Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Meet a Prospect: Ryan McBroom

The New York Yankees broke my heart and traded Robert Refsnyder to the Toronto Blue Jays after designating the utility infielder for assignment earlier in the week. In return the Blue Jays sent the Yankees a bit more first base depth when they sent over first baseman Ryan McBroom. McBroom was immediately assigned to Double-A Trenton with the Trenton Thunder to start his Yankees tenure and career so let’s meet him. This is Meet a Prospect: The Ryan McBroom Edition. 

The Toronto Blue Jays drafted McBroom in the 15th round of the 2014 MLB First year Players Draft as a college senior out of the University of West Virginia. McBroom was added to the Northwest League where he completely dominated younger competition to the tune of 11 home runs and 23 doubles in just 70 games. McBroom followed that up proving that this wasn’t a fluke in 2015 winning the Midwest League Most Valuable Player Award hitting .315/.387/.482 with a league-best 39 doubles and 12 home runs while striking out just 96 times in 538 at-bats. McBroom is a big, power-hitting first baseman that has hit well at every stop throughout his minor league career. 

McBroom is listed at 6’3” and 230 lbs. so when I say he is a “big, power-hitting” first baseman I mean big and power-hitting in the most literal of ways. McBroom is somewhat limited defensively in terms of range and will be a first baseman or DH if he ever reaches the Major Leagues. McBroom is a right-handed hitter that throws with his left hand making him ideal at first base so all the talk and speculation of potentially moving him to a corner outfield spot while in the Blue Jays organization may be all for naught. At the time of the trade McBroom was slashing just .243/.321/.402 but did have 19 doubles and 12 home runs to his credit which earned him another All-Star Game appearance down in Double-A. 

McBroom has a long swing which may explain why his batting average drops as he climbs the organization’s ladder and faces tougher and more advanced talent but McBroom also finds a way to get that swing through the zone smoothly and effectively. In other words he may never hit .300 but if he makes contact with the ball it is going a long, long way. McBroom has a big leg kick that provides much of his power at the plate and has shown an ability to get around on the ball quickly with a good pitch recognition despite the length in his swing. 

McBroom is already 25-years old so don’t expect the future at first base for the Yankees with this trade but what it does do is give the Yankees some much needed depth at the position down on the farm. For a player that was rarely used and designated for assignment I guess you can’t complain too much about that. Welcome to the family Ryan!

Baseball America Midseason Top 10 Yankees Prospects

With the July 31st trading deadline right around the corner and one mega-deal already in the books for the New York Yankees the prospects in the system are more important than ever. Leave it to Baseball America to release their midseason Top 10 Yankees Prospects list right before the trading deadline, huh? So here it is in all its glory. If you want the full list with the scouting reports and write-ups then head over to Baseball America and give them a view or two. They deserve it.

1.       Gleyber Torres
2.       Clint Frazier
3.       Chance Adams
4.       Estevan Florial
5.       Justus Sheffield
6.       Dustin Fowler
7.       Clarke Schmidt
8.       Miguel Andujar
9.       Domingo Acevedo
10.   Tyler Wade

It amazes me to see how far players like Jorge Mateo have fallen. I have no words for his omission from this list although I have never been a huge fan of Tyler Wade’s so that may be where the disconnect comes in. Who knows? That’s the best part about all these lists, they are all opinion-based and open for interpretation and debate. So debate and interpret in the comments section. Thank you.  

Game Thread: New York Yankees vs. Cincinnati Reds 7/26

And just like that ladies and gentleman it is game time here in the Bronx between the New York Yankees and the Cincinnati Reds. In this afternoon game and in the finale of this quick two-game interleague set the Yankees will send Luis Severino to the mound to square off with Homer Bailey for the Reds. The game will be played at 1:05 pm ET inside Yankee Stadium and can be seen on the YES Network, MLB Network and MLB TV. You can also follow along on the radio and in your cars by tuning into the WFAN broadcast.

Follow us on Twitter by following @GreedyStripes and enjoy the game. Go Yankees!! And don't get caught by your bosses watching and listening to the game at work this afternoon. And yes I know you're not supposed to start a sentence grammatically with the word "and" and yes I am fully aware that I did it three times in this post, and that is part of the reason you love me so much. Right?

