Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Game Thread: New York Yankees @ Arizona Diamondbacks 5/17

The New York Yankees and the Arizona Diamondbacks are finally set to kick off the second game of their three-game interleague series this week down in Arizona’s Chase Field. The Diamondbacks went into the deep end of the free agent pool this offseason bringing in tonight’s starter Zack Greinke while the usually generous Yankees did not sign a single free agent this winter instead relying on their young arms and farm system led by their starter tonight Michael Pineda. A tale of two teams going in completely opposite directions collide tonight inside Chase Field at 8:40 pm ET. Who wins? You’ll have to watch to find out that’s half of what is great about baseball.

The Yankees have one more game in the Arizona desert before traveling to Oakland Coliseum to face off with the Oakland Athletics. This gives you five more days to grab a pair of Yankees tickets off the blog before the team returns home to the Bronx and Yankee Stadium. All you have to do is click the Yankees tickets link at the top of the blog and pick your seats without having to pay an arm, a leg, any sort of fees or shipping costs through our partnership with Ticket Monster. Until then you can follow along on twitter by giving @GreedyStripes a follow while we navigate and live tweet each and every game every single season.

Jacoby and the Yankees are ready to wreak havoc and they have their hands full with a great pitcher in Zack Greinke. Let’s see how it turns out. Go Yankees!

You Can’t Let Luis Severino Back in the Rotation, Can You?

The New York Yankees have been left scratching their heads after most of Luis Severino’s starts this season. The young right-hander took the minor leagues by storm in 2015 only to come up to the Bronx and continue his dominance against Major League hitting. The Yankees thought they had their ace for the current and for the future in Severino heading out of spring training camp this season but Severino has done nothing to live up to the hype train that followed him up until his triceps injury earlier this month. With CC Sabathia slated to be back on Friday after a groin strain landed him on the 15-day DL and Ivan Nova pitching for his future and a contract like a mad man possessed you can’t really allow Severino back in the rotation when he returns, can you?

I’ve said it in a few of my game preview posts on the blog and I’ll say it again only because I truly mean it. A young guy or a player with a minor league option is simply a ticking time bomb when you play for the New York Yankees. If there is a veteran or a “sure thing” also biding for playing time and you, the young gun, have minor league options it’s usually just a matter of when a bad start will come that will be used as an excuse to demote you and not if. This is likely going to be the case, in my opinion, for Severino as well but this time I have to say that I agree with it.

Severino’s confidence has to be shattered. If it’s not he is much more of a man than I am. He has been hit and hit hard in almost every start he’s had this season and what compounds the problem is that he is getting beat on his best pitch. His slider is being hit hard and Severino has no idea where his fastball is going these days and a trip back to Scranton can only help him. Another injury will occur and the combination of Michael Pineda, Nathan Eovaldi, CC Sabathia and Ivan Nova may need some time off opening a door for Severino to get his foot back in the door. It wouldn’t be forever, it may not even be for a long time, but it would be helpful.

Send Severino down and make sure he’s healthy. Healthy physically and healthy in the mind. 

USA Today Weekly MLB Power Rankings

Two weeks ago I made a pretty bold prediction at the time. I said the New York Yankees would have a 6-1 record that week and I also said that they would be the USA Today’s MLB Power Ranking’s “biggest rise” of the week. I was wrong and the Yankees actually fell a spot that week but this week the Yankees may have finally opened some eyes with series victories over the Kansas City Royals and the Chicago White Sox. Was my prediction correct and just delayed by a week or will the Yankees still not do enough to claim the biggest rise spot? Keep reading….

I won’t keep you waiting too long. The New York Yankees finished the week at the #22 position which is four spots higher than their ranking last week and technically tied for the highest rise of the week as well. The rest of the American League East had little movement as well with the Baltimore Orioles finishing 5th, the Boston Red Sox finishing 4th, the Toronto Blue Jays finishing 14th with one less pair of Jose Bautista sunglasses to carry around and the Tampa Bay Rays finished the week ranked 19th.

