Saturday, August 12, 2017

Alex Rodriguez Career Highlights

Alex Rodriguez. What more can be said by us that hasn’t already been said a million times throughout his career and especially over the last week. With Alex retiring rather than harping on one thing here or one thing there why don’t we just bring you his entire career timeline and let us battle it all out in the comments section or on Twitter? Sounds like a good idea to me so here we go, the Alex Rodriguez career timeline.

- Alex was drafted first overall by the Seattle Mariners on June 3, 1993 and decides to sign rather than attend the University of Miami on a full baseball scholarship.

- Alex was not long for the minor leagues as he made his MLB debut on July 8, 1994 at shortstop against the Boston Red Sox inside Fenway Park. He was 18-years old. The very next day he would record his first hit finishing the game 2-for-4.

- It would take almost a full calendar year before Alex recorded his first home run and it came on June 12, 1995 against Kansas City Royals hurler Tom Gordon. It would another two calendar year’s later that Alex recorded his first ever cycle on June 5, 1997. Alex was the fifth youngest to ever do it and he did so at the expense of the Detroit Tigers.

- Alex went from fan favorite to villain on Dec, 11 2000 after leaving Seattle via free agency for the Texas Rangers on a 10-year deal worth $252 million. This is easily the largest contract at the time in all of professional sports.

- Four years later he went from being hated to being reviled after accepting a trade to the New York Yankees on February 16, 2004 for Alfonso Soriano and a player to be named later. Texas agreed to pay $67 million of the $179 million still remaining on his contract thus beginning his Yankees tenure.

- On April 26, 2005 Alex Rodriguez went off on Bartolo Colon and the Los Angeles Angels to the tune of three home runs and 10 RBI in a single game. A Rod also joined the 400 home run club on June 8th and won his second AL MVP Award in November after slugging 48 home runs.

- On August 4, 2007 Alex joins the 500 home run club against the Kansas City Royals. Alex is the youngest member to do so and only the 22nd in MLB history. Alex would win his third AL MVP in 2007 after slugging 54 home runs and knocking in 156 RBI but not before opting out of his deal during the World Series leaving $72 million on the table. Alex would sign a new deal with the Yankees on Dec, 17 2007 worth $275 million over 10 years just a day after going on 60 Minutes and telling the world that he has never used steroids or human growth hormones. The Mitchell Report, which was released on December 13, says otherwise.

- Bombshell. On February 7, 2009 Sports Illustrated announced that Alex had tested positive for steroids back in 2003 and days later Rodriguez admitted it on national television while being interviewed by Peter Gammons. Alex was out with a hip injury at the time and would miss the beginning of the 2009 regular season.

- Alex broke out in a big way in 2009 during the postseason including his Game 2 game-tying home run in the ninth inning against Minnesota Twins closer Joe Nathan eventually giving the Yankees a victory. In 15 playoff games that postseason Alex hit .365 with six home runs and 18 RBI leading the Yankees to the World Series.

- Another year, another drug scandal for Alex. This time it came on February 28, 2010 when Alex was linked to Tony Galea, a Canadian doctor facing charges for smuggling drugs into the United States, according to the New York Daily News. No charges were filed and no suspensions were levied. Later that season Alex joined the 600 home run club on August 4th joining six other players to do so.

- On December 3, 2012 it was announced that Alex would have to have his other hip surgically repaired and he did not return to the field until well into the 2013 season. He did not return before Jun 4, 2013 when ESPN broke the news that 20 players were linked to an anti-aging clinic down in Florida known as Biogenesis. Alex was one of those players, of course he was. On August 5th of that year it was announced that Rodriguez would be suspended 211 games, Alex immediately appealed and continued to play in the next Yankees game.

- A few nights later on ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball the Boston Red Sox starter Ryan Dempster intentionally threw behind and at Alex four different times before Alex got his revenge hitting a home run off the Boston righty later in the contest. Alex mocked David Ortiz’s home run trot and pose at home plate rubbing salt in the wound.

- On September 20, 2013 Alex set a Major League record when he broke a tie with Yankees great Lou Gehrig when he hit his 24th grand slam of his MLB career.

- 2015 was Alex’s last hurrah as he not only recorded his 3000th hit on June 19, a solo home run off Justin Verlander, but he also hit his 660th and 661st home runs of his MLB career tying and eventually passing Willie Mays on the all-time home run list.

- 2016 was a different season and has been a different story for the Yankees DH though and on August 7th, 2016 he announced that today, August 12th, would be his final game in his MLB career after 22 MLB seasons. Alex finishes his career just a few home runs away from 700 home runs in his career.

