Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Time to let it go…

Bryan Van Dusen, one of the founders of The Greedy Pinstripes, tackled a very sensitive and controversial topic yesterday with his defense of Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman.  He provides compelling arguments for why he’ll root for Chapman whenever he is on the mound.  I might not be as opinionated on the topic as Bryan, but we are in agreement with our support for Chapman.

I think Chapman learned an invaluable lesson from the alleged domestic violence incident and although not charged for any crimes, he served his penalty for Major League Baseball.  For me, the key is no further reports of domestic violence.  I honestly do not feel that we’ll see Chapman’s name referenced in police blotters again. 

In my eyes, he has proven he is worthy of our support.  This isn’t just because the man knows how to throw a pitch 105 mph.  I’d feel the same if it had happened to Robert Refsnyder, someone who is struggling to even make the roster. 

In the off-season, the Yankees were linked to several free agent closers.  The most notable was Los Angeles Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen, who subsequently re-signed with the Dodgers.  I had also heard Mark Melancon, a former Yankee, who ended up signing with the San Francisco Giants.  But in the end, I was most excited when the Yankees announced they had inked Chapman to a new deal for his return to New York. 

I watched on TV when the World Series Champion Chicago Cubs met with former President Barack Obama during his final days at the White House.  Chapman had already signed with the Yankees, but joined his former Cubs teammates for the trip to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.  You could see Chapman standing in the back row and I was proud that he was standing there not only as a Champion but also as a New York Yankee. 

Aroldis, we’re glad you are home.

I have to say that I am quietly impressed with reliever Jason Gurka.  I don’t think there’s any chance he makes the Opening Day roster and I had never heard of him before this spring.  He picked up the save in Sunday’s game against the Houston Astros, his second save of the spring season.  He’s given up a couple of runs in 5 total innings pitched but has 6 strikeouts.  When the Yankees announced he was a non-roster invitee to camp, I had to look up his name.

Although drafted by the Baltimore Orioles in 2008, he made it to the Show with the Colorado Rockies in 2015.  Between 2015 and 2016, Gurka only appeared in 15 games and sported a 9.35 ERA.  I asked a friend of mine who is a die-hard Rockies fan what she knew about Gurka, and her response was “Who?”. 

He’s 29 and he may never get another shot at the major leagues but I like the work he’s done this spring.  This could just be an aberration and the guy who has averaged giving up almost two hits per innings pitched at the major league level is the real Jason Gurka. 

Speaking of non-roster invitees, I guess Ruben Tejada ought to be packing his bags.  He’ll be leaving Tampa (unless he signs with the Rays), but he is certainly not going back to New York.  I thought he’d give Ronald Torreyes more competition for the utility role.  Instead, it’s Tyler Wade that is making waves.  Wade is probably not going to beat Torreyes for the Opening Day Roster but the day is coming. 

I keep reading that Chase Headley is disappointed with his performance as a Yankee.  Surely, his disappointment can’t be as great as ours…

In not-so-great news on the WBC-front, Didi Gregorius is off the Dutch roster.  He has what has been described as a hematoma of the subscapularis muscle.  Hopefully, only rest is needed.  I am glad to hear that it is not a tear or something more serious.  

If, for whatever reason Gregorius is not ready for Opening Day, I'd like a better backup plan than Ronald Torreyes.  The best option is perhaps Tyler Wade.  I suppose that sliding Starlin Castro to short and inserting Rob Refsnyder at second is another option, but I’d prefer to keep Castro focused on the continued learning of the nuances of second base.  

Some are calling for the Yankees to play top prospect Gleyber Torres.  Although Torres has impressed during training camp, he is only 20 years old and has never played above A ball.  I don’t feel he should be rushed to the majors regardless of how gifted he is or how desperate the need.  There’s no doubt he’ll advance quickly at this point but it’s not his time…yet. 

It's too bad for Gregorius.  He was playing very well for Team Netherlands. Hopefully this isn’t too serious and he’ll be back on the field soon.

In Grapefruit League play yesterday, the Yankees continued their "march" through the spring schedule with yet another victory.  It was a far from perfect outing by Michael Pineda, unlike his last performance, but in the end, the Pinstripers won 9-3 over the Washington Nationals.  Pineda was pulled with 2 outs in the second inning after throwing 46 pitches.  Immediately after relieving Pineda, JR Graham surrendered a double to Adam Lind, scoring two runners charged to Pineda.  After Lind's hit, the Yankees bullpen held the Nats scoreless for the duration of the game.

The Yankees are now 18-6.  Too bad these games don't count...

Have a great Tuesday!


  1. Agree Fid. I know everyone was a huge supporter for Refs, including Daniel. But we know his defense is questionable at best. Wade is a plus defender, younger, and showing promise with the bat. Im down.

