Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Game Thread: New York Yankees @ Philadelphia Phillies 6/27

And just like that it is game time here inside Citizens Bank Park as the New York Yankees and the Philadelphia Phillies finish off their three-game set. In the finale of their interleague series this week the Yankees will send Luis Cessa to the mound to face off with Zach Eflin for the Phillies. The game will be played at 7:05 pm ET inside Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia 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.

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, adios city of brotherly love and hello Boston, and go Yankees!!

Yankees Top Prospects List Post 2018 MLB Draft

The New York Yankees added a ton of depth and pitching to an already budding farm system through the draft and the future is bright once again here in the Bronx. Even with the graduation from prospect’s status of both Miguel Andujar and Gleyber Torres the Yankees farm system is still loaded with young talent on the cusp of making an impact, many of which are listed here on my post-2018 MLB Draft top Yankees prospects list. Enjoy!

1.       Estevan Florial
2.       Justus Sheffield
3.       Albert Abreu
4.       Chance Adams
5.       Luis Medina
6.       Jonathan Loaisiga
7.       Domingo German
8.       Anthony Seigler
9.       Dillon Tate
10.   Freicer Perez
11.   Thairo Estrada
12.   Domingo Acevedo
13.   Billy McKinney
14.   Matt Sauer
15.   Trevor Stephan

This was genuinely hard to do, and that is the best problem to have. Having a top arm like Domingo Acevedo ranked 12th, only because of how far away he is from the majors and having an MLB-ready outfielder like Billy McKinney 13th is just a gluttony of talent. The team is still loaded, even after losing Gleyber and Andujar on their prospects list, and will be, if Yankees GM Brian Cashman can navigate the coming trade seasons and offseason well, for the foreseeable future.

Predicting the 2018 Trade Deadline: Jacob deGrom

Warning: This is the post that no fan of the New York Yankees wants to read. This will scare you. You have been warned. 

The New York Mets will listen to offers regarding three of their top starting pitchers this summer including Noah Syndergaard, Steven Matz and the right-hander that every team wants, Jacob deGrom. The Mets will certainly listen to offers for any of their veterans, but the team can truly jumpstart a rebuild by trading one or all of these starters, especially deGrom. Ultimately, I believe deGrom will be traded before the end of the July 31st trading deadline, and I believe the team that will acquire his services will scare a lot of teams in the American League. Can you imagine how good the Houston Astros will be once they acquire deGrom this summer? 

I know, it sounds crazy that a team so rich in pitching would be in the market for a pitcher at the trade deadline but hear me out. This move is a multi-headed monster for the Astros, hypothetically. First and foremost, the Astros know that they will at least have a tough time bringing Dallas Keuchel back via the free agent market after the 2018 season. Keuchel is set to hit free agency before his age-31 season while deGrom’s earliest free agent year is the year 2021. Acquiring deGrom now allows the team to let Keuchel walk via free agency after the season while still keeping a cost-controlled and strong starting pitching staff for 2019 and beyond.  

The deal could also open up an avenue where the Astros could at least consider trading Keuchel, but another reason the team “needs” deGrom is because Keuchel has not been the dominant force that he has been in the past. Keuchel is pitching to a 4-8 record with a 3.90 ERA at the time of this writing with 97 innings pitched and just 77 strikeouts. That’s great for some teams to be completely honest, but Houston may look to upgrade to hold off the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox.  

Speaking of the two mammoth giants in the American League East, that alone could be worth the Astros acquiring deGrom just to keep him away from either of those two teams. Obviously, the Astros wouldn’t acquire deGrom for that sole reason, but the fact that he checks so many other boxes while keeping him away from their biggest competitors in the postseason is just too convenient and obvious to ignore. 

The Astros have a strong farm system and a young team meaning they have the pieces to make such a deal work with the Mets. The Astros also have, for lack of a better term, a need for deGrom as well, so watch out for Houston if and when the Mets truly make their right-handed ace available this summer.

The AL Starter in the MLB All-Star Game Should Be...

Photo Credit: Getty Images (Hunter Martin)
An Easy Decision for Astros Manager A.J. Hinch...