There were so many more things and events that I could have touched on but there was just not enough time in the day and enough space on the blog. That’s how you know you’ve put up great stats and had a great career. It’s had its ups and downs and boy was it full of controversy for a long, long time but time heals all and time can begin the healing process now. Alex is done. Career over. Alex wins.

Game Thread: New York Yankees vs. Boston Red Sox 8/12

Saturday afternoon baseball in the Bronx is one thing but Saturday afternoon baseball in the Bronx between the two biggest rivals in all of Major League Baseball is another and that is exactly what we are all in tune for this afternoon as the New York Yankees play host to the Boston Red Sox in the second game of their three-game weekend set. In the middle game of the series the Yankees will send their newly-found ace Luis Severino to the mound to face off with Drew Pomeranz for the Red Sox. The game will be played at 4:05 pm ET inside Yankee Stadium and can be seen on Fox Sports One and I believe MLB TV should also carry it, although I am not 100% on that. I am 100% certain though that you can follow along on the radio with WFAN regardless.

Follow us on Twitter by following @GreedyStripes and enjoy the game. Go Yankees!!! Rivalry Renewed.

Meet a Prospect: Alex Rodriguez

Alex Rodriguez, contrary to popular belief, was not always the guy that was questioned whether or not he could hit in a big spot or in the playoffs. Believe it or not Alex Rodriguez was not always nicknamed A-Rod or Aroid or surrounded by steroid clouds or the New York media. Alex Rodriguez was not always the next guy to pass all the top home run hitters of all time and Alex Rodriguez did not always have an AAV of $30 million bucks a season. Believe it or not Alex Rodriguez used to be a quiet and humble kid who just wanted to play baseball. Let us meet him, ladies and gentlemen, Alex Rodriguez.

Alex Emmanuel Rodriguez was born on July 27th, 1975 in Washington Heights, New York. Alex, born to two Dominican parents, moved back to the Dominican Republic when he was four years old. When he moved back to the states him and his family moved to Miami, Florida where he gained an appreciate for guys like Cal Ripken , Keith Hernandez, and Dale Murphy and grew up with the New York Yankees Mets as his favorite baseball team.

Alex went to Miami's Westminster Christian High School where he became the start shortstop for the school. In 100 games there he batted .419 with 90 steals en-route to winning the high school national championship in his junior year. He was first team prep All American as a senior, hitting .505 with 9 home runs, 36 RBI, 35 steals in 35 attempts all in 33 games. He was selected as the USA Baseball Junior Player of the Year and Gatorade's national baseball student athlete of the year as well that season as a senior. Rodriguez was the first high school player to try out for the Team USA Olympic Baseball team in 1993 and was quickly donned with the title of top prospect in the country. After high school he signed a letter of intent to play baseball for the University of Miami, who also recruited him to play quarterback for their football team. Alex surprisingly turned down the baseball scholarship and never played college baseball, instead signing with the Seattle Mariners after being drafted in the first round of the MLB First Year Players draft at the ripe old age of 17 years old.

Alex, after being drafted first overall in the 1993 draft, was already playing for Seattle's AAA team in 1994. He played 32 games and had 37 hits, for a .311 batting average, in 119 at bats while knocking in 6 home runs and 21 RBI. He made it all the way to the majors by July of the 1994 season, being the starting short stop on July 8th against the Boston Red Sox at 18 years old. Alex's rookie season was obviously cut short that season due to the shortened strike season by the MLB Player's Association and the league. Rodriguez split time between the big club and AAA in 1995 before joining the Mariners permanently in August where he got his first taste of the post season while still being the youngest player in Major League Baseball. His first full season, 1996, was easily considered his break out season as he hit 36 home runs with 123 RBI while leading the American League with a .358 batting average, the highest BA for a right handed hitter, since Joe DiMaggio hit .381 in 1939. He was also the first major leaguer to win the batting title at short stop since 1960, the first in the AL since 1944... All at 20 years old. Obviously he made the All Star team that season while leading the AL in runs, total bases, and doubles while within striking distance of the hits (2nd), extra base hits (2nd), multi-hit games (3rd), slugging % (4th), RBI (8th), and On Base Percentage (8th). He set the highest totals ever for a short stop in runs, hits, doubles, extra base hits, and slugging while tying for most total bases and set Seattle Mariners records for average, runs, hits, doubles, and total bases. Some say that this is still the best season ever by a short stop. He was named the Sporting News and Associate Press Major League Player of the Year and came in 2nd place, three points back, in the MVP vote to Texas all-star Juan Gonzalez. After a "down year" in 1997, that included an all-star appearance by being voted in ahead of Cap Ripken Jr, he rebounded in 1998 setting the AL record for home runs by a SS and becoming the third member of the 40-40 club with 42 home runs and 46 stolen bases. He was the Players Choice AL Player of the Year that season, won his 2nd Silver Slugger Award, and finished in the top 10 in the MVP Voting. Following an amazing season he hit another 42 home runs in 1999 even though he missed over 30 games with an injury. 2000 was his final season with Seattle, even though he was the guy that they were building around after trading away guys like Randy Johnson and Ken Griffey Jr to keep him. Even though he had a great season and even hit well in the playoffs the Mariners lost to the Yankees in the 2000 ALCS. He was selected as the Major League Player of the Year award by Baseball America and finished 3rd in the Baseball Writers Association of America AL MVP voting.

