Sunday, September 13, 2015

Weekend Finale Open Thread

This has been one hell of a weekend for the sports fan, hasn't it? The Yankees and the Blue Jays played four games in basically 48 hours inside Yankee Stadium while the NFL and College Football continued and started their respected schedules. The wife wasn't very happy about the sports schedule this weekend and my amount of television or internet time but what can you do, right?

So I leave you with an open thread for the night since I am going to watch Fear The Walking Dead and head to bed. Goodnight Yankees family, enjoy the song Final Countdown by Europe.... just because it describes the finale of the MLB season.

ICYMI: Potential September Additions at First Base?

With the news that Mark Teixeira will miss the rest of the 2015 season with a fractured right leg I thought it would be good to take another look at this post before today's double header. Enjoy.

The New York Yankees have been dealing with the deep bone bruise to Mark Teixeira for the better part of a month now and have no end in sight unfortunately. The Yankees have lost their, at the time of the injury, leading RBI man and leading home run hitter in the middle of their lineup along with a perennial Gold Glove Award contending first baseman in the infield. New York held onto their top first base prospect Greg Bird at the trading deadline and have been using him daily at the position but could the team be thinking of adding a right-handed platoon partner?

Just because the August 31st trading deadline has come and passed it doesn't mean that trades cannot go down for the remainder of the season. Players can still be passed through waivers and traded for the remainder of the season but any player traded during the month of September or October would be ineligible for postseason play. That wouldn't be a big issue for New York if they believe that Teixeira will be back before the end of the 2015 regular season so a potential trade may at least be in the works for a right-handed bat at first base.

Two names that are especially interesting are Houston Astros first baseman Chris Carter and Miami Marlins first baseman/third baseman Casey McGehee. Both of these players have already cleared waivers and could not stop trades to the Big Apple while both have right-handed bats that could platoon with Bird at first but both candidates are far from perfect or ideal.

Carter is batting .182 at the time of this post going live but he his saving grace has been the fact that he has hit 18 home runs and drove in 52 RBI. Carter strikes out a lot and his splits against right-handed pitching and left-handed pitching are almost identical, they are terrible. Carter is an all or nothing option at the plate and may not be any better than what the Yankees currently have in Bird.

McGehee has been bounced around this season between the Minor Leagues and the Major Leagues with the San Francisco Giants before being designated for assignment by the club. McGehee has not benefited from the change of scenery in Miami and adds absolutely nothing in the power department. If there is one saving grace for McGehee it's that his batting average is 67 points higher against left-handed pitching than against right-handed pitching making him an ideal platoon candidate.

The thing you have to keep in mind is acquiring both of these players is going to cost something either in terms of players, cash or both. Both players would also have to be added to the 40 man roster presumably costing the Yankees another player. Rosters are expanded right now so the loss would be minimal at this point but when I look at the Yankees 40 man roster I don't see an obvious candidate to go and that may keep GM Brian Cashman from a trade this month.

Should The Yankees Have Gone All-In?

When I first saw the current standings in the American League East, with the Yankees sitting 4.5 games behind the Toronto Blue Jays, I shook my head in disgust. On August 1st the Yankees were 5 games in first place... ahead of the Baltimore Orioles (now there's an ugly story). The Blue Jays were actually 6 games back at the time.


But then I remembered that Toronto's future is not good. For starters, they are unlikely to re-sign David Price. Until they traded for Troy Tulowitski, the Jays' largest contract was Russell Martin's 5 years and $82 million. $82 million to $200 million? I don't see that, especially now that they'll be paying Troy $94 million through 2020 (not including the 2021 club option, which has a $4 million buyout).

So I decided to do what Daniel does a lot of, and start a Twitter Poll.

I asked our followers... "Would you rather the Yankees did little or went all in on a World Series push like the BlueJays?" Here are a few replies...
When it all comes down to it, this is exactly what I was thinking. Toronto fans can beat their chests now, but sooner or later we're going to be the one's laughing.

While I agree with Terry that the Yankees could have added a little something to the bench, I disagree with the bullpen part. The team's bullpen was fine at the time. I say "was", because injuries have taken away the depth the bullpen had.
I can see the Yankees building something close to another dynasty. No, I don't expect four more World Series titles in five years, but a few titles within the next ten years is feasible.