I am starting to think that Luis Severino simply plays at a higher level than anyone else. If there was a league higher than Major League Baseball, he would have already graduated. I remember being so frustrated in 2016 when Sevy couldn't buy a win as a starter. I was among many who felt that his future might be better served in the bullpen. Thank God I am not a baseball scout. Severino plays with confidence but that does not begin to equate to the level of confidence he gives us as fans when he takes the mound.  

I remember the Summer of '78 when Ron Guidry dominated the opposition (25-3, 1.74 ERA) and represented almost a guaranteed win every time he pitched. There have been some good pitching seasons by other pitchers since then but I don't think I've had the confidence in any pitchers like I did Gator that summer until now. The fact that Severino is homegrown and not a product of free agency or trade makes it even better. I am very proud of the pitcher Severino has become and look forward to his exciting years ahead. 

A day after Jonathan Loaisiga took a no-hitter into the sixth inning, Severino completely shut down the Phillies offense. Sevy (12-2) owned the strike zone and toyed with the Phillies hitters. He may have started to tire late but he gave the Yankees seven strong scoreless innings, scattering six hits and did not walk a batter. He had nine strikeouts to increase his season total to 132 (seventh best in MLB). If Severino is not chosen as the AL Starter for the All-Star Game, it will be a travesty.  He has clearly outpitched the two usual suspects (Chris Sale and Corey Kluber) and has three more wins than A.J. Hinch's own stud, Justin Verlander.   

The day started right when Aaron Hicks led off Tuesday's game with a homer over the center field wall against Phillies starter Jake Arrieta. 

Photo Credit: Getty Images

The Yankees extended their lead to 4-0 in the third inning, thanks to a two-run single by Gleyber Torres which was immediately followed by Greg Bird's RBI single. 

Austin Romine, promoted to full-time starter for the next three or four weeks, opened the fourth inning with a double to deep left center. Sevy was the next batter and although it was anticipated that he'd be the first out, he did take a couple of good hacks before striking out. Rather than being an easy out, he battled and it paid off when Arrieta thew a wild pitch to advance Romine to third. Even though Sevy struck out, I felt his at-bat was productive. Aaron Hicks took advantage of Romine's presence on third with a deep fly to right to score the runner. 5-0, Yankees.

The Yankees closed out their scoring in the top of the fifth inning when Didi Gregorius led off with a solo homer to right center, his 15th of the year. From there, it was Sevy and the bullpen to the finish. Adam Warren pitched a clean eighth inning, but I have to admit I got sick to my stomach when Aaron Boone brought Chasen Shreve in for the ninth despite the six-run lead. It got worse when Shreve walked Carlos Santana after the first out and was down 3-1 on the next hitter (Nick Williams). A two or three-run homer and the Phillies were back in this game. Fortunately, Williams grounded out and Scott Kingery hit a liner right at Gleyber Torres to end the game. Shreve did his job, but I am sorry, he still sucks.  

Regardless of what happens today, the Yankees have won their series with the Phillies which helps overcome the weekend sweep by the Tampa Bay Rays. After the game, Phillies manager Gabe Kapler said that Severino was "as dirty as you possibly could be". Agreed and it's quite alright by me. I am really hopeful Sevy is throwing like this when he makes his next start against the Boston Red Sox.  

The Yankees (52-25) maintained their half-game lead on the Red Sox (53-27). The Sox had an easy time with Mike Trout and the Los Angeles Angels, winning 9-1 at Fenway Park behind David Price. Don't look now but the Rays are hot. Fresh off their sweep of the Yankees, they've taken the first two games of their series with the Washington Nationals. Yesterday, Nathan Eovaldi and the Rays beat Max Scherzer and the Nats, 1-0. Nasty Nate is looking good. The Rays have won five in a row and have closed the gap with the Yankees to fourteen games. Ha! They're not going anywhere but if the Rays win today, they'll be back to .500. Not bad for a team that looked like a mess in the preseason.

Brandon Drury has cooled off at Triple A with only two hits in his last seven games but I remain hopeful that he'll be back in the Bronx soon. He played first base again yesterday for the second time in five days. Aaron Boone was quoted yesterday as saying Drury at first was not on the front burner, but from my perspective, the versatility certainly helps. I remain a fan of Drury and I'd prefer to see him play for the Yankees as opposed to being part of a July trade for pitching.  

