Friday, September 25, 2015

Game Thread: New York Yankees vs. Chicago White Sox 9/25

The New York Yankees and the Chicago White Sox are ready to face off head-to-head tonight inside Yankee Stadium with two red hot pitchers taking the mound for their respective teams. The Yankees will send CC Sabathia to the mound looking for another impressive start since getting a new protective brace for his right knee while the White Sox will counter with Carlos Rodon who has thrown seven consecutive quality starts. The game will be played at 7:05 pm ET and can be seen on the YES Network and MLB TV.

After tonight you have just six more opportunities to see the Yankees at home before the playoffs. Click the Yankees Ticket link at the top of the blog and plan your family trip to the Bronx before the Yankees are gone for the winter. If you can’t make it, or even if you can for that matter, be sure to at least jump on Twitter and give @GreedyStripes a follow to interact with us and cheer on the home team for the rest of the regular season and beyond.

Sabathia is ready to mow down the White Sox and the Yankees offense is ready to go for the jugular. Let’s watch it all unfold, Go Yankees!

Pulaski Yankees Represented in Appalachian League Top 20 Prospects List

Minor League Baseball is officially in the books with all minor league affiliates in teams schedules over so let me officially welcome you to post-season prospect list season. We started the season a bit early about a week or so ago posting our Post-Season Top 10 Prospects List, SEEN HERE, and Baseball America began their season recently by releasing the Appalachian League's Top 20 Prospects for free, no subscription needed HERE.

The Appalachian League is a part of the Rookie level of the minor league system and the Yankees have one minor league affiliate there, the Pulaski Yankees. In BA's Top 20 prospect list the Yankees had one of their Yankees from Pulaski make the cut, shortstop Hoy Jun Park who ranked #12.

Here is the write up for Park from BA:

“Park is a rangy shortstop with quick feet, slick actions and smooth glove work … he could develop into an outstanding defender,” said the subscriber-only scouting report. “His swing has some length to it, but he creates intriguing torque with long levers and quick hands … He showed the ability to punch the ball to the opposite field or pull the ball over the fence.”

Park, just 19-years old, was one of the lesser names in the Yankees international signing spree that left the team with spending restrictions for the next two signing periods. Park garnered a $1.16 million bonus and rewarded the team by hitting .239/.351/.383 with five home runs and 12 stolen bases in his professional debut season.

The Houston Astros outfielder Kyle Tucker, the fifth overall draft pick from the 2015 MLB First Year Players Draft, took home the top spot while the Atlanta Braves third baseman Austin Riley and the Minnesota Twins shortstop Jermaine Palacios rounded out the top three.

Looking Back at my 2015 MVP Award Predictions

The MVP Award is probably the most prestigious award in all of sports and especially in Major League Baseball and like every other award this season I took a stab at predicting it before the season. It's becoming a common theme that I'm not too great at these but honestly I'm okay with that. I take a stab at them and wrong or not I bring you the answer when it becomes applicable. I don't hide behind the short memories of some and I don't only post the predictions that make me look like the "Yankees Wizard." I'm humble, I wonder if Yoenis Cespedes and Giancarlo Stanton are.

It’s time for the big awards to be given out as I take a stab at predicting the American League and National League MVP Awards. These predictions are such a crap shoot and so much goes into them and so much can alter the award winner during the season it’s almost silly to attempt to predict it in March but it’s all for fun anyway so why not.

For the American League I am going to go against the grain a little bit and pick a member of the Detroit Tigers, just not the Detroit Tigers player that you would expect. I am going to go with Yoenis Cespedes winning the award and not Victor Martinez or Miguel Cabrera. With that kind of protection in the lineup and that many runners on base in front of him Cespedes should see plenty of fastballs this season, and we all know Cespedes is a dead fastball hitter. He should hit his fair share of home runs and doubles while knocking in a ton of RBI and scoring a ton of runs. He may not compete for a batting title but I expect the Cuban, who FYI is playing for a contract since he is a free agent at the end of the season, to be right there in the MVP discussion this season.

