Monday, March 7, 2016

Yankees Spring Training Open Thread 3/7

What went down today at New York Yankees spring training camp? Let's catch up!

Big Mike Michael Pineda made his spring debut for the Yankees and delivered two scoreless innings for the Bombers. All spring long the coaches have raved about how good Pineda looks, how much he is in shape and how healthy he looks. That all came to fruition today in his first start of the season.

Luis Severino made his second appearance today and looked much better than his first time on the mound earlier this month. Severino pitched three innings in the contest and allowed two hits and no walks while striking out three. Much better command and much better performance overall.

Masahiro Tanaka will pitch again Friday which sets him up perfectly for Opening Day.

The Yankees lost the game today to the Houston Astros 1-0.

ICYMI: The Aroldis Chapman Rant You All Knew Was Coming

I know I’m going to catch flak for this but truly I don’t care. I left my Yankees bias at the door and I am looking at this as a fan of Major League Baseball. The fact that he wears a Yankees uniform means nothing to me, I’ve also spoken up for Ryan Braun, Barry Bonds and others as the owner of this blog. This whole Aroldis Chapman thing has me pretty upset, pretty angry, and pretty furious. I’m sure you could tell in the way I’m writing. I’m not shoot a gun in a garage furious bit I’m pretty agitated and I’m here to tell you why.

First and foremost I am all for punishing anyone, sports players or not, for committing domestic violence. I am also for punishing an idiot, my opinion, with a gun shooting it off in his garage with a baby in the house. Call it what it is though and it’s not semantics. You cannot, well apparently you can, suspend a player under a domestic violence policy when there is little to no evidence that domestic violence occurred. Witnesses changed their testimonies, there were no marks on Chapman’s girlfriend the night the cops came out to his home and there were no files charged. The police declined an easy opportunity to book, arrest and get some money through fines and probation (at minimum) from a celebrity who would pay it without blinking an eye because why? Because they are fans? They are nice guys? No, because they are upholding their oath to uphold the law and to serve and protect. There was no evidence that there was any protecting that needed done.

Depending on what you read Chapman may have been the one assaulted, not the other way around. The last thing I read was that her brother pushed Chapman down sparking the whole incident. So you get potentially pushed, the cops are called and they are told a story about domestic violence and the police find zero evidence of the fact. The police don’t press charges and no one was arrested, etc. and yet Commissioner Rob Manfred believes he has the power to suspend a guy for domestic violence under his new policy? Stop me when any of this makes sense.

I am not ignorant to the fact that something happened that night but it shouldn’t be on Chapman to prove it didn’t happen it should be on the police and the authorities to prove that it did. The cops took pictures, investigated and followed through with the protocol for a domestic violence case and found nothing. If Manfred wants to show up Ray Rice, the NFL and Roger Goddell then lay it on Jose Reyes, someone who is actually going to court and has charges filed against him for what he did. Not Chapman, not without evidence. And no I don’t believe the decision to waive his right to appeal shows any evidence of wrongdoing and I don’t hear any evidence of that in his statement. The league told Chapman, according to Joel Sherman anyway, that he could reduce his suspension by 10-15 games if he didn’t appeal. If he appealed and got a 45 game suspension he is delaying his free agency by another season, why would he do that?

Chapman is taking the month off, will look to build his value and his character back in 2016 and hit free agency again in 2017. Not appealing does not show any evidence of wrongdoing it shows that he is making the best business decision for him and his family. Manfred had to know that if he was suspended for 45 days that the Yankees would get another year of control over Chapman and he used it against the left-hander. This is rotten all the way around and it’s crap. If you want to suspend the guy for endangering the lives of others for shooting his registered gun that he owned in a garage that he owned then call a spade a spade. If you have evidence that he hurt his girlfriend, pointed the gun at her, etc. then suspend him for domestic violence. Don’t hide behind some policy that you just enacted and don’t hide behind the fact that you’re trying to send a message and make an example out of Reyes, Chapman and Yasiel Puig.

Don’t piss on me and tell me it’s raining, especially after you just pissed on Aroldis Chapman.

