Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Game Thread: New York Yankees @ Tampa Bay Rays 9/16

The New York Yankees and the Tampa Bay Rays are set to finish off their three game set this weekend between the two clubs inside Tropicana Field. The pitching has been great for both clubs, the hits have been timely and the games have been hella-entertaining. What more could you ask for? Well if you asked for a game that pitted two team’s aces against each other you got it as the Yankees send Luis Severino to the mound to face off against the Rays starter and ace Chris Archer. The game will be played at 7:05 pm ET and can be seen on WPIX Channel 11 and MLB TV.

The Yankees are off tomorrow before heading to Queens to take on the first place New York Mets inside CitiField. The Mets mathematically have a shot at clinching the National League East Division title with a strong showing against the Yankees so the Bronx Bombers will look to play spoilers while improving their own potential playoff scenarios. To see this go down live click the Yankees Tickets link at the top of the blog and grab a pair of seats for the series. If you can’t make it live simply jump on Twitter and give @GreedyStripes a follow and we’ll root like hell from afar as the team does it.

Severino is ready and the offense better be ready because against the Yankees you know Archer is ready. Let’s make it two in a row, Go Yankees!

Ivan Nova to the Bullpen

Ivan Nova is going to the New York Yankees bullpen and he's taking the whole idea of a six-man rotation with him. The Yankees announced their pitching rotation for their weekend series with the New York Mets and announced that Ivan Nova would be working out of the bullpen during the series, essentially swapping places with Adam Warren.

Nova to the pen is a bit surprising as the team seemed against it in his first year removed from Tommy John surgery but it seems like the team and manager Joe Girardi are going all in for the playoffs this season.

New York announced that Masahiro Tanaka, Michael Pineda and CC Sabathia would go in that order against the Mets this weekend potentially lining up Warren, Severino and Tanaka in the three-game series against the Toronto Blue Jays inside Rogers Centre. 

UPDATED: John Sterling Home Runs Calls

John Sterling has become known for his home run calls during his tenure as the Yankees radio man over the years so I thought this would be a good time to go over his home run calls from the 2015 season. Have a little fun with it before the game tonight.

Brian McCann – “Oh McCann can, yes McCann can.”
Mark Teixeira – “You’re on the Mark… Teixeira. A Teix message!”
Stephen Drew – “Stephen Drew… How Do You Do?”
Didi Gregorius – “Gregorius makes Yankees fans uproarious. Yes and Didi!”
Chase Headley – “You can bank on Chase. Headley is Deadly.”
Brett Gardner – “Gardy Goes Yardy!”
Jacoby Ellsbury – “Ellsbury Ells…buries it.”
Carlos Beltran – “un Correazo by Beltran. Beltran belts one.”
Alex Rodriguez – “An A-Bomb… From A-Rod”
Chris Young – “Chris Young, Younger Than Springtime. Chris Young… Forever Young.”
Robert Refsnyder –“ Rob Refsnyder has Seoul”
John Ryan Murphy – “John Ryan Sends One Flyin’”
Dustin Ackley – “Dustin goes bustin’”
Slade Heathcott – “A heat shot from Heathcott”
Greg Bird – “Bye, Bye Birdie. Here he is, the Birdman of New York. “
Jose Pirela – “Jose Pirela, He’s a Happy Fella”

If you have any more that I may have missed please leave them below in the comments section. 

Alex Rodriguez…. The Leader

What a difference a year makes. Around this time during the 2013 season we as a fan base was wondering what Alex Rodriguez had left after a second hip surgery and various lower leg injuries that hampered his season to date. Around this time last year in 2014 we were all dreading the offseason that was to come, Alex was suspended for the entire 2014 season after the Biogenesis scandal, was pushing 40 years old and had basically been out of the game for two full seasons. The fan base, as a majority anyway, hated Alex and had no respect for him, the organization didn’t seem to have much need for him either but as we look at the man, the myth, the leader that is Alex Rodriguez today we see an entirely different human being and ball player, do we not?