    My main reasoning against Torres is defense! Im sure he will do well in Trenton and Scranton offensively. but id like to see more time on defense! I haven't seen many of the spring training games- how does he look in the field?

    1. I know, you didn't ask me. But, I commented on him anyhow. Just because I am bored.

    2. Reed, funny you say that- I actually needed to double check my comment, because when I was writing it, I was meaning to ask you, specifically! minds are on the same wavelength lol

    3. I'm not disagreeing with any of you. Wade would by far be the best choice to hold down the position for a month. The only problem I have with that is losing somebody off the 40 man roster to make room. That's why the only thing that seems realistic is Refsnyder at second and Castro at short. The only other option without losing a player would be to use Mateo since he's already on the 40 man. I guess in a perfect world, they would just release Carter and add Wade, but I can't see chap ass Hal eating $3.5 million.

    4. Ok, Jeff, here goes....
      Mason Williams is on the 40 man and so is Hicks. Hicks is history! Cut Hicks and play M. Williams as the 4th OF. Wade is a much better player than R. Torreyes and younger, as well as being set-up for the future Utility guy any how.
      R. Torreyes has options yet (I think)!
      Mason Williams, out of options!
      Mateo is on the 40 man, but for the same reasons we wouldn't bring up G. Torres, hold true for Mateo also.
      Hicks is done, Mason Williams is on the 40 man to replace Hicks.
      Send down R. Torreyes and play Wade at SS.
      If they were to cut Carter (RIGHT!) I would still have Wade and Williams on the team gong North.

    5. Reed, releasing Hicks would be a dream come true. We both know it won't happen though.

  2. My assessment of Torres in the games I have seen is, he is as good as Jeter with a bit more range but not up to Didi, yet! His arm is not as good nor is his range...Didi is better, right now. other than his arm I think he could do the job at SS in a year or so but better fits 2nd base as he is not as athletic.
    With the new rules, he need not worry about being knocked into left field. He will turn out to be better than what he has shown (at SS) this year, after playing more at AA/AAA, he has a lot of talent, that is for sure, he just looks a bit stiff yet...thinking instead of reacting!
    Just my opinion as to watching him on TV and that is not the best way to judge his ability...can't see his feet and set-up as well as one can in person!

    1. Reed you don't need to cut Hicks. You can get something for him. Little value of course but the King of the Dumpster Dive moves should be able to get it done. Tejeda or Castro should play SS with Refsnyder or Torreyes playing 2B with a platoon there. Castro though not a great SS is the only true SS on the roster with serious experience. Bring up Mason Williams as 4th OF end of story

    2. I must follow my nature and disagree KH....
      Castro is a disaster at SS, Wade is a good glove man at SS (Torreyes is better, not by a lot) he is better than Castro with the glove and arm.
      Hick, when I said CUT him, that was "get him Gone" anyway they can.

    3. Well Reed I didn't expect you to agree with logic. I was saying that Castro is the most seasoned of SS on the roster outside of Tejada. I never liked the Castro acquisition from the start period. It doesn't matter who plays SS because this team doesn't have the pitching to make the playoffs anyway and anyone the Yanks add is a rental so just go with what you have

    4. I will buy into part of that KH...
      As I have said very often, 2018 is the first year the Yankees make a good move in the standings, and the start of a few very good years.
      I hope when it all comes to be, you will remember, it never would have happened if Cashman hadn't talked Hal/Hank into giving him the go ahead on "Building the Farm system to what it should be!'!

      Play the Kids and let them prove they belong...or don't!
      Have fun KH!

    5. Reed it never would have had to happen if Cashman had a clue and drafted well on his own turf. He has never drafted a 20 game winner let alone a stud. He has had two homegrown players he drafted make the all-star game in all his time as GM. Not what I would call a stellar draft record and please lets not lump Cano or Sanchez or players from Latin America to his draft class, because they were signed as International FA and that is more to do with good scouting then anything else

    6. What is wrong with you KH...ALL DRAFTS are because of SCOUTING!
      Do you really think GM's go out and do their teams scouting!
      I think you said one time you were pals with a scout? If so have you ever seen the paperwork a scout puts out on a player? Not the stuff the Newsies' get, the real thing the one given to the draft board? There is a lot of information on many pages of each players report.
      Real games start soon, time to let the kids have fun.

    7. Reed tell me where to send $2 dollars so you can buy a clue? The GM and Head of Baseball Operations is Brian Cashman. He is in charge of everything baseball. He is the be all end all man in the organization. It starts and stops with him when it deals with baseball operations. Get a clue Reed. He may not actually visit draft prospects, however I guarantee that when a scout presents a draft prospect a video is seen by the Elf to see if he agrees. Who is Oppenheimer's boss? Who was Newman's boss? Who is Denbo's boss? One in the same the elf so if the drafting of prospects is suspect it starts and ends with the elf. Send me your address please as the check will be in the mail.

