Sunday, April 24, 2016

Jacoby Ellsbury Steals Home Open Thread

I saw something live, well I was watching it on television but I was watching it on TV live so that's close enough, that I have never seen live in my time as a baseball fan. Jacoby Ellsbury stole home on a 3-2 count Friday night against the Tampa Bay Rays and lefty Matt Moore. This excited the hell out of me and when I threw my arms up in celebration I almost hit my six-year old in the face. It was an exciting and a rare feat and it was my first, something I didn't think I could say after watching baseball for some 25 years now.

So let's relive it again and talk about it, or anything really, in this open thread for the evening. The Yankees game is done for the day and the team is likely already on a plane flying to Texas for a set against the Texas Rangers. Have a good evening Yankees family!

Weekly Check In: The Revolving Door & Luis Torrens

We've checked in with seven prospects already this week but you know what, seven is not enough. Not nearly enough when you look at all the talent that this team has down on the farm so every Sunday we will also use a revolving door post for these Yankees prospects. We've already seen many of the Yankees top prospects in these check in posts and we will use this revolving door to check in with prospects who may be a bit farther away from their MLB debut's and/or prospects who are coming back from major injuries. We will check in with the latter this evening as we check in with catching prospect Luis Torrens.

Torrens missed the entire 2015 minor league season after having a very major shoulder surgery last winter. Torrens was once thought to be the Yankees top catching prospect, higher than Gary Sanchez and higher than John Ryan Murphy, and many wondered if he would be the same after the shoulder surgery. You have to remember that you just don't need a shoulder to hit, although it helps, as Torrens also needs to throw the ball back to the pitcher 150+ times per game. That doesn't sound like a lot but over the case of over 100 games a season of throwing the ball back to the pitcher 150+ times on top of controlling the running game and hitting and the work could be taking its toll.

The only way to find out is to check in with the catcher when the season starts. Good luck Luis!

Rays Sting Pineda, Avoid Sweep, 8-1

     At the start of the afternoon, Yankee fans were looking for their brooms in anticipation of the Yankees first series sweep of 2016. Those hopes were quickly dashed by the abysmal pitching performance by Michael Pineda. On the other side, Drew Smyly has been the best pitcher for Tampa Bay, although he has not received the run support he's needed so far this season. But that would quickly change.

     Pineda's nightmare started with two outs in the top of the first. Evan Longoria began the assault by smoking a double off the top of the centerfield wall. Corey Dickerson then launched a first-pitch fastball into the right-field bleachers, making the score 2-0. Steve Pearce followed with a single and was driven in on a double by Brad Miller, 3-0. And then the left-field bleachers were visited by a blast off the bat of the birthday-boy Steven Souza Jr., scoring Miller and making it 5-0. And remember, this all happened with two outs.

     With the New York Yankees having to embark on a nine-game road trip, Girardi was forced to leave the big right-hander in the game, as to not overwork the bullpen before hitting the road. Which is why Pineda was still pitching in the top of the third when Steve Pearce launched yet another homerun into the left-field seats, extending the Rays lead even farther, 6-0.

     Smyly, on the other hand, was cruising for the Rays through the first four innings. His only blemish came in the bottom of the fourth when Alex Rodriguez doubled off the left-field wall, scoring Brett Gardner, inching the Yanks closer, 6-1. It did not, however, take long for the Rays to respond. In the top of the fifth, Souza belted his second homerun of the game, the fourth allowed by Pineda, making it now 7-1. Pineda would be pulled in the top of the sixth, sporting an ugly final line of 5.0 IP, 10 H, 7 ER, 4 HR and 9 Ks.

     What gets lost in a blowout like this is that the bullpen continued to pitch exceptionally well, striking out seven and only allowing two hits and one run, a Logan Forsythe solo shot off of the latest victim of the Scranton Express, Nick Goody. If the Yankees could put together a string of quality starts, their win/loss totals would look completely different.

     Here's to hoping the Yankees right the ship tomorrow, as they begin their nine-game road trip in Arlington, beginning at 8:05PM ET.

A-Rod Headed for an MRI After Tweaking an Oblique

Alex Rodriguez was pulled from Sunday's contest against the Rays after tweaking his oblique. Dustin Ackley took over at DH for the Yankees in the eighth inning. Jack Curry of the YES Network reported that the injury occurred while Alex was hitting in the cage, not on the field.

 He'll be sent for an MRI this afternoon to determine the extent of the injury. Obviously any injury to any of the Yankees' key hitters is not ideal when they have been struggling to put runs on the board, but with A-Rod batting .132/.233/.245 in his first 60 PAs, a little time away from the field may not be the worst thing for either the player or the team.