Alex signed the most lucrative and expensive contract in all of baseball after that 2000 season, signing with the Texas Rangers for a record 10 years and $252 million dollars. A Texas Rangers team that finished last in the division in 2000 signed Alex to a contract $63 million more than the highest contract ever given out to date. In an article written years later in the Daily News Alex said he regretted signing with the Rangers and instead wanted to sign with the New York Mets. Rather than following his heart though he listened to, then agent, Scott Boras and followed the money. He did make the best of his time in Texas though, hitting 52 home runs and 133 runs scored with 393 total bases in his first season as starting SS for Texas. He followed that up with a major league best 57 home runs with 142 RBI with 389 total bases in 2002. He won the Babe Ruth Home Run Award for leading the MLB in home runs and win his first Gold Glove Award that season for his outstanding defense. Despite 109 home runs in those two seasons the Rangers finished in last place in the AL West both seasons. The Rangers losses are probably what cost Alex the MVP Award in 2002, as he finished second to Miguel Tejada's 103 win Oakland A's who won that AL West that season. 2003 would be his last season as a Ranger, but it may have been his best if that is possible. Alex won the MVP award , finally, while leading the AL in home runs, runs scored , and slugging &. He also won his second straight Gold Glove Award and Babe Ruth Home Run Award while becoming the youngest player to 300 home runs.

After that 2003 season the Rangers, who were going nowhere with Alex, decided they had to move his expensive contract. Initially Alex was traded to the Boston Red Sox that off season but the MLB Players Association vetoed the deal because it called for voluntary reduction in salary. After the Rangers named him the Team Captain for the team for the 2004 season they quickly traded him to the New York Yankees for Alfonso Soriano and a player to be named later. The Rangers agreed to pay $67 million of the $179 million remaining on the contract, dependent on Alex agreeing to switch to 3B. Alex also had to switch uniform numbers because he wore #3 in Texas and Seattle, retired number of Babe Ruth.

Alex has been the exact definition of an up and down career while he has been with the Yankees. After an average Alex Rodriguez season in 2004, which included yet another All Star Game appearance, and a fight with Boston catcher and Captain Jason Varitek the Yankees made the playoffs. Alex absolutely destroyed the Twins in his first post season appearance as a Yankee, batting .421 while slugging .737 with two key extra inning hits. The 2004 ALCS that no one will ever began was set, the Yankees vs the Red Sox. Alex started the series continuing to crush the ball, equally a single game post season record with five runs scored in Game 3 in Fenway. While we will never forget the Red Sox's 3-0 epic come back and breaking the "Curse of the Bambino" while winning the World Series I wonder how many of you forgot about in this series when Alex swatted the ball out of Bronson Arroyo's glove after rolling a ground ball to the pitcher's mound. I certainly have not forgotten. 2005 marked his first ever MVP award as a Yankee when he drove in 48 home runs and 130 RBIs, becoming the first Yankee to win the award since Reggie Jackson in 1980. He also hit three home runs off of future teammate, and then Angels pitcher, Bartolo Colon while driving in 10 runs in one single game. 2006 was yet another All Star Game appearance for Alex while compiling his 2000th hit and playing for Team USA in the inaugural World Baseball Classic. 2007 season was yet another MVP award for Alex, and had him hitting his 500th career home run against Kyle Davies and the Kansas City Royals.

After the 2007 season all the talk was Alex Rodriguez and his opportunity, written into his contract that he signed with the Rangers, to opt out of his contract following the World Series. He did not wait until the World Series was over though as he announced that he would indeed be opting out of his contract but stated that he would like to be a Yankee for the rest of his career. In November of 2007 the Yankees agreed to re-sign Alex on yet another 10 year deal, this time worth $275 million with various incentives for breaking career home run milestones. This contract would take Alex through his age 42 season with the Yanks and could go as high as $320 million bucks.

Alex Rodriguez was actually the first player to have a home run call disputed with Instant Replay when he hit his 549th home run against the Tampa Bay Rays. The play was upheld by the umpires and the home run was in the books. Prior to the 2009 season A Rod had a torn labrum in his right hip and had an arthroscopic procedure that kept him out through the first month of the season. He hit a three run home run on the first pitch he saw that season, against the Baltimore Orioles, and helped the Yankees get back on track after starting the 2009 season with a 13-15 record. We are all Yankees fans so we know about the heroics against the Twins, the Angels, and the Phillies in the World Series en route to the Yankees 27th World Championship. Clutch Rod was born.

