Monday, August 31, 2015

Game Thread: New York Yankees @ Boston Red Sox 8/31

The New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox are ready to kick off their three game series this week at Fenway Park with everything on the line for New York and nothing left to play for in Boston. The Yankees have their eye's on the top spot in the American League East Division race and the playoffs for the first time in three seasons while the Red Sox are ready for another long winter after a last place finish. The Yankees will send Ivan Nova to the mound to face off against the Red Sox rookie Eduardo Rodriguez. The game will be played at 7:05 pm ET and can be seen on the YES Network, ESPN and MLB TV.

The Yankees are three games away, including tonight's, from the team returning home to the Bronx and Yankee Stadium so be sure to click the Yankees Tickets link at the top of the blog to buy yours now. Also be sure to give us a follow on Twitter, @GreedyStripes, to root for the home team for the remainder of the 2015 season.

Nova is ready to turn things around and hopefully the offense saved some runs for tonight after slaughtering the Braves this weekend. Go Yankees!

Twitter Poll: What About Nathan Eovaldi in One Game Playoff Game?

Nathan Eovaldi earned his 14th victory of the season yesterday afternoon in Atlanta against the Atlanta Braves despite only lasting five innings. Eovaldi had pitched better of late, although yesterday was not his ideal start that he wanted at this point in the season, and has added strikeouts and length to his game. With the Toronto Blue Jays leading the American League East Division and with the likelihood that the team may never lose again, slight exaggeration.. very slight, the Yankees may have to settle for hosting a one game playoff in the American League Wild Card Round. Who would the Yankees start? Would it be the rookie, Luis Severino? Would it be the ace, Masahiro Tanaka? Or could it be their winning-est pitcher, Nathan Eovaldi?

The Yankees offense never seems to take a night off with Eovaldi on the mound but I honestly think Eovaldi should not start that game. If the days of rest lines up that way I can't say I'd be less than confident along with the Yankees bullpen and short leash from Joe Girardi but if everyone is rested that start has to go to Severino or Tanaka. Eovaldi has been good, sometimes great, but his 14-2 pitching line may be a little deceiving when you look at it in the rear view mirror.

To be involved in our next Twitter Poll head over and give @GreedyStripes a follow.

ICYMI: Does Brian Cashman Hate Rob Refsnyder?

By Bran Van Dusen:

By now you've all seen that the Yankees plan on calling up Rob Refsnyder once rosters expand. I'm sure many people, including Daniel, are really happy. Although, they would have been happier had this happened a month ago. Two months ago? *shrugs*
I have no idea what makes some of you happy.

Yesterday Daniel wrote about Brian Cashman, particularly a quote he made before the season. In it, Cash basically talked about the team's desire to not only build the future, but also build a team that could win the World Series.

It didn't take long for somebody to bring up the fact that Rob Refsnyder is still in the minors, and use that as an example of how Cashman is full of it. On the surface that's a great point. If the team isn't calling up Refsnyder, then it looks like the whole "build for the future" thing is nothing more than lip service.

But there's a problem with this thinking....

What has Rob Refsnyder done to push for a promotion?

Don't get me wrong. I hate Stephen Drew, just like many of you. Nor do I think Brendan Ryan is the answer. But you can't tell me that a triple-slash of .269/.360/.396 in AAA is something to salivate over. Therefore, I totally understand not wanting to lose Stephen Drew or Brendan Ryan, as one of them would likely be designated for assignment to make room for Refsnyder to be added to the active roster. If Rob was tearing the cover off the ball that would be a different story, but he's not. His on-base percentage is good, but his batting average is "meh" and his slugging percentage is poor.

And it's unlikely to expect him to improve on those numbers in Major League Baseball. I understand the promotion might be the kick in the butt he needs, but when you're trying to win now it's not a gamble you really want to make until you have to.

The fact that no trade was made for a definite starter at second base should tell you that Cashman and the Yankees are not giving up on Refsnyder. Which is a good thing. Sure, his numbers currently are far from spectacular, but that doesn't mean he should be considered a bust. It looks as though they still believe in him, but do not feel it necessary to make the move now. However, Rob is being called up in September, so he will get a shot.

Rob Refsnyder may not become a regular starter this season, but it's certainly not out of the realm of possibility that he's the starting second baseman for them on Opening Day next season. I know it's hard for a lot of Yankees fans, but you must be patient.

David Robertson Back In Pinstripes?

When the news first broke that the Yankees had claimed David Robertson I thought nothing of it. Claims like that happen all the time, and nothing happens. I figured that the White Sox are simply going to pull back Robertson, and everybody will go on their merry ways.