These Prospects Are Likely Available Before the Trade Deadline

The New York Yankees are open for business and despite already acquiring David Robertson, Tommy Kahnle and Todd Frazier already the heavy lifting may not be done in the Bronx. Depending on who you read or what news sources you trust depends on who the Yankees are scouted, being scouted by and reportedly linked to before this year’s July 31st trade deadline including the rumored mega-deal between them and the Oakland Athletics that is being worked on presumably as we speak. If the Yankees are going to acquire first baseman Yonder Alonso and right-handed starter Sonny Gray the team is going to have to be willing to give up big-time prospects so I have taken the liberty of compiling a list of these prospects that could be or that are likely to be at least available (not necessarily traded) at this season’s trade deadline.

Any list like this has to begin and end with Jorge Mateo because, as much as it pains me to say this, it just makes sense for the Yankees to move him now. Let me stipulate that it only makes sense to move Mateo if the team plans on making a deep run into the postseason in 2017 but I feel comfortable making the assumption that they are after seeing the trade with the Chicago White Sox so thus I feel comfortable including Mateo on this list. Mateo is a shortstop by trade, that position is blocked there by a young Didi Gregorius, who learned second base, which is blocked by Starlin Castro and possibly Gleyber Torres as well, and center field, take your pick on who potentially blocks this position but you have to include Dustin Fowler, Clint Frazier who has shifted to left field for Fowler and Estevan Florial. Trading Mateo just makes sense for the Yankees and for Mateo and the young shortstop probably fetches more than most back in a trade as well.

Speaking of Estevan Florial the Yankees could conceivably trade him as well this summer before the deadline. According to reports the Oakland Athletics have already been scouting the Charleston Riverdogs where Florial plays and even after moving Blake Rutherford in the Chicago White Sox deal the Yankees still have an absolute ton of outfield depth to trade from this summer. Florial could be moved, and in my opinion he shouldn’t be unless the deal is just too good to be true, and the Yankees could still field an outfield of Clint Frazier, Aaron Judge, Dustin Fowler, Tyler Wade and Aaron Hicks among others. Florial does project as the best Yankees outfielder in the entire system but it’s hard for even me to hold onto a player that hasn’t played above Low-A Ball when a potential ace that is young and controllable like Sonny Gray could potentially be coming back in return.

Another player the Yankees could conceivably trade this summer is a player that I have personally never been big on. Tyler Wade has made two separate trips to the Major League level this season and has shown at least flashes of brilliance in both. The Yankees seem to want to platoon Wade which I don’t think is the best use of his talents nor is it the best way to showcase him in a potential trade but what do I know? I’m just a guy with a blog.

Dustin Fowler could be traded as could Gleyber Torres as a player to be named later in any deal despite their injuries. Keep that in mind.

Finally the Yankees have a trio of starting pitchers not named Chance Adams that could conceivably be moved in the right deal this winter. Domingo Acevedo, Albert Abreu and Jorge Guzman all look like useful pieces inside the Yankees organization and for that reason could all be attractive to other teams in a trade. Acevedo is currently in Double-A and has reached as high as Triple-A for two starts and can touch 103 MPH on the radar gun. Acevedo’s stock comes from him being a starting pitcher but some scouts and coaches within the Yankees organization think of him as a full-time relief pitcher at the MLB level due to his inability to develop a third pitch as of the time of this writing. Acevedo has to be protected from the Rule 5 Draft after this season anyway so if the Yankees don’t see a way to protect him then they may decide to move him now for something rather than lose him later for nothing.

Guzman is in Staten Island with the Staten Island Yankees rookie ball team while Albert Abreu is struggling thus far at the High-A level in six starts. Guzman is probably three seasons or so away from the Major Leagues and has many within the organization wondering if his future is that of a starting pitcher or as a lockdown closer. Guzman has a filthy fastball and is striking out a ton of batters while Abreu on the other hand hasn’t used his fastball since early June. Abreu has been dealing with a shoulder injury that the Yankees are saying isn’t serious, of course they are, but his stats with the Tampa Yankees (0-3 record and 5.09 ERA in six starts) suggest otherwise.