I do not want to touch on the whole steroid scandal too much because everyone, Yankees fan or not, knows what happened. Actually the only reason that I wanted to post anything about it was because of the picture below that I thought was too good to pass up. In 2007 Jose Canseco planned to publish a book about Major League Baseball and its steroid use, including dirt on Alex Rodriguez. Some of the dirt, besides steroid use, was that he was a hypocrite, gay, and a "loser". Alex Rodriguez denied all accusations in a 2007 interview with Katie Couric. Although he denied it only 2 years prior in 2009 it was reported by Selena Roberts that Alex failed a steroid test, testing positive for two anabolic steroids, testosterone, and Primobolan during his 2003 season while playing for Texas. He tested positive for the same steroid that Barry Bonds supposedly tested positive for in 2000 and 2001. So much for that anonymous testing and such huh Bud Selig? Alex later admitted to taking steroids in 2001 - 2003 after an "enormous amount of pressure to perform" after signing that record breaking contract in Texas. He claimed that he never took a steroid while in New York, but he did not mention his seasons in Seattle. He later became the spokesperson for the Taylor Hooton Foundation, which educated young people about the dangers of steroid use and has spoken at schools about the dangers of steroids.

The 2010 - 2015 season were up and down for Rodriguez. The stat lines were there until a second hip injury and a second steroid allegation cost him much of the 2013 and 2014 seasons but Alex was back and in a big way in 2015. Alex had a resurgent 2015 campaign putting his name back on the map in Major League Baseball but his body faded down the stretch and so did his stats. Alex was not able to pick it back up in 2016 leading to a benching and the eventual announcement of his impending retirement effective on this day in 2016. We're going to miss to Alex.

Alex grew up with two half siblings, Joe and Suzy, who were born in the Dominican Republic from his mother’s first marriage. Alex also has a half-brother, Victor, who is from his father’s first marriage. Victor is an officer in the United States Air Force. Alex himself has two children, Natasha Alexander and Ella Alexander, with his now ex-wife Cynthia Scurtis, who he met in a gym in Miami, Florida. In July of 2008 Alex and Cynthia separated and divorce papers were filed among rumors of Alex and Madonna having an affair. Madonna was one of Alex's many women to be on his arm since his divorce including, but not limited to, Kate Hudson, Cameron Diaz, and current girlfriend former WWE Diva Torri Wilson. Not too bad for a guy that owns a Mercedes Benz dealership in League City Texas, has good friends like Derek Jeter and collects art in his free time.

Enjoy retirement and your new gig with the club Alex. Congratulations and thank you… for everything. This has been Meet a Prospect: The Alex Rodriguez Edition.

Better Late Than Never...

Credit:  Mike Stobe-Getty Images
Yankees 5, Red Sox 4...

And thus endeth the Red Sox eight-game winning streak.  For seven innings, it looked like the Yankees offense was still MIA.  But then the 8th inning happened.  It got a little dicey in the 9th with Aroldis Chapman on the mound but in the end he got the job done with a huge assist from Aaron Hicks and Todd Frazier.  The Yankees emerged with the victory in the first game of a three game set with the Boston Red Sox.

Credit:  Charles Wenzelberg-NY Post
The Red Sox jumped on the board first.  In the top of the first inning, with Mookie Betts on first after a walk, Yankees starter Jaime Garcia decided to challenge Hanley Ramirez with an inside fastball on a 3-1 count.  Bad idea.  Ramirez deposited the ball over the left center wall into the bullpen, and the Red Sox had the early 2-0 lead.  In the bottom of the first, walks to Gary Sanchez and Aaron Judge had a runner in scoring position with only one out.  But like the struggles in Toronto on Wednesday night, the Yankees failed to advance the runners.  Admittedly, it felt like it was going to be another one of those games.

Credit:  Frank Franklin II-The Associated Press
It seemed Red Sox were going to blow the game open in the 3rd inning.  Mookie Betts singled to left with one out  Great stop by Aaron Hicks that prevented a double.  He was followed by Andrew Benintendi who laced a soft line drive single to center.  Betts moved to third on the hit, with Benintendi advancing to second on Jacoby Ellsbury's late throw to third.  Hanley Ramirez was intentionally walked, loading the bases.  Jaime Garcia, in one of the keys to the game, struck out former Yankee Chris Young and got Xander Bogarts to ground out to escape the inning unscathed.

Bottom of the third, another Yankee (Aaron Hicks) was left stranded at second after he had hit a one-out double to center past a lunging Mookie Betts.  The RISP struggle continued.

