Saturday, May 14, 2016

Greedy Pinstripes Saturday Night Open Thread

So I didn’t mention this earlier, I know I’m weird because I don’t put my every waking breath on Facebook or social media my wife and friends tell me that all the time, but I went to a drag racing show. I have to specify drag RACING show because earlier when I told people I went to a drag show, without thinking, their mind went to women dressed as men and vice versa. I don’t have a problem with that personally, although fashion isn’t my thing whatsoever, but some people still do. Whatever. Anyway it was my first time and I have to say it was pretty awesome. Loud, kind of crazy and really freaking early but it was awesome. I’m ready to relax though I’ve been going on less than six hours of sleep for over two weeks straight now and it’s starting to catch up with me so with that said I leave you with this open thread for the night.

What video will I leave you with? Well I thought I would leave you with some NHRA Drag Racing highlights, duh. Enjoy and have a great rest of your evening Yankees family. 

How Long Before Cashman Signs John Danks?

The Chicago White Sox are in town so it feels only fitting and right that we talk about the possible, and maybe probably, acquisition of a former Chicago White Sox. The New York Yankees were known throughout the 90’s to “always get their man” but in some instances the Yankees didn’t get their man until they were long past their primes. A good and recent example of this is Carlos Beltran who was long sought after by the Yankees, and the feeling was mutual according to reports, but it never came to fruition until Robinson Cano left for Seattle. Another man the Yankees and specifically Brian Cashman have always had interest in is about to hit the free agency market if he hasn’t already by the time this post goes live and it begs the question: How long before Yankees GM Brian Cashman signs the recently DFA’d pitcher John Danks?

The Yankees love their reclamation projects and their minor league deals and you have to wonder if Cashman will offer the southpaw one. The White Sox designated Danks for assignment on May 3rd eating the $15.75 million remaining on his contract for 2016. Danks made four starts and pitched a whopping 22.1 innings this season allowing 18 earned runs on 28 hits with 11 walks and 16 K’s.

Danks has had shoulder surgery as recently as 2012 and has never fully recovered from it as he has seen his velocity and effectiveness both take dips. Danks has been seen recently struggling to throw in the upper 80’s with his fastball and is a far cry from his prime years before the shoulder surgery. Now he can be had for a minor league deal and the Yankees love stashing pitching depth at Triple-A. Is he a “yes” or is he a “no?”

If you’re asking me I would give a definitive “no” but if you ask Cashman there is always that possibility unfortunately. I have to wonder if he’s being fitted for a Scranton uniform as we speak. 

Nova Runs White Sox Into the Ground, Gets Fitst Win, 2-1

     Trying to even up the series at a game apiece, the Yankees took the field against the White Sox on a beautiful Saturday afternoon in the Bronx. One out away from earning his first victory his last time out, Ivan Nova took the ball for New York in hopes of getting his first win of the season. Opposing New York was another familiar Yankee farmhand Jose Quintana. All Quintana has done this season is lead the American League in ERA(1.34), allowing only one long ball all year. The Yankees didn't get any favors last night drawing the match-up against Sale. So today, even squaring off against the ERA leader, they were glad to be facing anyone else, and showed it.
     While both pitchers cruised through the first inning, the Yankees broke open the scoring in the bottom of the second and were actually the team finally doing the two-out damage for a change. After recording the first two outs quickly, Quintana walked the six-hole batter Chase Headley. The next hitter Aaron Hicks torched a ball over the head of right-fielder Adam Eaton, scoring Headley and giving the Yankees a one run lead. Didi Gregorius followed suit by lining another hit to Adam Eaton that scored Hicks, extending the lead to 2-0. They would have scored a third run when Austin Romine followed with a shot of his own, but the ball took a White Sox bounce and hopped over the wall for a ground-rule double, sending Gregorius back to third base. The Sox got one of those runs back in the top of the fourth when Point Pleasant, New Jersey native Todd Frazier blasted a solo shot off of Nova.
     Ivan Nova pitched exceptionally well today, slinging his sinker with tremendous accuracy as he kept Chicago off-balance all afternoon. Nova is having a career year in terms of ground ball rate, sitting at 65% of all balls in play against the righty are on the ground, where as the league average hovers right around 45%. Today, he sported a 79% ground ball rate by the time he was pulled with two outs in the top of the sixth. Nova left with an impressive final line of 5.2 innings pitched, allowing one run on just four hits, walking one and striking out two. Delin Betances came on in relief of Nova and immediately got the Yankees out of the inning by striking out former Yankee Melky Cabrera.
     After giving up the two runs in the second, Quintana went on to silence the Yankees bats for the next five innings. The Columbian native allowed only five hits all afternoon, with three of those hits coming off the bat of Didi Gregorius. A career .214 hitter against left-handed pitching, Gregorius was perfect against the AL ERA leader, going 3 for 3 with two singles, a double and an RBI. Upping his season average to .354 against lefties.
     Today, we finally got to see what we have been waiting for since the Cuban Missile Aroldis Chapman was activated on Monday, what YES Network's Jack Curry coined as "No-Run DMC". Delin struck out all four White Sox he faced. Miller pitched a scoreless eighth, striking out two in the frame. And Chapman struck out two of the three batters he faced, topping his fastball out at 103 mph. It was a lot of fun to watch these three pitchers dominate, striking out eight out of the last 10 White Sox of the afternoon.
     Here's to hoping Tanaka can lock down Chicago One more time as the Yankees try to win the series tomorrow afternoon, beginning at 1:05 PM ET.

