Monday, August 17, 2015

BREAKING: Bryan Mitchell Hit in Face w/ Line Drive

Bryan Mitchell exited the game tonight between the New York Yankees and the Minnesota Twins after taking a line drive to the face. The line drive came off the bat of Eduardo Nunez in the second inning and clearly hit Mitchell right in the face, possibly right above his right eye. Mitchell was taken out in the second inning and Caleb Cotham came in to relieve him.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Mitchell. Hopefully this is one of those that looked a lot worse than it really was.

Game Thread: New York Yankees vs. Minnesota Twins 8/17

The New York Yankees are fresh off their roller coaster ride of emotions that come daily with the HOPE Week and are ready to give the Minnesota Twins a series loss. The Yankees head home tonight to Yankee Stadium looking to keep their grip on first place in the American League East as they send Bryan Mitchell to the mound. Opposing Mitchell and hoping to lead the Twins to one of the Wild Card playoffs spots in the American League is Kyle Gibson. The game will be played at 7:05 pm ET and can be seen on WPIX Channel 11 and MLB TV.

If you want to see the Yankees play at home this week against these Minnesota Twins, the Cleveland Indians and the Houston Astros click the Yankees Tickets link at the top of the blog and purchase your tickets here. If you can't make it to the Bronx live then that's not a problem, simply jump on Twitter and give @GreedyStripes to root for the home team with us from afar.

The big man is ready to take the mound looking for his third straight quality start of the season and his first victory since early July. I raise my glass to him tonight hoping for both. Go Yankees!

HOPE Week: Yankees Visit Chris Singleton

Here's the HOPE Week Press Release:

The Yankees will kick off their seventh annual HOPE Week (Helping Others Persevere & Excel) on Monday, August 17, with the story of Chris Singleton. Currently a baseball player at Charleston Southern University, Chris was a normal student and college athlete when tragedy forever changed his life.

His mother, Sharonda Coleman-Singleton (pictured with Chris), 45 – a minister at the Emanuel A.M.E. Church in Charleston, S.C., and speech pathologist and girls track coach at Goose Creek High School – was among the nine parishioners who lost their lives in a premeditated hate crime at the church this past June.

Following a memorial at his former high school the day after the shooting, Chris said about the perpetrator, “We already forgive him for what he’s done. There’s nothing but love from our side of the family.”

Chris’ positivity has galvanized a community. Despite losing the only parent who took an active role in his life, he continues to radiate wisdom beyond his 19 years. On Twitter on July 22 — more than a month after the tragedy — he posted, “The good outweighs the bad even on your worst days.”

Chris, along with his sister Camryn, 15, his brother Caleb, 12, and his college baseball coach and mentor, Stuart Lake, of Charleston Southern University, will be surprised on Monday morning on the set of the TODAY Show in Rockefeller Center by Yankees players Dellin Betances, Brett Gardner and Alex Rodriguez.

He will then be joined at One World Observatory for a private tour and lunch by Stephen Drew, Jacoby Ellsbury, Willie Randolph, Masahiro Tanaka, Justin Wilson and Chris Young before returning to Yankee Stadium where he will take part in batting practice with the team and more.

CC Sabathia Restrained From Toronto Street Fight

Wow... watch the video by clicking here. CC Sabathia was restrained outside of a Toronto night club and had to be forced into a cab before a street fight broke out. CC was not involved in the fighting on the streets that later occurred but this goes to show you just how out of hand the Toronto Blue Jays fans have become this season.

Sabathia explained the situation to his teammates and manager and will not be disciplined. This also is not why the Yankees pushed his start back to tomorrow instead of tonight, the decision was made to give him an extra day of rest like they have done multiple times this season and said they were going to do last week.

Someone lit a fire under Sabathia this season, no?

Most Popular Article of the Week: Should The Yankees Go After James Shields?

By Bryan Van Dusen:

While it's true that the Yankees don't have the best starting rotation in baseball, it's also true that they don't have the worst.

Everybody cheer for us not being the worst!

In fact, in terms of fWAR, the Yankees' starters are 6th in the American League. While being 6th in the league isn't great, allow me to point out that four of the teams in front of them are not going to the postseason. The Chicago White Sox starters have the highest fWAR, but their team is currently 4th in the AL Central. The Oakland Athletics are 2nd, but are currently in last place in the AL West. The Cleveland Indians are next, but are cellar-dwellers in the AL Central. And finally there are the Tampa Bay Rays with the 5th best fWAR in the AL, who are currently in 4th place in the AL East.

