Saturday, October 10, 2015

2015 Yankees: Brian McCann 2015 Highlights

The leader of this team in more ways than one, Mr. Brian McCann.

Does The Second Wild Card Prepare You For October?

Does winning the second Wild Card prepare you for the rest of the postseason in Major League Baseball? The second Wild Card spot is the final playoff spot in the postseason in both leagues and you would think neither team would want it but ever since the addition of a second Wild Card team that team may have actually benefited from it.

In 2014 the second Wild Card members in the league were the Oakland Athletics and the San Francisco Giants while in 2015 the two teams that made the playoffs by the skin of their teeth were the Houston Astros and the Chicago Cubs. We all know that the Athletics nearly took out the eventual American League Champions while the San Francisco Giants made it all the way to the World Series. The Houston Astros took down the New York Yankees while the Chicago Cubs dominated the Pittsburgh Pirates inside PNC Park. Are either team headed to the World Series?

I believe the second Wild Card prepares you most for the rest of the postseason. The second Wild Card team has presumably been playing meaningful games all the way through the month of September while some of the division winners, especially the team with the best record in their respective leagues, coasted to the finish line. Having to go out on the road and win one game or go home trying truly takes all the pressure off a team after that fact.

I'm not saying that I'd like the Yankees to win the second Wild Card, I prefer the division obviously, but I can't say, if history is an indicator of the future, I'd be especially worried if they won the second Wild Card in the American League in 2016 either.

TGP Introduces The T.G.P. Game

For the New York Yankees and the fans of the New York Yankees the offseason has begun and the 2015 season is over well short of the preseason goal, the World Series. Brian Cashman is ready to begin planning for the 2016 season immediately and so are the writers here at The Greedy Pinstripes. With that said TGP wants to introduce a game that we will play multiple times this offseason, we call it T.G.P. Three points for originality I know, and two more for the cheesy acronym, but I'm hoping the creativity aspect will help me here.

T.G.P. stands for Tumble, Get better and Plateau. Obviously T stands for taking a slight regression in 2016, get better means the player will improve in 2016 while the plateauing players will stay relatively the same next season. Let's start with the starting pitching, shall we?

Masahiro Tanaka: G

Tanaka will be two years removed from his partially torn ulnar collateral ligament that five doctors advised him to rest and rehab rather than undergoing Tommy John surgery. That's a full season of confidence, a full season of new mechanics and a full season of working with Larry Rothschild under his belt. Tanaka will win more games in 2016 before deciding whether to opt out of his current contract or not after 2017.

Michael Pineda: G

Pineda almost has to get better in 2016, almost has to. Pineda only won 12 games in 2015 and struggled with either too much rest, not enough rest, elbow/forearm injuries and a slew of other excuses in his first "full season" since shoulder surgery ended his 2012 and 2013 seasons and limited his 2014 somewhat.

Ivan Nova: G

Nova will be better in 2016. Starting pitchers always struggle with command and effectiveness in their first year removed from Tommy John surgery. In the second season you always see the true effects of the surgery and whether a pitcher will come all the way back from the ulnar collateral ligament replacement. Nova will be in his second season removed in 2016 and has shown glimpses of being all the way back. He might not lead the team in wins in 2016 but he won't lead the team in losses either.

Luis Severino: T

Severino, the opposite of Pineda, cannot get better in 2016, can he? Severino was an absolute God send in 2015 and had a quality start in every one of his starts but one in 2015, that bad start inside Yankee Stadium against the Toronto Blue Jays. Tumble does not mean Severino will be bad but I can't see him throwing 30 quality starts either, he set the bar too high with his debut.

CC Sabathia: P

Sabathia will likely plateau in 2016 in my opinion. Sabathia almost led the team in losses in 2015 but pitched much better with his new knee brace at the end of the season. Sabathia may actually win 10 games in 2016 if he remains healthy and continues to use that bulky knee brace, but it's not likely.

Nathan Eovaldi: T

Eovaldi is likely to tumble in 2016 but that's not to mean he will have a bad season. Eovaldi pitched well in the latter half of the season but everyone who actually watched the games knew that Eovaldi had no reason winning 14 games last season. Eovaldi may only win 12-13 games in 2016 as long as the splitter continues to evolve but he won't build on his monster win total of 2015 in my opinion.

Contrary to Popular Belief Trading Chase Headley Will NOT Fix the Offense

Whenever the Yankees “fail” during the postseason and fall short of a World Series championship the finger is quickly pointed around the team and the organization by the fans. Nothing can just happen in the land of the New York Yankees and someone absolutely has to be held accountable or to blame for every mistake, that’s the way things are unfortunately whether you agree with them or not. Me personally, I am okay with not being the best team on the field every single season if it means the team can rebuild from within and do things the right way. I am the anti “blow this team up and start from scratch” guy but others have their opinions and they are certainly entitled to them. That doesn’t mean I won’t call you out on them though…

The tweet above was pretty tongue in cheek but it put into words what a lot of Yankees fans voiced to me on Twitter the night of the Wild Card Game and the morning after. The team needed to do something, and I agree with that, and the something I saw more than anything else (well besides the generic “Fire Cashman” and “Fire Girardi” tweets I receive on the daily) was that many of our followers wanted to trade Chase Headley in order to fix the offense. Okay.

