Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Game Thread: New York Yankees vs. Minnesota Twins 4/25

And just like that it is game time here in the Bronx between the New York Yankees and the Minnesota Twins. If it feels like we have done this two times already this week there is probably a good reason for it, it’s because we have. And you want to know the best part? We get to do it all over again tomorrow afternoon in the Bronx for the finale. In the start tonight the Yankees will send Sonny Gray to the mound looking to bounce back while the Twins will counter with Lance Lynn. The game will be played at 6:35 pm ET inside Yankee Stadium and can be seen on the YES Network. You can also follow along with the game on MLB TV, with the MLB At-Bat app and by tuning into the Yankees radio broadcast with John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman on WFAN.

Follow us on Twitter, @GreedyStripes, and “Like” us on Facebook, The Greedy Pinstripes, to keep up with us and the team all season long. Enjoy the game, the Minnesota Twins have a mental block keeping them from beating New York and go Yankees!!

Meet a Prospect: A.J. Cole

Another beard bites the dust...

The New York Yankees acquired pitcher A.J. Cole from the Washington Nationals in exchange for cash considerations just hours after the team beat up on the Minnesota Twins to the tune of a 14-1 victory on Monday night. New York designated right-hander David Hale for assignment after pitching the final two innings of the contest in order to make room for Cole on the active roster. Cole was brought in as depth for the Yankees and their struggling bullpen so let’s meet him. This is Meet a Prospect Special Edition: The A.J. Cole Edition.

Andrew Jordan Cole was born on January 5, 1992 in Florida where he attended Oviedo High School in Oviedo, Florida. While there A.J. played for the school’s baseball team and committed to attend the University of Miami on a baseball scholarship. Cole was considered to be a first-round pick in the 2010 Major League Baseball First Year Players Draft but fell in the draft due to his commitment to Miami and reportedly due to a high signing bonus demand. Cole fell all the way to the fourth round where the Washington Nationals snatched him up and signed him to a $2 million signing bonus, a record bonus for a fourth-round pick, to forgo his commitment to Miami. Cole finished the 2010 season in the Minor Leagues with Washington and spent the 2011 season there as well before the Nationals included Cole in a trade package.

On December 23, 2011 the Nationals traded Cole, catcher Derek Norris and pitchers Tommy Milone and Brad Peacock to the Oakland Athletics for Gio Gonzalez and Robert Gilliam. Cole struggled as a new member of the Athletics farm system beginning the 2012 season with a 0-7 record and a bloated 7.82 ERA. Cole bounced back after a demotion by the Athletics, but Oakland had seen enough after one season and ultimately traded Cole back to the Nationals on January 16, 2013 along with Blake Treinen and a player to be named later (Ian Krol) in a three-team trade that sent Michael Morse to the Seattle Mariners and Jon Jaso to the Athletics. Cole spent the 2013 and 2014 seasons with Washington before being added to the Nationals 40-man roster before the 2015 season.

Cole started the 2015 season back in the minors but was ultimately called up to make his MLB debut on April 28, replacing an injured Max Scherzer. Cole had a rough go of it in his MLB debut allowing nine runs in only two innings of work leading the Nationals to only allow him to appear in two more games that season, both out of the bullpen. Cole was back in Triple-A to start the 2016 season as he worked exclusively as a starting pitcher until August 18, 2016 when the Nationals called Cole up to work out of their bullpen. Cole remained in the bullpen until Stephen Strasburg went on the disabled list at the end of August 2016. Cole notched his first victory of his career on September 2, 2016 against the New York Mets.

Cole was back in Triple-A to begin the 2017 season but was called up on May 1, 2017 to fill in as a starting pitcher. Cole made one start before being optioned back down to Syracuse on May 12. Cole was called up multiple times throughout the 2017 season making various spot starts before coming up to stay on September 4 as a part of September call ups and roster expansion. Cole completed the 2017 season with a 3-5 record and a 3.81 ERA across 52 innings which included eight starts and three appearances as a relief pitcher.

