Thursday, September 1, 2016

Yankees Off Night Open Thread

Not many of these left this season, is there? The Yankees are off tonight so I am taking the rest of the night off as well as we rest up and prepare for the trip to Oriole Park and Camden Yards for a big three-game series. This series has the potential to make or break the Yankees in both postseason races they currently find themselves in so all eyes should be glued to the team this weekend. That’s this weekend, today is only Thursday. Let’s relax one more night so I leave you with this open thread for the evening. Talk about whatever you like with the exception of politics please. Our regulars don’t seem to have a problem with the freedom they are given here to openly express themselves without being heavily moderated and controlled unnecessarily but others can’t seem to figure out what to do with themselves with this new-found freedom. Such is life.

Enjoy the night everyone and let’s get ready for the Orioles series this weekend and the return of College Football. I know I’ll be watching Georgia Tech tomorrow while they take on Boston College in Ireland, what games will you be watching?

Enjoy the evening everyone and we’ll be back at full strength tomorrow. 

Meet a Prospect: Tito Polo & Stephen Tarpley

The New York Yankees and the Pittsburgh Pirates made a trade before the August 1st trading deadline that sent RHP Ivan Nova to Pittsburgh to help bolster their rotation for another playoff push while the Yankees received two players to be named later. Those players have been named and their names are Tito Polo and Stephen Tarpley. Let’s meet them. This is Meet a Prospect: the Tito Polo and Stephen Tarpley Editions.

Let’s start with the pitching side of things and Stephen Tarpley. Tarpley is now 23-years old and was originally drafted by the Baltimore Orioles in the third round of the 2013 MLB First year Players Draft. Tarpley was involved in the deal with the Pirates last year that sent Travis Snider to the Orioles as an A-Ball pitcher. Tarpley is raw as you would imagine even at 23 but his impressive strikeout numbers, 20.9% K/9 ratio, is enough to take a waiver on him. Tarpley has a 94-95 MPH fastball that has sinking action to it that creates a lot of ground balls as well as a curve ball and a slider. Tarpley has also thrown a changeup that he seems to command well which could make him a legitimate four-pitch pitcher or at least a solid three-pitch pitcher that can pound the strike zone.

Polo was originally signed out of Columbia in 2012 by the Pirates and has seen both Low-A and High-A Ball this season for Pittsburgh. Polo is hitting a combined .289/.360/.451 with 16 home runs and 37 steals in 109 combined games for Pittsburgh while playing outfield for the organization. That’s all the Yankees need is another outfielder, right? Especially one that projects to possibly be a fourth outfielder at the MLB level but he does hit for power, he should hit for a decent average and he runs very well which helps him on the bases and in the outfield defensively. Hey, you never know. He could blossom into something special. I don’t remember many knocking down the doors to acquire Bernie Williams, recent Player of the Year Ben Gamel or many other’s doors when they were in A-Ball either.

Both Tarpley and Polo are Rule 5 Draft eligible after this season so either could be taken from the organization or protected. I can’t see Polo being protected under any circumstances but Tarpley could be protected and hidden in a bullpen for a season, at least through spring training anyway, so this will be interesting to watch. Either way Cashman turned a struggling free agent to be that couldn’t get MLB hitters out into two seemingly usable prospects, that’s a win every day of the week. 

Yankee Stadium Walk Up Music Recommendation featuring Gary Sanchez

What do you get when you win consecutive MLB Player of the Week Awards? I don’t know, that’s a question you will have to ask the Yankees rookie catcher Gary Sanchez. I know what I do when the Yankees have an off day and they also have a player that has won consecutive Player of the Week Awards under their belt as a rookie, I recommend their walk up music every time they take a Yankee Stadium at bat in hopes of hyping you up for your work day.

Every time the Kraken, or El Gary Sanchez as I like to call him, steps up to the plate inside Yankee Stadium the song Unstoppable by Sia blares through the speakers in the Bronx. If it’s not, it should be anyway. That same song blares through your speakers, hopefully, today while we all enjoy this Yankees off day. 

Recapping the August 31st Trade Deadline in MLB

The Major League Baseball waiver wire trade deadline has come and gone and if you weren’t constantly clicking refresh on your MLB Trade Rumors app or webpage you didn’t miss much. In case you want to know what you missed here is a quick, and I mean quick, recap of all the “action” that went down yesterday before the deadline.

  • The Cleveland Indians have acquired Coco Crisp from the Oakland Athletics for pitcher Colt Hynes and cash considerations.

  • The Baltimore Orioles have acquired Kyle Lobstein from the Pittsburgh Pirates for LHP Zach Phillips. The Orioles then released Lobstein after claiming Drew Stubbs off release waivers from the Texas Rangers. Okay then. 

  • The Yankees traded Ben Gamel to the Seattle Mariners for a pair of prospects and one rant from this guy right here. Don't worry, it's coming.  The rant is coming because the team then turned around and acquired Eric Young Jr. from the Milwaukee Brewers to be their stolen base specialist for the month of September. 

What a boring deadline. I guess it normally is traditionally but this one seemed to be especially slow for whatever reason. Oh well, anyone traded or acquired after the deadline yesterday will not be postseason eligible in 2016. Trades and moves can be made until the very last day of the season. Here we go boys and girls, it’s time to sprint. 