A compliment to Brian Cashman? Wow!
Whether or not I complained would depend on who they traded for who. If the Mateo for Kimbrel/Gyorko trade happened, I would have complained a little because Jedd is almost worthless. But while losing Mateo would have stunk, having a three-headed monster in the bullpen (Betances-Miller-Kimbrel... WOW!) would have been awesome.
When I said "sooner or later" in response to Sean Manning's tweet earlier, the "sooner" referred to this.
While I don't agree with going all-in this season, I don't blame some fans for wanting them to. The Yankees could always buy more players in free agency, but my issue with this comes from the fact that free agency is not what it used to be. So going all-in could mean hurting the future. I want a nice run of seasons, not a great season followed by a few "meh" ones.

Thanks for the replies. Daniel has done a bunch of these Twitter Polls, and I'm probably going to have some here or there. So be on the look out, and get your opinion heard.

Game Thread: New York Yankees vs. Toronto Blue Jays 9/13

The New York Yankees and the Toronto Blue Jays are set to play their third game in 24 hours and fourth game in about 48 hours head-to-head in the Bronx. The series has seen its ups and downs for both teams including injuries to Troy Tulowitzki, the return of Marcus Stroman, the emergence of Greg Bird continuing and the fall of Luis Severino for at least one night. This afternoon the Yankees will send Masahiro Tanaka to the mound in the finale against the Blue Jays starter RA Dickey. The game will be played at 1:05 pm ET and can be seen on WPIX Channel 11, TBS and MLB TV.

The Yankees finish off this four game series today before making the trip down to Tropicana Field to take on the Tampa Bay Rays. The Yankees need a win today and need a series win, or sweep, down in Tampa to keep the pressure on Toronto. To root for the home team and interact with us during each and every Yankees game head over to Twitter and give @GreedyStripes a follow.

Tanaka is the ace and he's ready to set the tone. Go Yankees! Happy Tanaka Day.

Yankees Scouting Korean 1B Byung Ho-Park

The New York Yankees are reportedly scouting Korean slugging first baseman Byung Ho-Park according to many news outlets in Korea. Park is 29-years old and plays first base for the Nexen Heroes in the Korean Baseball Organization and has won the KBO MVP Award as recently as 2012 and 2013, but is he a fit for the Yankees?

In eight seasons in Korea Park has slashed .281/.387/.563/.950 and has hit .351 with 47 home runs and 134 RBI thus far this season. Park currently sits at 205 career home runs in the KBO with 134 doubles and 593 RBI. His bat is great, but where does the glove translate into the Major Leagues?

Mark Teixeira is under contract for the 2016 season and the Yankees seem confident in the emergence of Greg Bird so is DH a possibility? Well, not really. Not unless the team is willing and able to rid themselves of the contract of Alex Rodriguez, and after 2015 why would they want to?

Park's bat would be nice but this seems like either Brian Cashman is doing his due diligence and scouting the slugger or the typical situation where the Yankees are linked to almost every free agent whether they are truly interested or not just to drive up the price. I'm willing to go with the latter.

Game Preview: New York Yankees vs. Toronto Blue Jays 9/13

The New York Yankees and the Toronto Blue Jays are getting ready to play their fourth game head-to-head this weekend and their third game in less than 24 hours this afternoon in the Bronx. The Yankees will get another tough pitching matchup this afternoon against a tough knuckle-baller inside Yankee Stadium. New York will send their ace Masahiro Tanaka to the mound today looking for length against the Blue Jays starter RA Dickey. The game will be played at 1:05 pm ET and can be seen on WPIX Channel, 11, TBS and MLB TV.

  • Tanaka is making his seventh career start against the Toronto Blue Jays in his career today looking to improve on his 4-2 record and his 2.65 ERA. Tanaka is fresh off his last start where he threw 104 pitches in eight innings in a Yankees victory. 

  • Dickey will face off against the New York Yankees for the fourth time already this season and will look to continue a recent streak of dominance against them. Dickey has allowed just three runs in 21.2 innings 

New York will travel directly to the great state of Florida after this contest to face off with their AL East rivals, the Tampa Bay Rays. I'm not sure where the Blue Jays are headed after this and after this weekend I'm not sure I care, sorry. Just win and let's get back to the winning way of things. Go Yankees!

David Aardsma Tells the David Aardsma DFA Story

Through the years The Greedy Pinstripes have been making friends all over the web and all over the games that are in both Minor League and Major League Baseball including the players and the men and women that cover the players. That extended to David Aardsma when he was a pitcher for the New York Yankees and that also extended to our friends who started a great website that we are affiliated with, Baseball Essential. Those guys do great work over there and have recently hooked up with Aardsma allowing him to tell another side of the story that is not told often, the side of the player who was recently designated for assignment.