Boston added another run in the top of the 5th.  With Garcia still pitching, Andrew Benintendi homered to right with two outs, a solo shot into the second deck.  Garcia got into a little further trouble when the next batter (Hanley Ramirez) doubled off the center field wall and Chris Young walked, but, after a talk with pitching coach Larry Rothschild, he was able to get Xander Bogarts to hit a fly to right for the third out.

Ronald Torreyes doubled to left off the wall with one out in the bottom of the 5th, but like Hicks in the 3rd, he could go no further.  Another failed scoring opportunity.

The Red Sox had a chance to add to their lead in the 6th.  Garcia struck out Red Sox rookie Rafael Devers but Christian Vazquez got on base with a single up the middle.  Jackie Bradley, Jr hit a grounder to short which erased Vazquez at second but the Yankees couldn't turn the double play.  With JBJ at first and Eduardo Nunez coming to bat, Manager Joe Girardi pulled Garcia and replaced him with Adam Warren.  Nunez stroked a single to right, with JBJ taking second.  The dangerous Mookie Betts came up but Warren got him on a fly out to right.  Whew!  Evading trouble in that spot was huge.  

Red Sox starter Eduardo Rodriguez did not return for the 7th inning.  It was good to see him leave the game.  Six innings, two hits, no runs, seven strikeouts.  But the Yankees didn't fare much better against Sox reliever Matt Barnes in the bottom of the 7th.  After he walked Todd Frazier, he easily set down the next three batters.

Hats off to Adam Warren.  He had shut down the Sox in the 7th and did the same in the 8th.  He was as responsible as anyone for the setting the stage for the bottom of the 8th dramatics.  If he had not held the Red Sox at bay, the hole might have been too large to overcome.  

Brett Gardner led off the bottom of the 8th against former New York Mets reliever Addison Reed.  Gardner reached first when he was hit by a pitch on his front foot (a call made after a replay challenge by the Yankees).  A-A-Ron Hicks, in his second game back from the DL, blasted Reed's slider into the right field stands just inside the foul pole to make it a 3-2 game.  

Credit:  Frank Franklin II-The Associated Press
Continuing the inning, Gary Sanchez singled to left and took second on a wild pitch by Reed.  Aaron Judge patiently accepted a walk, and Reed was pulled in favor of Joe Kelly.  Didi Gregorius singled to left, scoring Sanchez to tie the game.  Judge moved to third.  Todd Frazier joined the party with a single to left that dropped in front of Andrew Benintendi to score Judge with the go-ahead run.  The Yankees loaded the bases when Jacoby Ellsbury, the $153 million man, singled to right after Chase Headley had struck out.  Ronald Torreyes, the little man with a big stick, hit a sacrifice fly to left which was deep enough to score Gregorius with what would prove to be a HUGE insurance run.  It was 5-3 Yankees.  Brett Gardner walked to re-load the bases, but the Sox replaced Kelly with Fernando Abad who retired Aaron Hicks, coming to bat for the second time in the inning, on a pop out to end the inning.  

Credit:  Frank Franklin II-The Associated Press
The 9th inning brought Aroldis Chapman into the game.  Unfortunately, this season has seen Chapman struggle with too much rest or too much use.  This time it was too much rust as he hadn't pitched since last Saturday.  He walked the first three batters to load the bases (while I was losing my mind).  Girardi was much more patient than I would have been.  I would have pulled Chapman after he walked the second batter to replace him with David Robertson...the luxury of having proven closers in the pen behind Chapman.  But Girardi's patience with Chapman paid off.  Even though the Red Sox scored a run with the next batter, Andrew Benintendi, the Yankees probably would have been unable to hold the lead without the sequence of events.  Benintendi hit a deep fly to left.  Aaron Hicks noticed that his former teammate with the Minnesota Twins, Eduardo Nunez, was breaking for third, and he fired a shot to Todd Frazier who grazed the sliding Nunez with the tag before he was able to reach third.  The Red Sox challenged the play (admittedly very close) but lost the appeal.  The double play thwarted the Red Sox momentum.  The next batter, Mitch Moreland, flied out to center to end the game.  If the Yankees had not thrown Nunez out, he most likely would have scored the game tying run when Moreland lofted his fly ball.  The  Yankees win, 5-4, and stop the Red Sox winning streak.

Credit:  Paul J Bereswill-NY Post
Adam Warren (3-2) was the winner in relief of Jaime Garcia.  New acquisitions Garcia and Sonny Gray can't seem to get any runs from the Yankees offense.  Garcia's final line was respectable...5 2/3 innings, 7 hits, 3 runs, 3 walks, and 6 strikeouts.  It was a 'bend but not break' performance that kept the Yankees in the game.  A-A-Ron Hicks was the clear MVP of the game with his home run and the brilliant throw to nail Nunez.  