Cole won the fifth starter job with the Nationals out of spring training in 2018 but the Atlanta Braves rudely welcomed him to the show scoring 10 runs off him in just 3.2 innings pitched. Cole made one more start for Washington before the Nationals moved Cole to the bullpen, where he will ultimately end up for Aaron Boone and company going forward. Good luck, A.J. and welcome to the family.

Patrick Corbin Talks Pitching Potentially for the Yankees

The Arizona Diamondbacks are in first place and they are led by an ace starting pitcher and his name is not Zack Greinke, his name is Patrick Corbin. If the name Patrick Corbin rings a bell it is because Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman tried all winter to acquire Corbin along with now current Yankee Brandon Drury from the Diamondbacks in a trade. The Yankees were able to snag Drury away from the desert but Arizona ultimately kept Corbin which has turned out to be a great decision for them thus far, but that has not stopped the Yankees from salivating at the idea of having the young lefty in their starting rotation and it hasn’t stopped the soon-to-be free agent from talking about potentially pitching for the New York Yankees either.

In an interview with the USA Today the Diamondbacks ace was asked about his impending future and he did not have enough positive things to say about potentially pitching here in the Bronx in 2019. Corbin was quoted as saying the following in the interview: 

“It would definitely be great to play there,’’ Corbin says. “I grew up a Yankee fan. My whole family are Yankee fans. My mom, my dad, my grandpa, everybody. Really, every generation of my family has been Yankee fans. Living up in Syracuse, everybody’s a Yankee fan. Not too many Mets fans up there.’’

“I know the Yankees have had some interest in the past, and there were a lot of rumors this winter that got my family excited,’’ Corbin says. “It would have been cool. You just want to go where you’re wanted, and every team will have an opportunity. I would love to be on a contending team for sure, but we’ll see what happens. Right now, I’m just focusing on this season.’’ 

With the Yankees under the luxury tax threshold in 2018 and all their spending penalties reset beginning in 2019, assuming the team can stay under the cap for the entirety of the 2018 season which seems like a foregone conclusion at this point, New York is set up to make a major splash in next winter’s free agent market, a market that Corbin will be entering after his age-29 season. At the time of this writing Corbin has posted a 4-0 record with an anemic 1.89 ERA, and that is before you mention his MLB leading 46 strikeouts and 0.66 WHIP.

Could Corbin be donning pinstripes next winter? If he has his way it certainly seems so, and it seems like Brian Cashman would like to see that as well, so stay tuned. A lot can happen between then and now, but as we stand here today you can pencil in Corbin as the Yankees left-handed replacement for CC Sabathia after this season.

USA Today’s Weekly MLB Power Rankings

Let me start this post by saying that I am not happy to bring you this set of weekly MLB Power Rankings by the USA Today. Why? I think we all know why, because I think we all know who will be on top of the list. UGH. Oh well, carrying on now. Maybe this is all a dream like that 2004 season was, I hate that Major League Baseball cancelled that season. The Yankees were doing so well too…

In all seriousness though the Boston Red Sox are at the top of the Weekly Power Rankings list this week, and ultimately, they should be. Right now, they are the best team in Major League Baseball and all I can do is tip my cap to them and move on towards brighter, greener and better days. Following the Red Sox and rounding out the Top 5 in descending order are the Houston Astros (#2), the Arizona Diamondbacks (#3), the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (#4) and the New York Mets (#5).

The Yankees were 7th in the last set of rankings and the team fell two spots to the 9th spot on this set. That is not the direction you really want to trend if you’re the Yankees, but despite what you read on various Facebook groups around the web it is STILL early. Plenty of time to make up ground, and the team seems to be finally turning things on now. I’m not worried.

The Milwaukee Brewers were the biggest risers of the week winning six straight games and moving up five spots to the #11 position while the Colorado Rockies were the biggest fallers on the list dropping eight spots to the #18 position. Better luck next time kids.

To round out the American League East we obviously have the Red Sox in the top spot and the Yankees have the 9th spot while the Blue Jays give the AL East a third team in the Top 10 at tenth. The Tampa Bay Rays are 23rd while the Baltimore Orioles are 26th. Womp, womp.

