Monday, May 23, 2016

Yankees Off Day Walk Up Music Recommendation

Every time the New York Yankees take an off day I tend to take an off day as well. When we first started this blog I had no problem going hard at it for four or five hours a day, or more some day, to get it off the ground but now I feel like I don't want to burn myself out. I have children now, plural, and while I still put my heart and soul into my writing I do take a day off from time to time. I said all that to say this, I leave you with this open thread and music recommendation for the evening.

Every time Alex Rodriguez comes to the plate at Yankee Stadium, like he will tomorrow when he is activated off the 15 day disabled list, the song "N****'s in Paris" is played by Jay-Z and Kanye West so I leave you with that tonight. Enjoy.

Most Popular Article of the Week: Buster Olney Suggests Trade Involving Brian McCann

The best thing that ever happened to Major League Baseball viewing in my opinion was the inception of MLB Network. I may be overreacting a bit as I pull the "poor pitiful me" routine but for a long time it seemed like ESPN was pretty anti-Yankee and it was getting to me more and more blatant and more and more obvious. I stopped watching for the most part but I continued to read some of their analysts including Buster Olney who made a mock trade proposal on Baseball Tonight that I really, really like. Olney suggested that if the Yankees deem themselves out of it in 2016 that they should call the Texas Rangers, who need lots of help at the catching position, and offer their catcher Brian McCann for a Rangers top prospect.

Olney suggested the Yankees call Texas and offer McCann and his two-plus years of team control for Joey Gallo, the Rangers top prospect and third base prospect. While the Rangers would be unlikely, well no it isn't going to happen, to trade Gallo at all let alone for a catcher on the wrong side of 30-years old it is worth the call to see if that could be the beginning of a deal.

Now the Yankees fans in general would never accept a fire sale but if a fire sale brought back a top and recognizable name like Gallo then you have to make the deal. Gallo's left-handed swing and power already reminds many of Baltimore's Chris Davis and would be an enormous upgrade over Chase Headley who currently mans the hot corner. This also allows the team to bring Gary Sanchez up and allows them to give him the baptism of fire as the every day starter with Austin Romine as the backup.

Would the Rangers do a straight up deal? Lord no. Would the Yankees? Hell yes. But could these two teams add a little here and take a little there (the Yankees throw in someone else and agree to pay some of McCann's salary down for instance) to make a deal work? I think so, yes. Make it happen.

ICYMI: MLB Wants To Make Two Rules Changes

By Bryan Van Dusen SEEN HERE: 

During the owners' meetings, a competition committee agreed to a couple of adjustments to MLB rules.

The first change would be to the strike zone. The current strike zone calls for a strike to be called at the bottom of a hitter's kneecap, however the new rule would make it a strike at the top of a hitter's kneecap.

This change isn't exciting or life changing, but it certainly doesn't come without reason.

In 2015, on average, batters struck out 20.4% of the time. However, ten years ago, batters struck out 16.4% of the time. Furthermore, in 2015 20,647 were scored, while in 2005 a total of 22,326 runs were scored. So offense is definitely gone down in the league.

The second change would make it so pitchers would no longer have to throw four balls to intentionally walk a batter. The team could simply signal its intention to walk a batter.

I'm sure many will point out plays such as this...

But let's be honest... how often does something like that happen? More often than not, an intentional walk is the most boring thing that happens in a baseball game. You're just sitting there waiting for those four uneventful pitches before finally getting on with the game.

So while I don't believe either rule change is earth shattering, they are improvements.

NOTE: That while the competition committee has approved these rule changes, they will not be implemented until the rules committee does the same. Also, while rules changes do not need to be approved by them to be implemented, the MLB Players' Association and umpires' union will also get to review the proposed changes before they go into affect.

Are the Blue Jays Close to Blowing It Up?

The Toronto Blue Jays came into the 2016 MLB season as the defending American League East champions and a team that was fresh off a trip to the American League Championship Series. While David Price had left for Boston via free agency and Mark Buehrle had retired, unofficially, the team felt good about their offseason additions and a full season of Marcus Stroman in the rotation but that plan hasn't gone as planned thus far. Over the weekend while the Yankees were whooping up on the Oakland Athletics the Blue Jays, who come to town tomorrow night, slipped into last place in the American League East Division. Also over the weekend the team announced that they are making relief pitcher Drew Storen available leaving many, or maybe just me, to wonder if the team isn't as confident in their chances this season as they originally thought.