Of course, with Aaron Hicks expected to miss the next 4-5 days (at least) with a shoulder injury, the Yankees will likely need to make a roster move if Alex needs to miss any length of time. The same candidates I discussed earlier as potential replacements for Hicks would also be fits to take A-Rod's spot. Nick Swisher, Slade Heathcott, Ben Gamel, and Rob Refsnyder all make sense to some extent. Carlos Beltran and Mark Teixeira would probably see increased time at DH in the meantime.

Voting Opens for the 2016 All Star Game

This afternoon it was announced that the balloting has begun for the 87th MLB All Star Game. Despite their sub-par start to the season overall, the Yankees have a number of deserving candidates in the early going. Brian McCann, Brett Gardner, Carlos Beltran, Masahiro Tanaka, Dellin Betances, and Andrew Miller all have strong cases for inclusion at this point. Of that group, only Miller would be a first time All Star. Gardner and Betances were both members of the 2015 squad, along with Mark Teixeira

The voting doesn't end until June 30th, so there is plenty of time for other Bombers to join the conversation. Fans who are interested in voting can visit or to find the ballot. It would be nice if the American League team wasn't the Royals and Mike Trout this year.

Game Thread: New York Yankees vs. Tampa Bay Rays 4/24

The New York Yankees and the Tampa Bay Rays are on the field and they are ready to finish off their three-game set this weekend in the Bronx. Michael Pineda has taken the mound, the Rays batters are ready to hit and Drew Smyly is sitting in the dugout ready to face the Yankes offense in the bottom of the inning. The Rays offense is weak and Michael Pineda has done well against them in his career so I have a good feeling about this game and this series win. The game will be played at 1:05 pm ET inside Yankee Stadium and can be seen on the YES Network and MLB TV.

The Yankees head out on the road to Arlington tomorrow for a little road trip so Yankee Stadium gets a bit of a break for a while. Unfortunately many of us cannot see the Yankees live but that doesn't mean you can't get your Yankees Tickets by clicking the Yankees Tickets link at the top of the blog just to be ready for when the team returns to the Bronx. Until then though head over to Twitter and give @GreedyStripes a follow to interact with us and to live tweet each and every Yankees game this season.

Let's win a series and let's get out of New York without heads held high. Go Yankees!!

Injury Update: Hicks to Miss at Least 4-5 Games with Shoulder Injury

There's a possibility that Aaron Hicks shoulder injury will end up being more serious than was initially thought. An MRI Saturday revealed "traumatic bursitis" in his left shoulder, which he sustained attempting a diving catch in Friday night's loss to the Rays. The team still considers him day to day, with the hope that the inflammation will subside with some short rest.

 The best case scenario is that Hicks misses the next four to five games. After Saturday's win, he told reporters, "I’ll be down a couple of days. It all depends on how I feel.” The team can get by with a 24 man roster for a few days thanks to Dustin Ackley's versatility. The disabled list remains a distinct possibility, however. If the injury doesn't improve, New York will have to decide between Slade Heathcott, Ben Gamel, Nick Swisher, or even Rob Refsnyder as a replacement.

Meet a Prospect: Nick Goody

The New York Yankees learned this week that they lost their second pitcher already this season to the dreaded Tommy John surgery. This time it was Branden Pinder who pitched recently and came out of the game complaining of elbow soreness. Pinder is now lost for the season and Goody, for now, is in the Bronx taking his spot in the bullpen... so let's meet him again.

Nicholas Gunnary Goody was born on July 6, 1991 in Orlando, Florida and a member of the New York Yankees MLB team. Goody attended the University High School in Orlando where he played for the school's baseball team as a shortstop. Goody's strong arm and defense earned him a spot with the State College of Florida Manatee-Sarasota's baseball team but not as a shortstop but as the pitcher we see him as today. Goody served as the team's closer in his freshman year before making the transition to the starting pitcher. Goody did well as a starter posting a 6-2 record with a 1.29 ERA while posting 114 K's in 84 IP including a 19 strikeout game before being named the Suncoast Conference Pitcher of the Year.

Goody's arm was attractive enough that the New York Yankees came calling in the sixth round of the 2012 MLB First Year Players Draft making the right-hander the 217th overall selection. Goody was immediately assigned to the Staten Island Yankees but by the end of his first professional season he had made stops in Charleston with the Charleston Riverdogs and Tampa with the High-A Tampa Yankees. Goody saved seven games with posting a 1.12 ERA making an immediate impression with the team.

