Sunday, August 9, 2015

Weekend Finale Open Thread

Not only is the Yankees game for the day over but so is the Yankees home stand this week inside Yankee Stadium. The team heads out on the road to Cleveland after their off day tomorrow but not before we close the book on this weekend as well with a weekend finale thread. It sure would have been nice to sweep the Blue Jays this weekend but the most important thing is that the team is still in first place in the American League East Division race and still have enough talent to hold off the rest of the pack. I just wish I had enough talent to tell this overwhelming urge in my head telling me to go to sleep that I'm not ready. The morning comes early and it's my son's first full week of Kindergarten so I'll end the week with this thread.

So I leave you tonight with this music recommendation out of my personal collection, "Take Me To Church" by Hozier. It is Sunday afterall... enjoy!

YES Network: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Luis Severino

Here is a great post from the YES NETWORK about seven things you may not have known about Yankees top pitching prospect Luis Severino... Enjoy.

1) At 20 years old, Severino appeared in the 2014 MLB Futures game where he pitched a scoreless inning and struck out the MVP of the game, Texas Rangers third baseman Joey Gallo.

2) Severino became the youngest player in MLB to make a start during the 2015 season when he made his debut on August 5, 2015.

3) When Severino signed with the Yankees back in 2012 as an international free agent, his signing bonus was $225,000, among the lowest amounts for the team's eventual no. 1 ranked prospect.

4) No other pitcher in the history of the American League has ever allowed two-hits-or-fewer, no walks and at least seven strikeouts in their MLB debut, as Severino did.

5) Luis became the 14th Yankees player to make his MLB debut over the course of the 2015 season.

6) Before 2015 Spring Training, Severino had only made six starts above the Class A-Advanced level with the Tampa Yankees, and still managed to make it to the Majors within the year.

7) When Luis was promoted from the Double-A Trenton Thunder to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders, his numbers actually got better. He improved his record from 2-2 to 7-0, and dropped his ERA from 3.32 to 1.91.

Game Thread: New York Yankees vs. Toronto Blue Jays 8/9

Another afternoon and another afternoon baseball game in the Bronx as the New York Yankees and the Toronto Blue Jays finish off their huge three game series this weekend inside Yankee Stadium. The pitching has been strong and the balls flying over the fence have accounted for many of the runs in the series with more of the same expected in the finale this afternoon. The Yankees will send Masahiro Tanaka to the mound, the team's ace that is becoming more and more home run prone as a member of the Yankees, to face off with the Blue Jay's starter Marco Estrada. The game will be played at 1:05 pm ET and can be seen on the YES Network and MLB TV.

The Yankees are off tomorrow and head out on the road on Tuesday to Cleveland before making a trip to Toronto for next weekend's huge series. This gives you another week to click the Yankees Tickets link at the top of the blog and another week to have your tickets in hand when the team returns home to the Bronx. Until then head over to Twitter and give @GreedyStripes a follow to root for the home team while they play out on the road.

Tanaka is ready to take the mound and Troy Tulowitzki is ready to step into the batters box so let's get to it. Go Yankees!

Jose Reyes to the Yankees?

When the Toronto Blue Jays and the Colorado Rockies hooked up for a trade before the July 31st trading deadline the entire market and leagues were turned on their heads. LaTroy Hawkins and Troy Tulowitzki went to the Toronto Blue Jays in the deal while Jose Reyes and a stable of prospects went back to Colorado in the deal. After the shock and awe wore off that the face of the Rockies franchise was finally traded the focus turned to the fact that this deal really made little to no sense for Colorado. Trading Tulowitzki was one thing, trading him for Reyes was another thing unless the Rockies planned on flipping Reyes.

While Colorado never really gained any traction on any trade involving Reyes there were many, including CBS Sports own Jon Heyman, that believed the New York Yankees may get involved. Would that make sense for a team that desperately needed an upgrade at second base and would the financial burdens be worth it when it was all said an done?

Reyes is owed the remainder of his $22 million contract in 2015, $22 million in 2016, $22 million in 2017 and has a $22 million team option in 2018 along with a $4 million buyout. Reyes is on a steep decline as a shortstop and may benefit from a move to second base that requires less range and less of a throwing arm. That gaudy contract is not worth even a Gold Glove defender at second base without a steep upgrade offensively, and that is not Reyes unless the Yankees have a time machine that can turn back the clock to around the 2011season.