This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to potential prospects that the Yankees could deal before next week’s July 31st trading deadline. The Yankees have one of, if not the deepest systems in all of Major League Baseball and are primed to strike if they see the need and opportunity. The scary part is that the Yankees could trade every one of the prospects listed above and still have a Top 10 farm system in the league. That’s actually more than scary. It’s terrifying for anyone not in the league wearing a Yankees uniform right now. 

The Toddfather and the Triple Play...

Credit:  John Munson-NJ Advance Media for
Yankees 4, Reds 2...

Todd Frazier's Yankee Stadium debut will be hard to forget.  I am not talking about the 500 or 600 people that traveled up to the game from Tom's River, New Jersey.  With the bases loaded and no outs in the second inning, Frazier came to bat and promptly hit into an inning-ending triple play.  Fortunately, the Yankees squeezed one run out of it but not exactly a stellar debut.  Nevertheless, thanks to a magnificent Jordan Montgomery and 2 later RBI's from  the third out of the triple play (Didi Gregorius), the Yankees prevailed over the Cincinnati Reds on Tuesday night.

The second inning started so nicely for the Yankees.  Matt Holliday, Didi Gregorius, and Chase Headley all singled to load the bases with no outs against Reds starter Luis Castillo.  It set the stage for Todd Frazier's Yankee Stadium debut.  I was thinking Grand Slam.  How beautiful that would have been.  But it was not meant to be as Frazier hit a grounder to shortstop Jose Peraza on a 3-1 hitter's count.  After erasing Headley and Frazier, the Reds had Didi hung up between second and third.  He had broken for third base and then had second thoughts and ended up running out of the base path for the third and final out but not before Holliday had crossed the plate with the game's first run.

The Yankees picked up another run in the 4th inning.  Aaron Judge singled to right off Castillo and worked his way to third base courtesy of a Matt Holliday broken bat groundout and then balk by the pitcher.  Didi Gregorius scored Judge with a sacrifice fly to right field.

Another run came the next inning when Todd Frazier, shaking off the triple play, led off with a single to left.  Tyler Wade hit into a fielder's choice which eliminated Frazier at second.  Austin Romine, a high school teammate of Colorado's great third baseman Nolan Arenado, doubled to the right field corner with Wade motoring around to score the Yankees' third run. The Yankees loaded the bases after Romine's double but were unable to cash in when Matt Holliday grounded out to end the inning.

Credit:  John Munson-NJ Advance Media for
Jordan Montgomery was amazing.  He had a no-hitter going until the top of the 6th inning when Scott Schebler led off with a double to the wall in right center.  Schebler ended up scoring when he moved to third on a fly out and came home on a ground out.  Monty pitched into the 7th inning and had two outs before he was pulled after giving up a single to Adam Duvall.  Tommy Kahnle came on to secure the final out.  Montgomery settled for a two-hitter over 6 2/3 innings, allowing the single run and walking a batter, while striking out 6.  We've been watching Monty "grow up" this season before our very eyes and it has been fun.  He does not pitch like a rookie and is showing that he can be an arm to rely upon down the stretch.  

Credit:  Frank Franklin II-AP
With the Yankees holding the slim 3-1 lead, things got a little too interesting in the 8th.  Dellin Betances, showing that his struggles are not behind him, got into trouble.  He walked the first batter, Devin Mesoraco, to immediately start in the hole.  After striking out Scott Schebler, he walked Jose Peraza.  Zack Cozart pinch-hit for Arismendy Alcantara and hit a grounder into a fielder's choice, forcing Peraza out at second.  Mesoraco moved to third, with Cozart at first.  Billy Hamilton doubled to right, scoring Mesoraco and moving Cozart to third.  Manager Joe Girardi had seen enough and pulled Betances in favor of Adam Warren.  Meanwhile, the Reds replaced Cozart after he aggravated a quad injury running to third base with pinch-runner Robert Stephenson, a starting pitcher (the Reds were down to catchers on their bench).  Fortunately, Stephenson, representing the tying run, was left stranded at third when Warren struck out Eugenio Suarez.

