Friday, July 20, 2018

Game Thread: New York Yankees vs. New York Mets 7/20

And just like that it is game time here in the Bronx between the New York Yankees and the New York Mets. Subway Series, Part Two. Let’s do this. In the game tonight the Yankees will send Domingo German out to the mound to face off with Noah Syndergaard for the Mets. The game will be played at 7:05 pm ET inside Yankee Stadium and can be seen on WPIX Channel 11 and MLB 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, possibly an audition of sorts for Syndergaard in the Bronx tonight, and go Yankees!!

Comparing the Dodgers Prospects Package for Manny Machado to the Equivalent Yankees Prospects

My apologies for kind of a long title to the thread but I didn’t know how else to word it. The focus of this post will be to dissect the package of five prospects the Los Angeles Dodgers gave up in the deal for Manny Machado of the Baltimore Orioles and compare those prospects to the Yankees prospects and try to find a similar deal. The deal is done for Machado and this won’t change a thing, but I think it would be fun to look at an equivalent, or as close as we can get to anyway, package that the Yankees would have had to surrender if they were to have matched the deal for Machado.

The Dodgers surrendered 21-year old outfielder Yusniel Diaz, 22-year old infielder Rylan Bannon, 22-year old RHP Dean Kremer, 21-year old RHP Zach Pop, and 26-year old second baseman Breyvic Valera. According to MLB Pipeline Diaz was the 84th best prospect in all of Major League Baseball and the team’s 4th best prospect overall. Meanwhile Bannon was the team 27th best prospect while Kremer was ranked 28th by MLB Pipeline here in 2018. Pop and Valera were not ranked previously. Before we truly assess which Yankees prospects compare to these Dodgers prospects we have to meet the young men that are now wearing various uniforms within the Baltimore Orioles organization and minor league affiliates.

Diaz was the headliner of the deal and immediately becomes the top prospect in the Orioles farm system. Diaz earned a grade of 55 across the board with his hitting, speed, arm and defense tools according to scouts while his power keeps him from being a true five-tool player. Diaz has played center field throughout the majority of his minor league career, but many scouts suggest that his future is in a corner outfield spot, namely right field. At the time of the trade Diaz was hitting .314/.428/.477 with six home runs, eight stolen bases and more walks than strikeouts at the Double-A level.

If I were to take a stab at a comparison prospect for the Yankees I would have to go with Billy McKinney. I know many compared Diaz to Estevan Florial, but I cannot make that leap of faith. Florial is the top prospect in a much better Yankees farm system (6th overall by MLB Pipeline) whereas Diaz was just the fourth best within the Dodgers organization (10th overall in MLB according to MLB Pipeline). Also, Florial is ranked 37th overall in baseball according to while Diaz was just 84th. McKinney is more MLB-ready than either man and was ranked as the Yankees 16th best prospect overall in a very top-heavy system. To be honest I would be willing to swap out Florial for comparisons purposes over McKinney, but I stand by my thought process that McKinney is a closer comparison to Diaz than Florial at this point in their young careers.

Pinstriped Prospects credit image

Bannon profiles as a defensive third baseman at the Major League level that could have enough of a bat to keep him on a major league roster. At the time of the trade Bannon was batting .296/.402/.559 in Double-A but comes with a troubling strikeout total at the plate. Bannon does walk a lot though which is evident by his 14.6% walk rate, which is sometimes enough in the era of sabermetrics. Bannon was the 250th pick overall in the 2017 MLB First Year Players Draft for the Dodgers and in my opinion would closely compare to the Yankees Dermis Garcia. Garcia is listed as a third baseman and a first baseman by MLB Pipeline and is currently residing in Charleston with the Riverdogs.