You guys want some early surprises to the list? How about the Arizona Diamondbacks who have won each of their first seven series to start the season, the first team to do so in 15 seasons? Not impressed? How about the Dodgers and Nationals being 12th and 13th respectively? These both looked to be Top 10 teams easily, but again it is early. They better watch their backs though because the Philadelphia Phillies, yes, those Phillies, are within striking distance of them both at the #14 position. The Atlanta Braves are 16th… Not a typo. The Miami Marlins aren’t last either!! But they are 29th

Game Preview: New York Yankees vs. Minnesota Twins 4/25

The New York Yankees and the Minnesota Twins will face off once again tonight in the Bronx as the third part of their four-game set to start the week. This is good news if you’re a Yankees fan and probably bad news if you’re a Twins fan. The Yankees have just seemingly dominated the Twins in every aspect of the game for a long, long time now and I just can’t see that changing any time soon. Looking to keep this dominant streak going tonight will be Sonny Gray who takes the ball for the Yankees while the Twins put their fortunes on the arm of Lance Lynn. Let’s get to it here in the Bronx.

Gray will look for sunny skies over the Bronx tonight after bringing the rain in his last couple of starts, especially his last start against the Toronto Blue Jays. In his last two starts Gray has pitched a total of 6.1 inning including five runs and four walks allowed performance against the Blue Jays in his last start. This will be the first time Gray faces the Twins in a Yankees uniform.

Lynn is still looking for his first win as a member of the Minnesota Twins after losing once again in his last start for the club. Lynn allowed five earned runs and five walks in six innings of work against the Tampa Bay Rays in his last start. Lynn will be making his Yankee Stadium debut tonight in the Bronx.

The game will be played at 6:35 pm ET inside Yankee Stadium and can be seen on the YES Network. You can also follow along with the game on MLB TV, with the MLB At-Bat app, and by tuning into the Yankees radio broadcast on WFAN with John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman.

Enjoy the game, leave Lynn still winless, and go Yankees!!

Hello… John Sterling is Getting Complacent?

Good morning everyone and a Happy Wednesday to you all. I hope everyone is doing well, especially Yankees and WFAN radio broadcaster John Sterling. Sterling is seemingly getting a little complacent, isn’t he? After catching so much flak for his Giancarlo Stanton home run call he seemingly went soft, or maybe just safe, with the home run call of Miguel Andujar… didn’t he?

“Andujar… hit it far…”

I mean, that works… but that is all you have? Sterling’s always been so creative and had so much fun with these, but it just feels like he went the safe route with Andujar. I don’t know. I don’t have any better recommendations, so I guess I can’t say too much, but still. This is Sterling’s thing, not mine, and I think he could have done better is all. Oh well, maybe his call for Gleyber Torres will make up for it.

Anyway, a special good morning to you my love, my soulmate and my future wife. I cannot wait to marry you and spend the rest of my days with you Kari Ann Burch. I love you.

This Day in New York Yankees History 4/25: Joe DiMaggio in Monument Park

On this day in 1999 the New York Yankees unveiled their fifth monument in Monument Park when a plaque honoring Joe DiMaggio was placed there. Joe D died the month prior at age 84 and joined Miller Huggins, Lou Gehrig, Babe Ruth, and Mickey Mantle in Monument Park.

Also on this day in 1933 the benches cleared at Griffith Stadium between the New York Yankees and the Washington Senators. Yankee outfielder Ben Chapman spikes Buddy Myer and then responds by punching the Senators Jewish second baseman and hurling anti-Semitic remarks at the injured infielder. This was an ugly brawl that lasted 20 minutes and spread into the stands with over 300 fans getting into the action. Suspensions and fines followed for the player’s involvement.

Also on this day in 1933 Yankees rookie pitcher Russ Van Atta goes 4-4 and shuts out the Washington Senators 16-0 in his Major League debut. Kid seems like a keeper to me.

Finally on this day in 1904 Jack Chesbro and the New York Highlanders hand the Washington Senators their eight straight loss, making the Sens 0-8 to start the season, when New York won 4-1. Chesbro picked up his first of his record 41 wins he will get that season. Insane by today's standards.