Saturday, April 7, 2018

A Yankees Day in the Life: Didi Gregorius

Yeah, I hinted at a new, unique and different series here on the blog a few hours ago… and yeah, I delivered like I tend to do. Ever wonder what it is like to be Didi Gregorius for a day? Well here you go, a Yankees day in the life of the New York starting shortstop and the man that replaced the legendary Derek Jeter. Sir Didi Gregorius.

ORIGINS: Sonny Gray

Sonny Gray was this afternoon’s starter for the Yankees in the Bronx against the Baltimore Orioles and while his day is done on the field it doesn’t mean we are done talking about him off of the field. We have been running this ORIGINS series here on the blog where we learn and watch where certain players came from and today we showcase this afternoon’s starter, Sonny Gray. Enjoy and let me know how you’re liking these series. I like to run things that you don’t see on every other blog and I like things to be different around here, so I hope it shows in a positive way. Have a great night, and check back in a few hours… I may or may not have another one of these “different” series that I will begin later on tonight and into the weekend.

Game Thread: New York Yankees vs. Baltimore Orioles 4/7

Saturday afternoon baseball in the Bronx between the New York Yankees and one of their division rivals in the Baltimore Orioles. It just doesn’t get any better than this, I don’t care what anyone has to say about it either. In the start this afternoon the Yankees will send Sonny Gray to the mound to face off with an old foe in Chris Tillman for the Orioles. The game will be played at 1:05 pm ET inside Yankee Stadium and can be seen on the YES Network and MLB Network. You can also follow along with the game on MLB TV, the MLB At-Bat app and by tuning into the Yankees radio broadcast on WFAN with John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman.

Follow us on Twitter, @GreedyStripes, and “Like” us on Facebook, The Greedy Pinstripes, to keep up with us and the Yankees all season long. Now go destroy some Orioles, enjoy the game, and Go Yankees!!

New York Yankees Injury Update

This is getting a bit ridiculous...

CC Sabathia has been added to the 10-day DL with a strained right hip.

Brandon Drury has been added to the 10-day DL with severe migraines.

Jonathan Holder has been sent down to Triple-A while Jace Peterson has been called up after having his contract purchased. New York has also called up Domingo German and Luis Cessa.

Turbulent World Series Dreams...

Photo Credit: Associated Press (Julie Jacobson)
The Sky is Falling…

Unlike TGP’s fearless leader, Daniel Burch, I did not wake up in a happy, cheerful and loving mood. Sorry. I know, all things considered, things could be worse. But the last couple of days have not been enjoyable. We’re Yankees fans. We want and expect nothing less than complete dominance and success. The 2018 Yankees have a roster capable of playing, hit-for-hit and pitch-for-pitch, with the best teams in Major League Baseball. But while other teams revel in early success, the Yankees are getting off to a sluggish start.    

I get it…we’re only eight games into the season and there are still 154 games to play (or the length of the regular season games when Babe Ruth and his friends played). It’s not the end of the World and there are many, many games before the AL East is decided.   

The Yankees lost a heart-breaker last night in extra innings. The Baltimore Orioles took the second game of the series, thanks to a grand slam by catcher Caleb Joseph in the top of fourteenth inning, winning 7-3. Despite fighting back to tie the game multiple times, the home team could never take the lead and were inches from victory in the bottom of the eleventh when Orioles reliever Mychal Givens threw a wild pitch and Didi tried to score from third. Givens came sliding across the plate to block Didi and take the throw from catcher Caleb Joseph to tag the out.  

Photo Credit: Associated Press (Julie Jacobson)
For those of you who feel Aaron Judge owns the Orioles, I’d have to counter Buck Showalter owns the Yankees…at least for the first two games of the season series. George Steinbrenner is probably rolling over in his grave.

The Yankees fell to 4-4 and trail the Boston Red Sox by 2 1/2 games in the AL East. The Red Sox are on a roll, winners of six straight while they ride their cream puff schedule. The Toronto Blue Jays are a game ahead of the Yankees. It’s early but so far the Red Sox and the Houston Astros appear to be the early class of the AL. The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim have also started the season strong (Shohei Otani homered for the third consecutive game) and the  improved Minnesota Twins, as expected, lead their division.

Last night’s loss was more costly than just the score. Four Yankees were pulled from the game for various ailments. CC Sabathia exited after four innings with a right hip strain, Brandon Drury was replaced by pinch-hitter Ronald Torreyes in the bottom of the sixth (Toe stayed in the game at third; we later learned Drury is suffering from migraine headaches and blurred vision), Neil Walker slid over to second base from first in the top of the ninth to replace Tyler Wade (suffering from the flu), and Gary Sanchez left the game during the fateful fourteenth inning with a leg cramp. 