    8. KH, you are right, up to the ending!
      Cashman is the guy in the hot seat for sure, but he is not and never has been a good evaluator of talent. He is a very good COO of a company, an organizer, a deal maker!
      He is the guy that puts people in the right job so he can get good advice and then make the decision that he thinks is right. Lately, he seems to have been getting good advice.

    9. I will agree with you on being a terrible talent evaluator and that is why he shouldn't be the gm.

    10. Evaluator is not the best part of his job description for sure. But he has done a great job in the last few years with all the trades he has made.
      Question KH; name a GM that has pulled off trades on the scale he has!
      He has built one of the worse Farm systems in the Majors into one of the two best. Over the years he has had to fight "King" George and then Hal/Hank and the Tampa Cabal who over ruled him time and again. Once given his head he has done very well. So, he isn't a talent evaluator, but he knows how to put the right people in the right job, when he is given the chance to hire the right people.
      You said Denbo was a bad choice as Player Development leader, but he helped Cashman...unlike Levine, Trost and the Cabal!

    11. First off Reed his farm system is replenished because of trades not drafting, so please lets not get ahead of yourself. Second I would take Sabean and Dave Dombrowski and Walt Jocketty and Freidman over Cashman any day of the week. Every GM has to put up with owners so you will get no sympathy from me on that one. Cashman is a dumpster diver that has no balls when making moves. Anyone can move and Andrew Miller or Champan, anyone can sign a check with a lot of zeroes on it. The farm system was rated in the 20's last year and now due to the trades its in the top 3. Please Reed stop defending the elf

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    13. Phil Coke
      Phil Hughes
      Brett Gardner
      Austin Jackson
      Joba Chamberlain
      Dellin Betances
      David Robertson
      A. Romine
      J.R. Murphy
      A. Warren
      Aaron Judge
      Kyle Holder
      Chance Adams

      International Players
      Miguel Andujar
      Domingo Acevedo
      Estevan Florial
      and a few more!

      Not all have made it yet, and only a star or two in the bunch.

    14. Why should somebody not get credit for who they sign as an international free agent? It's not often that a team decides to drop out of contention for an IFA because of money, as most IFAs are not getting large contracts in terms of years and/or money. Making it not much different than deciding who to draft. Besides, your higher draft picks will still get bonuses ranging from six to seven digits, which is in line with what the majority of IFAs receive.

      I'd actually argue that success when it comes to IFAs is more important than drafting well due to the financial risk taken there. The Yankees spent over $26 million in IFAs in 2014 (that includes player bonuses and the tax by the league for going well over the team's pool). And BTW, none of the players signed to that class have done much of anything for the team at any level.

      So while I'm neither giving Cashman props for IFAs (as seen in the last paragraph by whiffing on that class), it's not right to dismiss the IFAs he's brought on board neither.

    15. Reed seriously are you kidding me with that list. Coke, Hughes, Jackson, Chamberlin, Murphy are either all out of baseball or are struggling somewhere. There are some guys on the list, however I pose this question to you Reed. Please tell me what pitcher the elf and his cronies have drafted that is a topflight arm for a starting pitcher? No need to expand on your answer I want a name that he has drafted and produced results? Please don't give me a disertation as to who is coming up in the pipeline. I want a simple answer...NAME

    16. So Bryan according to Reed the Elf doesn't get involved with the draft which I totally disagree with him on, so it is my understanding that a scout on the IFA market signs these players, so if you follow Reeds thoughts why should he get credit for the signing of International free agents since he is not involved?

    17. As you pointed out, and I agree with, it all comes down to Cashman. He has to sign off on all these decisions, many of which... yes... are based on reports from his scouts rather than his own knowledge of the player(s).

      If you're going to discredit him for how the team has drafted, you also have to credit him for the IFA finds that have come through the system too.

    18. I belive I have been saying for a long time, Cashman is the guy that makes the picks, but it is because of the reports he gets from others (scouts). I never said he wasn't the guy at the top making the picks.
      I said, many time that he is not a talent guy, but if the guy who make up the reports are not good...the report isn't good, right?
      Remember when Cashman started making changes in the system? And one fan said Denbo was only a hitting coach, well ever year the picks have gotten a bit better as they have been for the last few years. Nuff said!

    19. Reed you must be a liberal, you flip flop like there is no tomorrow. First you say the elf doesn't make the picks and now you say he does. Which is it? Second you state he's not a talent guy then u tell me why he gets a pass if he is given bad info from his scouts which he is in charge of? You can't talk out of both sides of your mouth

    20. Try and see the difference between following the reports and scouting a player. Anyone can follow a scouting report (once they get their mind around it.
      I see things are going to be tough, I thought (and am sure) you have a better head full of baseball stuff. One can't tell any more about a scouts reports until they see what is in each complete report.
      Cashman is a great organization man and tries to put the right guys in the right place to give him the right information.

