Yankee Stadium. The Yankees have been mixing and matching with their bullpen and their bench a ton this month and Flores has been called up twice since center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury has gone down.

We never got a chance to really check in with him while he was wearing a RailRiders uniform so since he was sent down this week to make room for Bryan Mitchell I figured let’s take a look at what Flores is bringing to the table this season both in Triple-A and in the major leagues. We better hurry though, he could be called back up before this post even goes live.

Minor Leagues:
Major Leagues:
2015 10 28 3 7 1 0 0 0 0 0 4 .250 .250 .286 .536 49

This Day in New York Yankees History 6/25: Bat Boys Wear Helmets

On this day in 1985 the Yankees bat boy Butch Wynegar is hit by a line drive foul ball. The line drive caused the Yankees to instate a new rule mandating that the team's bat boy must wear a helmet while on the field for all games.

Also on this day in 1934 Lou Gehrig, the Yankees first basemen, would complete one of his two career cycles in his career, the other coming in 1937. Also in the game John Broaca tied a major league record by striking out five consecutive times in the game but still gets the victory over the Chicago White Sox by the score of 11-2 in Yankee Stadium.