Kremer was the Dodgers 28th best prospect right behind Bannon according to MLB Pipeline and heads into Baltimore with a 94 MPH fastball with horizontal movement, a curveball and a developing slider and changeup. Kremer had issues in the past but has enjoyed a breakout 2018 season of sorts posting a 3.30 ERA and a 12.99 K/9 ratio in High-A Rancho Cucamonga this season. Many scouts believe that he will be able to stick as a starter with his recent success which warranted him a promotion to Double-A with the trade. Kremer reminds me a lot of a RHP the team took in the 2017 MLB First Year Players Draft who also recently reached Double-A, Garrett Whitlock. Whitlock is the Yankees 26th best prospect according to MLB Pipeline and seems to be on the fast track after being drafted a little over a calendar year ago.

Pop profiles more as a reliever at the Major League level due to a low strikeout rate throughout his minor league career. Despite having a 7.67 K/9 ratio with the Dodgers he has managed to post a 0.33 ERA in 27 innings at High-A in 2018. Pop has been lucky, his BABIP and 95% strand rate suggests that, but he also commands a sinker that can hit 97 MPH that shows at least a bit of upside. The Yankees have another arm that may profile as a reliever if he were to reach the Major League level that I believe is comparable to Pop, his name is Giovanny Gallegos. Gallegos probably ranks a lot higher than Pop, Gallegos is on the Yankees 40-man roster and is their 19th best prospect in the farm system but is unlikely to stick with the MLB any time soon with many top-level arms ahead of him on the depth chart. If the team could move him now while clearing a 40-man roster spot for Machado in the process I think it truly makes sense for both clubs.

The final piece, Valera, is a journeyman who has spent seven years in the minor leagues with the St. Louis Cardinals alone before coming over to the Dodgers. While in St. Louis, Valera made his MLB debut with the team spanning 11 plate appearances before being traded to Los Angeles for Johan Mieses. Valera made 34 plate appearances with Los Angeles this season amassing just five hits while striking out and walking four times each. Valera is an MLB-ready infielder that compares a lot to Tyler Wade, although again like the instance with Gallegos I believe the Yankees would actually be overpaying with Wade over what the Dodgers sent to the Orioles in this deal.

It is worth mentioning that Valera was immediately assigned to Triple-A after the deal was made official while the remaining four prospects were all assigned to the Orioles Double-A affiliate. Keeping that in mind the closest I could come up with for a comparison package for the Yankees would be Billy McKinney, Garrett Whitlock, Dermis Garcia, Giovanny Gallegos, and Tyler Wade.

Would I make this deal for a true rental in Machado? Honestly, I probably would, but that goes against everything I have ever done in my prospect humping career. Although, it is the greediest thing the Yankees could have done, to date, this hot stove season. I’m torn, but if Baltimore asked for that package for Machado and I were the Yankees GM, well Machado would be wearing pinstripes and Alex Rodriguez’s #13 tonight. Oh well, water under the bridge.

Mission: Take Down Boston...

2nd Best Winning % in MLB but 2nd in the AL East...

It’s Friday and Baseball is back! Thanks to the All-Star Break, it’s been awhile since we’ve seen the Yankees on the field. Okay, any one not named Aaron Judge or Luis Severino. They’re back in the Bronx and ready to take on the not-so-high flyin’ Mets. One thing is sure, we’ll be seeing plenty of ink about Noah Syndergaard and Jacob deGrom and their potential connection to the Yankees over the next few days.  

Syndergaard takes the mound tonight against Domingo German, while deGrom matches up against Masahiro Tanaka on Sunday. As much as I’d love to have either pitcher, the realist in me knows that the likelihood either pitcher is traded to the Yankees is non-existent. The Mets are not going to send any of their top players to the Yankees regardless of the return.  

The Yankees begin the second half four-and-a-half games behind the Boston Red Sox in the AL East.  Hats off to the Red Sox for their brilliant first half.  They beat the teams they were supposed to. Mookie Betts has showed why he is one of the best players in Major League Baseball, and J.D. Martinez has proven to be the best off-season addition for any team (sorry, Giancarlo).  But it's a new day and plenty of time for the Yankees to catch the Red Sox and put them in their rearview mirror.  The Yankees have 67 games remaining or three more than the Red Sox.  I think as long as the Yankees can keep winning series, they'll be in great shape come September, or better yet, October.  The Red Sox have an easy start to the second half with the Detroit Tigers and Manny Machado-less Baltimore Orioles, a team that they already owned this season winning nine of ten games played.  However, there's a big showdown with the Yankees at Fenway Park looming the first week of August.  This is a great chance for the Yankees to keep it close for the next couple of weeks and then make a huge statement in Boston with hopefully a win of the four-game series.  