The only team whose starters have a higher fWAR, and who are likely headed to the postseason, are the Houston Astros. Fortunately, the Yankees have a better bullpen and a better offense, so Houston does not frighten me.

Speaking of bullpens, the Yankees have the best bullpen in baseball. A bullpen that includes two pitchers with a sub-2.00 ERA (Dellin Betances and Andrew Miller), another guy with an ERA barely over 2.00 (Chasen Shreve - 2.06), and a fourth pitcher whose ERA is a very respectable 2.43 (Justin Wilson). That means that as long as the Yankee starters give the team a good five innings, the game is definitely winnable.

Heck, I didn't even mention that Adam Warren and Bryan Mitchell are also currently in the bullpen, where they can give the Yankees three or more strong innings of work.

Basically, another starter is not necessary.

Which brings me to James Shields.

"What's UUUUUUP!?"

The Yankees do not need James Shields. That's all that has to be said about it, but I'm sure you won't be surprised to find out that I'm not leaving it at that.

First of all, there's the fact that Shields is walking more batters this year than he ever has. His career walk percentage is 5.9%, but this season that number is 8.1%.

Secondly, James is giving up a lot of home runs. His home run percentage of 3.9% is higher than it's ever been in his career. And if you think the majority of the homers against him have happened away from spacious Petco Park, you'd be wrong. He's given up 13 home runs in just 11 starts at Petco, while giving up 11 home runs in 13 starts on the road. Oh, and more home runs are hit at Yankee Stadium. Not a good omen.

My biggest issue is his contract, which runs through 2018 for another $63 million (not including the $2 million buyout of his team option 2019 season). If the Yankees have to pay a third starter over $20 million, then chances are they wouldn't be willing to go after somebody like David Price in free agency, as he would make it four starters earning $20+ million next season.

Now, I'm not going to ignore the opt-out clause in Shields' contract, which he can trigger after next season. While he's already 33, I don't think it would be hard for a guy with his consistency (he's made at least 33 starts in each of the past seven seasons, and has 24 already this season) to get a contract of at least four years and $16 million per. That means he would be guaranteed a million more dollars than he's already getting paid, plus another year. And that's a modest estimate.

So while it's exciting to think about the Yankees adding another solid piece to the rotation, when you actually sit back and think about acquiring James Shields you'll realize that it's not worth it.

ICYMI: My Early Impressions of Greg Bird

Greg Bird was called up to the New York Yankees on Thursday to give the big league club a true backup at the first base position. Manager Joe Girardi wasted no time in throwing Bird into the fire as he started his first game at first base and batted seventh in the lineup. The left-handed Bird did not start against the left-handed pitcher David Price yesterday but I wouldn’t be surprised to see him give Alex Rodriguez a day off today inside the Rogers Centre. They say a picture is worth a thousand words so let’s see how many words I can come up with after watching him play live and take at bats for nine innings against the Cleveland Indians.

Bird did not look flustered or bothered by the bright lights of the big leagues, not at the plate and not in the field. Bird was actually drafted out of High School as a catcher and back issues forced him to play more first base, not to mention the fact that he is a big stature kind of guy, but you couldn’t tell it as he looked comfortable and natural at first base. Now he wasn’t forced to make some of the line drive stops, diving attempts or wasn’t forced to pick some of the balls out of the dirt that Mark Teixeira has this season but he looked fluid and natural at the position. His foot work and mechanics were where you want them to be and he’s a big target for the other infielders to throw at, which never hurts.

Bird finished the day 0-5 but he hit the ball hard enough to get at least two, possibly three, hits on the night. Bird impressed me with his batters eye and ability to take pitches. When Bird did swing he connected with solid contact and used all fields when he did, something that cannot be taught easily in my opinion. His left-handed swing should produce 20 home run power over the course of a season inside Yankee Stadium and around a .285 - .300 average in my opinion.

Bird impressed me, he really did. I can now see at least a glimpse of why the Yankees made him virtually untouchable at this year’s July 31st trading deadline. A picture is worth a thousand words but that game was only worth 399, I need to step my game up.