Goody was invited to spring training in 2013 but had to undergo the dreaded Tommy John surgery essentially ending his season. Goody returned to the mound on May 6, 2014 where he earned a promotion to the Double-A Trenton Thunder. Goody earned another invitation to the Yankees spring training camp in 2015 after his comeback season in the minor leagues in 2014 although he did not make the team out of camp. Goody was back in Trenton to begin the 2015 season where he was named an Easter League All-Star. Goody was not able to participate in the game though because the Yankees were more concerned with him being promoted to the Triple-A Scranton Wilkes-Barre RailRiders. 

In 2016 Goody was invited to spring training camp but lost out to a numbers game as the Yankees had a plethora of bullpen options stick around in camp. Now Goody finds himself spending his days in the bullpen with the New York Yankees and truth be told that is where he belongs. Goody is a great person, we've done interviews with him here and I have him as a friend on Facebook and follow him on Twitter, and deserves everything good that happens to him. Congratulations Nick and welcome to the family.

Game Preview: New York Yankees vs. Tampa Bay Rays 4/24

The New York Yankees and the Tampa Bay Rays are set to finish off their three game set this afternoon in the Bronx. After a night game on Friday and a day game on Saturday many regulars were absent for that game yesterday afternoon. I fully expect more than a few regulars to be absent or on the bench for this one as well. One man that won't be absent, we hope, is the Yankees starter for the day Michael Pineda. Opposing Pineda, thankfully it's not Chris Archer, is Drew Smyly for the Rays, yet another left-hander.

Pineda, like yesterday's starter Masahiro Tanaka, is seemingly getting stronger with every start and will look to continue that trend this afternoon in the Bronx. In Pineda's last start he held the Oakland Athletics to two runs and seven hits in six plus innings of work striking out seven batters. Pineda will look to improve on his career 2-1 record and 2.70 ERA against the Rays in seven career starts. 

Smyly heads into this start against the Yankees fresh off a no-decision last time out against the Chicago White Sox. Smyly is a fastball type pitcher that sets up the rest of his repertroire with it giving the Yankees plenty of straight balls to hit. The Yankees are a fastball hitting team and it's a day game in New York so that may spell doom for Smyly today.

The game will be played at 1:05 pm ET inside Yankee Stadium and can be seen on the YES Network and MLB TV. The Yankees are hoping for a quick contest this afternoon as they have to make the trip west to Arlington to face off with the Texas Rangers tomorrow night. I just hope the team isn't looking ahead to that game or the long plane ride over and are 100% focused on this game because the team needs every single win that they can get right now.

Go Yankees!

Weekly Check In: Domingo Acevedo

The final piece to the Yankees puzzle and possibly to the future of the organization and franchise. This week we introduced the first six prospects that are likely to make an impact with the team either this year or in the years to come and we saved one of the best Yankees prospects for last, Mr. Domingo Acevedo. Acevedo has already drawn the Dellin Betances comparisons due to his size and his blazing fastball that can reach 100 MPH but Acevedo is hoping to stick as a starter and not have to be delegated to the bullpen later on in his career.

Acevedo is a few years away, maybe as many as three although that's unlikely, but he also has the potential to be a fast mover through the system as well. Luis Severino took off like a bullet towards the majors and so could Acevedo. There we go again with the comparisons...

2016 22 A 1 0 2.60 3 3 17.1 16 5 5 0 3 19 1.096 8.3 0.0 1.6 9.9

This Day in New York Yankees History 4/24: David Ortiz Yankee Stadium Jersey Sold!

On this day in 2008 the jersey that was hidden in the cement during construction at the new Yankee Stadium was auctioned off to help the Jimmy Fund charity and fetched $175,100. The winning bidder out of 282 bidders was Kevin Meehan a Mendon, Mass. resident and owner of

Also on this day in 1987 Rickey Henderson became the first batter to ever hit a home run off of two 300 game winners in the same game. Henderson hit a solo home run in the 8th inning off Phil Niekro and would hit a two run home run in the ninth inning off Steve Carlton to help the Yankees beat the Indians 6-5.

Also on this day in 1923 President Warren G. Harding witnessed the first shutout ever thrown at Yankee Stadium. The avid baseball fan and chain smoking president saw Babe Ruth hit a home run in the contest but was ultimately disappointed when his Washington Senators lost 4-0.

Finally on this day in 1917 Yankee pitcher George Mogridge throws a no hitter against the Boston Red Sox in Fenway Park. This is the first no hitter in Yankees franchise history and the first ever thrown at Fenway Park.