Thursday, August 11, 2016

Game Thread: New York Yankees @ Boston Red Sox 8/11

Here we go one last time this series as Fenway Park opens its doors and welcomes the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox onto the field. In the finale the Yankees will look to scrape together a victory before heading home to say goodbye to Alex Rodriguez by sending Michael Pineda to the mound to square off against Eduardo Rodriguez for the home team. The game will be played at 7:10 pm ET inside Fenway Park and can be seen on the YES Network and MLB TV.

Say goodbye to Alex tomorrow in the Bronx by clicking the Yankees Tickets link at the top of the blog. Even if you don’t get the tickets from us, just get them. There will be some sort of ceremony that takes place and it’s just one of those moments you as a Yankees fan, regardless of your level of fandom for the man, do not want to miss.

Follow along during this game, Alex’s goodbye and every game this season by either liking us on Facebook or by giving @GreedyStripes a follow on Twitter. But that’s tomorrow, let’s get through today first with a victory. Go Yankees!

Could the Yankees Land Kendrys Morales?

The New York Yankees have a big day ahead of them and a bittersweet day at that this Friday, August 12th as Alex Rodriguez says goodbye to the game as a player and joins the Yankees front office. While many of us, myself included, clamored for which prospect we thought would come up to replace Alex when his 25 and 40 man roster spots are cleared I got thinking outside the box a little bit today and could have possibly come up with a Plan B. According to the Yankees the team is not waving the white flag for the 2016 season and according to reports before the August 1st trading deadline the Kansas City Royals were in fact ready to wave the white flag and sell which got me thinking, could the Yankees land Kendrys Morales for their soon-to-be vacant DH spot?

The Yankees have no reason not to believe that they are at least in the discussion for the American League’s second Wild Card while KC’s GM Dayton Moore has said on more than one occasion that he would prefer to move both Morales and RHP Edinson Volquez before the August 31st waiver trade deadline, could the Yankees be a match? If they are truly, yet reluctantly if at all possible, all in on the idea of playing for a play-in game then Morales makes a lot of sense without sacrificing too much of the future. Morales is a switch-hitting DH that can play some first base, although you probably don’t want him to at this point, and he also is set to hit free agency after the 2016 season.

New York could presumably take on all of the salary still owed to Morales while giving up a lesser prospect in the deal. I take the Tyler Clippard for Vicente Campos as a prime example of the type of deal we’re looking at here. I for one would rather see Tyler Austin or Aaron Judge come up and get their feet wet but if the Yankees are serious about making a run at this in 2016 and they want a veteran and proven bat they may have a “buy-low’ candidate in Morales right before their eyes. All Morales has to do now is clear waivers and that sometimes is easier said than done. 

Meet a Prospect: Tommy Layne

Just in time for the New York Yankees latest series to kick off with the Boston Red Sox the team added a former member of Red Sox nation to their bullpen. His name was Tommy Layne and he was a member of these same Boston Red Sox as recently as last weekend before the organization designated him for assignment and now he has latched on as a part of the Yankees in Joe Girardi’s bullpen. Let’s meet the man that better come with some trade secrets or something because this season the Yankees need all the help they can get. Let’s meet him. This is Meet a Prospect: The Tommy Layne Edition.

Thomas Kevin Layne and I share a birthday almost to the year but as I was born in 1985 Tommy was born on November 2, 1984. That’s where the similarities between myself and Mr. Layne end as Layne attended Fort Zumwalt South High School in St. Peters, Missouri where he played baseball and soccer. Layne did enough to catch the eye of Central Missouri University for a season before transferring to Mount Olive College in Mount Olive, North Carolina. While pitching for the Trojans Layne was named an All-American and the Carolinas-Virginia Athletic Conference Baseball Pitcher of the Year in 2007. That was enough for the Arizona Diamondbacks to come calling in the 26th round of the 2007 MLB Draft giving him the opportunity to begin his professional career.

By the 2011 season Layne had already reached Triple-A Reno and was knocking on the door to the Major Leagues. Layne thought he would be knocking on the door to Chase Field in Arizona but by May 3, 2012 it would be the door to Petco Park he would be knocking on because he was traded to the San Diego Padres for cash considerations. Layne was promoted to the Major Leagues and made his MLB debut on August 14th of that season against the Atlanta Braves. Layne did well in his debut striking out the side in one inning giving the Padres enough confidence to keep him in their bullpen for the remainder of the 2012 season. Layne was not long for San Diego though as the Padres designated the lefty for assignment after the season leaving the southpaw a free agent for the very first time.

Layne was not a free agent for long as the Boston Red Sox came and snatched him up off the free agent market and stuck him in their farm system. Layne spent the 2014, 2015 and parts of the 2016 season in the minor leagues for Boston before once again being designated for assignment this month. Once again Layne did not stay a free agent for long though as the New York Yankees came calling adding him to their organization and their team. That’s all fine and well Mr. Layne but I am here to welcome you to the family… so welcome. Do well!

