Monday, September 21, 2015

Game Thread: New York Yankees @ Toronto Blue Jays 9/21

The New York Yankees and the Toronto Blue Jays are just about ready to kick off the biggest series of the season since the last biggest series of the season. They are all big series but this one may take the cake as it is the last three times these two teams face off head-to-head this season. In the first game of the series the Yankees will send Adam Warren to the mound looking to lead the team back into the AL East Division discussion while the Blue Jays counter with their ace David Price. The game will be played at 7:05 pm ET and can be seen on the YES Network and MLB TV.

After this three game series up in Toronto the team returns home for their last big home stand of the 2015 season. New York will play host to both the Chicago White Sox and the Boston Red Sox in a pair of four-game series which could make or break and define the 2015 season. Click the Yankees Tickets link at the top of the blog to see the team at home for the last time this regular season. Also be sure to head over to Twitter to give @GreedyStripes a follow so we can root for the home team all the way to the postseason.

The Yankees offense is read to get to Price and Warren is ready to show the world that New York made the right decision placing him in the starting rotation over Ivan Nova. Go Yankees!

ICYMI: Weekly Check In: The 2015 Finale

The New York Yankees are in the midst of a fine season in the Majors while their farm systems and minor league affiliates have shared in the team’s success this season. The Staten Island Yankees played for the New York-Penn League Championship this season, the Pulaski Yankees made the playoffs in their first season of existence and the Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes Barre RailRiders made a run at the Governor’s Cup in 2015. This season was great across the board for the Yankees as many prospects, Domingo Acevedo, Greg Bird, Luis Severino, Gary Sanchez, Brady Lail, Eric Ruth and others, made a name for themselves and made themselves household names to the fans.

We salute these teams for their great seasons and we thank them all for their hard work and dedication to this sport that we know and love as baseball. Thank you.

Scranton/Wilkes Barre RailRiders: 81-63
Trenton Thunder: 71-71
Tampa Yankees: 66-72
Charleston Riverdogs: 32-38
Staten Island Yankees: 41-34
Pulaski Yankees: 45-23
GCL1 Yankees: 26-34
GCL2 Yankees: 26-34
DSL1 Yankees: 52-20
DSL2 Yankees: 40-32

Most Popular Article of the Week: What To Do w/ 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.

Game Preview: New York Yankees @ Toronto Blue Jays 9/21

The New York Yankees and the Toronto Blue Jays have three more games head-to-head this season and the first of those three games begins tonight inside the Rogers Centre. The Yankees are still within striking distance in the American League East Division race despite the end of the season stories that came along with the letdown that came with the last series between these two teams. The last series was played inside Yankee Stadium but the last time these two teams played inside the Rogers Centre the Yankees won two of those games and nearly swept the Blue Jays and the same could happen this week with Toronto not having Troy Tulowitzki. Tonight the Yankees will send Adam Warren to the mound to face off with a familiar face in David Price for the Blue Jays. The game will be played at 7:05 pm ET and can be seen on the YES Network and MLB TV.

  • Warren made his return to the Yankees starting rotation five days ago against the Tampa Bay Rays forcing Ivan Nova to the bullpen. Warren went just 4.0 innings as the Yankees stretch him out allowing just two earned runs with 4 K's in a no decision. Warren threw 65 pitches in that start leaving him available for around 80-85 pitches tonight in Toronto.

  • Price has been all he was cracked up to be and more for the Toronto Blue Jays as he has posted an impressive 7-1 record with a 2.17 ERA with the club. Price has not allowed more than three runs in a start for Toronto and has taken over the AL lead in ERA with his 2.42 season ERA.

The Yankees need to win these games much more than the Toronto Blue Jays do for obvious reasons. If New York wants to win the AL East Division they are going to have to take advantage of these head-to-head matchups. The same can be said for the team if they want to keep their lead in the American League Wild Card race as well because the Houston Astros, Cleveland Indians and Minnesota Twins are hungry and currently on the outside looking in. They aren't taking their foot off the accelerator and the Yankees can't either. Price is a tough matchup but Price can be beat, they've done it before, they just need to do it again. Go Yankees!

Looking Back At My 2015 Comeback Player of the Year Award Predictions

Every season I begin the year by predicting who I think will win each of the major awards around Major League Baseball. Truth be told I am usually way wrong, like most, but I still stick to my guns and tell you and show you how wrong I am. I'm humble like that. So SEE HERE for the original post or see below as we recap my picks for the AL and NL Comeback Player of the Year Award winners.

Every year around this time I begin the season long process of completely embarrassing myself by trying to predict the major award winners, playoff teams, and World Series victor before the season even begins. This season will be no different and I will start the 2015 prediction show by predicting the Comeback Player of the Year Awards for both leagues. I should, and wanted to, pick Alex Rodriguez for the American League side of the award but I feel like most would stop reading and remove your bookmark for the blog so rest assured, it’s safe to keep reading.

