Thursday, March 10, 2016

Yankees Spring Training Open Thread 3/10

So what happened down in Yankees spring training camp today? Let's catch up!

The New York Yankees scrapped the idea of playing Starlin Castro at third base this spring. Could that possibly be because Robert Refsnyder did so well there? Yes, I believe it was. The team said they wanted Castro to feel comfortable at second base. Works for me.

The Yankees added 13 players to spring training camp including Tyler Austin, Jose Rosario, Matt Tracy, Miguel Andujar, Vince Conde, Chris Gittens, Cito Culver, Conor Mullee, Mark Payton, Juan Silva, Abi Avelino, Dan Fiorito and Michael O'Neill. This was for the split squad games today.

Jacoby Ellsbury had two hits while Starlin Castro had three for the Yankees against the Orioles. Castro also had three RBI and raised his spring averahe to .429. Meanwhile at home against the Blue Jays the pitching allowed 11 runs with Diego Moreno taking the loss for New York. The Yankees used eight pitchers including all three of their three headed monster in the bullpen and none of them looked especially sharp.

The Yankees ties the Baltimore Orioles 4-4 and lost to the Toronto Blue Jays 11-4.

Oh and we're still free to read and we always will be. Just saying.

The Players Tribune & Why I’m Once Again Rooting for CC Sabathia

CC Sabathia, what can be said that hasn’t already been said? The 15-year veteran of the league has won a Cy Young Award, he’s made six All-Star teams, won a World Series with the New York Yankees and has a career total of 214 wins entering the 2016 season. None of that will be talked about for much of this season though, no, all eyes will be on his degenerative right knee and his bodily actions and effectiveness after checking himself into an alcohol rehabilitation center last October while the Yankees made a short playoff run in 2015.

Rather than answer these questions every start, every pitch he throws and every corner he turns Sabathia used the Players Tribune, the blog run by athletes currently owned by Derek Jeter, to express his own struggle in his own words. That’s what makes the Players Tribune so great, there is nothing being taken out of context and there is nothing being misconstrued or twisted, these are Sabathia’s words from his mouth to your screen.

Sabathia opened up on the Tribune about his toughest out he ever got, the out from under the shadow of alcoholism. Sabathia wasn’t scared to enter rehab and he put himself and his family above us the fans, the team and his job and that’s damn admirable. Sabathia could go out this season and win 35 games, lead the Yankees to a World Series, win a Cy Young Award and eventually win 300 games and in my heart and in my opinion that would mean nothing to me. What means the world to me is his courage and leadership to tackle this disease head on like a fighter would and beat it, like a Yankee always does.

The Yankees need leaders and more importantly the world needs leaders and Sabathia is one of them. Win, lose or draw CC I just want you to know on the off chance that you or your lovely wife Amber might be reading this that we support you here at The Greedy Pinstripes. I think I can speak for all Yankees fans in saying that we all support you, we all agree with what you did and we all love you as a person, as a leader and as a member of the New York Yankees.

You’re going to kick alcohol’s ass and you’re going to kick anyone and everyone’s ass in front of you this season, I believe that. Go CC!!!

Jesus Montero, Michael Pineda & Is It Safe to Declare a Winner NOW?

Since January 23, 2012 fans of the New York Yankees and the Seattle Mariners have been discussing a certain trade between the two clubs trying to find, as we fans tend to do, a winner and a loser. At the time Michael Pineda was a top pitching prospect fresh off a strong rookie year in Seattle while Jesus Montero was fresh off making his MLB debut as a September call up in the Bronx. Yankees fans had waited patiently, or rather impatiently at times, for Montero’s arrival and he arrived in a big way in New York hitting his first home run almost immediately so it left a bitter taste in some people’s mouth when he was traded for Pineda on that day in January of 2012. Ever since then the fans have bantered and argued over who the winner is, is it safe to finally declare the Yankees the winner now?

Both players have been suspended with their new teams, Pineda for blatant use of pine tar against the Boston Red Sox and Montero for illegal steroid and PED use, and both players have been injured as well, Pineda’s shoulder that cost him two seasons and Montero’s left knee, but it has been Pineda that has made an impact at the major league level. Both players have reportedly come into spring training camp overweight and out of shape but only one has attempted to attack a scout for offering him an ice cream sandwich on a hot day in the minor leagues, which was Montero. That’s before you factor in WAR which has Pineda at 4.4 and Montero at -0.8.