I mean, this isn't a case of a player making more money than they're worth. D-Rob has an ERA of 2.60, and WHIP of 0.855, so far this season. His walk percentage is a career low 1.9%, and his strikeout rate of 12.3 per 9 innings is a tick above his career average. To sum it up, I highly doubt the White Sox are having buyer's remorse here.

But then I thought about it, and although the chances of Robertson making a return to the Yankees are closer to "nil" than "slim", it could happen.

The White Sox are currently in fourth place in the AL Central, only a game and a half ahead of the last place Detroit Tigers. So this season is all but over with for them. Meanwhile, the Kansas City Royals will surely be picked to win the division again next year, and for good reason.

And don't forget that even though the Yankees already have an incredible one-two punch in the bullpen, they tried hard to deal for Craig Kimbrel a month ago. So I'm sure they'd be willing to make a deal for Robertson.

Another thing to consider is that Craig Kimbrel has one less year remaining on his contract (if you ignore his team option) than D-Rob, and is also three years younger. So even though Robertson is having a better season, the cost to acquire him shouldn't be any more than it would have been for Kimbrel.

So while I'm not counting on the Yankees and White Sox agreeing on a trade for Robertson, it's not silly to think it could happen.

Game Preview: New York Yankees @ Boston Red Sox 8/31

The New York Yankees got back on track this weekend in Atlanta with a great series against the Atlanta Braves that saw New York sweep the Bravos. New York will look to continue their hot play tonight as they make the trip to the team that occupies the last place spot in the American League East Division, the Boston Red Sox. The Yankees will send Ivan Nova to the mound tonight inside Fenway Park to face off with Eduardo Rodriguez for the home team. The game will be played at 7:05 pm ET and can be seen on the YES Network, ESPN and MLB TV.

  • Nova has been disappointing for the Yankees recently and was especially off against the Houston Astros in a game that quickly got away from him. Nova allowed seven runs on seven hits in just four innings in a 15-1 loss to the Astros. That start marked the fourth consecutive time that Nova has allowed three runs or more in a start. 

  • Rodriguez will head into tonight's start fresh off seven days of rest from manager Torey Lovullo. The Red Sox are attempting to limit the innings of Rodriguez as the 2015 season begins its final stretch run. Rodriguez is making his third start of the season against the Yankees and will look to improve upon his 1-1 record with a 2.70 ERA.

The New York Yankees aren't getting any help from the rest of the league as they continue to trail the Toronto Blue Jays in the American League East Division making every winnable game and series all that more important. The Red Sox tend to bring their "A" games against the Yankees so let's hope New York brings their "A+" game to the ballpark tonight. Go Yankees!

Recapping My Eventful Night at Turner Field

I may never go back to Turner Field as long as I live.

Well, I think we both know that this is an absolute lie but I had quite the eventful night on Saturday night when I took my family to Turner Field to see the New York Yankees face off with the Atlanta Braves. First and foremost, and I posted this on my Facebook page, that traffic though. We barely got to the game before first pitch after leaving my house at 3:00 pm in the afternoon. Granted we stopped at the gas station and Steak and Shake for lunch but still, four hours to make an hour and a half trip is ridiculous. I cannot wait until the new stadium opens up in Cobb County, about 30 minutes closer to my home from the current stadium. Also did I mention that I went to a game earlier this season and paid $10 to park in the same parking lot that I paid $40 to park in last night?

So we went to the game and it was pretty uneventful until the Alex Rodriguez pinch hit for Luis Severino. This was when the season ticket holder and Braves fan fell from the upper deck after leaning over the rail to yell at Rodriguez. The man died and our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends but it really makes you wonder if your hate for a man that did nothing to you nor anything that affected you is worth your life.

Game over, Yankees win and start spreading the news. Let's get the hell out of here and go home. You have your normal traffic, cars cutting you off etc. going home but the line is moving well enough until a 10 car pileup happens on Highway 75 north. It literally took over two hours to go three miles, two hours to go three miles with a five year old in the back seat that has a question for everything. With me halfway knowing the area I had the great idea to get off on an exit, go down a few exits and see if I can get around it but after sitting in traffic well over three hours now I stop to get a drink and some gas at the gas station.

Shots fired, three to be exact. Needless to say I am getting out of that parking lot in a hurry. The shots were off in the distance, not at the gas station, but they were close enough to know this was not the place I needed to be. When I finally got on the highway and saw the 10 car pileup I was amazed, someone stopped short and caused the domino effect. One person's front bumper was actually attached to the car in front of him and no longer on the car believe it or not, he must have hit hard.