Most Popular Article of the Week: Three Yankees Prospects You May Not Know Yet But You Will

Every year we, the fans of Major League Baseball, enter the new season with a new set of expectations. Either we think our team is going to win it all, we think our team is going to take the next step towards the ultimate goal, we think we're one year closer to getting some of these clunky contracts off the books and we're one year closer to seeing our favorite prospect on the field wearing our favorite team's uniform. This is especially the case with prospects and it goes for the prospects we know but also the prospects we don't quite know yet. We all know by the now the names of Jorge Mateo, Robert Refsnyder, Gary Sanchez, Aaron Judge and James Kaprielian but do you know these three names? If you don't yet you likely will by the end of 2016.

Outfielder Carlos Vidal has been a member of the New York Yankees for more than two seasons now and at age 19 he is primed to break out in a big way as soon as 2016. In short season league's Vidal has hit .362 in two seasons and has had more walks than strikeouts in his professional debut. Vidal showed average but he also showed power hitting 15 doubles and nine home runs with the Pulaski Yankees last year. Vidal isn't a blue chip prospect by any means but he has the potential to have a long and promising career if he continues on the path and trend he is currently on.

Right-handed pitcher Joey Maher is another player that many probably never gave a second thought to when they noticed he was drafted in the 38th round of the 2011 season but he has done everything to make us all look like fools. Maher came out of the draft with a solid sinker and changeup combination but was derailed by injuries until the 2015 season when he finally stayed healthy enough to put it all together. When drafted Maher threw in the high-80 MPH range with a fastball and a curveball to compliment his sinker and changeup but recently Maher has seen an uptick in velocity hitting as high as 95 MPH consistently in 2015. Maher also made strides with his curveball last season making him a legitimate four-pitch pitcher going forward. Maher may start the season in Tampa or may head back to Charleston with the Riverdogs.

The final prospect you may not have heard of yet but will by the time Prospects Month 2017 comes around is Simon De La Rosa. De La Rosa is a right-handed pitcher that has thrown plus stuff but like a ton of pitchers before him he lacks the control to put it all together. De La Rosa averages 95-97 MPH on his fastball and it has late life that resembles a bit of Mariano Rivera's famous cutter that he made his name on for all those years. De La Rosa has struck out 180 batters in his first 140 professional innings and possesses plus breaking stuff, especially for someone as young as he is, but the walks will always be the main concern for the Dominican-born right-hander. De La Rosa walked 37 batters in 53.1 innings this year but if he can cut that in half or more he may be something special that flies through the lower levels of the Yankees system this season.

Yankees ST: New York Yankees vs. Houston Astros 3/7

The New York Yankees vs. the Houston Astros, the last time we wrote about these two teams facing off head-to-head it was the game that kicked off the American League Playoffs in 2015. These two teams faced off in the AL Wild Card Round of the playoffs and they will face off again on Opening Day but before then they face off again this afternoon inside George M. Steinbrenner Field. The Yankees will send "Big Mike" Michael Pineda to the mound for the first time this spring to face off against Mike Fiers for the Astros.

The game will be played at 1:05 pm ET and will not be televised anywhere unfortunately. You may be able to catch a radio feed of the game but does not list one so I doubt it. Go Yankees!

Brian Cashman & The "He Sucks At Drafting" Myth?

I knew my post about Brian Cashman and comparing him to other general managers around the league would be like comparing apples to oranges would get the discussion going but I had hoped it had been on the Yankees LoHud blog as a pinch hitter. I had it saved as a draft forever just waiting for Chad Jennings to contact me for a third straight year and I realized it was not going to happen so I released it. It caused a stir and it created discussion here on my blog for both the Brian Cashman apologists and the Brian Cashman "haters." One "hater" in specific, and notice that I had the word hater in parenthesis as I use the term loosely and not literally, questioned Cashman's tenure as the Yankees and specifically his ability to draft MLB caliber players. Hmmm, that sounds like a great idea for a blog post.

