Wednesday, November 4, 2015

YES Network: Exit Interview with Nathan Eovaldi

The YES Network and Lou DiPietro is at it again with another exit interview with a member of the New York Yankees, Nathan Eovaldi. CLICK HERE to see the entire interview and to give Mr. DiPietro, a friend of the Greedy Pinstripes blog, and the YES Network some views. See below for a short excerpt from the original article. Enjoy and thank you.

The New York Yankees' 2015 season ended at Yankee Stadium Tuesday night, thanks to a 3-0 loss to the Houston Astros in the American League Wild Card Game.

Following the game, many Yankees players, coaches, and officials were in a reflective mood, beginning both the look back on this year and the look ahead to 2016 - so much so that the team was able to conduct a series of "exit interviews" on the subjects.

Here now is the brief exit interview with a Yankees hurler who was unable to pitch in the Wild Card Game, RHP Nathan Eovaldi.

Q. First off, how is your arm feeling?

EOVALDI: I feel good. I feel like my arm is healthy and I'm ready to go, but now it's just time to relax a little heading into the offseason and give it plenty of time to rest up so I'm healthy for next year.

Q. How difficult was it to have to watch the push for the postseason and then the final game?

EOVALDI: It's tough, especially because this last month is what it comes down to. You want to finish the season strong, so it's disappointing I got hurt when I did and wasn't able to help the team.

Yankees Roster Shuffling Continues

Let's get caught up.

Vicente (Jose) Campos was added to the team's 40 man roster before he hit minor league free agency. He was on the Yankees 40 man roster once before but the team removed him as he was rehabbing and attempting a return from Tommy john surgery.

Domingo German, Jacob Lindgren, Chase Whitley and Mason Williams were activated off the 60 day disabled list and added to the Yankees 40 man roster. These were expected and merely procedural. Whitley will likely head back to at least the 15 day DL when Opening Day rosters are finalized.

Chris Martin was released officially after we released it on Monday night. Martin will sign a contract with the Nippon Ham Fighters in the Japanese League. Andrew Bailey is also hitting free agency after refusing an outright off the 40 man roster despite being under Yankees team control for 2016.

Unfortunately for Some Yankees Fans the New York Mets are Here to Stay

The New York Mets fell to the Kansas City Royals in the 2015 World Series in just five games and in front of their home crowd in Citi Field this week. A lot of change is coming to the Mets, Bartolo Colon is likely to retire. Yoenis Cespedes and Tyler Clippard are likely to hit the free agency market while Daniel Murphy is destined to receive a qualifying offer this offseason. The Mets are not a perfect team, no team is in the era without super teams, but the Mets are a good team. I can say this with full confidence, even as a Yankees fan, that the New York Mets are here to stay.

The core of the Mets will be back and so will that fantastic pitching staff that has given many of us Yankees fans pitching envy. Jacob deGrom’s hair will likely be back in 2016 and so will Jeurys Familia’s sinker. The Mets will have Steven Matz for a full season in 2016 and will also welcome Zack Wheeler back off the disabled list and to either the rotation or the bullpen for a full season. Curtis Granderson and David Wright will be back along with Travis d’Arnaud and Michael Conforto giving the Mets a young and energetic core.

Matt Harvey’s innings limit won’t be back for 2016 and neither will the innings limits for any of their starting pitchers. Yoenis Cespedes will not be back but I don’t think it was Cespedes alone that led the team to where they went this season. Maybe it was the confidence of having Cespedes in center field or batting in the middle of the order that brought the team together but it was not Cespedes alone. The Mets will have that confidence, and that chip on their shoulder from the World Series loss, and can use that and build on that for 2016.

As a fan of the New York Yankees it kills me to say it but the National League likely belongs to the New York Mets for a few more years. Don’t worry though, the state and city of New York still belongs to the Yankees.

Remembering Yankees of the Past: Bartolo Colon

Bartolo Colon, recently of the New York Mets, made his comeback to the Major Leagues when the New York Yankees signed him in 2011. Colon’s signing was surrounded by controversy, imagine that with the New York Yankees in the late 2000’s and early 2010’s, due to a stem cell transplant injection in his elbow. Colon is 42 years old and likely to call it a career so now more than ever I’d like remember a Yankee of the past, Mr. Bartolo Colon. 

Colon was coming off a 2010 season that he missed due to ongoing right shoulder and elbow pain while also damaging his rotator cuff, ligaments and tendons in his right throwing shoulder. In March of 2010 Colon received the stem cell transplant to help repair the damaged tissues in his shoulder which came attached to a slew of controversy. The surgeon who performed the surgery was said to have used human growth hormone in previous surgeries, surgeries similar to Colon’s but denied the fact that any were used in Colon’s surgery. Major League Baseball held an investigation but no wrongdoing was found by the league and Colon was allowed to pitch in 2011.

Colon signed a minor league deal with the Yankees on January 26, 2011 after pitching in the Pre_World Championship in Puerto Rico, winter ball with the Aguilas and Leones del Escoquido, and the Puerto Rican winter league. Colon was invited to spring training that year and despite coming into camp 30 lbs. overweight Colon made the team out of the bullpen. Colon was not long for the bullpen and by April, 20 he was replacing Phil Hughes in the rotation through the month of May. Colon went 3-3 with a 3.26 ERA replacing Hughes and stuck in the team’s rotation long enough to throw a 4-hit shutout against the Oakland Athletics. The Yankees and Colon were firing on all cylinders until June, 11 when Colon, who was throwing a shutout against the Cleveland Indians, was seen limping off the field after covering first base. Colon went on the disabled list but vowed to be back in 15 days.