In the bottom of the 8th, the Yankees added a much-needed insurance run when Didi Gregorius homered to right center, a solo shot.  

Credit:  Charles Wenzelberg-The New York Post
The Yankees took a 4-2 lead into the 9th inning for closer Aroldis Chapman.  Chapman, unlike Betances, had no command issues as he easily dispatched the three Reds he faced for his 12th save of the season.  Yankees win!

Credit:  John Munson-NJ Advance Media for
The Yankees (52-46) moved to within a game of the Boston Red Sox in the AL East Standings with the victory.  The Red Sox lost another game in Seattle, this time a 6-5 loss in 13 innings (after the Mariners rallied in the bottom of the 13th trailing the Red Sox, 5-4).  The Tampa Bay Rays beat the Baltimore Orioles, 5-4, to remain 1 1/2 games behind the Yankees.

Ironically, although he has no official RBI as a Yankee, Todd Frazier has driven in two runs with a double play and now a triple play during his brief Yankees career.  Hopefully, he'll start mixing in a few official ribbies.

Credit:  Anthony J Causi-The New York Post
After the game, Joe Girardi said that it was his intent to avoid using David Robertson in the game.  He continues to have confidence in Dellin Betances, as do we, but there's no question that he needs to work his way out of this funk sooner rather than later.

Sonny Gray Watch...

Okay, I admit it.  I am 'all in' on the Sonny Gray rumors.  He was probably the most scouted major league player during last night's match-up between Gray's current (soon to be former) team, the Oakland A's and the AL East's very own Toronto Blue Jays.  I have to admit that I was channel flipping between games.  It was actually a 'two-fer' watch with Yonder Alonzo starting at first base.  

Credit:  Mark Blinch-AP
I am still expecting the Los Angeles Dodgers to pull a desperation move but hopefully they are more focused on Yu Darvish assuming the Texas Rangers can be persuaded to sell.

Gray's outing against the Blue Jays didn't go so well.  Although he didn't allow any earned runs, the Jays scored four runs against him courtesy of his own throwing error which extended the second inning in the A's 4-1 loss.  His final line:  6.0 IP, 5 H, 4 ER, 0 ER, 2 BB, 9 SO.  He took the loss, dropping to 6-5 while his ERA was lowered to 3.43.  

A number of teams were present to scout Gray at Rogers Centre in addition to the Yankees.  They included the Cubs, Dodgers, Brewers, Pirates, Indians, and Royals.  Although they were not present, the Houston Astros remain a frontrunner to acquire Gray according to A's beat writer Susan Slusser.  

Here's hoping that GM Brian Cashman is able to ensure that Gray's next start will be in pinstripes.

Odds & Ends...

Ex-Yankee relievers seem to be in high demand.  Last week, we saw David Phelps traded from the Miami Marlins to the Seattle Mariners and saw him over the weekend.  Yesterday, the Chicago White Sox, having already divested themselves of former (and now current) Yankees David Robertson and Tommy Kahnle, shipped ex-Yankee reliever Anthony Swarzak to the Milwaukee Brewers.  Swarzak had just picked up his first save on Monday after Tyler Clippard failed to close the previous game.  I guess it is a curse to effectively close a game for the White Sox this year but I am not complaining.  Justin Wilson is probably the next former Yankee reliever on the auction block.  

Speaking of ex-Yankees, the Boston Red Sox felt they needed one.  They acquired infielder Eduardo Nunez overnight from the San Francisco Giants for a couple of minor league pitchers.  Thwarted in their attempt to acquire Todd Frazier from the Chicago White Sox, they had recently called up top prospect Rafael Devers to man third base.  The Red Sox press release referred to Nunez as a utility player so he'll presumably provide insurance for the 20-year-old Devers if the Red Sox opt to continue with plans with the youngster at the hot corner or possibly platoon with him.