The biggest rise of the week went to the Boston Red Sox who rose four spots from the #8 position to the #4 position while the biggest fall of the week went to the Pittsburgh Pirates who unfortunately fell four spots all the way to the #11 position. Missing AJ Burnett yet?

The Top 5 teams according to the rankings are the Chicago Cubs, the Washington Nationals, the Chicago White Sox, the Boston Red Sox and the Baltimore Orioles. The bottom five teams you don’t want to be according to the rankings are the #26 Oakland Athletics, the Milwaukee Brewers, the Cincinnati Reds, the Minnesota Twins and the Atlanta Braves. Get used to it Atlanta!

We’re inching closer to June baseball and these rankings actually meaning something other than a small sample size and a peak into the future. It’s starting to get fun, check in every week for the latest power rankings from the crew over at the USA Today.

Game Preview: New York Yankees @ Arizona Diamondbacks 5/17

The New York Yankees and the Arizona Diamondbacks will battle it out once again tonight in the desert as these two teams face off head-to-head in the second of their three game set. In the first game last night we watched as Chad Green made his MLB debut against this team and tonight we get to see someone a little more experienced in Michael Pineda. Opposing Little Mike tonight, because let’s face it he’s been far from Big Mike this season, will be the Diamondbacks shiny new (expensive) toy in Zack Greinke inside Chase Field.

Pineda will look to get out of the first inning tonight without a huge deficit like they have in many of Pineda’s starts this season. After the second inning Pineda is holding opposing batters to just a .202 average while the other team is hitting a whopping .437 in the first two innings of the contest.

Greinke has surprisingly not been the pitcher the Diamondbacks gave the biggest contract ever to but he has been coming around a bit as of late. In his last start Greinke allowed four runs on eight hits in six innings pitched against the San Francisco Giants. Along the way Greinke struck out four and walked three for Arizona.

The game will be played at 8:40 PM ET inside of Chase Field and can be seen on the YES Network and MLB TV. These starts actually work pretty well for me since I don’t get to watch the first inning or so of the game anyway. I won’t nearly see the end of it unfortunately but it allows me to get all my adulting done before chilling with you guys on Twitter. Hopefully I have good things to say when Pineda regains his “Big Mike” form tonight in the desert and keeps the Yankees rolling with a victory. 

Luis Severino, Michael Pineda & Why Spring Training Stats Don’t Matter

Heading into the 2016 regular season the New York Yankees had to feel pretty good about what they had done this winter and what they had heading into the new season. They had their ace healthy in Masahiro Tanaka with the promise of a much sharper splitter after offseason elbow surgery to remove bone spurs and they had a promising up-and-coming staff. Luis Severino many donned as the current and future ace of the staff while many believed Michael Pineda was ready to break out in a big way in 2016 after a strong spring. Nathan Eovaldi was healthy, Ivan Nova was in his second year removed from Tommy John surgery, which as we know is usually always much better than the first, and CC Sabathia was sober and level-headed with a new knee brace and look on life. The Yankees felt like, with their bullpen especially, they had a chance to compete when they headed out of spring training this year and then the regular season and real life hit the team, especially Severino and Pineda.

Looking at these two right-handers spring training stats you would think that the Yankees were on their way to having a three-headed monster in the rotation as well as in the bullpen but to date that has never come to fruition.

Severino has struggled and has been the loser in every decision he’s had this season while Pineda has struggled with his command and his location for much of the season. Pineda all of a sudden has fears and nightmares of the first inning while Severino struggled with his command and his control of his best pitch before landing on the disabled list with a triceps strain. Meanwhile Tanaka came out of the spring gates slow and has been nothing less than advertised thus far this season for New York.

So what do spring training stats mean in the grand scheme of things? Very little to nothing and I’m leaning more towards nothing than anything. 

Weekly Check In: Nick Swisher

I hate to say I told you so but I also don’t shy away from saying I told you so. I know that may not make sense to some but it makes sense to me. I hate being right and furthermore I hate being right when it comes to making moves involving the Yankees. I suggested numerous times in these weekly check in posts that the Yankees needed to ride out Swisher’s hot streak in the Major Leagues and not waste it down in Scranton. I said many times that I believed Swisher would accept another minor league assignment if the Yankees needed to send him down and I said many, many times that a regression was coming. The regression is here.