It wouldn't make sense for Colorado to eat the contract because the point of the deal was pinching pennies, and the team saved $50 million worth with the deal despite the huge contract for Reyes, leaving the Yankees and Rockies as less than ideal trade partners. Reyes to the Yankees would have beat Stephen Drew or Brendan Ryan any day in 2015 but it would be just another deal that blocked Robert Refsnyder and that, in my opinion, is not an option.

Game Preview: New York Yankees vs. Toronto Blue Jays 8/9

The New York Yankees and the Toronto Blue Jays will finish off their three game series this afternoon at Yankee Stadium. Many thought we would see a lot of 10-9 type games in this series but the first game of the series actually went into extra innings tied at one run apiece. The second game showcased David Price in his first start against the Yankees in a Blue Jays uniform and today looks like another great pitching, not offensive, matchup. The Yankees will send their ace Masahiro Tanaka to the mound to face off with Marco Estrada. The game will be played at 1:05 pm ET and can be seen on the YES Network and MLB TV.

  • Tanaka has become home run prone, I asked if he was during the 2014 campaign and that has been cemented in my eyes in 2015. Tanaka has already allowed more home runs this season than he has in 2014, granted the UCL injury limited his time in 2014, but he has still pitched well enough to win. Tanaka is giving up solo home runs and not three run shots leading him to pick up the win in four of his last five starts. 

  • Estrada has been a big part of the Blue Jays recent string of success as the right-hander has allowed just two earned runs or fewer in seven of his last eight starts with the team. Estrada has won each of his last two starts and looks to win a third straight this afternoon in the Bronx. 

New York desperately needs another win here, every game they can put between them and the rest of the American League East is truly needed. Even if the Yankees got swept in this series I would still be able to say I was confident in this team, because I am personally, but the players confidence would truly take a step forward with another big win this afternoon with their ace on the mound. Let's hope they get this win. Go Yankees!

Quick Hit: Good Problems & Pitching Logjams

The New York Yankees are in the middle of a dog fight in the American League East division with the revamped Toronto Blue Jays. What once was thought of as a given, the fact that the team would run away with this division, is now the farthest thing from that with 11 games remaining head-to-head including this afternoon's game and the lead in the division for New York dwindling. The great news for New York is that reinforcements are on the way, they just have to hold on for a little bit longer.

The Yankees may have a bit of a logjam in the starting rotation in September when Michael Pineda returns off the disabled list, which is the best problem to have in the Major Leagues. Adding Pineda back into the fold with Masahiro Tanaka, Luis Severino, Nathan Eovaldi, Ivan Nova who has pitched better than his record would suggest and CC Sabathia who takes one step forward and two steps back would give the Yankees a strong rotation overall. Not only is that rotation one not to be messed with in September but it would be one to be feared in October.

It's the best problem to have, the team just has to hold on until Pineda gets back.

Weekly Check In: Tyler Wade

This spot here on this early Sunday morning has been reserved for Luis Severino ever since we started this series earlier this season. The good and the bad of it is that with every check in Severino had been better and better which earned him a promotion to Major League Baseball. Severino will now spend the rest of his season in the starting rotation for the Yankees without an innings limit. The bad news for us is we had to scramble and find a new prospect to fill the spot here. Enter Tyler Wade.

Wade was one of the two Yankees shortstops to get a promotion this week, the other being Jorge Mateo who joined the Tampa Yankees. The open slot in Tampa was left behind by Wade who got the call to Double-A with the Trenton Thunder.Wade is seemingly leading the way for the Yankees with their shortstop depth and could become the poster child for the organizational depth if Mateo takes a step back at all during his career.

Welcome to the fold Mr. Wade and welcome to the Thunder.


This Day in New York Yankees History 8/9: Five Grand Slams

Never in the history of Major League Baseball have five grand slams been hit in the same day across the league until 1999. Five different men hit grand slams on this day to establish a new major league record including the Cardinals Fernando Tatis, the Expos Jose Vidro, the Marlins Mike Lowell, the Mariners Jay Buhner, and the Yankees Bernie Williams.

In an interesting side not Lowell, Williams, and Buhner were all former Columbus Clippers players. One player who never played for the Columbus Clippers was Paul O'Neill. That is relevant today because today is Paul O'Neill Day at Yankee Stadium so be sure to watch today for that.