Photo Credit: Associated Press
The Yankees also checked on the health of closer Aroldis Chapman during a ninth inning visit by when it was observed that the Cuban Missile’s velocity was down. Chapman blamed it on a cold night.  

An MRI after the game revealed no issues for Sabathia, however, the Yankees placed him on the 10-day DL earlier today. Drury was also placed on the disabled list. Jonathan Holder, the reliever on the mound when Caleb Joseph hit the game-winning grand slam for the Orioles last night, was optioned to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. RHPs Domingo German and Luis Cessa (ugh!) were promoted to the big league club.  Also, the Yankees signed IF/OF Jace Peterson to a Major League contract. Peterson was 1-for-4 with a strikeout in the RailRiders’ season-opening win last night. Peterson’s time with the Yankees appears to be over when Drury comes back since he’ll most likely be placed on waivers (rather than kept on the 40-man roster). It could end sooner given the expected return of OF Aaron Hicks in a few days.  

Sabathia is only expected to miss one start. As for Drury, we won’t really know anything until Monday when he undergoes testing to determine the cause of the migraine headaches. An avowed Minnesota Vikings fan, it was frustrating for years when former Viking Percy Harvin struggled with migraines. I hope Drury’s problem is not as severe as the one that afflicted the very talented Harvin.  

I haven’t figured out how this impacts the 40-man roster yet. The Yankees recently moved reliever Ben Heller to the 60-day DL which freed up a spot but the Yankees acquired third baseman Cody Asche. Even though Asche was optioned to Triple A, is showing Asche on the 40-man roster. It would seem that something’s got to give to make room on the active roster for Peterson. I could be looking at this wrong. I’ve seen comments that the 40th spot was opened when the Yankees waived Trayce Thompson, who briefly took Heller’s spot, but that does not account for why and the RailRiders website are showing Asche on the 40-man roster.  Maybe Asche was never truly on the 40-man and the sites are in error. Who knows? The Yankees and MLB have this figured out so I don't need to.  

I am not happy about Cessa on the big league roster.  He's been my ideal DFA candidate for some time. I truly hope the Yankees use German over Cessa to make CC’s next start (which should be next Saturday). I’ve seen enough of Cessa to know that he is not a reliable starting pitcher. Let’s see how his stuff plays in limited spots in the bullpen. I’d rather take that chance over giving opposing teams multiple looks at the pedestrian pitcher when he is on the mound. German won me over with a very strong Spring so I’d like to see him get his first audition in the rotation.

Peterson, playing left field today, is not going to scare anybody with his bat.

Photo Credit: USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)
In the off-season, everybody (except maybe me) wanted Miguel Andujar as the starting third baseman for the Pinstripers. I wanted the Yankees to re-sign Todd Frazier and was subsequently supportive of the Drury acquisition. Well, here we are. Andujar is now your starting third baseman. This season, Andujar is 0-for-12 with no walks and four strikeouts. He is on the fast track to reach Kyle Higashioka’s 0-for-18 performance from last year. At least Higashioka managed to mix in a couple of walks and runs. I know, Andujar WILL hit. But obviously I’d prefer sooner than later. Never a better time to start than today.  

Hopefully the Yankees can get into a groove and starting winning games. There are still two games to salvage at least a tie in the series with the O’s. Things will look much better if the Yankees can emerge from the weekend with a 6-4 record.  

Here’s to hoping that today is a better day. Go Yankees!

I Love Manny Machado As Much As The Next Guy But…

He just punched his ticket to a team not named the New York Yankees for the 2019 season, at least as it stands here today on this beautiful Saturday morning here on the East coast. What do I mean? Well if you jumped straight into the article and didn’t really give the title of the post much thought you missed a whole lot. To reiterate, I love Manny Machado and the thought of him being in pinstripes for the 2019 season as much as the next person, but I truly think, as it stands today anyway, that he just ended any chance of him coming to the Bronx as anything more than a visiting player with his comments this week about his free agency plans after the season.

Machado dodged many questions about his impending free agency and the possibility of coming to the New York Yankees in 2019 before the Orioles first game in the Bronx on Thursday, but he did touch on one subject in particular that I found to be pretty interesting. I guess Robert Casey, my good friend and owner of Bleeding Yankee Blue, would call this a “nugget.” Machado did not back down about his intentions for the 2019 season and where he intends to play when asked stating that he would be a starting shortstop when the 2019 campaign begins next spring. Unless you have never heard of a Sir named Didi that officially counts the New York Yankees out of the running if you ask me, but that’s only if you ask me.

