Friday, October 21, 2016

Recapping Yankees Postseason History: 2000

Continuing with our look at some of the major pieces of the Yankees postseason history we skip ahead a year to the year 2000 where New York took center stage. The New York Yankees ran through the American League playoffs that season while the New York Mets took down a set of tough teams including the Atlanta Braves on the way to the World Series as well. The Subway Series, set the stage.

What a series this was. You had Roger Clemens and Mike Piazza almost throw down. You had Piazza also almost take Mariano Rivera yard to force a Game Six. This series had it all. Clutch hitting, great pitching and everything in between. Oh, and another Yankees victory.

Have a good evening everyone and watch that clinching victory right here on the blog since no other baseball is on tonight. Enjoy. 

Reshaping the Yankees Bullpen: Neftali Feliz

We’ve turned our focus from the big fish on the free agent market, at least temporarily anyway, to some of the lower cost free agent options for the New York Yankees. We’ve also decided to focus on an aspect of the team that actually can be helped via free agency, the bullpen. We already discussed bringing in the very underrated Brad Zeigler to the Bronx but if that falls through what about a Plan B? What about Neftali Feliz?

Now I know what you’re thinking, “that guy stinks,” and yes at one point recently he did but hear me out. Neftali Feliz was a great closer for the Texas Rangers in 2010 and 2011 before injuries and ineffectiveness derailed his career through the 2015 season. With the Rangers and the Detroit Tigers during that span Feliz only appeared in 44 MLB games allowing a 6.48 ERA and many other stats I could throw out there to show just how bad we all already know he was. Feliz signed on with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2016 and he seems to have found himself again which could work exactly into the Yankees hands this winter as they try to build their bullpen back up.

Feliz looked much closer to the Felix in 2010 and 2011 than he did in 2012-2015 last year posting a 3.52 ERA in 53.2 innings including a return to dominance as a strikeout pitcher with 10.2 K/BB while with the Pirates. All that is great but I would think it would take another season like it in 2017 before Feliz would be in line for a multi-year deal leaving him likely to sign another one-year deal for next season. Feliz, like Zeigler, could be a stop gap for the Yankees prospects looking ahead to the 2018 season while also giving the team a shot at competing in 2017 as well.

If Feliz wants reasonable money on a one-year deal and arms like Zeigler, Aroldis Chapman, Kenley Jansen and Mark Melancon are off the board I have no issue with signing the former Rangers star. This is an arm to keep an eye on Cash, bookmark this post. 

Yankees Rank Three in Baseball America’s Top 20 Double-A Prospects

Having prospects ready to make an impact in Triple-A is huge in the grand scheme of things for a competing team. Injuries happen, postponed games happen and every once in a while a veteran struggles and fails to live up to expectations leaving a gaping hole in the lineup or pitching staff for a team. In that case you make a call down to your Triple-A affiliate and in the Yankees case this prospect rides the Scranton Shuttle all the way to the Bronx. For some that’s the end of the line of thinking for them but down in the Majors the Triple-A team now has that major hole in their team and they now need to fill the gaping hole. That happens from their Double-A team so thankfully for the Yankees they ranked three players in Baseball America’s Top 20 prospects list for the Eastern League in 2016.

Clint Frazier is the 8th best prospect in the Eastern League and the Yankees top prospect overall which goes to show you the amount of talent and depth that is on the way to the Major Leagues very soon. Frazier was once the fifth overall pick of the Cleveland Indians due in large to his bat speed, power potential and defensive prowess in the outfield.

Chance Adams is a name I’ve been following since he was drafted a couple years ago by the Yankees. Adams was a reliever then and I picked him as the first draftee to reach the Major Leagues from his class but a switch to starting pitcher has slowed his progression towards the majors a bit. It was a great decision though for Adams and the Yankees and that can be seen as he stands as the 18th best prospect in a loaded Eastern League.

