Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Game Thread: New York Yankees @ Chicago White Sox 6/28

The New York Yankees and the Chicago White Sox are set to kick off the third game of their four-game set here in a few minutes with what could be a very good pitching matchup. The fans in Chicago are finding their seats, getting their beer and hot dogs and settling in as the New York Yankees prepare to send Masahiro Tanaka to the mound, Happy Tanaka Day, to square off with Carlos Rodon who is making his season debut for the White Sox. The game will be played at 8:10 pm ET inside Guaranteed Rate Field 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 WFAN.

Follow us on twitter by following @GreedyStripes and enjoy the game tonight. Go Yankees!!

USA Today’s Weekly MLB Power Rankings

You can always tell when a small sample size starts to become a large sample size, especially on something like these weekly MLB Power Rankings released by the USA Today, when you see little-to-no movement across the board. Some teams jumped and some teams fell but for the most part most teams stood pat this week on the rankings including the New York Yankees. Let’s check out the list from another week of MLB play.

As I said before the New York Yankees stood pat in the 6th position overall while the Boston Red Sox remained right on their heels at the #7 position. In fact the #8 Cleveland Indians and #9 Milwaukee Brewers also stood pat behind Boston while the Minnesota Twins snuck up three spots into the #10 position. The Tampa Bay Rays fell one spot to the #12 position while the Baltimore Orioles and Toronto Blue Jays fell one and two spots respectively to the #16 and #17 positions.

Meanwhile the Top 5 also remained pretty much the same with the Houston Astros remaining at the top spot followed by the Dodgers (climbed one spot), the Arizona Diamondbacks (climbed two spots), the Washington Nationals (unchanged from the 4th spot last week) and the Colorado Rockies (fell three spots).

Based on these rankings and my pure speculations I have come up with this potential list of sellers and buyers at the July 31st trade deadline. Enjoy, criticize and debate in the comments section.

Sellers: Philadelphia Phillies, San Diego Padres, San Francisco Giants, Oakland Athletics, Miami Marlins, Detroit Tigers, New York Mets, Chicago White Sox and the St. Louis Cardinals.

Buyers:  Houston Astros, Los Angeles Dodgers, Washington Nationals, Colorado Rockies, Arizona Diamondbacks, New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox, Cleveland Indians, Milwaukee Brewers, Minnesota Twins, Chicago Cubs, Tampa Bay Rays and the Texas Rangers.

Undecided: Kansas City Royals, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, Baltimore Orioles, Toronto Blue Jays, Seattle Mariners, Pittsburgh Pirates and the Atlanta Braves.

So it Seems Miguel Andujar is Learning First Base

The New York Yankees have a good problem on their hands, the team has too many good prospects and not enough positions to play them all at. The Yankees have Gleyber Torres scratching at the door of the Major Leagues presumably at third base leaving their next best third baseman to potentially learn a new position. Miguel Andujar, once thought to be the future in the Bronx at the hot corner, was seen last Friday taking reps at first base before his game with the Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes Barre RailRiders.

The Yankees have the third-worst production at first base this season and Andujar may be the Yankees answer to the potential problem rather than acquiring someone outside the organization. With prospects you have to make the organization see you and you have to force the organization’s hands by producing and Andujar has done just that as he crushed the ball in Double-A.

Let’s be real, the long term plan for Andujar can’t be first base. His arm and defense is just too strong and too good (eventually anyway since he does lack true consistency in the field) to be wasted at first base. I truly think Andujar would be traded before he was moved to first base full time. Part time first base? Maybe, especially given the Yankees dire needs this season. I guess we will all just have to stay tuned.

Meet a Prospect: Austin Crowson

If the name Austin Crowson doesn’t exactly ring a bell for you that’s okay, Crowson is used to it and he probably doesn’t mind. Crowson was drafted by the New York Yankees in the 26th round of the 2017 MLB First Year Players Draft out of Lane Community College. Crowson has a full baseball scholarship to play at the University of Nevada next season but he just may decide to forego that to begin his professional career with the organization. Just in case, let’s meet him. This is Meet a Prospect: The Austin Crowson Edition.