Machado’s words really puzzle me though if I am being honest. Saying you will be a starting shortstop in 2019 only limits the field of teams you can sign with, does it not? Look at the top 10-15 shortstops in the game and mark their names off the list of potential suitors for Machado’s services next winter, and that includes the New York Yankees who specifically positioned themselves under the luxury tax threshold with the sole intent of going on a spending spree next winter. Maybe I am exaggerating just a tad when I say it was the “only” reason they got under the cap, the money saved, and the penalties levied by the league for various things if you spend over the cap are great reasons to get under the cap, but still. It is widely known the Yankees are very likely to spend, and spend heavily, next winter. It just doesn’t make sense to shrink your market by running your mouth.

A lot can change between now and November or December of this year, but for now you all can start drooling over the 2019 Yankees… just without Manny Machado penciled in at third base. Stay tuned.

Game Preview: New York Yankees vs. Baltimore Orioles 4/7

The New York Yankees and the Baltimore Orioles will be back at it again in the Bronx here in just a few hours in the third of their four-game weekend set inside Yankee Stadium. We have been spoiled with a couple good pitching matchups thus far in the series and today’s battle should be no different with Sonny Gray taking the mound for the Yankees against Chris Tillman for the Orioles. The Yankees let one get away Thursday night in what looked to be a winnable game, let’s not do that again today in this one. Okay? Thanks in advance.

Gray will look to last longer than his first start in 2018 against the Toronto Blue Jays where he lasted just four-plus innings in an eventual Yankees loss. Gray himself allowed just one run on seven hits and left with a lead, but the Yankees bullpen eventually blew the hold and the game. Gray will look to be sharper and more economical with his pitches this afternoon in the Bronx.

Tillman was also less than sharp in his first start of the season against the Houston Astros and will look to be much better tonight against the Yankees. In that start Tillman allowed four runs in four innings of work taking the loss.

The game will be played at 1:05 pm ET pm ET inside Yankee Stadium in the Bronx and can be seen on the YES Network and MLB Network. You can also follow along with MLB TV, the MLB At-Bat app and by tuning into the Yankees radio broadcast on WFAN with John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman on WFAN.

Enjoy the game, give no mercy to these O’s, and Go Yankees!!

Hello… Aaron Hicks Should be Back Tuesday!

Good morning everyone and welcome to the weekend. While my lovely girlfriend had to roll out of bed and go to work this morning, she works in an accounting office so tax season is her busy season, I lay here wondering and pondering the ways of life. Why are we here? What are we meant to do? Etc. and the only answer I have is we are all here to be happy. How you get there and what you have to do in order to get there varies from person to person, but happiness is why we are all here. We are all here for a good, not a long, time… so enjoy the day and enjoy what you’re doing with your life. Don’t try and live up to other people’s expectations and don’t try to be what everyone else wants you to be. You be you, and I’ll be me. Happy. I love you my sweet, gorgeous and so kind Kari Ann. Always have, always will.

The Yankees center fielder that is currently on the disabled list, Aaron Hicks… not Jacoby Ellsbury, is presumably pretty happy this morning after hearing the news that he will likely be back on Tuesday before the Yankees open a series in Fenway Park with the Boston Red Sox. Hicks was placed on the 10-day DL last Friday due to an intercostal muscle strain and has been working his way back to the field since he began limited baseball activity on Tuesday.

Hicks took in some tee and toss this week and is expected to face live pitching this weekend down in Tampa before the decision is ultimately made, but he feels good about his progression and the possibility of returning for the big series with the Red Sox at the beginning of next week.

The Yankees are already scary so imagine how scary this team will be once everyone is hitting, and everyone is healthy. Watch out Boston, you could be in for a massacre.

This Day In New York Yankees History 4/7: Forbes Rates the Yankees

On this day in 2010 Forbes estimated the value of the New York Yankees to be worth approximately $1.6 billion, nearly twice as much as any other Major League franchise. The Yankees were reigning World Series champions and recently moved into a new ballpark and were using a new found $441 million in revenue after adjustments were made for its payment to baseball's revenue sharing program and the costs of financing Yankee Stadium III.

Also in case you were wondering the Tampa Bay Devil Rays retired former Yankee and Red Sox Wade Boggs #12 uniform number on this day in 2000. Boggs got his 3,000th hit in Tampa Bay and hit the first home run in the franchise's history.