The third and final prospect to make the list for New York is Dustin Fowler who broke out in a big way during the 2015 Arizona Fall League. Originally Fowler was picked as a player that would play once or twice a week for the Surprise Saguaros but Fowler’s on-the-field work was just too good to keep on the bench which translated and carried over to the Trenton Thunder in 2016. Fowler was ranked 20th overall and is now known as a “slam dunk center fielder” for the Yankees future.

Jacoby Ellsbury just got put on notice. 

Reshaping the Yankees Bullpen: Brad Ziegler

The New York Yankees are going to have to add an arm or two to their bullpen if the team plans on competing in 2017. That’s the harsh reality of it all. Whether that be a closer or another shutdown reliever remains to be seen as I have full confidence in Dellin Betances as the closer if it came down to that, but the team’s bullpen was exposed at the end of the 2016 campaign. I have a couple ideas to reshape the Yankees bullpen via free agency as well as through the farm system and the first idea comes to us via the Yankees biggest rivals, the Boston Red Sox. Bring me Brad Ziegler.

Ziegler isn’t Aroldis Chapman, Kenley Jansen or Mark Melancon but he wouldn’t prevent you from signing one of those three either. What he is in reality is a veteran arm from the right side that has been not only durable but effective as well. Over the last two seasons Ziegler has pitched in 135 games and 136 innings giving up just five home runs with a 2.05 ERA. That’s someone that Joe Girardi can run out there every day and not worry about, something Girardi so obviously needs.

To put Ziegler under a microscope and compare him to some of the better pitchers in the league only one man has allowed fewer home runs than Ziegler over the past two seasons, his name is Andrew Miller. Miller is gone but the Yankees could have Ziegler on a one-year deal that does not sacrifice the future and instead allows a stop gap and a bridge to the ultimate goal, the 2018 season, while still competing next season.

Coin the term ROOGY and sign Ziegler. He makes an awful lot of sense for this team.

Arizona Fall League Weekly Check In: Dillon Tate

The Curious Case of Dillon Tate. Before long there is going to be a movie made with that exact title. The Texas Rangers took Dillon Tate in the first round of the MLB First Year Players Draft and he has been a curious case ever since. From his diminished velocity to the questions surrounding his workout routine and work ethic you just don’t know what Dillon Tate is going to come to the ballpark each and every day. The encouraging news is that he looked much better for the Yankees than he did as a Rangers player and some of his velocity returned because of it. Was he burned out? Unhappy? Who knows?

The Yankees wanted to see more ultimately so they send Tate down to the Arizona Fall League with the Scottsdale Scorpions and this is what he has given the club thus far. Sample size is small, keep that in mind, but with the advanced talent down in the AFL I don’t see these stats as all that bad personally. 

Three games and four innings pitched of relief. Tate owns a 9.00 ERA with two home runs allowed. 

MLB Postseason Schedule for 10/21

Another day in the beautiful month of October and another day of slated games in the postseason. Enjoy it now baseball fans because before we know it Halloween will be here, the month of November after that and the season will be over for the long, harsh winter ahead. Enjoy it while you can.

Also, congratulations to the Cleveland Indians on their ALCS victory over the Toronto Blue Jays and their trip to the World Series. No baseball tonight Yankees family so enjoy your Friday night as well. 

This Day in New York Yankees History 10/21: 4:51 World Series Game

On this day in 2000 the Yankees would beat the Mets in the longest World Series game ever played. The Yankees would beat the Mets 4-3 in a four hour and 51 minute game that went 12 innings. This also keeps the streak alive at 13 consecutive World Series games with a victory.

Also on this day in 1998 the Yankees completed a four game sweep of the San Diego Padres by winning 3-0. The Yankees would win their 24th World Series title in their storied history and the 125th win of the season with the regular and post season’s combined.

Finally on this day in 1976, older Yankees fan turn your heads here because you are not going to like this, the Yankees lost their fourth consecutive game getting swept in the World Series. The "Big Red Machine" proved to be too much for the Yankees team. The Reds would win 7-2 behind a two run home run and a three run home run from Johnny Bench.