Crowson stands 6’5” and 210 lbs. which is the typical build for a Yankees pitcher these days. I’m not sure if there is some insider trading going on here but the Yankees organization obviously knows that the NBA is going to buy out MLB soon or something and they are stocking pitchers that double as power forwards and centers or something. Crowson, funnily enough, did play basketball while at Monroe but mainly because at the time his fastball clocked in at about 82 MPH. After adding a weightlifting program into his routine Crowson saw his fastball touch 90-92 MPH as he grew which complements his curveball, changeup and slider.

In two seasons at Lane Community College Crowson put up a combined 12-3 record with a 2.36 ERA in 117 innings. Along the way the lefty struck out 122 batters while allowing just 81 hits and walking just 47 batters. As a freshman and sophomore those stats are impressive so the sky is the limit for Crowson with the Yankees, assuming he signs of course.

So if Crowson does sign I want to be the first to welcome him to the family and the organization. If Crowson doesn’t sign, no hard feelings kid. I’m still rooting for you anyway. Good luck and take your time making the decision, you have until July 15th regardless. 

Game Preview: New York Yankees @ Chicago White Sox 6/28

The New York Yankees and the Chicago White Sox are back at it again tonight in windy Chicago as these two clubs face off for the third time in their four-game set. In the third matchup of the series the Yankees will send their ace and stopper Masahiro Tanaka to the mound, Happy Tanaka Day Yankees family, while the White Sox will counter with Carlos Rodon. Even when he struggles I still enjoy watching Tanaka pitch, maybe I’m in the minority here, so this should be a fun one to watch.

Tanaka looked like vintage Tanaka in his last start which was a sight for sore eyes after losing six of his previous seven starts prior. Tanaka logged eight shutout innings last time out improving his overall record to 5-7 and his season ERA to 5.74. Those numbers still aren’t great but the good news for the righty and for the Yankees is that there is still plenty of season to go and the Yankees are still in first place despite his struggles.

Rodon will make his season debut tonight against the Yankees after starting the season on the disabled list with left biceps bursitis. Rodon isn’t expected to be on a pitch limit or innings limit tonight after a long rehab process so it’s time for Rodon to test out the bicep and his main out pitch, his slider.

The game will be played at 8:10 pm ET inside Guaranteed Rate Field, seriously the name of this stadium really irks me, and can be seen on the YES Network and MLB TV. You can also follow along in your cars and on the radio by tuning into John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman on the WFAN Network. Enjoy the game and, as always, Go Yankees!

The Tyler Clippard Award Goes To...

White Sox 4, Yankees 3...

Luis Severino pitched magnificently, Yankees took the lead, but the bullpen ingredients of Domingo German, Tyler Clippard and Dellin Betances handed the Chicago White Sox the walk-off win.

Severino allowed just one run on six hits over seven innings.  He struck out a career high 12 batters, and issued no walks.  You could not have asked for better, but unfortunately, on the other side, it was a very strong night for White Sox starter, and oft speculated trade target, Jose Quintana as he held the Yankees to only two hits and no runs in 6 1/3 innings.

Credit:  Armando L Sanchez-AP
The White Sox scored the game's first run in the third inning when Jose Abreu laced a run-scoring double to right.  Chicago's 1-0 lead held up until the eighth inning.  Tyler Wade, making his Major League debut, pinch hit for Rob Refsnyder and walked against White Sox reliever Tommy Kahnle.  Jacoby Ellsbury followed with a single as Wade advanced to second.  After Chase Headley struck out, Aaron Judge singled to center, scoring Wade while Ellsbury moved to second.  Game tied.  Gary Sanchez doubled, bringing home both Ellsbury and Judge, as the Yankees took the 3-1 lead.

Credit:  Jonathan Daniel-Getty Images
It felt like it was going to be a magical night for Severino with the stellar pitching and the late runs to potentially give him the win but thanks to the Yankees bullpen, it was not to be.  Manager Joe Girardi brought in Domingo German to pitch the eighth, but he had control problems and was lifted after walking the first two batters.  Tyler Clippard (Egads!) entered the game and was able to get three outs but not before two more walks had pushed another run across for the Sox.  3-2, Yankees.  All things considered, I guess, you'd have to say that this was a better Clippard than we've seen lately.  He escaped a bases-loaded situation with no outs, giving up only one run, so it could have been much worse.