Game Preview: New York Yankees @ Boston Red Sox 8/11

The New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox one last time this series as these two teams square off in the finale of their three game set tonight inside Fenway Park. The Yankees seem to just have a mental block against this team this season as they have played most good teams well with the exception of their biggest rivals in the AL East Division. In the finale the Yankees will look to turn things around and get out of town with a victory by sending Michael Pineda to the mound to square off against the Red Sox starter Eduardo Rodriguez. At least it’s not David Price, right?

Pineda has rebounded nicely from a horrific start to the season that can still be seen in his 5.17 ERA. Pineda has pitched much better of late though and has been striking out nearly 11 batters per nine innings even in his worst starts which is the best rate of his career and the best rate for any starting pitcher in the American League.

Wright is arguably heading into this start fresh off the best start of his MLB career where the knuckle baller held the Los Angeles Dodgers to just three hits in a complete game shutout. Wright struck out nine in the victory that came in front of family and friends from the Southern California area where he grew up.

Eduardo Rodriguez will make the start for an injured Steven Wright. 

The game will be played at 7:10 pm ET inside Fenway Park and can be seen on the YES Network and MLB TV. The penultimate game of Alex Rodriguez’s career, how bittersweet is tomorrow going to be? Especially after hearing the Fenway crowd scream for Alex on Tuesday night? I have to wonder if the Red Sox ownership and front office were listening because while they decided they weren’t going to do anything for Alex it sounds like the fans want something. Do you guys listen to your fans? Oh well. Either way, Go Yankees!

The Cry for Homegrown Talent May Be Ill Advised: 1998

Yesterday we looked at just how much the 1996 Yankees team was constructed through trades and free agency and not so much the farm system and today we look at the next Yankees team to win the World Series, the 1998 team. The Core Four was in full effect in 1998 with Jorge Posada behind the dish so the homegrown talent got a bit of a shot in the arm, was this team more homegrown then the 1996 season?

Let's look at possibly the greatest Yankees team and greatest team of all time and how they were assembled:

In the infield the Yankees still had Tino Martinez (Mariners) manning first base, Chuck Knoblauch (Twins) at second base, Scott Brosius (Athletics) at third base, and Chili Davis (Angels), Darryl Strawberry (Mets), and Tim Raines (Expos) splitting time at designated hitter. The Yankees did have Derek Jeter at short stop and Jorge Posada behind the dish which will be mainstays in these posts.

In the outfield New York had the warrior Paul O'Neill (Reds) in right field and Chad Curtis (Angels) in left field but had homegrown talent in Bernie Williams in center field. Shane Spencer and Ricky Ledee were on the bench as homegrown Yankees if that counts for anything.

In the starting rotation New York had David Cone (Royals), El Duque Orlando Hernandez (Cuba), Hideki Irabu (Japan), and David Wells (Blue Jays) in the rotation joining Andy Pettitte.

In the bullpen Mike Stanton (Braves and Red Sox) pitched in big spots along with Jeff Nelson (Mariners), Graeme Lloyd (Brewers), and Darren Holmes (Rockies). A lock in the Yankees bullpen has been Mariano Rivera and he came through the Yankees system along with Mike Buddie.

Once again the Yankees win it all, and 114 games, without a ton of home grown talent on the roster. I have a feeling if we did the 1999 World Series team we would see the same thing.... stay tuned.

Weekly Prospects Check In: Ben Heller

The New York Yankees added quite a few top end prospects before the August 1st trading deadline and many of them have been introduced to you and showcased here on the blog. You know the names; Clint Frazier, Justus Sheffield, Dillon Tate, Gleyber Torres and others but one name that is not getting enough attention around here in my opinion is that of Ben Heller. I hope to change that a bit today.

Heller was a relief pitcher and a closer for the Cleveland Indians before being shipped off to the Yankees in the Andrew Miller trade and now Heller is passing the time down in Scranton with the RailRiders. With the Yankees seemingly lack of relief in their middle relief Heller could be one of the next arms to get the call u to the Bronx. The Yankees have two open 40 man roster spots and they need all the bullpen relief they can get… Heller may be next so learn the name.


Total Yankee Team Effort Leads to Victory Over Rival Red Sox

In Front of a sold out crowd at Fenway Park, the New York Yankees gutted out a game to victory over the rival Red Sox. Although Nathan Eovaldi started for the Yankees tonight, it took every member of the bullpen outside of Anthony Swarzak to nail down tonight's gritty come-back victory. The recent acquisition from San Diego, Drew Pomeranz took the ball for Boston and was also hit with a no decision as the Red Sox bullpen used every available member in this sloppy back and forth marathon of a game two.

After pitching a perfect first inning, Eovaldi was inexplicably pulled for Chasen Shreve in what was later described as "discomfort in his pitching elbow" and was sent back to New York for further evaluation.

