Wednesday, July 27, 2016

McCullers, Astros Prevent Yankees Sweep And Ability to Gain Ground In WC/AL East Races

Tonight, the New York Yankees were unable to complete the sweep of the Houston Astros, losing the final game of the three-game set. Ace Masahiro Tanaka took the mound for the Yanks, falling to 7-3 while enlarging his ERA to 3.16 in his less-than-ace-like performance tonight. Son of former Yankee Lance McCullers(89'-90') and the youngest starting pitcher in baseball at age 22, Lance McCullers Jr. took the ball for Houston and continued his string of strikeout dominance, tying a season high in K's(10) in route to his sixth victory of the season.

Tanaka really didn't have his good stuff tonight, as was evidenced by the Astros hitting the boards first beginning in the bottom of the second. Preston Tucker and rookie Alex Bregman walked with one out. Tucker then scored when the next batter Carlos Gomez lined a single up the middle that was almost caught by both Tanaka and Gregorius but snuck into centerfield, giving the Astros a 1-0 lead.

After a scoreless top half, Houston really started to put it on Tanaka in the bottom of the third. Hot hitting Marvin Gonzalez extended his hitting streak to 11 games by leading off the frame with a single, advancing to second base on a Jose Altuve ground out. After a Tanaka wild pitch moved Gonzalez to third-base, Carlos Correa smacked a single to left that scored Gonzales and extended the Astros lead to 2-0. The next man up Colby Rasmus broke an 0-29 slide by smashing a hanging Tanaka splitter into the seats in right that made it a 4-0 contest.

Brian McCann responded to Rasmus's homer by launching a tremendous solo shot to dead center off young McCullers in the top of the fourth, making it a 4-1 ball game. Outside of that long ball, McCullers managed to strike out 10 batters in the first five frames of the night.

Masahiro Tanaka's night came to an end after five innings, allowing four earned runs on seven hits while walking two and striking out four. Adam Warren made his return in pinstripes in relief of Tanaka in the bottom of the sixth, tossing a scoreless frame in is re-debut. According to a story by John Sterling on the radio broadcast of the game, Warren was really pissed when New York moved him to Chicago earlier in the year, taking all of his Yankee memorabilia and throwing it into storage. Unlike Buck Showalter, who burned 17 years worth of memorabilia when he learned he was fired in 1995. Warren promptly removed it from storage and placed it back in it's rightful spot after receiving the news Monday that he would once again be a Yankee.

No more runs were scored as Will Harriscame on to close the ball game out, striking out Starlin Castro to end the ball game. The Yankees as a team set a season-high in strikeouts by fanning 15 times in 27 outs this evening. The loss was especially crucial, as all three of the teams ahead of the Bombers in the AL East ahead of New York lost today, and ironically, a struggling Tampa team to buy wins won tonight.

New York has an off day tomorrow as they travel to Tampa bay to begin a three-game series with the Rays, with first pitch scheduled for Friday at 8:10 PM/EST.

Game Thread: New York Yankees @ Houston Astros 7/27

One more time in Houston and the Yankees head back to the East Coast. Let’s get this one over with as the New York Yankees and the Houston Astros finish off their three-game set this week inside Minute Maid Park with tonight’s finale. In the finale the Yankees will send Masahiro Tanaka to the mound to face off with Lance McCullers Jr. for the Astros. The game will be played at 8:10 pm ET inside Minute Maid Park and can be seen on the YES Network and MLB TV.

The Yankees head to Tampa after this game giving you plenty of time to click the Yankees Tickets link at the top of the blog and plenty of time to secure your seat in the Bronx for when the team returns to Yankee Stadium. Also be sure to look the part by checking out the TGP T-Shirts section as well. We’re no Bald Vinny but we’re doing okay with it I think.

Follow us on Twitter by giving @GreedyStripes a follow or like us on Facebook to interact during this and every Yankees game this season. Also stay up to date with all the latest Yankees rumors and rumblings with some witty, and sometimes (always) sarcastic commentary, on social media as well. We’re always around and always looking to strike up a conversation.

Happy Tanaka Day Yankees fans. Go Yankees!

Meet a Prospect: Adam Warren

Adam Parrish Warren was born on August 25th, 1987 in Birmingham, Alabama where he went to New Bern High School in North Carolina. Adam would spend his college years as a Tarheel for the University of North Carolina following in his father’s footsteps. This big right handed starting pitcher has a nice frame for a pitcher standing in at 6'2" and weighing in at 220 lbs while throwing a fastball in the 92-94 mph range. Adam Warren is a big strong southern bred Alabama boy and is headed back to where his career all began, New York. Welcome back Adam. Allow me to reintroduce you all to Mr. Adam Warren. This is Meet a Prospect: The Adam Warren Edition Redeux.