Credit:  Associated Press
The Yankees had runners at second and third with two outs in the top of the 9th following a passed ball by White Sox reliever Dan Jennings, but Chase Headley struck out to leave the runners stranded.  As it turned out, the Yankees could have used those insurance runs.

The Yankees brought in Dellin Betances to pitch the ninth.  He had worked the previous two games but had thrown only a total of 25 pitches.  Aroldis Chapman was not available, having worked the preceding two days combined with his recent activation off the DL.  Betances (3-2) earned the Tyler Clippard Pitching Award of the night when he walked Kevan Smith and Alen Hanson, and hit Yolmer Sanchez with a pitch to load the bases.  He was able to retire former Yankee Melky Cabrera on a fly ball, but Jose Abreu came up and delivered a single to left, scoring the winning runs as the White Sox walked off with the 4-3 victory.

Credit:  Armando L Sanchez-Chicago Tribune
With the loss, the Yankees (41-34) fell one game behind the Boston Red Sox in the AL East.  The Red Sox, looking like a team that wants to win, beat the Minnesota Twins, 9-2.  The Tampa Bay Rays also won (4-2 in extra innings against the Pittsburgh Pirates) so they are just two games behind the Yankees.  I know it's only June and it is just one game, but right now the gulf between the Yankees and the Red Sox seems much, much greater.  The Red Sox are a team ready to kick it into another gear, whereas the Yankees just keep slip, sliding away.  It was difficult to watch a game that was freely given to the White Sox.  The final 3 of their 4 runs were walked batters that came around to score.  It was not pretty and Severino's gem was wasted.

Next up, Masahiro Tanaka.  If he pitches like he did against Yu Darvish, I like our chances.  If he pitches like the guy we saw prior to the All-Japanese confrontation, it is going to be a very long night.  

Trade Speculation Heats Up...

Trade speculation and theories are starting to heat up as the calendar prepares to turn to July.  Between now and the July trading deadline, I am sure that we'll be hearing plenty of possibilities for how the 2017 New York Yankees can make upgrades.

Mark Feinsand of posted "3 potential Yanks-Mets trades that make sense" yesterday.  In his column, he proposed the following trades:

1.  Lucas Duda for Austin Romine.
2.  Jerry Blevins and/or Addison Reed for Dustin Fowler.
3.  Curtis Granderson for Tyler Austin.

My immediate reaction was "I wouldn't trade my guys for them".  Later in the day, Feinsand tweeted:  Love the response to my trade column.  Yankees fans:  "I'd never trade those guys for that!", Mets fans:  "I'd never trade those guys for that!".  Seriously, and nothing against Kyle Higashioka, I wouldn't trade Romine for Duda.  With the belief that Greg Bird can still be a solid first baseman of the future, I'd take a less costly route to find an alternative for Tyler Austin if it comes to that.  I certainly wouldn't trade a valuable outfield prospect for a reliever that could have been had on the free agent market last off-season.  Curtis Granderson?  Been there, done that.  

In a column that appeared on (written by Joe Giglio), it was reported that MLB Network Radio Host Jim Bowden (former GM of the Cincinnati Reds and one-time Yankees employee during the brief reign of Syd Thrift) floated his idea of how to build a super rotation in the Bronx.  Bowden indicated that he'd trade for Gerrit Cole now and sign Yu Darvish as a free agent in the off-season.  His third and fourth starters would be Luis Severino and Jordan Montgomery, while the fifth spot would go to Yankees prospect Chance Adams.  With this rotation, Bowden believes "In 2018, it's about what kind of champagne we can put on ice".  I can't say that I disagree with this one.  I like both Cole and Darvish.  Severino and Montgomery have both proven they belong in 2018 and the "time is now" is rapidly approaching for Adams.  Sign me up for this possibility...I'm on board.

Odds & Ends...

The Attack of the Tylers.  It's hard to believe but 16% of the Yankees active roster is now loaded with dudes named Tyler.  With Tuesday's call-up of Tylers Webb and Wade, there are four Tyler's with Clippard and Austin already on the roster.  I wanted to name my son Tyler but given my last name ends in "ler", his mother didn't want a kid named "ler-ler" so I had to ditch any ideas of using the name.  I went with Kyle instead (as if there weren't enough Kyle's already in the world).  Making room for the two Tyler W's were the placement of Starlin Castro on the disabled list and the demotion of Jonathan Holder to Triple A.  It kind of feels like all of these Tylers should be using Aerosmith for their walk-up music...