Live Game Updates: White Sox at Yankees - 5/14

1:23 p.m., End 1st: Nothing doing for either side in the first inning. Still scoreless heading into the second.

1:42 p.m., End 2nd: Yankees get two in the second after a big two-out rally by the bottom of the order. After Quintana retires Beltran and McCann with ease, Headley walks, Hicks doubles him home and Didi adds another run with a single. A third run would've scored as well had Austin Romine's double not bounced over the wall, but nonetheless, a good inning by the Yankees' bats. 

2:02 p.m., Mid 4th: White Sox get one back on a solo shot by Todd Frazier. Yankees still lead 2-1.

2:22 p.m., End 5th: Yankees waste a lead-off double by Didi in the fifth. They're up 2-1 heading into the sixth (keep in mind, the big three is available today).

2:56 p.m., Mid 7th: Betances strikes out all four hitters he faces in the sixth and seventh. Gotta think Miller's due up in the eighth. 

3:13 p.m., Mid 8th: Miller works around a one-out single to put up a zero in the eighth. Now it's Chapman's turn. 

3:34 p.m., Mid 9th: That's your ballgame. Chapman strikes out two in a 1-2-3 ninth and the Yanks edge the White Sox 2-1. 

Game Thread: New York Yankees vs. Chicago White Sox 5/14

What better way to spend a Saturday afternoon than sitting in the Bronx watching a baseball game? I can’t think of anything so let’s get to watching the latest matchup between the New York Yankees and the Chicago White Sox. In the second of a three-game set between these two clubs we will watch as Ivan Nova throws for the Yankees while a former Yankee Jose Quintana tales the mound for the White Sox. The game will be played at 1:05 pm ET inside of Yankee Stadium and can be seen on the YES Network and MLB TV.

New York plays host to this same cast of characters tomorrow afternoon in the finale with Masahiro Tanaka on the mound so if you want to see this game live click the Yankees tickets link at the top of the blog and head on over to Ticket Monster where they don’t tack on fees or shipping costs to their ticket prices. If you can’t make it live then that’s no problem because you can always follow along on Twitter and live tweet the game with us by giving @GreedyStripes a follow. We’re 4,000+ strong now and growing every day, won’t you join us?

Current Yankee vs. former Yankee. Let’s get to it. Go Yankees!

The Call for Ryan Braun I’ve Only Been Making for Three Years Now

The New York Yankees, up until about a week ago anyway, were offensively deficient and up until about three or four years ago the Milwaukee Brewers were good. Now the Brewers are terrible and in the midst of a rebuilding phase while the Yankees still have a huge check book and a gaping hole in the middle of their offense. In years past I have made the comment and written the blog posts that the Yankees should bring a talent and a personality like Ryan Braun to the Bronx and every year it was largely dismissed. The steroid issues, the injury issues and the declining numbers never helped my cause much but Braun is seemingly clean, healthy and back to being effective in 2016 and now Ken Rosenthal floated this original idea on his site. He suggested that the Yankees buy low on Braun eating his contract and giving up lesser prospects. Hmmmm. 

I’ve been saying this since October 8, 2013: And again I said it on December 6, 2013: And I’ve said the same exact thing many, MANY times since. But when Ken Rosenthal says it now everyone is on board. How frustrating. 

But let’s say I agree with Rosenthal and his original idea of trading for Braun, does it still make sense? Sure it does in my opinion. With a soon-to-be 41-year old DH the thought of having five outfielders doesn’t bother me in the slightest. Alex can DH or have the night off while Beltran DH’s giving Braun and Aaron Hicks ample playing time. The playing time and the rotation is not something I’m worried about. Joe Girardi does a great job rotating players in and out and injuries can and most certainly will happen here in the Bronx. What I’m worried about is the money and how having him and Alex Rodriguez on the same team would be. 