For the National League I am going to pick a familiar face in Giancarlo Stanton of the Miami Marlins. Until Stanton gives me reason to pick someone else for the award I am going to pick him year in and year out, which makes next year’s post a little anti-climactic for you guys. Stanton is still the best hitter in all of the game and especially all of the National League and has a chip on his shoulder in 2015. He has a much improved team around him, a lot of money to justify to the fans that he deserves and he wants to prove that he can still hit after taking a fastball to the face that ended his 2014 season. He will do all that and then some in 2015, mark my words.
As we look at my prediction for the final, and the biggest, award in Major League Baseball this season were in a word, wrong. Many are giving the NL MVP Award to Bryce Harper this season while some, and when I say some I mean only the Mets fans, are saying that Cespedes deserves the nod in the NL. Meanwhile in the AL, you know that league that Cespedes is no longer in hence he cannot win the award there, Josh Donaldson and Mike Trout are going at it for the award. I didn't mention either of them, that's my bad.

Game Preview: New York Yankees vs. Chicago White Sox 9/25

The New York Yankees and the Chicago White Sox will continue their four-game series tonight in the Bronx as the Yankees look to wrap up a postseason berth. New York has done well against Chicago this season and there is no reason, in my mind at least, for the team not to win this series. Chicago is moving their starting rotation around and there is a slight chance the team might miss Jeff Samardzija, not that the team didn’t bomb him last time they faced him. The Yankees will send CC Sabathia to the mound tonight to face off with the White Sox rookie Carlos Rodon. The game will be played at 7:05 pm ET and can be seen on the YES Network and MLB TV.

  • Sabathia has been thanking the person or people who made his protective knee brace for three starts now as the Yankees have seen vintage Sabathia since coming off the disabled list. Sabathia is 2-1 with a 1.04 ERA since coming off the DL earlier this month whole holding opponents to a .190 batting average in 17.1 innings.

  • Rodon is making his first career start tonight inside Yankee Stadium and it couldn’t have come at a better time for the rookie. Rodon saw his ERA sit at 5.00 even on August 5th and has dropped it all the way to 3.78 with seven straight quality starts.

New York honored the late Yogi Berra before last night’s game but there would be no better to truly honor the Yankees legend then to make the postseason and win the World Series. No man reached the World Series more as a player, coach and manager and no other man and no other soul went to his grave with 10 World Series rings. There’s no need to get ahead of yourselves though, take this one game at a time and that one game begins tonight inside Yankee Stadium. Go Yankees!

Looking Back at my 2015 Cy Young Award Predictions

The bigger awards in Major League Baseball, the MVP Award and the Cy Young for both respective leagues, are usually a little easier to predict than say the Comeback Player of the Year. Well, unless you're me. For a guy that got donned the "Yankees Wizard" for my in-game predictions last season down the stretch I sure get these wrong a lot. Oh well, so is life. See below for my original post where I picked Rick Porcello of the Boston Red Sox and Clayton Kershaw of the Los Angeles Dodgers to win the AL and NL Cy Young Awards in 2015.

Today we move into the bigger awards as I take a stab at predicting the American League and National League Cy Young Award winners. This was one of the few awards I actually did well with last year so I feel confident that I can do that again in 2015.
For the American League winner I am going to go with Rick Porcello of the Boston Red Sox. Porcello had a career season in 2014 with the Detroit Tigers before being traded over to a much improved Boston Red Sox team this winter. Many speculators have stated that the Red Sox don’t have an ace heading into this season but as much as I hate to admit it, Porcello could (and will) be that guy for Boston. The Red Sox have this uncanny ability of taking in your tired, your hungry and your mediocre and turning them into stars, David Ortiz for example, and I believe they will do it again with Porcello in 2015.

For the National League I am going to pick a familiar face in the ace for the Los Angeles Dodgers, Clayton Kershaw. When Kershaw gives me a reason not to pick him then I will, not until then. The Dodgers lefty is clearly the best regular season pitcher in the game right now and shows no signs of slowing down or changing that in 2015. It’s an easy pick and it’s a safe pick but sometimes those kind of picks, the obvious picks, are the best picks and that’s my pick.

In a word that may or may not be a real word, LOL. Rick Porcello? Seriously? Over David Price? Over Dallas Keuchel? LOL. Kershaw has pitched well but he may be overshadowed by both his teammate Zack Greinke and the Chicago Cubs ace Jake Arrieta. I have a legit chance at predicting the National League Cy Young Award but my AL prediction was just TURRIBLE. 

Quick Hit: Korean OF Ah-Seop Son To Be Posted

The New York Yankees could be in the market for an outfielder this offseason as Chris Young hits free agency once again but could that search take them all the way to Korea? Ah-Seop Son of the Korean Baseball Organization is expected to be posted this winter after spending parts of nine professional seasons in the KBO. Could the Yankees be interested in the 27-year corner outfielder?