It’s a beautiful Wednesday afternoon in Scottsdale, Arizona. I just got done playing catch with my ex-Dodger teammate Daniel Coulombe, who was also recently designated for assignment (DFA’d), when my phone rings. I’ve been waiting for this call, I’ve been expecting this call …

I’ve also been dreading this call.

Almost three weeks ago I was pitching for my eighth MLB team, the Atlanta Braves, having a comeback season for myself when I got “the look.” You know it from a mile away, unless your name is Derek Jeter. Sad eyes, lowered shoulders, avoiding all eye contact — you just hope it’s not for you. With my son playing around in my locker, I hear the words no Brave wants to hear: “Fredi Gonzalez wants to speak to you in his office.”

Five minutes later, life changed. I now have no idea what to do with myself. I’m no longer a Brave, I’m still in a locker room and stadium where I’m no longer welcome, my whole family just landed in Atlanta to spend the week with me, and one of my best friends just got in town with his family to see me pitch. Best timing ever!

I just got DFA’d and I’m stuck. For a player, the designation process works like this: the team still owns you for ten days. Now, any time within those ten days, the team can put you through waivers. If you don’t get picked up and if you have enough service time, you can choose to become a free agent. Most of the time the team will use the first seven days to attempt to trade you, then place you on waivers if they can’t find a trade.

In my mind, my season is far from over. I have stayed healthy for the first time in five seasons, and other than ERA (4.70 overall, but inflated from three poor outings — a 1.52 era minus those three games), all of my numbers are better than or comparable to the best seasons of my career. I truly felt like I had a resurgence!

I know I am unlikely to get traded. I’m guessing bonuses in my contract are the reason I got DFA’d in the first place. I was one game from a “games finished” bonus and eight appearances from another bonus in my contract. I can’t blame the Braves for being smart with their money, but it sucks being on the other end. No right-minded team is going to pick up a player just to immediately pay triple his contract in bonuses after eight games of service.

So at this point, I know it’s going to be at least ten days before I’m playing for another Major League club, and I need to stay ready. After several exhausting (bringing the kids around to all the tourist sites is no joke) days with our friends and family in Atlanta, we hop on a plane for home.

Back home I can get my mind on a routine again to keep me game ready. The first week is easy. I’m excited, I have energy, I know I will be pitching for someone in a pennant chase soon. Working out is fun. When I’m throwing, I have life on the ball, and my bullpen sessions are like clockwork.

I call Jamie Murphy, my agent since I was a kid with a full head of hair at Rice University.

“Jamie, what’s the good word? Who will I be pitching with?”

“Nothing yet,” Jamie tells me. “Several teams are interested and like you, but I’ll let you know.”

To read the rest of the article CLICK HERE to support BASEBALL ESSENTIAL and Mr. Aardsma himself. Enjoy, we did.

Weekly Check In: Johnny Barbato

I hate to premise a post on something negative but we will do that this morning with one of our last prospect check in posts. Johnny Barbato was acquired from the San Diego Padres this offseason in the trade that sent Shawn Kelley back to the National League. It was originally thought that Barbato needed Tommy John surgery at the time of the trade but Barbato was able to work his way back to the pitching mound and all the way to Triple-A where his 2015 season unfortunately ended on a sour note.

Overall Barbato had a strong season, and just in time as he needs 40 man roster protection from the Rule 5 Draft this winter, but his season did not end the way he had hoped. Barbato was on the mound in the 9th inning of the Scranton/Wilkes Barre RailRiders playoff game and allowed four earned runs, the last of which ended the season. Ouch.


This Day In New York Yankees History 9/13: There Is Crying In Baseball

There is no need for a catchy introduction into this one, on this day in 2013 the great Mariano Rivera stepped on the mound for the final time of his career and for once crying WAS allowed in Major League Baseball. With two outs in the ninth inning Andy Pettitte and Derek Jeter went out onto the field at Yankee Stadium to take Rivera out of the game in front of the sold out crowd at Yankee Stadium. Needless to say Rivera was speechless and cried into the shoulder of Pettitte before walking out to a standing ovation from the Yankee faithful.

Also on this day in Mariano Rivera history in 2011 Mo notched his 600th save of his illustrious career. The 41 year old closer would creep to just one save shy of tying Trevor Hoffman's major league record for saves in a career and would become only the second closer to ever reach 600 saves in his career.

Finally on this day in 1978 the New York Yankees took sole possession of first place for the first time that season when they beat the Detroit Tigers 7-3 in Tiger Stadium. On July 19 of this year the Yankees trailed the Boston Red Sox by 14 games in the American League East division. The fairy tale season ended with a World Series championship in New York.