Credit:  Charles Wenzelberg-NY Post
The Yankees (61-53) moved back to 3 1/2 games behind the Red Sox in the AL East Standings after it had felt like they might fall a season high 5 1/2 games back.  The Cleveland Indians shut out the Tampa Bay Rays, 5-0, to push the Rays 3 1/2 games behind the Yankees.  The Baltimore Orioles fell 5 games behind the Yanks with their 5-4 loss to the Oakland A's.    

Aaron Judge struck out for his 28th consecutive game.  He was 0-for-2 with two walks and a run scored plus the strikeout.  

Odds & Ends...

It sounds like Derek Jeter is finally going to be Don Mattingly's boss after months of rumors and speculation.  Miami Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria has accepted a bid to sell the team to a group headed by New York businessman Bruce Sherman and Jeter for $1.2 billion.  Apparently, Sherman will be the "control person" (the Hal Steinbrenner of the group) and Jeter will run baseball and business operations.  The investment group headed by Sherman and Jeter includes NBA Hall of Famer Michael Jordan.  The sale, which must be approved by MLB owners, is expected to close in October.  

Credit:  Andrew Savulich-New York Daily News
As expected, the Yankees placed LHP CC Sabathia (right knee inflammation) on the 10-Day DL and recalled LHP Jordan Montgomery.  Montgomery is expected to start on Sunday against Boston's Chris Sale.  1B Tyler Austin was reinstated from the DL and optioned to Triple A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.  I am sure that Garrett Cooper's recent performance had a strong say in that decision.

Friday night featured a great match-up between Chance Adams of the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders and Ryan Yarbrough of the Durham Bulls (Triple A team for the Tampa Bay Rays).  Yarbrough may not be a top pitching prospect for the Rays (he is #23 on their top prospect list according to but he entered the game with 12 wins, tied for the International League lead, or four more than Adams.  The RailRiders tagged Yarbrough with his sixth loss in the 6-2 victory as Adams (9-3) picked up the win.  I was very pleased to see that he walked only one batter.  Adams threw 101 pitches (69 for strikes) over six innings.  He only allowed four hits and two runs (one earned) while striking out six.  His season ERA stands at 2.31.  Soon, Young Grasshopper...

Have a great Saturday!  Let's take down the Sox again this afternoon!  Go Yankees!

Game Preview: New York Yankees vs. Boston Red Sox 8/12

The New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox are back at it again today with the middle game of their three game set this weekend in the Bronx. This is going to be a very tough and challenging, but hopefully rewarding, week for New York as they face Boston this weekend, the Mets next week and the Red Sox again next weekend inside Fenway Park. This week will definitely be the week, either way, we as fans look back on at the end of the season and say that this was the turning point in 2017. We can’t worry about the end of the 2017 season just yet today as we have plenty of baseball still to go including today’s matchup that will include Luis Severino taking the mound for the Yankees and Drew Pomeranz taking the mound for the Boston Red Sox. Rivalry Renewed.

Severino has become the Yankees ace this season and looks to secure his fifth straight victory this afternoon in the Bronx. In his last four starts the Yankees right-hander has allowed just two earned runs over 25.2 innings pitched which is good for a 0.70 ERA. During that stretch Severino has struck out 32 and walked just seven batters.

Pomeranz dominated the Chicago White Sox last time out to the tune of one run allowed and eight strikeouts in 6.1 innings pitched. That start marked the eighth time in Pomeranz’s last ten starts that he went at least six innings. During that same span Pomeranz is pitching to a 2.24 ERA.

The game will be played at 4:05 pm ET inside Yankee Stadium and can be seen on Fox Sports One 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. Also as a reminder for tomorrow that the game is showcased on ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball so get your naps in now, it could be a late one tomorrow. Oh, and it is Chris Sale tomorrow for the Red Sox so it could be a frustratingly late one tomorrow. Either way, go Yankees!

Looking Ahead to 2018: Rule 5 Draft Eligible Players

We have been sneaking ahead and looking ahead at the 2018 season a little bit here on the blog and I wanted to take the opportunity to do so again here this weekend. This time around I wanted to take a look at the Yankees Rule 5 Draft eligible players and take a stab at who I think will ultimately be added to the 40-man roster and protected, who will be left out there for any and all teams to choose in the draft and who I think could be on the trading block this winter because of the Yankees 40-man roster crunch. These are all opinion-based as I have no inside information to the team so take these predictions and opinions as such and enjoy.