Swisher was seen hitting well over .400 with power when the drum beating began for his call up and lately he’s been seen hanging below the Stephen Drew Line of .150. Shoulda, would, coulda Yankees family. The Swisher with bulky knees that has no power or bat speed that we’ve been hearing about since the Yankees signed him may finally be rearing his ugly head. 

2016 35 AAA 25 104 5 25 3 3 10 0 3 28 .253 .269 .374 .643

Arizona blows out New York 12-2

    Tonight, the Yankees embarked on their early-season W. Coast road trip, beginning in Arizona facing off the Diamondbacks in game one of a three-game set. Making his major-league debut for New York was right-hander  Chad Green. Green was part of the return package that sent Justin Wilson to Detroit earlier this off-season. After having an unimpressive spring training, the 24-year-old excelled in the minor leagues, having won two games with a 1.22 ERA. The D'backs countered with left-hander Robby Ray, carrying with him a record of 1-2 with an ERA of 4.84. Having been swept in their last series at the hands of the rival Giants, Arizona came into tonight's game with a chip on their shoulder And Proceeded to take out their collective  frustrations on the young rookie.
     Green's introduction to the big leagues came in rather rude fashion in the bottom of the first inning. After recording his first major-league strike out, fanning leadoff hitter Jean Segura, Paul Goldschmidt blasted a solo shot to left field that gave Arizona a one run lead. While circling the bases, Goldschmidt had a smirk on his face as if to say, "welcome to the show, rookie." Then, in the bottom of the second, Chris Herrmann led off the inning with a single and then stole second base. Two batters later, Jean Segura lined a double off the glove of shortstop Didi Gregorius that scored Herrmann, pushing the lead to two.
     The Yankees that came to life in the top of the fourth when Mark Teixeira led off the frame with a double, advancing to third on a single by the following hitter Carlos Beltran. Having reached base in eight consecutive games since his 32nd birthday, Chase Headley lined a single into left that scored Teixeira and pulled the Yankees within one, 2-1 Arizona. The Yankees would tie the game in the top of the fifth when Jacoby Elsbury hit a missile over the head of centerfielder Michael Bourne that allowed him to score on a throwing error trying to gun him down at third base.
     The Diamondbacks offense would break the game wide open in the bottom of the fifth inning. Green let off the ending by allowing Michael Bourn to reach with a bunt single and then walked the next hitter Paul Goldschmidt. The next batter, third baseman Jake Lamb, hit a towering homerun to right-center that pushed the D'backs Ahead to a 5-2 lead. The rookie would be chased to the showers when he allowed a double to the next hitter Yasmany Tomas.  Reliever Nick Goody allowed a sacrifice fly to Herman that scored Tomas, pushing the lead to 6-2.
     The relief pitchers for New York, Mullee and Coke, would go on to allow 6 more runs, resulting in a final score of 12-2 Arizona. At nights end, every Diamondback, including starting pitcher, Ray, recorded a base hit in the game. Let's hope the Yankees can put this lopsided affair behind them and turn it around for first pitch tomorrow @ 9:40pm EST.

This Day In New York Yankees History 5/17: David Wells Perfect Game

On this day in 2002 Jason Giambi finally earned a stripe and became a "true Yankee." The Twins would score three times in the top of the 14th inning at Yankee Stadium and would take a 13-10 lead. Jason Giambi would hit a one out grand slam the next half of the inning off reliever Mike Trombley to give the Yankees the victory. In Giambi's first year after replacing the very popular Tino Martinez this helped the fans warm up to the slugger.

On this day in 1998 almost 50,000 fans flocked to Yankee Stadium for Beanie Baby Day at Yankee Stadium and got to witness a piece of history. David Wells retires all 27 batters he faced, and rumor has it still drunk from the night before, while beating the Minnesota Twins 4-0. This was only the 13th perfect game in modern day major league history.

On this day in 1961 Roger Maris hits the first home run of his season at Yankee Stadium en route to his record breaking 61 home runs. This is Maris' fourth home run of the season but the Senators still win the game 8-7.