While at UNC Adam Warren went 12-0 as a sophomore with a 2.17 ERA in 15 appearances. Adam followed that up as a junior with a 9-2 record with a 4.23 ERA in 18 starts for the Tarheels. Adam would win his first 19 starts as a Tarheel which is good for second longest streak to start a career in school history. To go with these great baseball stats Adam Warren also has a brain in his head while graduating UNC with a degree in business. He was also named to the All-Academic ACC Honor Roll in consecutive years and named to ESPN's All-America Academic team in 2009. After his junior season Adam was drafted by the Cleveland Indians in the 36th round of the 2008 MLB First Year Players Draft but declined to sign and instead went back to UNC for his senior season where he graduated with a 3.36 GPA.

The Yankees would draft him in the 4th round of the 2009 draft and Adam has been in the Yankees system in all of the four seasons since then. Adam would make two stops in the Yankees farm in the 2010 season while stopping in Tampa for the Tampa Yankees and Trenton for the Trenton Thunder. Trenton is where Adam set a franchise record when he struck out 15 batters in a single game while earning the Eastern League Pitcher of the Week with the performance. In 2011 Adam made it all the way to AAA with the Scranton team and was named to the Triple-A All Star team. Adam would make his Major League debut with the Yankees last season while filling in for injured CC Sabathia in June giving up six runs in 2.1 IP getting himself a no decision in a 14-7 loss to the Chicago White Sox. Adam was recalled as a September call up but did not see any more action in the 2012 season.

Adam toiled around with the Yankees both in their bullpen and as a spot starter through the 2015 season before being traded in the offseason to the Chicago Cubs in the deal that brought Starlin Castro to the Bronx. Warren’s success in New York did not emulate in Chicago unfortunately as he saw his ERA skyrocket and his effectiveness drop to an all-time low. Warren was demoted to Triple-A just days before the trade back to the Bronx so let’s hope a change of scenery and a return back to Larry Rothschild and Joe Girardi can fix him. 

Welcome home Adam. We missed you! A wrong has been righted. 

Buyers or sellers? And so it begins…

Well, summer is heating up now that the New York Yankees and Chicago Cubs just completed their stunner, which saw the Yanks acquire a package headliner in the Cubs top prospect Gleyber Torres in exchange for star closer Aroldis Chapman. (Side note: This writer is sad to have never gotten the chance to have watched Chapman pitch in a Yankees uniform). Aside from that tangent, this was a great decision by Yankees brass.

It is imperative that Hal Steinbrenner listen to his baseball people from time to time. While one understands the Yankees are a global brand, they are first and foremost a baseball franchise, which must make moves to better themselves for the future.

Another side note: While we, of course, are most interested in the Yankees, the Chapman acquisition is a game-changer for the Cubs bullpen and it could be the deciding factor for the Cubs to bring a Chicago that long-awaited World Series Championship. While Chapman was a luxury item for the Yankees bullpen, he is what the Cubs bullpen was missing. On the other hand, the Yankees bullpen is still a strength and hopefully Adam Warren will leave his struggles in Chicago and continue to help the team win ballgames in his second tenure with the Yanks.

However, the Yankees have now a shortstop surplus — and it will be something to monitor. The Chapman departure could be a prelude towards a roster fire-sale or not. Maybe ownership still believes the team can contend this year and has signaled for Cashman to make a stunning acquisition.

If that is the route the team wishes to pursue, Chris Sale comes to mind. Sale is under team control until 2019 and is currently suspended for five games by the Chicago White Sox for destroying team property. Sale, apparently, hand no interest in wearing an old-school uniform. Luckily for Sale, the Yankees do not wear old school uniforms. While landing Sale would cost a hefty price, the acquisition would immediately change the Yankees season. The Yankees should consider acquiring Sale as it could help lessen the blow if Tanaka opts out of his contract. The next few days until the non-waiver trade deadline will definitely be interesting for Yankees fans. Stay tuned!

USA Today’s Weekly MLB Power Rankings

The New York Yankees have been playing some of their best baseball recently with impressive series victories in Cleveland before the All-Star break and series victories over the Baltimore Orioles and San Francisco Giants since while playing the Houston Astros tough before tonight’s finale. Will that affect the team whatsoever in the USA Today’s Weekly MLB Power Rankings? It didn’t last time so let’s find out what the crew thinks about the rising Yankees this time around.