I told Mr. Hans, someone I have the utmost respect for, that I would humor him sometime this weekend with a comment of some of the guys that Cashman has drafted during his tenure with the Yankees (1998-present) and I decided to do it in a blog post rather than a comment that may not be seen by all. All of these players that I will list below were drafted by Cashman during his tenure, granted not all of them signed with the Yankees unfortuately and not all made their names with New York. It should not be held against Cashman in my opinion to draft a top talent only to trade him later, you cannot hold onto them all.

With that said here we go with the player, the year they were drafted and their career WAR in parenthesis:

1998 - Mark Prior (16.5)
1998 - Nook Logan (3.0)

2000 - Chris Dickerson (3.4)

2002 - Phil Coke (2.0)

2003 - Tyler Clippard (11.6)
2003 - Jeff Karstens (3.2)
2003 - Daniel Bard (4.3)

2004 - Phil Hughes (12.3)
2004 - Mike Dunn (2.5)
2004 - Chris Davis (yes that Chris Davis... 14.9)

2005 - Brett Gardner (26.9)
2005 - Doug Fister (19.4)
2005 - Austin Jackson (22.2)
2005 - Justin Turner (Los Angeles Dodgers version.... 8.9)

2006 - Ian Kennedy (10.5)
2006 - Joba Chamberlain (7.5)
2006 - George Kontos (2.0)
2006 - Dellin Betances (7.2)
2006 - Mark Melancon (7.0)
2006 - David Robertson (11.5)

2007 - Drew Storen (5.7)

2008 - Gerrit Cole (7.6)
2008 - David Phelps (2.2)

2009 - Adam Warren (5.1)
2009 - Jake Petricka (3.5)

2011 - Greg Bird (0.9)

Is Cashman the mad magician in the draft? Nope, not at all. It is worth mentioning though that unlike a GM like Andrew Friedman, John Mozeliak, Dave Dombrowski or others who pick at the beginning of the draft more consistently Cashman had to deal with many of his picks being traded or used as compensation to sign free agents without his consent. Sure many teams find talent late in the drafts as much as teams see busts in the first two rounds but still, it doesn't hurt having the better odds at the more talented players in your favor.

Will this convince Mr. Hans that Cashman has had a better tenure as a Yankes GM and a better draft record than he originally thought? Probably not, this was still fun to do the research and to write though and that's all that matters. After my little rant from Saturday about getting my feelings hurt and feeling disrespected I decided I'm going back to doing this because I want to, because it's fun.. and that's what I did here. I hope you all enjoyed.

Familiar Faces in Different Places

The New York Yankees did not add a single major league free agent to their team this offseason and much of the reason why was the fact that New York did not have much coming off the books in terms of players and dollars. While the Yankees did add Aroldis Chapman and Starlin Castro is separate trades the team remained virtually the same from 2015 in many key areas. The Yankees lost three free agents this season in Chris Young, Stephen Drew and Chris Capuano while the team also lost Jose Pirela, Adam Warren, Brendan Ryan, Rookie Davis, Eric Jagielo and others in the Castro and Chapman deals. We've seen the new faces don Yankees pinstripes on Yankees photo day and today we look at those familiar faces who are sporting uniforms in different places. As painful as it may be please try to enjoy.

Adam Warren - Cubs

Justin Wilson - Tigers

John Ryan Murphy - Twins

Jose Pirela - Padres

Brendan Ryan - Reds

Chris Young - Red Sox

Chris Capuano - Brewers

Chase Whitley - Rays

Rookie Davis - Reds

Stephen Drew - Nationals

Jake Cave - Reds

Check Out the Tampa Yankees New Online Store!

Keep checking for more information as we get ready for the 2016 season!

This Day in New York Yankees History 3/7: Me Just Griping

There wasn’t any history or news to bring you on this day in New York Yankees history so instead I will use this opportunity to gripe just a little. It’s Midnight and no one is reading this right now anyway so I should be good. I applied for media credentials with the Trenton Thunder, Staten Island Yankees, Tampa Yankees and others and have been denied. Why you ask? Because we’re just a blog, not a news gathering site.

What a load of, whatever. Their loss. Have a great Sunday everybody!