Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Game Thread: New York Yankees vs. Kansas City Royals 5/23

Here we go again ladies and gentleman, game time in the Bronx between the New York Yankees and the Kansas City Royals. In the second game of this big four-game set between the two clubs the Yankees will send Jordan Montgomery to the mound to square off against Danny Duffy for the Royals. The game will be played at 7:05 pm ET inside Yankee Stadium and can be seen on the YES Network and MLB TV. You can also follow along with the game while riding in your car or wherever you have access to a radio by tuning into WFAN.

Follow us on Twitter by giving @GreedyStripes a follow. Go Yankees!!!

David Ortiz is Still Talking About the Yankees

Boston Red Sox legend David Ortiz spent much of his career talking and hitting baseballs, unfortunately sometimes more the former than the latter. Since his retirement Ortiz has been relatively quiet although this weekend the Red Sox former DH broke his silence in an interview on the radio with Boston’s WEEI. In the interview Ortiz claimed that the New York Yankees may have played a role in his name getting leaked after failing a PED/steroid test to the New York Times back in 2009. Let the salt flow through your body’s ladies and gentleman.

Ortiz in the interview was quoted as saying the following when asked about his failed steroid test back in 2003:

"What was the reason for them to come out with something like that?" he said. "The only thing that I can think of, to be honest with you, a lot of big guys from the Yankees were being caught. And no one from Boston. This was just something that leaked out of New York, and they had zero explanation about it."

Ortiz added:

"Everybody who got caught...all of them were told what they bought, what they used, everything," he said. "But David Ortiz. Nobody came to me after; nobody came to me before. Nobody came to me ever, to tell me that I tested positive for any kind of steroids."

I’m just going to leave this here and let you guys hash it out in the comments section and on Twitter. Give us a follow by following @GreedyStripes. This just seems like a thing of the past and unnecessary to spend too much time on here, although I did feel the need to bring it to everyone’s attention just because. Enjoy the rest of your day. 

Yankees Potential Trade Targets: Sonny Gray

The New York Yankees are very likely to at least have some discussions with many of the available starting pitchers and their teams this summer as the Bronx Bombers look to make a legitimate run at the American League East Division crown. We have already discussed Jose Quintana until we were blue in the face in the offseason, and hell we may discuss him again just for old times’ sake, and we have begun beating the dead horse that will be forever known as Gerrit Cole here on the blog so for a little bit of a change of pace let’s talk about the Oakland Athletics righty Sonny Gray. Will this be the year the A’s finally move Gray at the trading deadline?

Gray had a down 2016 season so the Oakland Athletics decided to hold onto their ace in hopes of him turning things around to start the 2017 campaign. Gray still isn’t back to being the ace that he once was, which in a Catch 22 kind of way works in the Yankees favor as it keeps the cost in terms of prospects down, but at the time of this writing Gray is sporting a 3.97 ERA. While a 3.97 ERA isn’t something you generally want to give the farm away for you must remember that somehow Gray is still just 27-years old and only two years removed from being an unstoppable force in the American League West Division for the A’s.

The Yankees have shown interest in Gray many times before, as it seems like he is always on the trading block for the struggling Oakland Athletics, and Gray would fit well into the Yankees rotation behind Masahiro Tanaka and Michael Pineda. An acquisition of Gray would likely bounce CC Sabathia out of the rotation although I guess the Yankees could option Jordan Montgomery back to Triple-A to give Sabathia a bit of a longer leash. Who knows? What I do know is that you worry about those kind of things after he signs on the dotted line, not before.

I hate to say the Yankees could buy low on Gray because he would still cost quite a bit in terms of prospects but the cost as opposed to two years ago would be like night and day. Who wouldn’t want to give up a couple prospects for the chance at the Gray that was an ace for his first three seasons in the big leagues and a 27-year old arm with tons of MLB experience? I know the Yankees would and if I were the owner I’d sign off without batting an eye lash. Get it done Cash, before the price goes up. 

Game Preview: New York Yankees vs. Kansas City Royals 5/23

The New York Yankees didn’t have a great weekend inside Tropicana Field but if the last series between these two teams is any indicator then New York may have found the medicine and the remedy for that tough weekend. New York is welcoming Kansas City home to the Bronx tonight in the second of a four-game set inside Yankee Stadium with a rematch of one of the games last week in Kansas City. A southpaw showdown goes down tonight as the Yankees send Jordan Montgomery to the mound to square off with Dany Duffy for the Royals.

Montgomery took the loss in his last start against these same Kansas City Royals after giving up five runs in five innings of work inside Kauffman Stadium. Mike Moustakas hit a three-run home run off the Yankees rookie landing him in the “L” column for his second straight start. You have to wonder just how short the leash is for Montgomery with Chance Adams’ recent promotion to Triple-A.

Duffy won his last start against the New York Yankees tossing seven shutout innings while giving up just three hits at home. This time Duffy is on the road but regardless he will look to replicate his 10 strikeout and two walk performance from last week.