Rule 5 Eligible Prospects

1. OF Jake Cave
2. OF Billy McKinney
3. SP Daniel Camarena
4. SP/RP Stephen Tarpley
5. SP Brady Lail
6. 1B Mike Ford
7. OF Rashad Crawford
8. SP Austin DeCarr
9. SP Domingo Acevedo
10. OF Mark Payton
11. SS Abiatal Avelino
12. OF Devyn Bolasky
13. INF Thairo Estrada
14. RP J.P. Feyereisen
15. SP/RP Nestor Cortes
16. SP Albert Abreu
17. RP Cale Coshow
18. 2B Gosuke Katoh

The complete list of eligible Rule 5 Draft players is here including who could be taken in the Minor League portion of the Draft but I wanted to solely focus on the Major League portion on this blog post. Big shout out to Pinstriped Prospects for their hard work and the information.

The Yankees hardest decision of the winter will likely come down to which one of their two high-upside outfielders to protect in the Rule 5 Draft, Jake Cave or Billy McKinney. Cave has been left unprotected for two consecutive seasons and was taken once by the Cincinnati Reds before ultimately being returned before the beginning of the season. McKinney will be faced with this for the first time in his MLB career after coming over to the Yankees in the Aroldis Chapman deal. Both have been hitting well at Triple-A and both face an outfield roster crunch in front of them in the Bronx so it’s conceivable that both could be left unprotected, although very highly unlikely, although at the end of the day I think the team will decide to protect McKinney. If unprotected I think Cave will be selected and will be able to stick with an MLB team like the New York Mets for the entirety of 2018. Just a hunch.

Daniel Camarena will likely be protected as he is a 24-year old left-handed starting pitching option for the Yankees going forward. While he doesn’t come with the same upside as a Chance Adams he is likely a better long-term option than Caleb Smith in my opinion. I’d say Camarena is as close to a no-brainer as it gets as far as protecting prospects this winter. Stephen Tarpley was acquired from the Pittsburgh Pirates in the Ivan Nova deal and hasn’t pitched above High-A Ball so I find it highly unlikely he would be picked up, even if he is 24-years old.

Brady Lail has been pitching in Triple-A for what feels like forever but has yet to really dominate the league which leads me to believe the Yankees will likely leave him unprotected, and he will likely be picked up too. Nothing wrong with giving a guy like Lail who has upside but has yet to put it together a spring training camp to prove himself. With the Yankees lack of first base depth I have to think that Mike Ford could be protected this offseason but it really depends on what the Yankees think of Garrett Cooper. If they think Cooper can be the man in the Bronx and a suitable backup and insurance for Greg Bird than Ford may be left unprotected but I think at the end of the day Ford will be protected. If unprotected I can definitely see the power hitter being selected and hidden on a MLB roster for the entirety of the 2018 season.

Rashad Crawford came back in the Aroldis Chapman trade last year with the Chicago Cubs and has struggled to handle Double-A pitching meaning he will likely be left unprotected. Austin DeCarr has also not pitched above A-ball after missing the entire 2015 season with Tommy John surgery and will also be left unprotected if I were a betting man. Domingo Acevedo seems like the biggest no-brainer on the list to protect. Acevedo may not be ready to start at the Major League level but I am sure there is more than one team that would be willing to give Acevedo a shot in the bullpen as a 25th man on a roster if it meant holding into that 103 MPH flame-throwing arm for more than a season.

Mark Payton will likely be left unprotected and will likely be taken in the draft due to the Yankees logjam in the outfield. Payton, 25-years old, was hitting .269 at Triple-A at last check and can play all three outfield positions making him super useful for a National League team that could use his speed and versatility off the bench. Abi Avelino has been in the Yankees system for what feels like forever now but is somehow still just at Double-A at the time of this writing. Avelino has played in 20 games at the Triple-A level but never seemingly caught on as he hit just .213 there which will likely leave him unprotected and not chosen in this year’s draft. The same can be said for outfielder Devyn Bolasky who is hanging around the Mendoza Line at Double-A this season. He will be left unprotected and will not be chosen this offseason.

Thairo Estrada may be one of the better and top rated shortstops in the Yankees system not that Gleyber Torres has moved on to third base and Jorge Mateo has been traded to the Oakland Athletics. Estrada is 21-years old and currently tearing up Double-A pitching which leads me to believe that the Yankees could protect him this winter. Sure, he is in Double-A right now but by the end of the season he could be at Triple-A if he keeps up his torrid pace. Meanwhile J.P. Feyereisen, the relief pitcher who was acquired in the Cleveland Indians trade for Andrew Miller last season, has split time between Double-A and Triple-A this season posting a 2.73 ERA with four saves in 29 appearances and is considered by many to be Major League ready. If the team wants to keep him, and I think that they will, they need to protect him because another team will snatch him up and put him on their roster in a heartbeat. I can guarantee that.