I think it was tough for Yankees fans to see Manny Machado traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers this week. Many of us, myself included, envisioned what it would look like to see Manny in pinstripes. I know, it was a 'want' and not a 'need' but how beautiful would it have looked to insert Machado's name into the Yankees lineup? It may still come to fruition after the season when Manny hits the open market, but of course that doesn’t help us today. The best part about Manny going to Los Angeles is that Yankees pitchers won’t have to face him again unless the Yankees and Dodgers meet in the World Series (a very nice problem to have). Manny destroyed the Yankees this year with six home runs. It’ll be nice to play the Baltimore Orioles for the remainder of the year without the  threat of Manny at bat. Hopefully the next home run he hits at Yankee Stadium will be while wearing Pinstripes. We’ll see.

Nice job by Machado in picking his new number for the Dodgers. His beloved #13 was already taken by this year’s breakout player, Max Muncy. Closer Kenley Jansen offered to pay Muncy to relinquish the number, but in the end, Manny chose a different number. Like Don Mattingly, who took #8 as a tribute for Yogi Berra when he joined the Dodgers coaching staff under Joe Torre a few years ago and later served as their manager, Machado has acquired the same number in honor of Orioles Hall of Famer Cal Ripken, Jr. A very classy move by Machado and a gesture I am sure the heartbroken O's fans appreciate.  

The Yankees lost another trade target yesterday when the Cleveland Indians abruptly acquired San Diego closer Brad Hand yesterday. I was surprised at the high cost the Indians paid (top catching prospect Francisco Mejia) but Cleveland’s bullpen was a mess. Once they get Andrew Miller back on the field, the Indians bullpen, with Hand, Miller, closer Cody Allen, and newcomer Adam Cimber, appears to be very formidable, especially in the post-season. Former Yankees pitcher, and now Padres reliever, Phil Hughes had the best Twitter quote following the Hand trade:  "Just a few more trades and I'll be the closer. Too soon?"  Former Yankee Kirby Yates is expected to take Hand's place as San Diego's closer, but even he has been the subject of trade speculation. Hughes, while clearly jesting, may in fact get his wish.  

Photo Credit: The San Diego Union-Tribune (K.C. Alfred)

Yankees fans are growing impatient but we’re still eleven days away from the non-waiver trading deadline. There’s time. GM Brian Cashman and his staff are working diligently behind the scenes. At this point, I am not really expecting a big splash but I do fully anticipate reinforcements in the not-so-distant future.  It was a year ago yesterday the Yankees acquired relievers David Robertson and Tommy Kahnle and third baseman Todd Frazier from the Chicago White Sox. If I had my wish, I’d probably prefer the acquisition of Orioles reliever Zach Britton who seems to be rounding back into form after his recovery from injuries. It’s not that I don’t feel the Yankees shouldn’t acquire a starter but the names of Michael Fulmer, J.A. Happ, and Cole Hamels are not inspiring to me. Dan O'Dowd of the MLB Network feels that Hamels would be re-energized with the chance to play in a pennant race, but c'mon, he clearly is not the pitcher he once was. The Yankees had scouts at Wrigley Field in Chicago yesterday to watch St Louis Cardinals starter Carlos Martinez. I’d love to have Martinez, 26, but his Yankees audition didn’t go so well as he took the loss against the Cubs, giving up six runs (five earned) over five innings, in the 9-6 defeat. Still, Martinez would be an upgrade if the Yankees can entice the Cardinals to part with the talented righty.  