For the American League I am going to stay with the Yankees, I’m a homer sometimes what can I say, and I am going to pick Masahiro Tanaka. There aren’t many comeback trail type stories except for Barry Zito’s this season so I will go with the player that is coming back from a partially torn ulnar collateral ligament in his throwing elbow in 2014. I believe Tanaka, after following the diagnosis and advice of four highly acclaimed doctors, did the right thing in resting and rehabbing the elbow rather than going under the knife and will show the dividends of that decision in 2015. Tanaka has altered his mechanics a bit and added more of an attack to his repertoire with the addition of a two-seam fastball that he will use more consistently and should be better physically. The results have looked great thus far in spring training despite what the stat line says as the velocity is consistent with what it was last year before the injury and the command and control is as crisp as ever. I may be totally forgetting someone and it may just be the Yankees fan in me but I am going with Tanaka as my Comeback Player of the Year in 2015.

For the National League I thought about going with Ryan Zimmerman of the Washington Nationals or Matt Harvey for the New York Mets but I ultimately decided on Carlos Gonzalez of the Colorado Rockies. Why you ask? For the first time in his career the Rockies are at least toying with the idea of trading Gonzalez and/or Troy Tulowitzki out of Colorado to a contender. Every player wants to win and having a big season so he can be traded to a playoff contender is the ultimate motivator. Gonzalez has done nothing to make you believe this is going to come true so this may be a bit of a bold prediction but I get these wrong nine times out of ten anyway so go big or go home, just like Gonzalez is going to this season.

Masahiro Tanaka, Mark Teixeira or Alex Rodriguez could conceivably win this award although the injury to Teixeira and the past may keep Rodriguez from winning the award. I'm not sure Tanaka will win the award but he's definitely been a great comeback story in my opinion as he defies popular opinion and the beat writers, fans etc. that think he should have gotten the ulnar collateral ligament surgery.

Carlos Gonzalez has quietly had a great and healthy season for the Rockies this season sporting a .263/.319/.536 slash in 140 games to go with 37 home runs and 88 RBI without Troy Tulowitzki in the lineup to give him protection. After getting in just 70 games last season and batting only .238 in 2014 Gonzalez should get recognition for the award but the media and the general fan base loves Matt Harvey so I can see him winning the award.

Check in tomorrow as we check out the Rookie of the Year awards.

Quick Hit: Scratch That, We Don't Want Houston

Early in the week last week I wrote a post stating that I was officially rooting for the Texas Rangers to win the American League West Division. Well Texas obviously read my work and took my words to heart because after sweeping the Houston Astros in a three-game head-to-head matchup the Rangers now control the AL West Division and the Yankees would face off with the Astros in the American League Wild Card Playoff round in a one-game series. My line of thinking was that the Yankees have had a better record against the Astros than they have against the Rangers but then I remember who would start that one-game playoff for Houston... Dallas Keuchel.

Keuchel is likely going to win the American League Cy Young Award this season, hell he has my vote on my IBWAA Ballot, and has absolutely dominated the New York Yankees this season. Keuchel has made a pair of starts against the Yankees this season and has gone eight innings in each of those starts combining for exactly zero runs allowed. Zero. He's owned the Yankees this season and would likely start in that one-game playoff. Cole Hamels would likely start for Texas in the Wild Card round so it's really the lesser of two evils but right now I think I take my chances against Hamels over Keuchel because Keuchel is just filthy.

I'll take my chances with Hamels who has pitched to an ERA over 4.00 with Texas over Keuchel who has used the power of the beard to dominate not only the Yankees but the rest of the league. I officially reverse my stance, Go Houston! Go somewhere besides Yankee Stadium on October 6th.

Scoreboard Watching: September 21,2015

The Yankees may not be scoreboard watching but I am. Here are the games of interest for the New York Yankees today and every day until the postseason.

Monday, September 21

New York Yankees @ Toronto Blue Jays

Toronto Blue Jays vs. New York Yankees

Houston Astros vs. Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

Texas Rangers - OFF

Minnesota Twins - OFF

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim @ Houston Astros

Cleveland Indians - OFF

This Day in New York Yankees History 9/21: Goodbye to Yankee Stadium

The New York Yankees announced that 2008 would be the final season of the House that Ruth Built as a new billion dollar stadium was nearing completion across the street. Yankee Stadium III, or the House that Jeter Built, was set to be used for the 2009 season and on this day the Yankees said goodbye to the old stadium as they played their final game of the season in Yankee Stadium. The Yankees beat the Baltimore Orioles in the last game 7-3 with Julia Ruth Stevens, the daughter of Babe Ruth, throwing out the ceremonial first pitch. Derek Jeter and teammates stood on the mound after the game and bid farewell to Yankee Stadium in front of 54,610 fans in attendance.