Montero has not been able to crack a struggling offense desperate for power, especially right-handed power, with any sort of consistency in Seattle while Pineda has become a staple in the New York Yankees starting rotation. Pineda has shown flashes of brilliance and dominance, see the Mother’s Day game against the Baltimore Orioles and all those strikeouts for an example of that, while Montero is looking to platoon, not start, at first base once again for Seattle this season. Montero was traded when he was a catcher optimizing his value, his value as a soft hitting first baseman is little to none in terms of WAR, trade value or projections.

This is not a post to prop up Pineda, he will do that on his own, nor is it a post to dog on Montero, I like Montero and I wish him nothing but the best, but it is a declaration of victory in my eyes for the New York Yankees. Remember, a blog is a place for opinions and this is mine. As Pineda enters his prime he is seemingly getting better and better while Montero is simply just holding on but remember, in some eyes Brian Cashman doesn’t have an earthly clue what he is doing. 

Yankees ST: Two For the Price of One

The New York Yankees are giving their fans a two for the price of one deal today as a part of Spring Training and their Grapefruit League schedule. The Yankees will play a pair of games today with a split squad, one in George M. Steinbrenner Field in Tampa, Florida and one in Jupiter, Florida inside Ed Smith Stadium, the home of the Baltimore Orioles. In the road contest with the Orioles the Yankees will send Bryan Mitchell to the mound to face off with the Orioles starter Tyler Wilson. In the home game the Yankees will send Nathan Eovaldi to the mound to make his spring debut against Drew Hutchison and the Toronto Blue Jays.

Both games will be played simultaneously at 1:05 pm ET with the road game against the Orioles being televised on MLB TV and the home game being televised on the YES Network as well as MLB TV. A whole lot of Yankees baseball all in one day, just another reason to love spring training.

My Early Spring Prediction of the Bench

As we continue my predictions for the upcoming Yankees season and roster I’ve noticed more and more that this team was pretty much set before the offseason even began. While New York added Aroldis Chapman and Starlin Castro into the mix I’m left here thinking if it was truly just making a move for the sake of making a move. Sure Aroldis Chapman is great but him for 30 less games this season is worth how much more to THIS team than Adam Warren who could start or relieve? And sure Starlin Castro could be great but so could Robert Refsnyder, the sky is relatively the limit on both. This brings me to the bench and my predictions for who makes the roster because the sky is the limit there too.

C: Gary Sanchez
OF: Aaron Hicks
UTIL: Dustin Ackley
INF: Robert Refsnyder

The slot that Refsnyder has for the purposes of this post will be the revolving door that Yankees GM Brian Cashman will use to its full advantage. Last season New York mixed and matched fresh arms and relief pitchers out of their bullpen all season long almost daily and the plan seems to do the same on the bench. Need a first baseman for the weekend? We’ll probably see Tyler Austin or Chris Parmelee in the slot and not Refsnyder. Need an outfielder? Plug Chris Denorfia or a laundry list of players as potential possibilities assuming an injury and assuming Denorfia does not opt out of his minor league deal. Ackley is almost set in stone barring and injury and so is Hicks while Refsnyder’s right-handed bat will likely be utilized on Opening Day in some capacity against Dallas Keuchel.

The only wild card here, a wild card with a lot of moving parts, is Gary Sanchez. Carlos Corporan could win the job, Austin Romine could be designated for assignment leaving a 40 man roster spot open for Corpy and Sanchez could add to his career Triple-A games total that currently stands at 35 (one more than Greg Bird had when he was called up to the majors last season, FYI). Romine could also win the job sending Corpy packing and Sanchez back to Scranton while Bird could be added to the 60-day DL clearing up a roster spot. The final option is having Sanchez win the job, mentor on the bench much like Jorge Posada did and get into three or so games a week as a DH and catcher giving Alex Rodriguez and Brian McCann extra days off throughout the season.

Once again I know no more than you so stay tuned as we see it all unfold this spring. Thanks for reading!

Quick Hit: Yankees Owner Buys the Memphis Redbirds

No, not that Yankees owner. Not Hal or Hank Steinbrenner but one of the Yankees minority owners, Peter Freund, has purchased a franchise from the St. Louis Cardinals. Nearly two years about being bought by St. Louis the Memphis Redbirds have a new owner in Freund.

