Monday, June 13, 2016

New York Yankees Off Day Open Thread

The New York Yankees are off tonight after playing 40 games in 41 days and the rest tonight is much deserved and definitely much needed. It's too bad that the team is likely spending the off day traveling out west to Colorado to take on the Colorado Rockies inside Coors Field. So while the Yankees either travel or get settled into their hotel rooms to have nightmares of facing Nolan Arenado for three games I leave you with this open thread for the night.

Talk about whatever you like, just keep it respectful please. Thank you and have a great night.

Yankees Sign Five Draft Picks

The New York Yankees have signed five of their draft picks from this year's draft just days after the draft wrapped up. No one too notable, not Blake Rutherford or anything, but New York has an ability of getting a lot out of these later picks so it's worth staying tuned to.

  • 4th round pick Nick Nelson signed rather than heading to the University of Florida. 

  • 6th round pick Brooks Kriske signed as a college senior and a closer. Easy sign, probably for $100K. 

  • 9th round Tim Lynch signed. Another college senior and another no-brainer. 

  • 23rd round pick Braden Bristo signs for $55K.

  • 27th round pick Phillip Diehl signs for $50K. 

Cubs Scouting "No Runs DMC" & Could Trade Jorge Soler

According to George A. King of the New York Post and Baseball America the Chicago Cubs were in town over the weekend to scout the Yankees three-headed monster in their bullpen. The Yankees sport "No Runs DMC" but this trio is more commonly referred to as Aroldis Chapman, Andrew Miller and Dellin Betances but regardless of their name the team with the best record in Major League Baseball this season has taken notice. The Cubs reportedly want at least one of the three-headed monster and may be willing to trade outfielder Jorge Soler to do it.

Kyle Schwarber would not be included in any potential deal nor would Javier Baez according to the Chicago Sun Times, and why would they since Hector Rondon is 11-for-11 in save opportunities this season, but the name Jorge Soler continues to pop up in trade rumors and talks.

The Yankees would be buying low on Soler who is in the third year of a nine-year deal worth $30 million that pays him no more than $5 million in any season but for a rental like Chapman that may be the perfect match for both clubs. Soler is currently on the disabled list right now but if any trade went down he would bring an immediate 20 home run power threat and right-handed bat to the Yankees outfield. Can you say bye-bye Aaron Hicks?

Nothing is imminent, these are all rumors and speculations at this point, but this is something we will and we all should keep a very close eye on.

ICYMI: Meet a Prospect: Nick Solak

The 2016 MLB Draft is all but finished and the Yankees have restocked their farm system once again with a plethora of talent. Obviously this is all dependent on their top picks signing with the team and one of those top picks was a college bat and a second baseman named Nick Solack. Solack was the second baseman for the Louisville Cardinal this season Information on these guys is hard to find but here is what I have been able to find thus far on potentially the latest member of the Yankees organization. This is Meet a Prospect: Nick Solak.

Solak is a line-drive hitting second baseman with speed and a good batters eye. Solak put up a .380/.474/.576 triple slash with the Cardinal this season that included five home runs, nine stolen bases, 27 walks and just 19 strikeouts all season long. Solak is a contact hitter but he doesn’t figure to have much power in his professional career. Solak is considered to be a gritty player much like Brett Gardner and suspect defense may land him in the outfield, notably center field, like Gardner eventually.

Solak has quick hands and sure hands to go with above-average range but his mechanics and footwork are still leaving much to be desired despite the polish of being a college defender. For this reason alone Baseball America had Solak ranked 86th in the draft while had him ranked 147th. Keith Law did not have Solak in his Top 100 draft prospects list whatsoever.

Solak is 21-years old and may be a pick that the Yankees use to save some money on their slots to sign first round pick Blake Rutherford. Solak is slotted to earn $1.04 million after being the 62nd overall pick in the draft but history would tell you that college seniors generally sign for less than players who have other options if they choose not to sign. Rutherford definitely has options, he’s already committed to UCLA to continue his amateur career, so saving a nickel and dime here and there to sign Rutherford may be important and an organizational game changer.

Welcome to the organization Nick and welcome to the family (again, unofficially).

Most Popular Article of the Week: Meet a Prospect: Blake Rutherford

With the 18th pick in the 2016 MLB Draft the New York Yankees selected Blake Rutherford, an outfielder from Chaminade College Preparatory School in Chatsworth, California. Boy Damon Oppenheimer loves his Southern California players doesn’t he? The Yankees may have gotten one of the best bats in the draft with this pick and one of the very best prospects in the entire draft class so it’s all the more important to get Rutherford to sign. Let’s meet him. This is Meet a Prospect: The Blake Rutherford Edition.

Rutherford is a left-handed hitting power hitting outfield who can do just about anything in the field and at the plate. Rutherford is projected to have above-average contact and above-average power when he reaches his full potential and his speed will allow him to wreak havoc on the basepaths while keeping him in center field as a professional. Rutherford may outgrow the center field position and some question whether he may be a right fielder when he reaches the Major Leagues but with his bat you let him play any outfield position he wants, his offense is potentially a game-changer.

Rutherford, a potential game-changer at just 19-years old. Rutherford is committed to UCLA and will likely have to sign an over-slot deal to forego that commitment and begin his professional career. The slot recommendation for Rutherford is $2.44 million but the Yankees have a knack for signing cheaper college seniors in rounds two through ten, see Nick Solak as an example of this, to save cap money. Expect to see that happen this season as well as it may take $3 million or more to lure Rutherford away from SoCal.

Rutherford was considered by many to be the best pure hitter in the 2016 Draft and some even thought he would go first overall before the Philadelphia Phillies took Mickey Moniak. Keith Law had Rutherford listed as his 6th best prospect overall while had him 8th and Baseball America had him 9th. Welcome to the organization, unofficially, and welcome to the family Blake! I know a ton of people that are excited to potentially have you.