I will start this off by saying I think the team needs more power out of a premium position like third base and Headley doesn’t seem like he will provide that in New York. I will not agree with trading away the guy that led the team in base hits to “fix the offense.” This team is reliant on the #TooManyDamnHRs, something the fans also complain about openly and often, so trading away the guy that doesn’t hit for much power but leads the team in hits makes absolutely no sense to me. Bringing in, just for an examples sake, Manny Machado helps the offense and I am all for that since he adds defense, average hitting and power to the club, but adding someone like a Chris Davis only hurts the club in the long haul in my opinion. Sure it pads the home run and runs scored stats but what did having the second highest scoring offense in 2015 get the team in the playoffs? A shut out, a trip home for the winter and a rude awakening by the fans that were visibly and audibly sick of the team’s performance the last 60 days or so of the season.

Calm down and take a breath Yankees fans. Unless Cashman is going to pull off a miracle trade like the Blue Jays acquisition of Josh Donaldson last season the team is not going to improve at third base. Trading away Headley just to be rid of him is not going to fix the offense, it’s going to hurt the offense even more. Check the stats and use a clear and calm mind. We’re all better than that.

Making the Case to Trade Michael Pineda

"Got traded... see ya guys." - Michael Pineda

The New York Yankees and GM Brian Cashman ruffled the feathers of the league when they traded then top prospect Jesus Montero to the Seattle Mariners for an up-and-coming pitcher named Michael Pineda. It took a while for New York to reap some of the benefits of having the young right-hander, Pineda missed the entire 2012 and 2013 season with shoulder issues and missed some of the 2014 season with arm trouble as well, but finally got a long look at what they traded for in 2015. At times Pineda looked to be the ace of the staff and the savior for the team and at other times I wouldn’t have personally given up Jesus Montero’s mother for him in a trade. All in all though Pineda finished the season with a 12-10 record and a 4.37 ERA as he prepares to enter salary arbitration for the first time in his career. Is it time to sell “high” on Pineda and his two seasons of team control?

Pineda is a young talent that just can’t seem to stay healthy nor can he remain effective. Excuses are thrown around that Joe Girardi wasn’t giving him enough rest or was giving him too much rest of that someone messed with his Buddha statue named Jobu in his locker (Pedro Cerrano reference) and not enough results to really back him up on anything. After basically a full season and a glimpse into the future I’m not sure if Pineda has the marbles (I have a million of these “Major League II” references so stay tuned) to cut it in New York.

Pineda is an immense talent but this team is without a true #1 starting pitcher in my opinion while also having a few holes elsewhere to fill. When you look at the free agent market heading into this winter the talent pool is flush with starting pitchers, namely David Price, Jordan Zimmerman, Johnny Cueto and likely Zack Greinke if he opts out of his deal as he is expected to, while the Yankees have a laundry list of names to fill just five positions in the rotation. Masahiro Tanaka leads that list followed by Luis Severino, Adam Warren (Brian Cashman himself called him a starter recently), CC Sabathia for likely two more seasons, Ivan Nova, Bryan Mitchell and a slew of minor leaguers that are unlikely to crack the rotation out of Spring Training including Brady Lail and Rookie Davis.

If the Yankees could sell Pineda off for a right-handed hitting power bat or a second baseman the team has enough confidence in to play every day then I’m all for it. I’m all for selling high on a player when selling high makes sense for the organization and selling Pineda off this offseason may be in the best interest for everyone involved. Or not. 

Vote for the Tampa Yankees in the MiLBY's! has put together the nominees for their Annual MiLB Year End Awards and the Tampa Yankees received two nominations!  
Please help us by voting as often as you can. 

No personal information is required to vote. Voting ends Tuesday, October 27th. 

This Day in New York Yankees History 10/10: Yankees/Mariners Set ALCS Record

The New York Yankees have set many records along the way in their storied franchise history but on this day in 2000 the Yankees and the Seattle Mariners set an ALCS record for all the wrong reasons. In the Game One matchup where Seattle won the game 2-0 the Mariners struck out nine times while the Yankees struck out 13 times combining for 22 strikeouts in a single ALCS Game for the record.

Also on this day in 1964 the New York Yankees beat the St. Louis Cardinals to take a two games to one advantage in the World Series. The walk off hit came in the form of a home run off Mickey Mantle’s bat, his 16th of his World Series career breaking the major league record held previously by Babe Ruth. Mantle also became just the fifth player to ever walk off in a Fall Classic game.

Finally on this day in Yankees history New York claimed a pair of World Series championships for the franchise. The first was on this day in 1951 when the Yankees beat the Giants in six games for their 14th World Series championship. New York was on the winning side again in 1956 when they beat the Brooklyn Dodgers in seven games to capture the team’s 17th World Series title.