The Memphis Redbirds are a minor league affiliate that plays in the Pacific Coast League (Triple-A) and is just one of the umbrella organizations that makes the St. Louis Cardinals the most profitable team in all of Major League Baseball according to FORBES Magazine. Redbirds GM Craig Unger will remain with the team and will be promoted to president and general manager as a part of the transaction.

The St. Louis Cardinals will maintain a minority ownership stake with the team and the team will remain a Cardinals affiliate going forward, at least that’s the plan now, and will remain in the city of Memphis. This is not unprecedented, just as an FYI, though as Freund also principally owns the Class-A Williamsport Crosscutters (Philadelphia Phillies minor league team in the New York-Penn League) and the Charleston Riverdogs in Low-A for the Yankees.

What does this mean to us and the New York Yankees in general? Absolutely nothing, don’t fret. Just a nice little nugget of information I figured I would pass along thing morning. Enjoy and have a great day!

RiverDogs to Host Auditions to Sing National Anthem on March 31

Fans Offered Chance to Try out for a Spot Under the Lights at The Joe in 2016

CHARLESTON, SC – Each season, a group of Major League hopefuls with dreams of one day playing in the Bronx arrive to the Lowcountry. While each summer Charleston showcases the future stars of the “The Show,” the RiverDogs also offer a shot to any star performer dreaming of a chance under the bright lights at The Joe this year.

This season, the RiverDogs will once again offer fans the opportunity to join the ranks of Darius Rucker, Elise Testone, Mark Bryan, and Eddie Bush who’ve all showcased their talents singing the Star-Spangled Banner over the years at Riley Park.

The Class-A affiliate of the New York Yankees will host auditions for those wishing to perform the Star-Spangled Banner on Thursday, March 31 from 4-7 pm behind home plate at The Joe. Should inclement weather persist, there will be no makeup date as in years past, but video auditions will be accepted.

Whether you are a talented vocalist or can play the Star-Spangled Banner via instrument, patrons are invited to be creative yet respectful and perform our National Anthem in whatever fashion they choose.

"Each season we’re always impressed with the musical talent in Charleston that turns out for these auditions,” said RiverDogs Director of Community Relations Haley Kirchner. “This event has become something of a tradition in the Lowcountry and a reminder that RiverDogs baseball is almost here.”

Auditions are open to performers of all kinds and ensembles of nine or less. Groups of 10 or more are asked to partake in the RiverDogs Group Anthem Program at

Everyone is asked to audition regardless of whether they have performed at a game in previous seasons or not. Those auditioning must fill out an audition form that can be found at Forms must be filled out and submitted to communityrelations@riverdogs.comprior to the audition day.

Please note that by auditioning, it does not guarantee a spot and also being chosen for the audition pool does not guarantee a game due to the overwhelming popularity and strength of performers in the area. In the past, the RiverDogs have routinely had more qualified performers than available game dates.

For additional information on the auditions, please contact Haley Kirchner at (843)723-7241 or at

The RiverDogs, the Class A affiliate of the New York Yankees, begin their season - the 20th in their history at Joseph P. Riley Park - on April 6 with an exhibition game against the Myrtle Beach Pelicans at 7:05 pm and then follow that with Opening Night, also at 7:05 pm, that begins a seven-game homestand that features in-state rival Columbia Fireflies (April 7-10) and the Asheville Tourists (April 11-13). Ticket information may be secured by contact the box office at (843) 577-DOGS (3647) or online at

This Day in New York Yankees History 3/10: David Wells is Fined

On this day in 2003 the Yankees fined David Wells $100,000 for his comments in his autobiography that the club felt were detrimental to their image. But pitching a perfect game while still legally drunk is okay.

Also on this day in 1999 Yankees manager Joe Torre was diagnosed with prostate cancer. While undergoing treatment Don Zimmer will manage the team temporarily.

Finally on this day in 1958 Steve Howe was born. Howe was a lefty relief pitcher for the Yankees from 1991 to 1996 but is probably more well known for his record seven drug related suspensions. How signed three free agent contracts with New York and saved 31 games during his Yankees career. How was killed in a car accident during the 2006 season.