Triple A outfielder Jake Cave has been named the International League's Player of the Week for the week ending July 23rd.  Cave was 15-for-26 (.577) with 2 homers and 8 RBI's. His on-base percentage was .607 and his slugging percentage was .885.  He hit safely in all seven games played, with multiple hits in all but two of the games.  Since his promotion from Double A, Cave has the most hits (47) of any player in the International League over that period of time.  I know that the 24-year-old Cave is desperately seeking a MLB opportunity.  If he can't get it with the Yankees, I hope that he is included in a deadline deal that will allow him to make his MLB debt.  He's earned it.

Have a great Wednesday!  One more with the Reds and then bring us the Rays!  Let's Go Yankees!

Game Preview: New York Yankees vs. Cincinnati Reds 7/26

The New York Yankees and the Cincinnati Reds will finish their quick two-game interleague series this afternoon in the Bronx. In the finale of the series the Yankees will send Luis Severino to the mound to square off with Homer Bailey for the Reds. You know back when Phil Hughes was the Yankees top prospect in their farm system I always wanted the Yankees to acquire Bailey to put with him. I don’t really know why. I mean, Bailey was highly touted at the time and projected to be an ace which hasn’t panned out but for whatever reason my fandom always drew me towards him. I figured I’d share.

Severino was amazing in his last start against the Seattle Mariners tossing seven shutout innings in a victory for New York. In the start Severino scattered eight hits in the contest while throwing the fastest pitch by a MLB starter in 2017 when the right-hander tossed a pitch at 101.2 MPH.

Bailey pitched well after a slow start in his last start against the Miami Marlins. In the start Bailey gave up two first inning runs and danced around trouble for much of the start. Bailey used three inning-ending double plays to escape damage and limit the damage for the Reds.

The game will be played at 1:05 pm ET inside Yankee Stadium 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 the WFAN broadcast with John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman. Enjoy the game and Go Yankees!

So it Seems Failure is Not an Option

Failure is not an option. It’s not. We may get down and we may get discouraged and we may get knocked on our butts and we may take a few steps back along the way but failure is not an option. Get down, get back up. Get discouraged and get over it. Get knocked on our butts, dust yourself off and keep going. Take a few steps back, adjust your weight and plow forward farther than you were before. That’s life. Life is hell and that’s the only way you’re going to get what you want and get ahead. It is the only conceivable way to win at life because life is a bitch, and then you die. Excuse my language but that’s the only way to describe life.

In baseball every day is a new day. Every game is a new game. Every series is a new series. That’s life. If you lose yesterday, try harder today to win. You have to have a short memory and you have to keep trucking along. I have adapted the memory of a closer, a short memory but a great memory. It’s the only way we’ll make it out alive and achieve our goals.

By the way, t-minus six days until the trading deadline including today. The hot stove is heating up. Have a great day everyone. Especially you. Hey you. Kari Ann Burch I love you. 

This Day In New York Yankees History 7/26: Yankees Acquire Alfonso Soriano

Saying that the New York Yankees offense struggled in 2014 is probably the understatement of the year so New York needed a savior. On this day they got one when they acquired Alfonso Soriano from the Chicago Cubs for minor league relief pitcher Corey Black. The 37 year old came back to New York with come cash from Cubs after making his major league debut with the Yankees way back in 1999. The Yankees ultimately traded him to the Texas Rangers before the 2004 season for Alex Rodriguez. Soriano would go on a tear and almost brought the Yankees all the way back to the postseason before falling just short in late September.

Also on this day in 1961 the Yankees made some history with the home run ball but it had nothing to do with Roger Maris surprisingly. Instead it was the Yankees Johnny Blanchard as he hit his fourth consecutive home run over three games to set a new major league record. The backup catcher of the Yankees hit two home runs on this day to help New York beat the White Sox 5-2.

Also on this day in 1939 the Bronx Bombers earned their names by scoring in every inning to beat the St. Louis Browns 14-1. This is only the second time in franchise history that the Yankees have achieved this feat.

Finally on this day in 1933 Joe DiMaggio showed the Yankees brass that he was made for long hitting streaks. As a minor league player Joe D saw his 61 game hitting streak come to an end in a PCL game against the Oakland Oaks. DiMaggio played for the San Francisco Seals as a 19 year old when he set a new minor league record destroying the mark of 49 consecutive games with a hit set by Jack Ness in 1914.