Game Thread: New York Yankees vs. Minnesota Twins 8/17

The New York Yankees are fresh off a great trip to Toronto and the Rogers Centre where the Yankees snatched first place back in the American League East Division. The Yankees now return home to the Bronx and Yankee Stadium to not only play host to HOPE Week but to play host to the Minnesota Twins. The Yankees will send their sixth man Bryan Mitchell to the mound tonight to face off against the Twins starter Kyle Gibson. The game will be played at 7:05 pm ET and can be seen on WPIX Channel 11 and MLB TV.

  • Mitchell will be the team's sixth starter tonight to give both CC Sabathia and Masahiro Tanaka more rest. 

  • Gibson will be pitching tonight on an extra day of rest after taking the loss the first time he faced off against New York this season. Gibson gave up six runs in 5.1 IP in that start against the Bronx Bombers in Minnesota and we all hope for similar results tonight in the Bronx. 

The Yankees are prepared to announce their HOPE Week lucky organization this morning before hopefully taking care of business tonight in the Bronx. The Yankees took care of business this weekend and snatched the AL East crown back but the work is not done, far from it. The team needs to keep their foot on the gas and the team needs to keep winning. The Twins are no walk in the park, they are still in the hunt for the second Wild Card playoff spot in the American League, but New York still needs to come out tonight and set the tone for another great series. Go Yankees!

List of Prospects Needing Rule 5 Draft Protection

The New York Yankees have been involved heavily with rebuilding their team and their franchise for not only the 2015 season but beyond. It's a sight for sore eyes, and it's frustrating to others at times, but the Yankees are placing the emphasis on the future and their farm system finally. The problem with stockpiling prospects is Major League Baseball has rules protecting the player, and that number one rule is the Rule 5 Draft. By my unofficial count the New York Yankees have six notable prospects that they will either have to protect from the draft by placing them on the 40 man roster or they can leave them unprotected and available to the rest of the 29 players in MLB.

James Pazos was one of the names mentioned by GM Brian Cashman when the Yankees let Matt Thornton and his contract head to Washington in a August waiver claim. Pazos is a hard throwing left-handed reliever that could take advantage of the injury to Jacob Lindgren to get on the 40 man roster as soon as this September. 

Johnny Barbato was acquired in the deal with the San Diego Padres when the Yankees sent them relief pitcher Shawn Kelley. Barbato was originally thought to need Tommy John surgery when the deal went down but has put those fears on the back burner as he reached Triple-A this season. Barbato could be the next right-handed power arm to come out of the Yankees farm, via the Padres farm obviously, and help the bullpen. 

Speaking of trades and the Washington Nationals the Yankees acquired middle infielder Tony Renda before the season for depth . Renda sits behind Jose Pirela and Robert Refsnyder on the depth chart and has never been above Double-A in his career so he may be sitting on the line between being protected and left unprotected. 

Ben Gamel fits the mold of about 15 other prospects in the Yankees system this season, left-handed soft hitting speedy and defensive first outfielder. The Yankees already sent Ramon Flores to the Seattle Mariners after fitting that mold and sent Mason Williams to the 60 day DL. Gamel is leading off for the RailRiders and has been absolutely on a tear so he may be too good to simply leave unprotected. 

Jake Cave fits the same mold as Gamel and while both are pretty good prospects Gamel is clearly the better of the two. Cave is likely to be left unprotected and is likely to be chosen unfortunately. Whether he sticks all season or not with a new team remains to be seen. 

Rookie Davis is a guy I have personally followed for a long time now, he's a great kid and he has the perfect baseball name. Davis finally seems like he put it all together making it all the way to Double-A this season showcasing strong strikeout numbers and a live arm along the way. Davis likely won't be protected in my opinion but I can't seem him being drafted either. 

RiverDogs Unleash 2016 Schedule

20th season of RiverDogs baseball at The Joe will see 10 weekends, a July 3rd Independence Day spectacular and the birth of a new in-state rivalry.

CHARLESTON, S.C. – Although 12 home games remain in the 2015 season, the Charleston RiverDogs, in conjunction with the South Atlantic League, have released the schedule for the 2016 season. The 20th season of RiverDogs baseball at Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Park will see the standard lot of 70 home games and the addition of a new in-state rivalry with the Columbia Fireflies.