Not to quote myself again but HERE we discussed Braun’s name being leaked to the league by Rodriguez. Sure it was however many years ago but look at David Ortiz, people can hold grudges, and you have to wonder if that will mess with the team chemistry. Also you have to wonder if Hal Steinbrenner would be willing to take on the six years and $111 million he’s owed including his $15 million mutual option in his final year. My gut tells me no but that amount of money and baggage also tells me that the likes of Gary Sanchez, James Kaprielian and Domingo Acevedo may be safe from being included in the trade. 

Notice I didn’t say Jorge Mateo though. If the Yankees can pull off a trade for a power threat and big name like Ryan Braun and include a top prospect who is being pulled from games for lack of hustle and who is being caught stealing almost as often as he’s stealing bases while just in A-Ball I don’t see how you can say no at this point. The trade, like I said in my original articles stated above and I will say it again today, is unlikely and unrealistic but if it would happen that would incredibly change the dynamic of this Yankees team and this Yankees offense for the better. 

Game Preview: New York Yankees vs. Chicago White Sox 5/14

The New York Yankees and the Chicago White Sox are back at it again here in the Bronx with the second game of their three-game set. Last night it was the present of MLB and the Chicago White Sox in Chris Sale vs. what the Yankees hope is their future in Luis Severino and today we’re in for another great pitching matchup with Ivan Nova taking the mound for the Yankees and Jose Quintana taking the mound for the White Sox. Quintana has made the Yankees look foolish many times during his career for letting the minor leaguer walk as a free agent and hopefully he doesn’t do so again today inside of Yankee Stadium.

Nova will be making his second start this season in the absence of CC Sabathia and will be looking for his first victory as well in the start. Nova was slated to throw 70-75 pitches in his last start and was extended to 81 pitches in 4.2 innings pitched against the Kansas City Royals. Nova allowed six hits and one run in the start.

Quintana will be making his eighth start of the season this afternoon in the Bronx and will look to have his fifth straight dominating start to begin the year. In Quintana’s last four starts the lefty is hurling a 0.64 ERA while holding opposing batters to a .186 batting average.

The game will be played at 1:05 pm ET inside of Yankee Stadium and can be seen on the YES Network and MLB TV. New York tends to bring their “A” games against the best of the best for whatever reason while laying down seemingly against mediocre or lesser opponents so I expect a hard fought battle this afternoon in the Bronx. Some days that and a buck will get you a Coke but I’d rather go down fighting than not so let’s get this over with. Go Yankees!

Weekly Check In: Robert Refsnyder

Have bat, will travel. That’s what it should say above Robert Refsnyder’s locker down in Triple-A. The bat is there for Refsnyder and it’s always been there but the defense has been the concern for the former Arizona standout. Refsnyder has one thing going for him though he is learning more and more positions with the Yankees and making himself harder and harder to ignore. Just this season alone he has been seen in right field, second base, third base and the DH position and as of recently he’s seen his hot bat carry him to a 15-game hitting streak. Harder and harder to ignore.

Gary Sanchez got the call up because he has right-handed power and pop and eventually, one day soon or one day this summer, Refsnyder will be back in the Bronx. It’s only a matter of time. 


This Day in New York Yankees History 5/14: Dwight Gooden No-Hitter

On this day in 2015 the New York Yankees received some unfortunate news. The team learned they would lose Chase Whitley for the remainder of the year after leaving a start against the Tampa Bay Rays with a torn ulnar collateral ligament. Whitley underwent Tommy John surgery before being claimed off waivers in the winter before 2016.

Also on this day in 1996 Dwight Gooden threw 135 pitches and threw a no-hitter against the Seattle Mariners. The Yankees would win the game 2-0 and the 31 year old Gooden would become the eight Yankee pitcher to throw a no hitter in their history. Gooden hadn't won a game in nearly two years prior to the no hitter and was almost released a month prior after a slow start to his season.

Also on this day in 1967 Mickey Mantle kept his promise to his wife Merlyn and hit his 500th career home run on Mother's Day. The "Commerce Comet" was the sixth player to ever reach the 500 home run club when he hit a ball into the right field corner off Orioles pitcher Stu Miller.

Finally on this day in 1920 the New York Giants informed the New York Yankees that their lease to play in the Polo Grounds would not be renewed at the end of the season. The Yankees have played at the Polo Grounds since 1913 and will continue to play there until Yankee Stadium was completed in 1923. Speculation was that the Giants were not pleased with the acquisition of Babe Ruth for the Yankees and that was the reason they wanted them out of their stadium.