Why do so many non-Yankees fans try to sell the idea of a Gleyber Torres-for-Jacob deGrom trade? Look, I'd love to have deGrom on the Yankees, but there's no way that I would trade Torres for him. With Torres, we have second base locked up for the next decade (or more) with a player that should make a few All-Star teams. Pitchers are too fragile. deGrom is great but not at the cost of Torres. Down the road in about five years when deGrom is trying to reinvent himself as an older pitcher, Torres will still be a superstar in his mid-20's.  

Photo Credit: Associated Press

Another former Yankee was thrown on the scrap heap this week when the San Diego Padres designated reliever Tyler Webb for assignment. He's one of those guys I always wanted to succeed but for whatever reason it has never happened for him. Hopefully he'll find better luck with his next organization. If not, maybe he can play cards with Chase Headley, Rob Refsnyder and Jesus Montero.

Although I was very confident yesterday thanks to Luis Severino, today is "not-so-much". The Phillies stand a very good chance of taking the series finale since the Yankees will be throwing out Luis Cessa to make the spot start in order to push CC Sabathia to the Red Sox series. The Phillies will start Zach Eflin (5-2, 3.44 ERA). Advantage Phillies. I really wish that I could bring myself to like Cessa as a starter but I just can't do it. Oh well, with the Yankees offense, it's always possible that Cessa could win despite himself.

Go Yankees!

Game Preview: New York Yankees @ Philadelphia Phillies 6/27

Good morning Yankees family. Today the New York Yankees and the Philadelphia Phillies finish off their three-game set this week inside Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia with another great pitching matchup. As much as I would just like it to be a pitching matchup we have to remember that the two men toeing the rubber in the finale of this set also have to take their hacks at the plate as well. Donned with that task for the Yankees is Luis Cessa while the Phillies will counter with Zach Eflin. Let’s get to it here in Philadelphia.

Cessa will make his first start of the season for New York tonight after making four relief appearances for the club thus far this season. Cessa missed time on the disabled list this season and has been limited to just six innings pitched at the Major League level.

Eflin will be making his first start against the New York Yankees of his career tonight and heads into the start on a roll. During the month of June, Eflin has pitched to a 4-0 record with a 2.28 ERA including a strong start against the Washington Nationals in his last start.

The game will be played at 7:05 pm ET inside Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia 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, get out intact, and go Yankees!!

Hello… Team Control Manipulation

Good morning Yankees family and welcome back to the blog. We took a little bit of a long weekend there, not by choice but by my job’s choice, but we are back and ready to keep marching on towards the postseason. It probably isn’t a bad thing that we took the weekend off, watching that Rays series was painful. It hurts watching the team lose and certain players struggle when there are obviously much better options down in Triple-A that are hungry and ready to contribute. Baseball is a game, yes, but it is also a business and sometimes with business all that matters are the dollars and the cents of the game. Enter the Yankees newest tool to remain on top, team control manipulation.

It happens every year, teams keep their top prospects in the Minor Leagues to start the season for a couple weeks, maybe as long as a month, to delay their free agency by another season due to team control rules set forth in the collective bargaining agreement. Well, the New York Yankees are taking that one step further here in 2018 after leaving Gleyber Torres down on the farm long enough to keep him under their thumb for at least another season. The team is also doing it with Brandon Drury, Tyler Wade, Clint Frazier, Tommy Kahnle, Ronald Torreyes and others.

All five of these men could see their free agency pushed back a season if they remain in the minor leagues, most notably Drury who has right at two weeks left of MiLB service time before the Yankees buy themselves another season of control.

One more year of team control would not be enough for you and me. I want forever. I love you.

This Day in New York Yankees History 6/27: Wade Blasingame’s Debut & Goodbye

On this day in 1972 Wade Blasingame made his last start of his career and his first career start for the New York Yankees. The Tigers would hit three consecutive home runs in the first inning when Aurelio Rodriguez, Al Kaline, and Willie Horton went deep. The Tigers would beat the Yankees 5-2.