New York Yankees Off Day Music Recommendation

The New York Yankees are off tonight, I haven't been able to say that much in the last forty-something days unfortunately, so like the Yankees are undoubtedly resting up tonight I plan on doing the same. How do you relax? Me personally I like to be in the house with my wife and family either watching TV or listening to music. Speaking of music here is a music recommendation from the New York Yankees and Yankee Stadium to chill to tonight inside your home.

So here is the music that plays every time Mark Teixeira steps up to the plate inside Yankee Stadium( because it may never happen again unless he's a visiting player). The name of the song is It's Tricky by Run DMC. Enjoy.

Meet a Prospect: Nolan Martinez

The 2016 MLB Draft is in the books after the New York Yankees selected 40 potential prospects to add to the farm system. We've already met the first two in Blake Rutherford and Nick Solak so this morning we meet the Yankees 3rd round pick, a High School right-handed pitcher named Nolan Martinez.

Martinez was drafted in the third round by the Yankees out of Culver City High School in California, yeah another California pick for Damon Oppenheimer and the Yanks. Martinez was drafted as a pitcher but in High School he could hold his own with the bat as well standings at 6'3" and 165 lbs. Martinez brings a fastball that sits between 87-93 MPH but it can tough 95 MPH with plenty of room to grow into his frame and into his body adding movement and velocity. Martinez also throws a power slider, seemingly the Yankees favorite pitch for a player to throw in their system, that can hit around 78 MPH and that he can command for strikes. Martinez also owns a changeup but it is considered to be raw at this point which is not uncommon for High School pitching. Especially pitching that fell to the third round.

On the scout's scale of 20-80 Martinez has a 55 ranked fastball while his curveball and control are both ranked at 50. His changeup was graded at a 45 and his overall game and repertoire was also ranked as a 45 which made him the 10th best pitcher in the state of California. Again you must remember the Yankees have drafted a High School pitcher and not a college pitcher that is polished and MLB ready. Martinez is a project and he has projectability, that's why New York drafted him in the third round.

So Martinez comes with two above-average pitches and a repeatable delivery that should lead to some durability in the big show. Baseball America ranked Martinez 67th on their rankings while and Baseball Prospectus had him 99th and 108th overall respectively. Either way Martinez was said to be excited about joining the organization and that's the type of players we need here. Players that want to be here. Congratulations Nolan and, unofficially of course, welcome to the family!

Weekly Check In: Nick Swisher

I know, I know. I said I was going to get away from Nick Swisher but I feel like we should go back to him now that Chris Parmelee has been placed on the 15 day DL. Also this may be the final time we get a chance to check in with Swisher as his minor league opt-out date comes on Wednesday. The Yankees haven't seemingly wanted to call up Swisher for reasons we can all speculate at which could potentially leave the Yankees even more short-handed at the position.

Will Swisher opt out or will he ever get the call back to the Bronx? Stay tuned.

2016 35 AAA 43 182 13 43 5 5 20 0 8 44 .250 .280 .366 .646

This Day in New York Yankees History 6/13: Roger Clemens 300th Win & 4000th K

On this day in 2003 the Yankees Roger Clemens finally got his 300th victory of his career throwing 6.2 innings pitched in a win over the St. Louis Cardinals. The 40 year old Clemens would become only the 21st pitcher to ever win 300 games and the first since 1990. Clemens also got his 4,000th strikeout of his career joining Nolan Ryan (5,714) and Steve Carlton (4,136) as the only two members of the 4,000 strike out club.

Also on this day in 2001 the Pittsburgh Pirates traded Enrique Wilson and his .186 average to the Yankees for relief pitcher Damaso Marte and his 3-1 record and 2.50 ERA. The rest is history, although a right would be wronged in 2009.

Also on this day in 2001 in what should have started a fight the New York Yankees lost to the Montreal Expos in 12 innings after Mark Smith hit a "home run" that was clearly foul on replay. The Yankees would be forced to restore the missing screen on the bottom three feet of the fair side left field foul pole to keep this event from ever happening again. The section was originally removed so the fans sitting behind the pole would not have an obstructed view of the game.

Also on this day in 1994 Don Mattingly passed Yankees first baseman Wally Pipp for consecutive games played in a Yankees uniform. Mattingly played in 1,469 straight games and is only second to the Iron Horse Lou Gehrig and his 2,130 straight games.

Also on this day in 1957 another ugly brawl broke out when Art Ditmar threw a pitch behind Larry Doby's head. The White Sox infielder took exception to being thrown at and punched the Yankees pitcher Ditmar. Billy Martin, Walt Dropo, Bill Skowron, and Enos Slaughter were all in the middle of the fight.

Also on this day in 1948 the Yankees held Babe Ruth Day on the silver anniversary. Members of the 1923 team, his first team he played with in Yankee Stadium, and 49,641 fans sang Auld Lang Syne to Ruth. The #3 uniform was retired and immediately sent to Cooperstown and the Hall of Fame.

Also on this day in 1924 the Yankees outfielder Bob Meusel is hit by a pitch in the back by the Detroit Tigers Bert Cole and bedlam starts in the Bronx. The Yankees outfielder would throw his bat and charge the mound resulting in a nine inning brawl. The brawl included everyone from players, fans, and police and would see the Tigers forfeit the game 10-6 because the umpires could not clear the field after 30 minutes. Wow.

Finally on this day in 1921 Babe Ruth pitched the first five innings in a 11-8 victory over the Detroit Tigers for the first and only time this season. Ruth also hit two home runs in a season in which he broke his own major league record for home runs in a single season with 59. This would be the last time Ruth would pitch for the Yankees this season.