Nestor Cortes is a left-handed bullpen arm that is considered to be MLB ready at this point which leads me to believe that he may be protected this winter by the Yankees. Cortes is 22-years old and has pitched well at Double-A and Triple-A this season so if the Yankees did not protect him, and trust me… they will, he would definitely be taken and stashed in someone else’s bullpen for the 2018 season. Cortes also ranks higher in my opinion than Caleb Smith and others in the Yankees farm system so holding onto him should be a priority.

Albert Abreu was acquired from the Houston Astros this offseason in the Brian McCann trade and was immediately placed on most publications Top 10 Yankees Prospects list. Abreu hasn’t pitched above A-Ball in his minor league career but is too much of a talent with too much upside to not be protected. Not protecting Abreu is like playing with fire, and kids that’s never good. If you think I’m crazy for saying so see how that worked out for the Yankees with Luis Torrens, one of their top catching prospects, in the 2016 Rule 5 Draft. Torrens never played above A-Ball either but a team like the San Diego Padres can afford to take him and stash him with no playoffs or contention in sight. The Yankees don’t want and can’t afford for lightning to strike twice here. Protect him.

Coshow has been closing games for the Trenton Thunder in Double-A and at the time of this writing has compiled 14 saves in 17 opportunities with 62 strikeouts in 48.1 innings pitched. Coshow gives up too many hits though and makes David Robertson look like a lockdown and dominant closer, and all this before Coshow has even reached Triple-A. I can’t see Coshow getting protected and honestly I don’t think he should be either. Finally we have Gosuke Katoh who was the Yankees second round pick in the 2013 MLB Draft. Katoh has not played above High-A ball and may not even get to Double-A this season. At last check Katoh was hitting .282 but there is little to no chance he gets protected or taken in the Rule 5 Draft next year.

So kudos to anyone and everyone who read that book of a post but if you didn’t here is the long and the skinny of the situation. The Yankees have a lot of guys they need to protect and the team may lose 3-5 prospects this winter in the draft if they don’t. The work is never done.

So it Seems Dillon Tate is Good Again & We’re Remembering Alex Rodriguez Today

Good morning everyone and Happy Saturday. Another rainy day here in North Georgia but I guess I’ve gotten used to that by now. It seems like any day now all the people who get all sparkly in the sun are going to move down from Forks County here to my neck of the woods….. yeah I used a Twilight reference at 7:00 am on a weekend. I would un-bookmark the site too, so no hard feelings.

On this day in 2016, as we saw in our aptly named post this morning, Alex Rodriguez played his final game in Major League Baseball and with the Yankees so I want to take a chance to look back at his career a little bit one more time today. I also want to praise Brian Cashman once more because it seems like he may have found a diamond in the rough with Dillon Tate.

Tate was traded from the Texas Rangers last year at the August 1st trading deadline for outfielder Carlos Beltran and Tate came with many question marks. Tate’s velocity was down and so was his production but either the Yankees coaches, a change of scenery or a little bit of both have seemingly turned Tate around and turned the young right-hander and former first round pick into a beast once again.

At the time of the trade Tate was sporting a 5.12 ERA for the Low-A Texas Rangers affiliate. His velocity was down and not even he knew where the ball was going when it left his hand after being the fourth overall pick in the 2015 MLB First Year Players Draft but the Yankees have seemingly turned him around. Tate was recently called up to Double-A Trenton and will make his debut there today after posting a 6-0 record and a 2.62 ERA in nine starts with the Tampa Yankees. Tate’s velocity is back up to 94 MPH and his slider is devastating to opposing batters… just like Brian Cashman knew it would.

And a special good morning to you my love. I love you and I hope you’re doing well this morning. It was a tough week but it’s getting easier and better all the time… and it’s getting closer and closer to forever too. I love you. HEY YOU.

This Day In New York Yankees History 8/12: Happy Alex Rodriguez Day 2016

No matter what happened before, what happens today and what happens years from now today is and will be known as Alex Rodriguez Day here on the blog. Say what you will about Alex, and I have said plenty both in favor of and against, but his tenure is New York is pretty much unmatched by most and today that playing career comes to an end. So Happy Alex Rodriguez Day Yankees family. Enjoy him one last time and let's embrace him tonight in the Bronx. He's earned it.

The best Yankees pitcher that gets little to no recognition and respect is Mel Stottlemyre and he made his major league debut way back when on this day in 1964 and got a little help from the Yankees All Star Mickey Mantle. Mantle would hit a home run from both sides of the plate 10 times in his career setting a new major league record.

Finally on this day in 1927 the Yankees acquired infielders Lyn Lary and Jimmie Reese from the PCL's Oakland Oaks for $125,000. Reese will immediately becomes Babe Ruth's roommate and be best known for his quote that he was "roomed with Ruth's suitcase."