Son batted .324/.412/.476 with 12 home runs and 11 stolen bases this season in 476 plate appearances finishing off another strong season for the left-hander. Son has batted at least .306 or better in the past six seasons in the KBO and has a career triple slash of .330/.405/.471. Those stats sound great and so does the expected salary, somewhere around Jung-Ho Kan's four-year deal worth $11 million with a $5 million posting fee, but the part that sounds less than ideal for the Yankees is the "left-handed" part.

Barring a trade the Yankees will have an outfield of lefty Jacoby Ellsbury, lefty Brett Gardner and switch hitter, although he is much better left-handed, Carlos Beltran. The Yankees almost need a right-handed bat and a right-handed bat Son is not. That alone will likely keep him off the Yankees in 2016.

Scoreboard Watching: September 25, 2015

It's Friday and we have a great weekend's worth of Major League Baseball ahead of us. The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim are still trying to fight their way into the playoffs while many teams are looking to lock up playoff berths all weekend. It's going to be a fun weekend and it starts tonight with this full slate of games.

Friday, September 25

New York Yankees vs. Chicago White Sox

Toronto Blue Jays - OFF

Houston Astros - OFF

Texas Rangers @ Oakland Athletics

Minnesota Twins vs. Cleveland Indians

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim - OFF

Cleveland Indians @ Minnesota Twins

Luis Sojo to be Inducted into FSL Hall of Fame

 Tampa, FL.- The Florida State League Hall of Fame Committee announced today the 2015 Class of Inductees which includes former Tampa Yankees Manager Luis Sojo.

Sojo managed the Tampa Yankees for seven seasons and accumulated a .528 winning percentage and a Florida State League record 504 wins. He led the Tampa Yankees to the FSL title in 2009, and was named the league's "Best Managerial Prospect" byBaseball America. Sojo played in parts of seven seasons with the New York Yankees and contributed to four World Series Championships (1996, 1998, 1999, 2000). He drove in the title-clinching run in Game 5 of the 2000 World Series against the New York Mets. He worked as a coach for the Yankees at the Major League level in 2004 and 2005. Sojo is part of an elite group of players to record 1,000 hits in MLB and the Venezuelan Winter League, and managed the Venezuelan National Team in the 2006, 2009 and 2013 World Baseball Classic. Sojo was originally signed by the Toronto Blue Jays as a non-drafted free agent in 1986, and spent parts of 13 seasons with five different teams.

Click here to read about all of the 2015 Florida State League Hall of Fame Inductees.

The 2015 Class will be inducted into the Florida State League Hall of Fame on November 10, 2015 at the Sheraton Sand Key Resort in Clearwater Beach. The ceremony is open to the public and tickets are $75.00 per person. Dress is cocktail attire. More information will be available closer to the event. Please call 386-252-7479, or email fslbaseball@cfl.rr.comwith any questions.

This Day In New York Yankees History 9/25: Derek Jeter is Amazing

Derek Jeter played the final game of his Yankees career inside Yankee Stadium on this day in 2014 and Jeter went out only the way that Jeter could go out, dramatically. New York had a huge lead in the contest leaving many to speculate how and when manager Joe Girardi would take Jeter out for his standing ovation but David Robertson blew a save in the 9th inning setting up Jeter's heroics one last time. Jeter came up in the bottom of the ninth and laced the first pitch he saw through the hole on the right side scoring Antoan Richardson to give the Yankees a walk off victory. Jeter. Is.Amazing.

The 2009 New York Yankees team was good, really good in fact, and absolutely earned the nickname of the Bronx Bombers. On this day in 2009 Alex Rodriguez hit a third inning home run for the Yankees 127th home run at home of the season, a new franchise record. The 2004 and 2005 Yankees both went yard 126 times each at the old Yankee Stadium before the new record was set.

Also on this day in 1998 the Yankees set an American League record with their 112th win of the season, a 6-1 victory over the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. The 1906 Chicago Cubs went 116-36 and still hold the major league record for victories in a season.

Finally on this day in 1968 Mickey Mantle stepped up to the plate for his last Yankee Stadium at bat. Coincidentally tonight is Derek Jeter’s final Yankee Stadium at bat but I digress. Mantle would walk against Luis Tiant before the Yankees fell to the Indians 3-0.