Of course, the excitement and fanfare of Opening Night (April 7) and an Independence Day celebration (July 3) are annual top dates and great opportunities to enjoy the fun-filled experience that is widely known as RiverDogs Baseball. The schedule keeps the RiverDogs at home for 10 Saturdays and 10 Sundays throughout the season. Fans will be happy to see 12 home games on Thursdays and eight on Mondays as both nights feature $1 beers in the Ashley View Pub.

The Subway Series in the South will have a new home in 2016 as the Savannah Sand Gnats (Mets affiliate) become the Fireflies. The move puts the affiliates of the New York Yankees’ two natural rivals (both the Mets and Red Sox) within the state lines of South Carolina. The RiverDogs will play the Fireflies and Greenville Drive 21 times each throughout the season. With the 70 home games and 20 road games against Greenville and Columbia combined, the RiverDogs will play 90 of their 140 games within the state of South Carolina.

"We have a great schedule for '16, which includes a new in-state rival in the Fireflies,” said General Manager Dave Echols. “That coupled with the promotions, food, and fun and the fact that it is the 20th season of baseball at The Joe is going to make it one of the most special seasons in franchise history."

The RiverDogs will open the ’16 campaign and welcome the Fireflies into the league on April 7 with the first game of a four-game series. The opening seven-game stretch concludes with a three-game series against the Asheville Tourists. The first road trip of the season will take the RiverDogs to Lake Olmstead Stadium for four games against the Augusta GreenJackets and then to the new Spirit Communications Park in Columbia, home of the Fireflies, for the first time in franchise history.

The final road trip of April will see the RiverDogs head to Lakewood, NJ where they will take on the BlueClaws for the first time in two years. On the back of that road trip the R’Dogs will swing through Salisbury, Maryland and square off against the Delmarva Shorebirds. The end of July will also feature a trip to Maryland as Charleston will embark on a seven-game road trip to West Virginia for three games and Hagerstown for four.

Other road trips will take the RiverDogs to Greenville, Rome, Lexington, Asheville, Kannapolis, and Hickory.

Five Northern Division foes will embark on trips to The Joe next season: West Virginia, Hickory, Kannapolis, Lakewood, and Hagerstown.

August will be the busiest month of the season at home for the second year in a row, as the RiverDogs will play 16 games at home during the month. May, June and July will all feature 14 contests in the Lowcountry.

To view the entire schedule, please refer to

Weekly Check In: Gary Sanchez

The Year of the Prospects for the New York Yankees has definitely been the 2015 season with many of the team's prospects either being promoted, having breakout seasons or making their Major League debut's. Gary Sanchez was once thought of as the premier blue chip prospect in the Yankees system before GM Brian Cashman put all his focus on drafting, signing and developing prospects but that speaks more to the strength of the Yankees system and less of how far Mr. Sanchez has fallen as a prospect and as a catcher.

Sanchez is having a breakout season in 2015 and has made the most of every single opportunity he was given this season. Sanchez was only called up to Triple-A after an Austin Romine injury forced him into the fold. Sanchez has hit so well in Scranton/Wilkes Barre that the Yankees organization could not justify sending him back down when Romine recovered. Now Sanchez finds himself red hot and knocking on the door of Yankee Stadium.

Sanchez took the opportunity created from an injury to reach Triple-A and he is one more injury away from bringing those talents to Yankee Stadium.


This Day In New York Yankees History 8/17: Sori Goes 30/30

For the better part of a decade Alfonso Soriano was one of the premier hitters, stolen base threats, and home run hitters in all of Major League Baseball. Soriano entered the 30 home run and 30 stolen base club on this day in 2002 after hitting a home run in the seventh inning of the Seattle Mariners James Baldwin. Soriano was the first ever second baseman to join the 30/30 club joining Bobby Bonds as the only other Yankee to accomplish the feat. Bonds went 30/30 in 1975.

Also on this day in 1948 Tommy Henrich hits his fourth grand slam of the season tying one of Babe Ruth's major league records. This came just a day after the great Babe Ruth passed away. This came after an estimated 100,000 fans passed the body of the Bambino at Yankee Stadium while showing their respect for the great.

Finally on this day in 1933 Lou Gehrig quietly passed Everett Scott for the most consecutive games played by playing in his 1,309th consecutive game. Gehrig would end up playing in 2,130 consecutive games before benching himself and ending the iron man streak.