Colon was a man of his word as he came off the disabled list on July 2 to make a start against the New York Mets where he threw six more shutout innings for New York. Colon finished his only season with the Yankees with an 8-10 record and 4.00 ERA. Colon was named to the team’s playoff roster as a member of the bullpen before the team lost to the Detroit Tigers in the 2011 ALDS, thus ending Colon’s tenure as a New York Yankees. 

Potential Destinations For New Expansion Teams

There isn't any talk of expanding Major League Baseball to 32 teams anytime soon but we here at The Greedy Pinstripes like to be ahead of the curve. I was bored the other day and got to thinking about potential city landing spots for any hypothetical expansion teams. I believe I came up with a few interesting spots that could support a Major League Baseball franchise.

Major League Baseball seems destined to have a team in Mexico before it is all said and done with the emergence of the Mexican League and the influx of players from Mexico over the past few years. While Mexico City has the population to support a franchise it is nearly 1,000 miles away from it's closest MLB franchise in the United States. Enter Monterrey, Mexico which is right across the border of the United States and Mexico and could easily be protected and support a franchise in my opinion.

There are also rumors circulating that MLB may be headed back to Canada and Montreal specifically. Putting a franchise back in Montreal could work if it's done right and that plan would have to include a new stadium deal. The Montreal and Toronto rivalry would automatically be born, especially if an AL East team like the Rays were to relocate there, and the league would extend its global reach. If Montreal could not build a new stadium for the team then Vancouver could be a viable second option for MLB.

If the league wants to keep their teams domestic then cities who have popular and successful NBA, NHL, or NBA franchises come to mind in Indianapolis, Charlotte, New Orleans, and Portland. Portland would give the Seattle Mariners a travel break every once in a while and a true rival in the West. Charlotte and New Orleans have booming economies and no legitimate MLB franchises close by to have a true fandom for. Indianapolis supports the Indiana Pacers and the Indianapolis Colts pretty well and could be the perfect addition to a Central Division for either league.

This is not based on any rumors, speculation, etc. this is just for fun so take it as that. It's the offseason when everything is not so realistic and not so active. Have fun with it and add your location ideas in the comments section.

A Great Finish to the Greatest World Series Ever

I may be in the minority here either because of my age or because of my ignorance but I truly believe that the 2001 World Series was the greatest World Series ever played. There was dramatics, there was dominating pitching, there was dominant hitting there were 20 game winners and Hall of Fame closers and just about everything in between. It was the classic David vs. Goliath with the New York Yankees playing the former and the expansion Arizona Diamondbacks playing the latter. This World Series had it all and it ended on this day in 2001.

You have to remember that this World Series was played just a month to two months after the devastating attacks on New York, the Pentagon, and Pennsylvania on 9/11. The New York Yankees were in the World Series for the fourth time in five years and the eyes of the country were on them in this Fall Classic. Game 7 of the 2001 World Series pitted a pair of 20 game winners against each other for the first time since 1985 when the Yankees send 20-3 Roger Clemens to the mound to face off with 22-6 Curt Schilling for the Diamondbacks. The last time this happened was in 1985 when the Royals sent rookie Brett Saberhagen to the mound to face off with the St. Louis Cardinals ace John Tudor.

New York took a lead into the 9th inning of Game 7 and the great Mariano Rivera was on the mound. Luis Gonzalez came up to the plate with a runner on second base and a drawn-in infield. Gonzalez broke his bat and sent a little blooper over the heads of the Yankees infield as the Arizona Diamondbacks went on to win their first World Series of the franchise’s history. This one hurt to lose as an American and especially as a New Yorker but this was easily the best World Series to ever be played, again in my opinion.

Weekly AFL Check In: Domingo Acevedo

Domingo Acevedo is pumping fastballs down the heart of the plate in the Arizona Fall League these days and has drawn some pretty elite comparisons over the past week or so. Acevedo’s delivery, both in length of delivery and difficulty of delivery, is being compared to a young Dellin Betances. As you remember Betances was a starter for the New York Yankees before being shifted into the bullpen due to the fact that he ran out of minor league options, that move worked out pretty well for Betances and for the Yankees.

If Acevedo can become half the pitcher that Betances is then New York has yet another special arm in their system and on their way to the Major Leagues. Acevedo hasn’t dominated AFL hitting just yet, although the AFL tends to lean towards the offensive pieces rather than the defensive and pitching pieces, but he will. Just give him time.

Domingo Acevedo

G: 4
GS: 0
IP: 6.1
W/L: 1-0
ERA: 4.26
K: 5
BB: 1
WHIP: 0.95

This Day in New York Yankees History 11/4: “The Yankees Are Back on Top”

On this day in 2009 Hideki Matsui and the Yankees went crazy on the Philadelphia Phillies to capture their 27th World Series championship. The Yankees would beat the defending champions 7-3 in this game and would win the series in six games with Hideki Matsui taking home the World Series MVP award. Matsui tied a World Series record with six RBI's while Andy Pettitte became only the second pitcher to ever collect the victory in the clinching game in all three postseason series. Joe Buck was quoted as saying “the Yankees are back on top” as the final out was being recorded.

Also on this day in 2005 the New York Yankees hired former co-captain and Cy Young Award winner Ron Guidry as their new pitching coach replacing Mel Stottlemyer. Former Red Sox Joe Kerrigan also joined the team on this day as the bullpen coach.

Finally on this day in 2003 the Yankees hired Don Mattingly to be their hitting coach replacing Rick Down. It is always kind of cool to bring back Yankees legends to be part of the coaching staff. Mattingly would later be promoted to bench coach for Joe Torre and was one of the top candidates to replace Torre in 2008 before the Yankees decided on Joe Girardi.