Weekly Prospects Check In: Chance Adams

The New York Yankees are at that awkward point in the minor league season where the only constant is change and everything is up for Chance. Right around the time of the minor league playoffs every year is the time that teams call up their top prospects and most MLB ready prospects for September call ups while other prospects get shut down as the teams hope to prevent a chance of injury. There’s that word again, chance. Chance Adams was one of those prospects shut down due to his workload and boy did he have himself a great season.

Here is the stat line that Chance will finish his first season as a starter with. He definitely put his name on the map this season and there is nothing more that he can do in 2016. See you in 2017 bud and thank you for the hard work this season. Hard work truly pays off. 


The 2016 Season is Officially a Sprint

Ladies and gentleman I touched on this a bit yesterday on the blog but today I want to really go over and showcase the importance of today. Today not only does the calendar change from August to September but I have also said that September 1st marks the end of the MLB season being a marathon and this is where the regular season officially becomes a sprint.

Both the August 1st and August 31st trade deadlines are now in the books. September call ups are upon us. The pennant races in almost every division in both the American League and the National League are tight or competitive and the races for both Wild Card spots in the respective leagues are a jumbled mess, but in a good way.

Five months in the books, one more to go before things get really interesting. We have the entire month of September to go, two games in October and then the postseason. It is no longer getting late pretty early Yankees family. It’s late and it’s time to give it everything we’ve got.

We’re not in a marathon any longer. I can see the finish line in the distance. It’s time to sprint. 

This Day In New York Yankees History 9/1: September Call Up Day

Surprisingly not much has happened on September call ups day in New York Yankees history but one bit of notable news happened on this day in 1931 when Lou Gehrig continued to hit grand slams. Gehrig's bases loaded blast would be his third in four days as the Yankees would beat the Boston Red Sox 5-1 at Yankee Stadium.

Also on this day in 1947 the Giants would break the 1936 Yankees record for most home runs hit in one season by a team. The New York Giants would break the record with the 185 team home runs and would finish the season with 221.

A Month We Said Goodbye to ARod, Jersey Number 13th Inning Proves Lucky for Yanks, Closes Out Wild Month

What a month of August! At the beginning of the month, Yankee fans were commiserating as they had said goodbye to Aroldis Chapman, Carlos Beltran, Ivan Nova and fan favorite Andrew Miller, searching for a new nickname for a bullpen made up of Tyler Clippard, Adam Warren and Delin Betances. A month that saw Alex Rodriguez play his last game in pinstripes, two Baby Bombers make history by going back to back in their first major league at bats, Gary Sanchez with history of his own by blasting 11 bombs quicker than anyone in the history of the game and being named player of the week two weeks in a row as a catcher, saw the Yankees win the series over the reigning World Champs with two dramatic extra inning affairs that resulted in the same final score. Luis Sessa and former Yankee Ian Kennedy started the game, but neither would factor into the decision in this 13 inning roller coaster of a rubber game three.

The Royals jumped on Sessa early as KC put the Yankees in a sizable early hole. Kendrys Morales connected on a first pitch curveball for a first inning two-run homerun to straightaway centerfield that pushed Kansas City out in front by two. In the bottom of the second, Pablo Orlando made it all the way to second on a fielding error by Chase Headley and scored when the next batter Alcides Escobar hit a soft line drive down the left field line for an RBI double, widening their early lead to three. And then in the bottom of the third, Eric Hosmer led off the inning with his 19th blast of the year, an opposite field solo shot down the line in left to make it 4-0 Kansas City.

Kennedy silenced the Bomber bats through five but it was the top of the sixth that saw the Yankees make their way back into the game. Jacoby Ellsbury led off the frame with a single, advancing to second on a Gary Sanchez walk. After a long fly ball to right by Mark Teixeira that advanced Ellsbury to third, Didi Gregorius lofted another fly ball to center that plated Ellsbury to put the Yanks on the board at 4-1. Starlin Castro then added to his career best homerun mark by launching his 19th of the season to deep left-center that pulled the Yankees to within one.

New York tied the game up in the top of the seventh, knocking Kennedy out of the game in the process. Aaron Hicks worked a one-out walk which prompted manager Ned Yost to pull Kennedy out for rookie left hander Scott Alexander. Brett Gardner gave the rookie a rude introduction to the show by lining a single to right, advancing Hicks to third. The following hitter Ellsbury lifted a fly ball to medium deep centerfield that scored Hicks to knot the game up at four apiece.

That would be the last run to score for quite some time as both bullpens kept the game tied deep into extra innings. The Yankee bullpen arms of Shreve, Layne, Warren and Parker combined to hold the Royals not just scoreless but also hitless through five brilliant innings of clutch baseball. As for the Chanps' pen, they worked in and out of trouble but held New York scoreless, forcing the Yankees to leave nine runners in scoring position on base.

In a month where we said goodbye to Alex Rodriguez, lucky number 13 was the inning where the Yankees took the lead and didn't look back. Gregorius started the rally with a line drive single off the glove of first baseman Eric Hosmer. Castro followed suit with a ringing double to right that moved Gregorius to third, still with no outs. Brian McCann then scored Gregorius with a sacrifice fly to left that put the Yankees ahead for good at 5-4. For the second consecutive night, the Yankees won an extra inning game against the defending champs by the same exact score of 5-4, tying the bow on a crazy win, series and month.

The Pinstripers have the day off tomorrow as they travel to Baltimore to begin a three-game weekend series with the Orioles, with first pitch scheduled for Friday at 7:05 PM/EST.