With the Yankees recent string of success the team was able to climb a bit in the rankings from the #19 spot all the way to the #17 spot. Baby steps are baby steps but progress is progress. Everyone knows the Yankees have a long way to go in the American League East Division and in the playoff hunt but they have to start somewhere. Speaking of the AL East the rest of the division looks like this. The Baltimore Orioles finished the week 4th overall while the Boston Red Sox remained in the #7 slot. The Toronto Blue Jays are not far behind in the #9 spot while the Tampa Bay Rays are bringing up the rear in the division and in the rankings with the #26 ranking.

The biggest rise of the week went to the Oakland Athletics who are coming back from the dead seemingly without their ace Rich Hill after climbing three spots to the #23 position. Meanwhile the Chicago White Sox are in a free fall and they are now considering selling pieces off at the trading deadline after falling three spots to the #19 position overall.

The Top five teams according to the rankings are the Chicago Cubs, the San Francisco Giants, the Washington Nationals, the Baltimore Orioles and the Texas Rangers. Meanwhile the five teams that nobody wants to be right now are the #26 Tampa Bay Rays, the #27 Arizona Diamondbacks, the #28 Cincinnati Reds, the #29 Minnesota Twins and the #30 Atlanta Braves.

Take these rankings with a grain of salt because the August 1st trading deadline is now less than a week away. Get excited everyone, I feel a lot of player movement coming very, very soon. 

Game Preview: New York Yankees @ Houston Astros 7/27

The New York Yankees and the Houston Astros will finish off their three game set tonight in Houston with yet another great pitching matchup for the fans. Tonight in the finale the Yankees will send their ace Masahiro Tanaka to the mound looking for a series victory while the Astros will counter with Lance McCullers Jr. The Yankees have had a good week after getting the haul that they did Aroldis Chapman and after beating Dallas Keuchel on the same night and they will look to keep the good times rolling tonight inside Minute Maid Park.

Tanaka will be making his first start against these Astros since Opening Day 2016 where he allowed two runs in a loss for New York. In the start Tanaka struck out four batters in 5.2 innings and took a no-decision in the contest.

McCullers heads into this start arguably off the best performance of his young MLB career. In his last start Friday against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim the Astros righty tossed eight-plus innings while striking out ten in a 2-1 Houston victory.

The game will be played at 8:10 pm ET inside Minute Maid Park and can be seen on the YES Network and MLB TV. With an off day looming tomorrow and one more series with the Tampa Bay Rays before the August 1st trading deadline you have to wonder if the Yankees will get caught looking ahead a bit tonight in Houston. This is still a veteran team with their ace and stopper on the mound though so I’m hoping for the best. Go Yankees!

"The Yankees Have Been Great!" Really?

The Yankees have won three straight, had won four straight as of a week ago, and threw in another win for good measure. So in their last 10 games that makes them 8-2. And for those of you that think records are not a good gauge of how good a team is, their run differential over their past ten games is +18.

Oh, you poor fools.

Sounds good, doesn't it? Unless, of course, you're on Team Sell and are afraid this winning streak means the Yankees won't do anything else before the trade deadline.

But I have a few more stats for you...

Over the past ten games the Yankees have scored a grand total of 35 runs (3.5 runs/game), which means the offense is still as bad as ever. Actually, seeing as how they've scored 4.11 runs per game throughout the season, the offense is actually worse.

But the defense/pitching has been great, right? Why, yes it has! Over the past ten games the Yankees have only given up 17 runs, or just 1.7 per game. That's awesome! Unfortunately, it's also totally unrealistic that that pace will continue. Especially for a team that's given up 4.32 runs per game all season.

You see, winning is great. I don't think that's a secret. But what may be a secret to some is that this team is still very much flawed. There are still changes that need to be made in order for this team to even get a whiff of the postseason.

And when it comes to building a team for next season, and even seasons after that, change has to come sooner than later.

Daniel's already pointed out that this coming offseason's free agent list is hardly "great". Hell, this upcoming class is closer to "bad" than anything else. So if you think Brian and Hal can just buy some more talent, you're sadly mistaken.

Yes, Cashman can make trades in the offseason. He can wait and trade Michael Pineda and/or Nathan Eovaldi then. But he's not going to get as good a return for those guys, because teams will have other options for middle to bottom of the rotation pitchers to add to their squads (see the aforementioned free agent list).

And you know what else? Brian Cashman can not trade Carlos Beltran and Ivan Nova in the offseason, because they won't be Yankees any more!

Sure, I understand not liking the idea of selling. It basically means giving up. And the Yankees never say "no".

Seriously? A reference to The Game Plan? Ugh!

