Monday, April 11, 2016

Yankees Release Jaron Long, Five Others

Every week the guys and crew over at Baseball America bring us the minor league transactions from the week that used to get overlooked in years past. If it weren't for Baseball America we wouldn't know that the Yankees released six more prospects this week including one pretty big name in my opinion in Jaron Long.

All told the Yankees released Long, the son of former hitting coach Kevin Long, along with KJ Alexander (C), Jake Hernandez (C), Chris Breen (OF), Frank Frias (OF) and another bit of a shocker in outfielder Taylor Dugas.

For the complete list CLICK HERE. 

Nick Rumbelow to Undergo Tommy John Surgery

The New York Yankees had one of the deepest and best bullpens in all of Major League Baseball, on paper anyway, at one point this season but that brigade is taking a hit early and often this season. Aroldis Chapman is suspended, Bryan Mitchell broke a toe covering first base in spring training and now Nick Rumbelow is undergoing Tommy John surgery and will miss the remainder of the 2016 season. Another one bites the dust.

New York Yankees Off Day Open Thread

Do you realize that the New York Yankees have been officially rained/snowed out twice already this season? New York nearly went an entire season without a rain out last year, global warming is a real thing though I guess. Ask anyone.

Anyway tonight the Yankees are faced with a scheduled off day so like any other season we leave you with an open thread and a music recommendation out of my personal collection. See below for artist information and enjoy the off day Yankees family!

Artist: Smile Empty Soul
Song: Shape Shifter
Album: Shape Shifter
Twitter: @_smileemptysoul

ICYMI: Dizzy Dean and Why Bryan Mitchell’s Toe Injury is Important

If you don’t check out the comments section on our blog, you should. There is a nice little core and stable of commenters that are just as full of knowledge and intelligence as they are jammed packed with passion for this team and organization. I bring that up because it was brought to my attention there that Bryan Mitchell would miss at least three months with basically a broken toe, a broken toe he suffered covering first base in one of the final spring games this season. I made the comment, very tongue-in-cheek by the way, “he’s going to miss three months for a toe?” and it was Ken Reed that very quickly reminded me that another pitcher once tried to pitch through a toe injury and it ended up costing him his career.

Dizzy Dean was pitching for the National League in the 1937 All-Star Game and was facing off against the American League’s Earl Averill of the Cleveland Indians when Averill hit a line drive back to the mound striking Dean in the foot. Dean suffered a fractured big toe and attempted to come back too soon from the injury resulting in a change of pitching motion and mechanics. The move was designed to compensate Dean’s pain when he landed on the toe but it ended up costing him so much more, his career. Dean hurt his arm and lost the great and overpowered fastball that made him such a good pitcher, all because of a toe.

It didn’t take long either, by 1938 Dean’s arm was basically all but gone. Dean has his contract bought out and later went on to help the Chicago Cubs to a 1938 NL pennant without much left on his arm. Dean pitched a huge game for Chicago down the stretch and pitched Game 2 for the Cubs in the 1938 World Series before losing to the New York Yankees in “Old Diz’s Last Stand.” Dean pitched until the 1941 season, his age 31 season, before retiring at the end of the season.

Dean was one of the best pitchers in all of Major League Baseball from his age 23 to his age 27 season and by 31 years old he had fallen so far he was forced into retirement. All because of a toe. One little toe.

Get well soon Bryan and take all the time you need!

Most Popular Article of the Week: Jake Cave Returned to New York Yankees

The New York Yankees had many hard decisions to make this offseason regarding their 40 man roster and specifically the Rule 5 Draft. Not everyone could be protected and many were left out there for any team to have including outfielder Jake Cave despite a strong 2015 campaign. Cave was taken by the Cincinnati Reds in the draft and was given a shot in the everyday spring training lineup to crack the club but couldn't and was ultimately designated for assignment.

Cave cleared waivers and had to be offered back to New York and the Yankees took back their former farmhand this afternoon during the Opening Day game with the Houston Astros. Cave is headed back to Triple-A. Welcome back.

Weekly Check In: Starlin Castro

We did this all season long last season and for much of the spring so why wouldn't we do this again in 2016? We would but I guess with a little bit of a twist. For the first week we're going to check in with the new faces in Yankees uniforms while we give the prospects, who we will begin checking in with starting next Monday, another week to build sample sizes and stats. So who do we kick off with for the 2016 season? None other than the man making even the biggest Robert Refsnyder fans, me, say Robert Refsnyder who? Starlin Castro.