The results of Castro's MRI came back with a Grade 1 strain of the  right hamstring.  He's expecting to be ready when his time on the 10-Day DL is up.  

Have a great Wednesday!  Hopefully Tanaka will help get us over the hump!  Let's Go Yankees!

Has the Fire Sale in Miami Begun?

The Tampa Bay Rays may have announced to the rest of the league that the team will be buyers at this season’s July 31st trading deadline which should come as no surprise to most. The Rays will “buy” but they will always steer clear of the deep end of the free agent and trade market pool as they always have. With the Rays acquiring Miami Marlins shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria for two prospects the team has announced that they plan on sticking around for the duration of the season in the American League East. Does this also mean that the Miami Marlins have announced that they are going to be sellers and has the fire sale officially begun?

Well the first clue has to do with the prospects that the Marlins received back in trade, Ethan Clark and Braxton Lee. If the deal was simply too good to be true then maybe a fire sale is not on the horizon but if the prospects are simply “good” then I truly believe that suggests more moves to come for Miami, which could ultimately affect the New York Yankees.

Lee, a Double-A outfielder, is a South League All-Star this season hitting .318 with 16 RBI and 12 stolen bases at the time of the trade while Clark, a 22-yeard old Class-A Ball pitcher, had posted a 3-2 record with a 3.11 ERA in 12 games at the time of the trade. In a nut shell this was not a deal that was simple too good to pass up, the Marlins are selling. Buy now.

The Yankees could eat some salary and acquire Martin Prado, although the fact that he is under team control beyond the 2017 season complicates things for New York, to play third base or the team could look at some of the Marlins other talent like Marcell Ozuna. I’m admittedly not well-versed in the Miami Marlins team this season but I do know what the Yankees need in 2017 and that is third base help, first base help and starting pitching. It is up to Brian Cashman to know what the Marlins have and to pillage the team now before the rest of the league does this July.

At the time of the trade Hechavarria was on the disabled list after straining an oblique muscle although the shortstop has gone through the minor league rehab game process and is expected to be activated soon. Hechavarria, 28-years old, was hitting .277 with one home run and six RBI in 20 games for the Marlins and hasn’t made an error in the field all season. Hechavarria is a career .255 hitters in his six Major League seasons and will help the Marlins who are within striking distance of the Yankees and the Red Sox at the top of the AL East Division. 

So it Seems Charlie Sheen is Selling Babe Ruth’s World Series Ring

Charlie Sheen is going to be winning here in a little while as the actor presumably has a large chunk of money headed his way. Sheen is the owner of a Babe Ruth 1927 World Series ring as well as the owner of the 1919 contract of Ruth’s sale from the Red Sox to the Yankees. Bidding closes on these items on Friday and you can see these items and bid on these items at

Ruth’s World Series ring, his first of four as a member of the Bronx Bombers, opened up for bid at $100,000 and as of Monday was going for more than five times that at $555,991. Winning, indeed. The copy of Ruth’s contract also started out at $100,000 and at last check was going for $379,749 as of Monday.

What could you do with nearly a million dollars? I could think of a few things. I’d spend every dime of it on you and your life together. Hey you. I love you Kari. 

This Day in New York Yankees History 6/28: Mariano Rivera's 500th Save

On this day in 2009 the great Mariano Rivera joined Trevor Hoffman in the 500 career saves club. The Yankees would beat the New York Mets 4-2 in Citi Field while Rivera got the save and his first and only RBI of his career with a bases loaded walk.

Also on this day in 1949 Joe DiMaggio finally came off the disabled list for the Yankees after missing the first 69 games of the season with a heel injury. Joe D would hit four home runs in a three game sweep of the Boston Red Sox fresh out of the box.

Also on this day in 1939 the New York Yankees established the major league record for most home runs hit in a game in a doubleheader with a total of 13. The Yankees would sweep the Philadelphia Athletics on this day by beating the A's 23-2 in game one with eight home runs and 10-0 off five home runs in game two.

Finally on this day in 1907 the Yankees had a catcher that gave up 13 stolen bases in one game, none other than Branch Rickey. While he was not a great catcher he was the man that brought Jackie Robinson to the game so he gets a pass in my book.