Well, besides trying the "buy and sell" thing. But to be honest, I'm not sure Cashman could pull that off (mainly because other teams are more desperate to win this year, and therefore willing to give up larger packages of players/prospects). Besides, he'd have to get rid of some top prospects for that type of thing, and that seems counter-productive to me. Yeah, you can trade guys like Gary Sanchez and Gleyber Torres, due to guys like Luis Torrens and Jorge Mateo, and get nice returns. But when it comes to prospects depth is pretty darn important, as few of them will pan out.

Like Bernie Sanders at the DNC last night, it's time to face facts. It's time to accept that a run at the 2016 postseason is but a dream. It's time to accept that we can make sure 2017 is better, to accept that we can make a deep run in 2018, and to accept that we can make 2019 a championship season.

Yankees Post Aroldis Chapman Trade Top Prospects List

The New York Yankees got quite the haul to start the week for left-handed closer Aroldis Chapman including shortstop Gleyber Torres, outfielder Billy McKinney, right-handed pitcher and former Yankee Adam Warren and switch-hitting center fielder Rashad Crawford. Would any of these three prospects, obviously Warren is no longer a prospect, crack the Yankees Top 10 Prospects list? In a word, yes.

1. Gleyber Torres
2. Jorge Mateo
3. Gary Sanchez
4. Aaron Judge
5. James Kaprielian
6. Billy McKinney
7. Dustin Fowler
8. Ian Clarkin
9. Wilkerman Garcia
10. Miguel Andujar
11. Blake Rutherford
12. Tyler Wade

We did 11 just because, I wanted to go 12 as well. That's how you know the farm system is getting stacked. It's a sight for sore eyes ladies and gents. A sight I have been wishing for since, what, 2005?

Weekly Prospects Check In: Gleyber Torres

You knew it was coming ladies and gentleman and now it’s finally here. Gleyber Torres was officially introduced to the Yankees family yesterday in our Meet a Prospect series and today we check in with one of, if not the, Yankees top prospects in their entire farm.

Torres has been optioned to High-A Tampa with the Tampa Yankees and will play alongside fellow shortstop prospect Jorge Mateo. Let’s see what he’s been up to this season. 


New York Yankees: 2019 World Series Champions?

We may be looking very far into this prediction, but is it realistic to predict 3 years in advance that the New York Yankees will reach the potential everyone expects them to and win their first World Series in what would be 10 years? If you are wondering why I am considering this theory just hear me out for a minute....

The 2018-2019 free agency class is LOADED... to say the least. Some names involved in this free agent class are: Bryce Harper, Josh Donaldson, Andrew McCutchen, David Price, Jose Fernandez, Manny Machado, Jason Heyward, Dallas Keuchel, Clayton Kershaw, and Matt Harvey.

Two names that stick out to me in particular in this free agent class are Bryce Harper and Jose Fernandez. Bryce will only be 26 years old when he becomes a free agent and so will Fernandez.

Now, why do I seem so certain that Bryce Harper will sign with the Yankees? A few reasons... First of all, think about all of the contracts that the Yankees currently have on the books: Beltran, Headley, McCann, ARod, Sabathia, Tex, Nova, Pineda, and Eovaldi all become free agents before the 2019 season. This means that the Yankees will have a surplus of money to spend in this years offseason with all of this money coming off of the books. So if Bryce will be demanding a $400 million contract then they could definitley be able to afford it if they wanted to.

Another reason is because by 2019 the Yankees will be a team that will be capable of winning a World Series. They will have all of the young talent in the world to build a dynasty off of and it could be something that free agents like Machado, Harper, and Fernandez may want to be apart of. 9/10 of the Yankees top 10 prospects are scheduled to be up before opening day 2019.

Then as we look at it, adding these fresh young prospects to guys who will still be young and in their prime like Didi, Castro, Tanaka, Severino, Bird, Betances, etc could make for a young championship hungry Yankee team like we saw in the 90's and early 2000's.

Now we take a look at what I think the potential 2019 Yankees opening day roster may look like (remember these are just my opinions)

C- Gary Sanchez
1B- Greg Bird
2B- Gleyber Torres
SS- Didi Gregorious
3B- Starlin Castro
LF- Aaron Judge
CF- Jacoby Ellsbury
RF- Bryce Harper

1. Masahiro Tanaka
2. Jose Fernandez
3. Luis Severino
4. Nathan Eovaldi
5. Ian Clarkin

Closer- Dellin Betances

This Day In New York Yankees History 7/27: Mariners Lose 17 Straight Against New York

This is not really New York Yankees history that we probably want to remember but on this day in 2011 the Seattle Mariners made history against us. The Mariners snapped a 17 game losing streak behind seven strong innings from Felix Hernandez and an offensive outburst. The M's would win 9-2 to get their first victory in three weeks.