The game will be played at 7:05 pm ET inside Yankee Stadium and can be seen on the YES Network and MLB TV. You can also follow along on the radio and in your cars by tuning into John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman’s broadcast on WFAN. Enjoy the game everyone and as always, Go Yankees!!

Michael, a Few Home Runs, and Instant Replay...

Credit:  Bill Kostroun

Yankees 4, Royals 2...

In a season when Masahiro Tanaka has forgotten how to throw his splitter and slider, only to see his fastball regularly deposited into outfield bleachers, Michael Pineda has stepped up to be "the man".  Down early 2-0 to the Kansas City Royals, it would have been the point where Pineda collapsed like a cheap suit in years past.  But these are not years past and Michael Pineda no longer contributes to an avalanche parade.  

When Brett Gardner homered in the bottom of the third, it felt like everything was under control even though the Yanks still trailed by one.  With one on in the fourth, Didi Gregorius decided it was much better to lead than follow, launching a homer to right center to put the Yanks in front.  

Credit:  Elsa/Getty Images
Pineda made it into the seventh inning.  After striking out Jorge Bonifacio, who had homered for the Royals earlier in the game, Pineda gave up a single to former Cub Jorge Soler which ended his night.

With Adam Warren on the mound, Soler took second on a wild pitch.  Following a flyout by Whit Merrifield, the Royals appeared to tie the game at 3 when Alcides Escobar hit a grounder to Starlin Castro.  Escobar was ruled safe at first, beating an off-balance throw from Castro.  Soler scored on the play.  The Yankees challenged the call and the Baseball Gods were smiling favorably on the Pinstripes.  The decision at first was overturned, the inning was over, and the run scored by Soler was erased.  All I can say it was incredibly close.

Leading off the bottom of the seventh, Chris Carter boldly let his bat say, "This is why you hired me" with a blast to left-center.  So, instead of a 3-3 game just minutes earlier, the score was suddenly 4-2.  A nice reversal of fortune. 

From there, the Yankees bullpen shut the Royals down.  Tyler Clippard and Dellin Betances each delivered a scoreless inning of relief, and Betances struck out Jorge Soler to end the game, picking up his third save.

For the game, Pineda (5-2) pitched 6 1/3 innings, giving up six hits and two runs, while walking one and striking out six.  It wasn't a clean start but it was the continuation of the strong, consistent version of the Michael Pineda that we've literally been waiting years to see.  

The win allowed the Yankees (26-16) to move a game and a half in front of the Baltimore Orioles who were throttled 14-7 at Camden Yards by the Minnesota Twins in a 21-hit attack.  The Boston Red Sox had the night off so they slipped four and half games back.  

Bronx Fury, South Beach Version...

A pair of ex-Yankees squared off on Friday night in Miami.  Marlins manager Don Mattingly took offense to something Los Angeles Dodgers bench coach Bob Geren yelled to Marlins closer A.J. Ramos.  "If he is going to yell and scream at our guys, the he is going to have to go through me", said Mattingly, who was ejected in the bench-clearing stand-off.  

Credit:  Los Angeles Times
Mattingly and Geren were Yankees teammates from 1988 to 1991.  

Credit:  Getty Images

I feel badly for Mattingly.  He is in the midst of a very poor season in Miami and he was facing the team that he once managed.  I am not sure that Mattingly will survive the season and he is probably gone if the sale of the Marlins goes through (even if one of the potential new owners is Derek Jeter) unless he can turn things around very quickly.  Mattingly remains my favorite manager but these are not the best of times.

Umm, no, thank you...

Yesterday, Joe Giglio of NJ Advance Media, quoting an article that appeared on SportsNet.ca, floated the possibility of the Yankees as suitors for third baseman Josh Donaldson of the Toronto Blue Jays.  I do not dispute that Donaldson is a great player but it doesn't make sense to me.  Donaldson is 31 and the Yankees, regardless of the great start this year, are still one to two years away from true World Series contention.  Sure, crazier things have happened, but it doesn't make sense to me to part with talented young prospects for a guy that is on the wrong side of 30.  

Manny Machado should remain the target.  I am not enamored with Chase Headley covering third until if/when we can get Machado but I don't think the Yankees are either.  With the call-up of infielder Gleyber Torres to AAA, he is positioning himself for an appearance in the Bronx later this year or at the latest, next spring.  I'd gladly take Starlin Castro at third (over Headley) to make room for Torres at second.  The path to Machado will be costly in terms of dollars but it retains the wealth of prospects within the organization.  If the Yankees lose out on Machado, then they'll need to look at Plan B.  I am still optimistic that Miguel Andujar can be a solution within the next couple of years.  Let the Boston Red Sox further deplete their farm system for Donaldson and add another player that will be ready for social security in a couple of years.

So, count me out if trying to decide whether or not to bring Donaldson to the Yankees.

All Rise, now entering Right Field, the Honorable Judge, Aaron...

The Yankees have climbed aboard the Judge Train with the rest of us.  They've unveiled a new area wrapped around the three rows in the back of Section 104 in right field aptly named "The Judge's Chambers".  Selected fans, with preference to those wearing Aaron Judge jerseys, will temporarily be given black robes adorned by #99 on the back while sitting the special area during games.  I guess it beats having a bad tasting candy bar named after you...