2016 5 21 20 3 9 2 2 8 0 1 2 .450 .476 .850 1.326 263

Meet a Prospect: Nick Swisher

The New York Yankees announced over the weekend that former Yankees outfielder and first baseman Nick Swisher, recently released by the Atlanta Braves, was working out with the team down at the minor league complex in Tampa and was expected to sign a minor league deal with the club. Swisher is back, unofficially or officially yet, so let's meet him the only way we know how to here at The Greedy Pinstripes. This is Meet a Prospect: The Nick Swisher Edition. 

Nick Swisher was born on November 25th 1980 in Columbus Ohio. Swisher is the son of former catcher Steve Swisher who played in carious National League teams in parts of the 70's and 80's. After his parents divorced when he was 11 years old he went to live with his grandmother, who he claims to be the closest person to him. Swisher honors his grandparent, who are now both passed away, by looking up into the sky before every single pitch. We all in Yankee land and The Greedy Pinstripes thank her for that because without her we might not have had Nick Swisher to be talking about in our next edition of Meet A Prospect, the special edition.

Swisher was a two sport star in Parkersburg High School, where he played both football in baseball and Swisher also lettered in basketball. After being recruited as a Strong Safety by many team, including Notre Dame, he decided to quit football and pursue his baseball career. He was not selected in the draft after his high school years so Swisher decided to go to College at Ohio State University.

At Ohio State he was named Big 10 Freshmen of the Year in 2000 and was a All Big 10 selection in his Sophmore season of 2001 while leading the league with 15 home runs. After his college career he was drafted by the Oakland A's in the first round of the 2002 MLB First Year Players draft using a compensation pick for losing Johnny Damon in free agency. Swisher was the first draft class that the popular term "moneyball" was used in as Swisher was one of the few players that sabermetric heads and traditional scouts could agree on.

Swisher had a minor league career that was pretty much run of the mill to be completely honest. His own shining star was his 102 walks, which led the league, in the 2005 minor league season. Swisher made his major league debut in September of 2004.

Swisher has done okay as a major leaguer with his shining achievement being his World Series ring he now wears from the Yankees 2009 World Series team and his sole All-Star selection in 2010 for the Yankees. He also married television Actress, and hottie, Joanna Garcia. All the time he still had time to have his own foundation called "Swish's Wishes", which I highly recommend everyone check out, that helps children who are facing medical crises.

After Swisher left the Yankees after the 2012 season he signed a lucrative contract with the Cleveland Indians for four years and $52 million but injuries and mediocrity would describe the length of this contract. Following the 2014 season Swisher had surgery on both of his knees and began the 2015 season on the disabled list. Swisher spent much of the 2015 season as the team's designated hitter before being traded to the Atlanta Braves in an obvious salary dump. 

Swisher finished the season in Atlanta and tried to win a spot on the 2016 roster before being designated for assignment and released. The Braves will be on the hook for his $15 million in salary this season while he toils in the Yankees minor league system just waiting on the call from Yankees GM Brian Cashman. Welcome back to the family Swish!

Yankees Off Day Walk Up Music featuring Aaron Hicks

For the past two seasons we have spent the off day still covering the New York Yankees, just in a different way. While many blogs and news outlets take the day off with the team unless a major roster move, injury or move is made but that's not us. With that in mind two seasons ago we began looking at certain things no other site does, like covering the walk up music for the current players every single off day. In years past we have gone with the top of the batting order and gone done or we've gone from 1-9 in the defensive spectrum (1 = pitcher, 2 = catcher and 3 = first baseman etc.) but I want to cover a new face in a new place this morning.

So today we bring you Aaron Hicks' walk up music we hear every time he comes to bat inside Yankee Stadium. The "Ohio Players" bring us the song "Fire." Enjoy.

This Day in New York Yankees History 4/11: Bob Sheppard Takes a Vacation Day

On this day in 2006 Bob Sheppard misses his first Yankee Stadium home opener since 1951 due to a hip injury he suffered the day before at his home. The injury wouldn't keep Sheppard out long as Bob was back for the next Yankees home stand behind the microphone.

Also on this day in 1954 the New York Yankees traded two minor league players with right handed pitcher Mel Wright to the St. Louis Cardinals for 38 year old right fielder Enos Slaughter. While Slaughter would head to the Hall of Fame when his playing career was done he would only hit .239 in 79 games for the Yankees. Bill Virdon, one of the prospects in the deal, would win the Rookie of the Year Award in St. Louis in 1956.