Needless to say I was done after that. My GPS told me it should have taken 1:22 minutes and I was home and in my driveway in 58 minutes.... yeah.... what a night. I had to share that with you guys, hope you enjoy because I sure didn't.

Quick Hit: August Trade Deadline End Today!

If the New York Yankees are going to add a player that will not only help the team reach the playoffs but help in the playoffs they will have to add him before the trade deadline comes today. Keep in mind that the Yankees can make trades up until the final game of the season but any player acquired after the trade deadline today will not be eligible for postseason play. There are a few notable players that we know have cleared waivers and probably a slew that we won't ever hear about until/unless they are traded. See my mini-list below, does anyone on it strike your fancy? Leave a comment in the comments section or drop us a tweet on Twitter @GreedyStripes.

  • RHP James Shields
  • 2B/SS Jose Reyes
  • 2B/SS Starlin Castro
  • OF Ichiro Suzuki
  • OF Jay Bruce
  • OF Alejandro De Aza
  • RHP John Axford
  • OF Austin Jackson
  • OF Dexter Fowler

Weekly Check In: Tyler Wade

The New York Yankees have a ton of shortstop depth all of a sudden with Saturday's check in Jorge Mateo, Sunday's check in Kyle Holder and this morning's candidate, Tyler Wade. Wade may be the closest of any of the Yankees shortstop depth as he will likely play his final game in 2015 with the Double-A Yankee affiliate, the Trenton Thunder.

Wade has about three week's worth of games down in Trenton and has struggled mightily since his promotion, not unlike Holder who has struggled in Staten Island. Wade, like Robert Refsnyder, needs work on the defense side of the ball and had 24 errors at shortstop while with the Tampa Yankees forcing the team to give him some time at second base in Trenton.

Is his future at second base or shortstop? Keep checking into these posts and we'll find out together because honestly I have no idea.

2015 A+-AA 118 498 56 115 14 3 31 32 41 79 .258 .323 .333 .655
2015 A+ 98 418 51 103 11 2 28 31 39 65 .280 .349 .353 .702
2015 AA 20 80 5 12 3 1 3 1 2 14 .156 .188 .234 .421

Most Popular Article of the Week: The Quote That May Haunt Brian Cashman for the Rest of his Yankees Tenure

Let’s end the night with something to think about when you go to bed tonight, the one quote that may define and ultimately haunt the Yankees GM Brian Cashman for the remainder of his Yankees tenure. This quote came in the offseason when the Yankees were being second guessed about their free agent strategy and the decision to pass up the likes of David Robertson, Hanley Ramirez, James Shields, Pablo Sandoval and other big named free agents. Cashman may be hoping right about now, as the Blue Jays continue their aggressive play while the Yankees simply look tired out and ready for another winter of hibernation, that this quote could forever be forgotten and lost in the web that is the internet but I remember it and I remind you all of it today.

“Playoffs and then beyond,’’ GM Brian Cashman told The Post. “Be a good enough team to get to the playoffs, allow me to tweak in-season to make it good enough to win a World Series.’’

Has Cashman lived up to this “promise” or did he let the team down? I’m truly asking because I know the responses will be a mixed bag of opinions. Some, including myself, are okay with the prospects being relied on more (although if you’re going all in on prospects where the hell is Robert Refsnyder?) while others are not. Leave your thoughts in the comments section or let us know on Twitter by following and tweeting @GreedyStripes.

This Day In New York Yankees History 8/31: Indians 22 Yankees 0

The New York Yankees have had a very storied history including a ton of blowouts on both sides of the ball but none bigger than the whooping the Cleveland Indians put on the New York Yankees on this day in 2004. This actually tied the largest shutout margin in the history of Major League Baseball, but set the record in Yankees history, when the Indians beat the Yankees 22-0 in Yankee Stadium. The Pittsburgh Pirates beat the Chicago Cubs by the same margin way back in 1975 at Wrigley Field to set the original record.

Also on this day in Yankees getting clobbered history Omar Vizquel had six hits in that same 2004 game. Vizquel would become the first player in the 81 year history of Yankee Stadium to get six hits in one game.

Finally on this day in 1997 Don Mattingly Day was held at Yankee Stadium where his #23 jersey was retired in Monument Park. Mattingly was the Yankees captain from 1991 to 1995 and becomes the first Yankee to have his uniform number retired without reaching the World Series.