The trade of a relief pitcher is relatively minor in most cases but I think it's especially important for Toronto. The reason they got Storen from the Washington Nationals this winter was because their bullpen was suspect and with the injury of Brett Cecil a trade of Storen would leave their bullpen suspect once again. Now this isn't as simple as having a warm body in the bullpen, the Blue Jays have their reasons for wanting to trade Storen, but I think this may be just the beginning of trades for Toronto if the losing continues to occur.

Storen hasn't been the Storen that was bumped out of the closer role in Washington by Jonathan Papelbon since coming over to Toronto. He's allowing a hit and a half roughly per inning and over a run per inning pitched although the sample size of 15 innings is hardly something concrete in my opinion. Storen is still healthy and still striking out almost 10 batters per nine innings while limiting walks but the production just hasn't been there in Toronto like it was in Washington. Maybe his dip in velocity is to blame?

Even with Storen struggling I think it's far too early in the season to make him available if the team wants to compete. If the team plans on competing in 2016 they wouldn't be making him available in May after just 15 innings. That's just my opinion and maybe I'm wrong but the last time I saw an AL East fire sale coming I got killed on Twitter for announcing it early. About 15 traded later with the Tampa Bay Rays and the fire sale was over. I was criticized for being right then, will I be this time as well?

Stay tuned.

Is This the End of Robert Refsnyder?

The New York Yankees are off today but that doesn't mean the brain trust isn't actively working on making some moves for the team. The Yankees were set to activate their DH Alex Rodriguez on Thursday before the 41-year old tweaked his hamstring while jogging down in Arizona. The Yankees decided to give him the weekend and the off day, today, to rest the hamstring with the intentions of activating him tomorrow in the Bronx before the Yankees play host to the Toronto Blue Jays. Does Alex's activation mean the end of the Robert Refsnyder experiment, at least for now, in the Major Leagues?

You have to think yes. Not that he deserves it, he wasn't really given much of a chance this time around, but you have to think that this will be the move that the Yankees pull off. Looking at the Yankees bench you see Austin Romine, Dustin Ackley and Aaron Hicks as names written in stone while the decision comes down to Refsnyder or Torreyes. Torreyes has been up all season long, Refsnyder has not. That should settle it alone. The Yankees feel confident in Torreyes and his ability to play third base while New York is now once again looking at Refsnyder as an outfielder you would have to assume. The Yankees don't need another outfielder, they need someone who can play shortstop in a pinch and someone that back back up Chase Headley.

So there you have it, my guess is that the roster move is Refsnyder down and Alex Rodriguez being activated. I know no more than you and I have no inside information, this is pure speculation, but it makes too much sense not to. Even though Refsnyder has always shown an ability with the bat to make himself a tough out and a tough at bat. I guess that's not enough, you need the defense to go along with it, and that will send Refsnyder back to Triple-A.

Write it down.

Yankees Prospects Weekly Check In: Brady Lail

The New York Yankees are anxiously waiting as James Kaprielian battles his way back from elbow inflammation leaving a slew of arms vying for that #1 spot in the farm system. Ian Clarkin may be #1 based on projections, Domingo Acevedo may have the best pure stuff but Brady Lail may be the guy that comes up this season and makes a difference on the big league club.

I guess we may as well familiarize ourselves with the Yankees second-half savior candidate huh? And of course I use the term savior in the utmost sarcastic way I can but he can make a difference I believe. Think David Phelps, Adam Warren, Rookie Davis etc.


This Day in New York Yankees History 5/23: David Wells First Start Since Perfection

On this day in 1998 the Yankees David Wells extended his American League record for consecutive outs to 38 when the Red Sox leadoff hitter Darren Lewis grounded out to start the game. Wells was coming off his perfect game in his previous start and retired the last ten batters he faced in Kansas City in the start before setting history.

Also on this day in 1962 the Yankees Joe Peptione hit two home runs in the same inning to become the second player in Yankees history to do so. The Yankees scored nine times in the eighth inning and would beat Kansas City 13-7. Joe DiMaggio became the first Yankee to do it as a rookie in 1936.

Finally on this day in 1948 the Yankees Joe DiMaggio would hit three consecutive home runs with the first two coming off the Indians Bob Feller. The Yankees would beat the Indians 6-5 on this day behind DiMaggio's offensive outburst.