Alex has grown from a shell of a man into a leader, a leader that the Yankees can depend on. Alex has represented the team on HOPE Week and is YES Network spots and all that but this post is more geared towards his emergence as a leader from a teammate’s perspective. Who is the man at the top step after every home run or RBI to remove the batting helmet in celebration? And who is the first to give a huge fist pump and a big high-five to his teammates from the bench when a big hit or pitch is made? Who was standing as far as he could without upsetting the umpire or showing up the other team to high-five Slade Heathcott on his game winning home run Monday night? That’s right that was Alex.

This offseason, and well before Bald Vinny and others were doing and saying it and without the hope of financial gain from it as well, I asked to forgive Alex and all the steroid users. You’ve all done that and I don’t need credit as the first one to say it because I’m not that kind of dude, all that I ask now is that we all stop and thank Alex for his contributions not only on the field but off the field as well. Alex’s 3000 hit all the way to the agreement to donate the $6 million bonus he earned by tying Willie Mays on the all-time home run list. From the clutch home runs and game-tying or game-winning hits to every removed batting helmet after a big play we truly thank you Alex. Thank you for finally being you. 

Game Preview: New York Yankees @ Tampa Bay Rays 9/16

The New York Yankees will finish off their three game series tonight in Tropicana Field looking for yet another victory against the Tampa Bay Rays this season. I think the Yankees and their fans are still feeding off that Slade Heathcott home run and celebration from Monday night and will look to harness that energy tonight before their final off day of the regular season tomorrow. The Yankees will need all the help they can get tonight as they send Luis Severino to the mound to face off against the always tough Chris Archer for the Rays. The game will be played at 7:05 pm ET and can be seen on WPIX Channel 11 and MLB TV.

  • Severino heads into this start fresh off easily his worst and his shortest outing of his short Major League career against the Toronto Blue Jays. Severino battled to harness his control all night long and gave up six runs on two home runs in just 2.1 innings last Friday. Severino will be facing Tampa Bay for the second time of his short career tonight inside Tropicana Field.

  • Archer is fresh off a no-decision last Friday against the Boston Red Sox and his first loss ever against the New York Yankees in his start prior to that. Archer allowed four earned runs in 6.1 innings pitched on September 6th while giving Yankees fans two GIFS, the Brian McCann and Alex Rodriguez home runs balls, that we will be able to use for years to come.

As I said earlier the Yankees are ready for their last off day of the regular season tomorrow meaning there are all hands on deck for tonight’s contest. Dellin Betances is available, Chasen Shreve is available and so is Andrew Miller if the Yankees get a lead. The Yankees need every win they can get because I don’t think anyone on the team wants this Wild Card race to get interesting down the stretch. Go Yankees!

What To Do With Ivan Nova This Offseason

The New York Yankees potentially face a good problem to have this offseason, possibly the best problem to have in Major League Baseball, where the team may have way too much pitching and not enough spots to give them all innings. The Yankees surprisingly could have a relatively young staff in 2016 with Masahiro Tanaka and Michael Pineda leading the way, Luis Severino pitching in his first full MLB season and Nathan Eovaldi looking to build on his 14-win season in his age 26 season. All that youth is impressive and that's before you mention Adam Warren and Bryan Mitchell who will also be fighting for a spot with the grizzly veteran CC Sabathia. Oh yeah, there is also Ivan Nova who will be in the second year removed from Tommy John surgery... what should the Yankees do with him?

The Curious Case of Ivan Nova, another year and another sequel for the New York Yankees. At times Nova looks like the pitcher that once won 16 games for the team and at times looks to be a #2 or #2 starter if he ever figures out his control issues. At other times, and sometimes from inning to inning, Nova looks like he's a fifth starter in the Major Leagues and the obvious choice to be traded or non-tendered before the December non-tender deadline this winter.

Nova faces arbitration for the final time in 2016 before becoming a free agent before the 2017 season and for that reason he could be the loser of the numbers game in the Bronx. Nova, despite all his struggles with his consistency and his control, is too good to merely let go for nothing so the only option in my opinion is a trade. Yankees GM Brian Cashman has shown a willingness to trade away from his stock of Major League talent, which was evident when Martin Prado and David Phelps were sent to Miami while Shane Greene was sent to Detroit for Didi Gregorius in a three-year deal, and he may do that again this winter with Nova. Obviously Nova isn't going to fetch much by himself but including him in a similar deal that brought Eovaldi and Garrett Jones to New York wouldn't be out of the realm of possibilities.