    21. OK well lets see about your comment. You say he puts the right people in place, well his staff has primarily been the same on the baseball operations side. The only one to leave has been Newman, so what you're telling me that all those bad years of drafting with his same infrastructure in place was because?????

    22. You said it was a bad move putting a hitting coach in as an evaluator of talent remember? Denbo has only been VP of Player Development and right hand man to Cashman from 2014. Kevin Reese Director of Scouting is another new name. It seems amazing to me that things turned around after Hal/Hank gave Cashman the power to hire people (2014) instead of "The Cabal".
      "Leaders are only as good as those he has working WITH him!"

    23. You can't say Denbo is in charge of the better drafting? Are you on the phone with him and he's taking claim to the success? Maybe it was Newman who screwed the pooch and since he's been gone Opeenheimer has been making the moves? No one knows but the problem is they always draft a SS early instead of loading up arms. We don't need anymore middle infielders

    24. That is your only beef with the draft for the last 3/4 years? They have done much better than they have in many years if you take into consideration the International and traded players. The trades last year were just outstanding and you know it. The one thing holding us back are three players...Ells, Brett and Headley.we have kids to fill those spots plus a big time FA next year.
      As for pitching, I think by the end of this year we will find out just what we have or, don't have and pick-up one or more pitchers next year. Even though I am not so sure there is a need to pick one up...unless he falls in our lap.

    25. Reed again you just don't get it. I mentioned in another post that your boy, your leader the elf didn't do a great job on the packages he received from the cubs or Indians. He did a good job. How can you trade those two arms and not get back a mLB ready arm or one on at least the triple A level. I know you'll come up with some BS. The packages were good but where is the MLB ready arm that should have been in there?

    26. We already have a plethora of arms, maybe not fully developed but most studs were not studs until they had a year in the bigs or more.
      The jury is still out on the packages we received in those deals yet. Have you ever seen Domingo Acevedo pitch? I have, IF this guy puts it all together...there is your stud, as a starter or as the closer! And there are others coming along, maybe not all-stars but they will be better than what has been shown by Michael Pineda!

  3. Michael Pineda....Big Mike...etc. After three years, I get it.
    How much more can one human being take ?
    Are we waiting for some magical turn around ? Don't hold your breath.

    Go away Michael, go away Charles Chasten Sabathia, go away all you
    guys that had your time in the sun. Enough.
    They will be all be gone 12 months from now. So who cares ?

    What a waste of time.

    1. and Patrick, to think, we actually won that Pineda trade by a landslide! I remember thinking Montero for Pineda was huge, and how Pineda was going to be an anchor to the Yankees starting rotation for years to come! The next dynasty! what a disaster, on both sides! lol

    2. BASEBALL WATERBOARDING:..Watching Michael Pineda.

      I give up, no more....I wire taped the president!! It was me !

      Big Mike, the strike out monster...I can't take it.
      How many years of the same act? I confess, kill me !
      Nathan Eovaldi was hammered here ? And Pineda gets a pass ?
      Big Mike....go away.

      Three games in, and hardly a post at this site ? Sad.
      I have earned the right to ask that !

    3. Patrick I couldn't agree with you more, except of course on Eovaldi, however thats another story for another time. Again to me this goes on the shoulder of two people. First Hal the Tightwad aka the Coupon Clipper and second on the elf. Now Reed of course will argue with me because he can't see the trees in the forest, however the elf's failure in his big purge not to get a MLB ready arm or close to it is disgusting. Potential in single A means squat. He also failed to address the pitching situation this winter and there were plenty of his typical dumpster dive moves he could have made. I am sick and tired of watching this bozo with his hat turned sideways that seems to have muscle spasms on the mound with all his body movements. Its so funny to me how we hear about the clean-cut Yankee tradition of not having facial hair and long hair yet we let this guy wear his hat sideways. Double standard in my book. Bring up Montgomery, or throw Mitchell and send Pineda to the pen or to another team. You might say its only one game and thats BS as its been the same since he's been here.

    4. Hmmmm?...Forgot the hat. What does the hat mean ?
      Is he still in the third world, or is his heart in
      Popeyes Chicken, where he belongs ?

      They make the kid get a hair cut, while this guy looks
      like he's selling newspapers at the Holland Tunnel.
      Send him to Scranton.

    5. I agree. he's a mess, and playing in his 6th year means nothing to me. I'd prefer to watch one of the younger guys get hammered rather than this fool.

      Im not counting on a playoff birth this season. so take off the life preserver and it's sink or swim time. worst that could happen, we end up as one of the worst teams in the MLB, get one of the top picks for the 2018 draft, and fingers crossed bring that player to the MLB or damn near close alongside MVP harper in 2019.


Sorry for the Capatcha... Blame the Russians :)