Credit:  Ben Walker/AP
Have a great Tuesday!  Let's keep this winning feeling going!

So it Seems the Gerrit Cole Trade Rumors Still Swirl

I kind of scoffed when I opened my Twitter on the day that I ran an article about the New York Yankees potentially trading for one of their former draft picks and current Pittsburgh Pirates arm Gerrit Cole. To paraphrase the tweet basically asked why my site was the only one to run this story. Well first of all is it that far out of the realm of possibilities that we could have an original thought or that we could break news? We’ve broken news before, we just never received the full credit we deserved because we are still considered to be the “little guy.” Secondly, and this is how I responded to the tweet, a simple Google search would show that we were not the only ones talking about it. We weren’t even the first to talk about it yet the trade winds surrounding the New York Yankees and Gerrit Cole this summer continue to swirl as we stand here talking today.

This rumor has gained so much steam and credibility that even Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports discussed it recently on his blog. Heyman was quoted as saying the following: 

“The Yankees have always loved him so they’d make sense. New York drafted him out of high school as a late first rounder, but Cole’s father told them then that there was no offer that could keep him away from UCLA.”

Now on the site and on Twitter I’ve seen some talks that would suggest that Cole wouldn’t be worth the prospect haul it would take the acquire him but I am on the fence about it myself. Cole has a career 3.20 ERA and has an uncanny ability of keeping the ball down and in the ballpark, which is evident by just 43 home runs allowed during his five-year career in Pittsburgh. I get that pitching in the NL Central is an entirely different animal than pitching in the American League East and I also get that pitching inside Yankee Stadium is much different than pitching in a pitcher-friendly ballpark in Pittsburgh so I did a little bit of research. Shout outs to Baseball Reference for the stats.

Cole actually has more wins on the road, has given up less hits, runs and home runs, strikes out more batters and has comparable stats otherwise across the board in almost an identical sample size. Cole is not a product of the stadium out in Pittsburgh, he is what he is.

Here is another interesting stat I found, and I’ll finish the article with this, regarding run support. When Cole gets two runs or less he has a career 5-23 record in 31 starts. When Cole gets 3-5 runs of support he is 25-11 in 50 starts. When Cole gets six runs or more, which he would a lot in the Bronx, Cole is a perfect 19-0 in 22 starts so please tell me again how he wouldn’t be a good fit at the top of the Yankees pitching rotation. I’ll wait. 

So it Seems Gleyber Torres is ONE Step Away

The New York Yankees are being super aggressive with their top prospect and honestly it is a sight for sore eyes. The Yankees organization announced over the weekend that top prospect Gleyber Torres was promoted from Double-A Trenton to Triple-A Scranton leaving the infielder just one step from the Major Leagues. Congratulations to Gleyber.

Torres is just 20-years old and at the time of his promotion was hitting .273/.367/.496 with five home runs, 17 walks and 21 strikeouts in just 32 games with the Trenton Thunder. That includes him missing a little over a week with a shoulder injury.

Just in case you have been living under a rock and haven’t heard of or don’t know much about Torres here is the scouting report from MLB.com who ranks Torres as the second best prospect in all of Major League Baseball behind Chicago White Sox star Yoan Moncada.

Torres has exceptionally quick hands that allow him to excel at the dish and in the field. He's very advanced at the plate, recognizing pitches well, displaying patience and using the entire field. His power projections seem to increase each year as he adds strength and experience, and he now looks like he'll deliver 20-plus homers on an annual basis in his prime.
Scouts also seem to gain a greater appreciation for Torres' defense with each passing season. Though he's just an average runner, he definitely has the actions, hands and arm strength to play shortstop for a long time. Chapman may have helped Chicago win the World Series, but Torres may help New York win the trade.

With this promotion is it out of the realm of possibility that Torres could be an injury away from a call up to the show? Or at the very least a September call up? I would think that Tyler Wade would stand ahead of him on the depth chart but honestly I won’t be the one to count him out. Not anymore.

Have a great day everyone. Especially you. Hey you. 

This Day in New York Yankees History 5/23: David Wells First Start Since Perfection

On this day in 1998 the Yankees David Wells extended his American League record for consecutive outs to 38 when the Red Sox leadoff hitter Darren Lewis grounded out to start the game. Wells was coming off his perfect game in his previous start and retired the last ten batters he faced in Kansas City in the start before setting history.

Also on this day in 1962 the Yankees Joe Peptione hit two home runs in the same inning to become the second player in Yankees history to do so. The Yankees scored nine times in the eighth inning and would beat Kansas City 13-7. Joe DiMaggio became the first Yankee to do it as a rookie in 1936.

Finally on this day in 1948 the Yankees Joe DiMaggio would hit three consecutive home runs with the first two coming off the Indians Bob Feller. The Yankees would beat the Indians 6-5 on this day behind DiMaggio's offensive outburst.