In my opinion Tanaka, Pineda, Severino and Eovaldi are virtual locks for the starting rotation leaving Nova, Sabathia, Warren and Mitchell fighting for the fifth spot in a perfect world that see's all these pitchers still on the roster and healthy on the final day of Spring Training 2016. If the team can package someone with Nova for a long-term second baseman then I think the team should at least explore that avenue. If not Nova would make a great asset to the team in his final year of team control in the Bronx. It's really a win-win situation for the New York Yankees here.

Quick Hit: Officially Rooting for Texas?

I have not officially given up on the American league East Division, and I won’t until the New York Yankees are mathematically eliminated from the division race, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have a Plan B lined up just in case the Yankees have to settle for a Wild Card. Right now if the season ended today it would be the Houston Astros winning the American League West, the Toronto Blue Jays winning the AL East, the Kansas City Royals winning the AL Central and the Yankees playing host to the Texas Rangers inside Yankee Stadium in a one-game playoff in the Wild Card Round.

Looking at what the Yankees have done against the Astros this season, a 3-4 record, and what they have done against the Rangers this season, a 2-5 record, who could blame me for rooting for the Rangers right now and not the Astros? Not only have the Rangers beat the Yankees more according to record they have according to the results as well. Final score of 15-4 and 10-9 in favor of the Rangers show a bit of superiority that the Astros have not shown against New York this season.

It’s a Catch 22 scenario for the Yankees. If Texas wins they could potentially gain ground in the first AL Wild Card race but if they gain enough ground they could catch and pass Houston in the division race and could avoid New York altogether in the first round of the playoffs. I’d take my chances with a team that has owned New York in a five-game series over a one-game series where anything could happen any day of the week and twice on Sunday, but that’s just me. 

Weekly Check In: Domingo Acevedo

In our Wednesday weekly check in post, and our last Wednesday check in post of the season, we look at a Yankees prospects that has made a name for himself in 2015, Domingo Acevedo. I admittedly didn't know much about Acevedo before the 2015 season but that has changed not because of an interest or a connection on my end but because of a strong season from the right-hander. His strong season, along with the rest of his Staten Island Yankees teammates, led the team to play for the New York-Penn League Championship this season.

Acevedo has been in the Yankees organization since the 2013 season and even spent time during the 2015 season with the Low-A Charleston Riverdogs before settling in and breaking out with the Staten Island Yankees. Acevedo has quieted the best hitters and the best offense in the New York-Penn League and has been as close to an automatic win this season as you can get.

Acevedo will likely be rewarded for his strong season this winter by being promoted back to Charleston or even Tampa, although Tampa may be a bit of a stretch for the 21-year old right-hander, and no one can take that away from him. He deserves it. Congratulations on a great season Mr. Acevedo.


This Day In New York Yankees History 9/16: Catfish Hunter Day

The New York Yankees have become known for the days they honor their current and former stars, players, and managers, and the Yankees did just that on this day in 1979 when they honored retiring closer Catfish Hunter. Hunter was surprisingly only 33 years old when the future Hall of Fame pitcher decided to hang up his cleats for good.

On the same day the Yankees got a glimpse into the future as a 20 year old rookie pitcher made his major league debut. His name was Dave Righetti.

Also on this day in 1948 Joe DiMaggio became only the 8th player in major league history to reach the 300 home run mark. DiMaggio joins Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Mel Ott, Jimmie Foxx, Rogers Hornsby, Chuck Klein, and Hank Greenberg in the 300 home run club.

Finally on this day in 1923 in a move that future owner George Steinbrenner would have made 23 year old shortstop Roger Peckinpaugh was hired to replace Frank Chance as the manager of the team. Peckinpaugh lasted a whole 20 games and went 10-10 for the 6th place Yankees squad.