Photo Credit: AP (Charles Rex Arbogast)

The Yankees may have lost a valuable trading chip yesterday when outfielder Clint Frazier was pulled from a Scranton/Wilkes-Barre game for possible concussion symptoms after a failed diving attempt to catch a fly ball in the first inning. Frazier’s concussion in Spring Training cost him the first couple months of the season.  

There will be one “newcomer” when the Yankees take the field tonight. Well, he is not quite a newcomer but Gary Sanchez will be back in  action behind the plate following his activation off the disabled list yesterday. If El Gary starts to hit like he did last summer, it’s scary to think what the Yankees offense is capable of. With no offense to either Austin Romine or Kyle Higashioka, Sanchez’s presence improves the team. Higgy was optioned to Triple A to make room for Sanchez. Now, we just need to get Gleyber Torres back.

ESPN's Keith Law released his Mid-Season Top 50 Prospect Update yesterday and has Yankees LHP Justus Sheffield listed at #12.  I loved his last line about Top Sheff:  "He's very close to major league-ready, however, has all the elements of a future No. 2 starter".  I wouldn't want to put the pressure of a pennant chase on Sheff as a starter for the Yankees this year plus he'll be nearing an innings limit at some point, but you gotta love the thought of Sheffield pitching out of the pen, perhaps as soon as next month or September at the latest.  

Well, let's begin Operation Beat Boston.  Yankees, welcome back.  We've missed you.  Let's make this a victorious Friday.  Send Thor to the showers early, and bring us a win.  

Go Yankees!

Update:  At his press conference today with the Los Angeles Dodgers, Manny Machado indicated his choice to wear #8 was out of respect for Los Angeles Lakers great Kobe Bryant and new beginnings.  In other words, f**k you, Orioles fans!  ;)

Game Preview: New York Yankees vs. New York Mets 7/20

The Subway Series Part II begins tonight in the Bronx as the New York Yankees play host to the New York Mets for the next three games in the Bronx. In the opener of the second half the Yankees will send Domingo German out to the mound to face off with Noah Syndergaard of the Mets. I find it interesting that both Syndergaard and Jacob deGrom, two potential trade targets for the Yankees, are pitching in the series this weekend in the Bronx, so let’s get to it.

German will open up the second half for the Yankees due in large part to the fact that New York wants to save Luis Severino and CC Sabathia for the looming series with the Boston Red Sox. German struggled in his last start against the Cleveland Indians where he allowed six runs in just four innings of work and will head into the start tonight looking for his first win since June 19th.

Syndergaard has made one start since returning off the disabled list and will make his second start since his seven-week stint on the DL tonight in the Bronx. In his first start since his injury the Mets right-hander allowed one run in five innings of work against the Washington Nationals. If the Mets look to trade Syndergaard before the deadline he will have to prove his health over the next two weeks.

The game will be played at 7:05 pm ET inside Yankee Stadium and can be seen on WPIX Channel 11 and MLB 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.

Enjoy the game, continue the dominance in the Subway Series, and go Yankees!

Hello… Manny Machado & Disappointment

Good morning Yankees family and not only a welcome back to the blog this morning, but welcome back to baseball as tonight marks the official end of the All-Star Break for the New York Yankees. I have to say that I don’t have the same excitement to head into the second half that I have in years past, not after the news that Manny Machado would be heading to the Los Angeles Dodgers.

I fully understand that the Yankees didn’t need Machado, and truth be told I wouldn’t want to give up five prospects in order to acquire him since he is a rental, but I have to admit that after all the news, reports, rumors and speculations I began to get my hopes up about acquiring him just a tad. Oh well, water under the bridge. The rumor mill is silent for the Yankees and that is when Brian Cashman tends to do his best work, I guess we will just have to be patient and trust the process.

Welcome back! Let’s do this!

And baby, I love you! Always have, always will.

This Day In New York Yankees History 7/20: Don Mattingly Puts Out

On this day in 1987 Yankees first basemen Don Mattingly tied a major league mark when he was credited with 22 put outs in one game.

Also on this day in 1965 Yankees pitcher Mel Stottlemyer hit an inside the park grand slam against the Boston Red Sox. The Yankees would win this game 6-3.