And it was Shreve who allowed the Red Sox to put up the first runs of the game. In the bottom of the third, Shreve gave up a lead off single to Sandy Leon, who advanced to third on a Dustin Pedroia one-out double. The lefty then drilled All-Star shortstop Xander Bogarts to load the bases. And was pulled for fresh call up from the Scranton Express Blake Parker. Parker got Mookie Betts to ground out, scoring Leon from third to put the Red Sox ahead by one. But then the rookie right-hander got David Ortiz to pop out to left to end the frame.

The Red Sox put another run on the board in the bottom of the fourth as they continued to knock the Yankees bullpen around. Jackie Bradley Jr. started with a single to center, advancing into second on a Travis Shaw walk. Surprisingly hot hitting Sandy Leon followed with another single to right, loading the bases for the Sox yet again with one out. Parker then induced a ground ball off the bat of Triple-A Pawtucket call up Andrew Benintendi that scored Bradley Jr. and extended the Boston lead to two. Then, Parker was lifted for Nick Goody, Who immediately got Pedroia to pop out to end the fourth.

The Bombers got one of those runs back in the top of the fifth when Didi Gregorius smacked a solo shot off Pomeranz into the bullpen and right, pulling the Yankees back to within one.

Although there was no scoring to report on in the bottom of the fifth, it was not because there was a lack of drama. Goody began the inning by walking Xander Bogarts, a double to Mookie Betts that advanced Bogarts to third and an intentional walk to David Ortiz to load the bases for the third time in the game. After the walk, Goody was pulled for former Red Sox and recent addition Tommy Layne, who proceeded to get Jackie Bradley Jr. to pop out to Teixeira and struck out pinch hitter Aaron Hill to end the inning, incredibly without a run crossing home plate.

In the bottom of the sixth, however, is where the Sox really started to press the Bomber bullpen. Layne walked Leon, Benintendi singled which forced Girardi to pull Layne for Tyler Clippard. Clippard immediately allowed a Pedroia RBI single down the left-field line that scored Leon, 3-1, and then an RBI ground out to Bogarts to extend a lead to 4-1. And had it not been for an unbelievable throw by  Gregorius to gun Bogarts out at the plate, trying to score off a Mookie Betts double, the inning could've got really out of hand.

Few times this season have I been as excited as I was in the top of the seventh as they came back to take the lead on their bitter rivals. Matt Barnes came on in relief of Pomeranz and proceeded to allow back-to-back singles to Gregorius and rookie Gary Sanchez. The next batter Austin Romine singled to left, scoring Gregorius to make it a two-run ballgame. In his only at bat so far in the series, Alex Rodriguez pinch hit for Hicks and popped out to right field, moving Sanchez to third-base with one out. Left-hander Fernando Abad was called upon to relieve Barnes and immediately serves up a rocket to Jacoby Ellsbury under the glove of Hanley Ramirez that scored Sanchez and brought the Yankees back to within one. Chase Headley followed up with a single of his own, this one to left that scored Romine and tied the game at four. Abad was yanked for Junichi Tazawa, who walked Teixeira to fill up the bases for Starlin Castro. Castro ripped a single down the left-field line that scored Ellsbury and Headley to put the Yanks up for the first time at 6-4. Gregorius popped out to end the frame as the Yankees batted around in a 37 minute seventh inning.

Adam Warren was brilliant in relief tonight as he held the Red Sox scoreless, allowing his offense to really open up the game in the top of the eighth. Gary Sanchez started the inning by launching a 426 foot blast over the green monster for his first big league homerun, 7-4 New York. Tazawa then walked Romine, and was taken out for Robbie Ross. Rob Redsnyder. Who replaced Hicks (Rodriguez), singled off of Ross and both he and Romine advanced a base when the lefty threw a wild pitch past Leon during Brett Gardner's at bat. After a Jacoby Ellsbury walked, Ross plated the eighth Yankee run with another wild pitch that scored Romine and also advanced Refsnyder to third. Headley popped out to Ranirez and yet another Ross wild pitch scored Refsnyder from third in a Teixeira at-bat that made it a 9-4 score, where it would remain for the rest of the ballgame, thanks to three brilliant innings by Warren and Betances.

Each and every member of the Yankees were responsible for this win tonight, and look to continue their momentum in the rubber game tomorrow, with the first pitch scheduled for 7:05 PM/EST.

This Day In New York Yankees History 8/11: Reggie Jackson Hits #400

Reggie Jackson was only a member of the New York Yankees for a short time but he made the most of his time in pinstripes and even got his number retired. Mr. October made a bit of history on this day in 1980 as he connected for his 400th home run of his career. Reggie hit the milestone home run off the White Sox pitcher Britt Burns. Jackson would finish his career with 563 home runs which was good for sixth all time when he retired in 1987.

Also on this day in 1973 the Yankees held Old Timers Day at Yankee Stadium and the crowd was treated to a show. Mickey Mantle would hit a home run off his good friend Whitey Ford during the exhibition game a pitch after he hit one foul into the upper deck.