Sunday, September 2, 2018

Looking at 2019

Howdy Folks as many of you know I’ve been posting what is known as Fan Time, where I’ve been asking fans what additions they would make this coming offseason. Today I give my Opinions on what next years line up and 25 man roster should look like. Now I know there will be some people to agree with me and some that will lead to some backlash, I welcome it all and would love to hear your comments.  

Most people would jump right into the starting lineup, me I’ll start with bench and work from there. Now I am not 100% opposed to a 8 man bullpen but don’t think it’s necessary, that coupled with the vision I have for the everyday lineup I chose to go with a 4 man bench.  

The first man named here is Arguably one of the most respected Yankee in the club house. 

Brett Gardner Gardner is the longest tendered Yankee, and is well liked by his teammate and fans. However in my opinion he is no longer the everyday answer in LF. He is still a hell of a defender but his Offense has taken a hit. In order to keep up with the BoSox the Yankees need more from their everyday players. I am not ready to just give up on Brett altogether thus he becomes my 4th OF.  

Austin RomineRomine proved this year he can step up and at least handle the everyday job if needed. Austin knows the pitching staff can fill in for Sanchez when needed and is pretty sound Defensively. No reason to rock any boats here, just stick with the known.   

Greg BirdAs I wrote in another post Birds combined numbers over his 3 years are pretty decent for only playing 170 games. 37 home runs in the time frame of games played is actually pretty good. Only wish this was over the course of 1 season not 3. However like Gardner I am banking on more from my everyday players thus while not giving up on Bird he winds up on the bench.   

Ronald Torreyes I Know he has no pop! But anyone that can come off the bench and hit for a .300 avg whether it’s one game here or there, or a extended period of time when a regular is hurt is enough to earn a spot on me team. Plus everyone loves Toe!!! 

Not to exciting of a bench but a solid one nonetheless. Moving on it’s time we address the bullpen. The Yankees have and have had one of the best pens in the game for some time now I have no plans of that changing. With the 4 man bench I’ll be going with 7 relievers.  


Aroldis ChapmanChapman despite pitching with a bum leg most of the summer is one of the best in the game and I see no reason he is not the closer for 2019. This man throws some serious gas 104mph :), anyway as long as his health is good Chapman is my man in the 9th. 

Setup Men 

Dellin BetancesWhile he has had his ups and downs Dellin once again struck out 100s batters out of the pen. When he is on Betances is one of the games best relievers and earns his spot on this team.   

Andrew Miller He'll be older, but Miller can be viewed like Randy Johnson: a tall, lanky lefty who throws a fastball and slider and could dominate well into his 40s. Miller has had some shoulder issues this year, but I think that will be a one year type thing. Andrew has AL East experience as well as playoff experience and I think he would return to all star form once again wearing pinstripes. Plus his willingness to pitch in any role without any complaint makes him an attractive option. 

Middle Relief 

David Robertson David like most relievers has had his ups and downs this season. However like most of the players I have named he has shown the ability to handle not only the AL East but the responsibility of being a Yankee. 

Chad Green Green has become one of Baseballs best middle relievers the game has to offer. He throws gas and commands respect when on the mound. Green can arguably be a closer on at least half the teams in the majors, having him slated for 6th inning duty is a very strong weapon, it’s almost not fair to the other teams. 

Jonathan Holder While he has slowed down a tad, Holder has had a break out 2018. There is something to be said for being able to handle the pressures of playing in NY, especially for the Bronx Bombers. So once again I am staying in house and Holder makes my 25 man roster.    

Long Man/6th Starter ......TBDHere is where things get interesting. Seeing as I have 3 lefties in my starting rotation. (Hint hint). The guy filling this spot on my time needs to be able to step into the rotation when I right is needed and well to keep the starters fresh from time to time. This role can hopefully be filled form within the farm system and I’ll look to Chance Adams, Domingo Acevedo, Domingo German, and maybe a few more. I’ll wait till spring training to make that choice. With a solid bench and the best pen in the sport, we will now look to the starting rotation. I for one don’t think Clayton Kershaw will opt out and even if he does I will be passing on one of the Majors best pitchers (No Disrespect). Also I’d be hard pressed to think the Giants make Maddison Bumgarner available so I’ll take the realistic approach here.  

The Rotation

Luis SeverinoThe Yankees Ace has proven himself time and time again. If not for a snag in the road and a few bad outings in a row Sevy may have won the CY Young. Either way I’m happy with what I’ve seen and Severino is my man. 

Patrick Corbin The much need #2 starter for me is Corbin. I’ve always liked his guy since his rookie year and by the looks of it 2018 was his break out year. With his age and talent Corbin is the free agent I’m reeling in.  

Masahiro TanakaTanaka is here, he is not going anywhere and honestly is alright as a number 3 starter. Great some days, ok others, and very once in while is a dud but can’t ask for much more.  

JA Happ Keep it plain and simple earned his pinstripes. Resign him line him up as the 4th starter and let’s go.  

Justus SheffieldPlain and simple it is time! (Lol I seem to like that line) Let’s see what we have in the young left hander. Sheff has all the tools to be a solid 2-3 starter in the league and having him as your 5th starter puts you ahead of the pack.  

Looking good so far? Anyways now it is time for the moment everyone has been waiting for my starting 9. I’ve gone back and forth here for a while, who plays where, who bats were etc. 

This line up should be the best of recent memory and would carry the Yankees as they continue to build the next Great Dynasty. 

1. Aaron Hicks CF Hicks remains the starting center fielder and is now the every day leading hitter. Hicks has some speed, plays a good CF, and has shown some pop. Thus adds some balance this team will definitely need.   

2. Aaron Judge RF Even with the wrist injury Aaron Judge is still the beat in the Yankees Drum. Loved by the Fans, the front office, media, and Fans there is no way I pass on Judge and his monster bat. 

3. Bryce Harper LFBryce being a Yankees is his dream. Imagine Harper’s back with that short right field porch. Can you say Home Runs, Major Promotions, and most of all Monument Park Bound! Bold predictions? Yes Yes Indeed! But don’t be fooled this is all Destiny.  

4. Giancarlo Stanton DH While the other All Star Yankees were injured Stanton was mashing and playing 80 plus games in a row. Proving he belongs in the Bronx and on this team.  

5. Manny Machado 3B Don’t get me wrong I absolutely love Miguel Andujar, we just need better defense at the hot corner. Besides Manny may just be the best 3rd baseman in the game today. To keep pace with Boston we need to field the best team possible and like Harper, Machado has made it known he prefers to play in the Bronx. Cashman let’s make it happen. 

6. Didi Gregorius SS Didi’s bat gets better with each passing year. His defense has been top 5 in the AL easily. Sir Didi has taken over for Jeter seamlessly and is my choice to keep manning the position. Plus his left handed bat is much needed in this lineup. 

7. Gray Sanchez C Wow!! Can you imagine a lineup where Gary is batting seventh? Gary batting 7th is more of splitting lefties and righties didn’t balance to the top/middle of this order. This lineup is looking scary already.  

8. Miguel Andjuar 1BWhile there will be days Bird will be at 1st. Andjuar proved with this rookie year he can hit at the major league level, and he is a doubles magnet. Andjuar deserves to stick around and play so 1st base it is. Don’t get me wrong depending on match ups and other guys needing days off he can also see time at 3rd and the Dh spot but should be in the every day lineup. Might even say a few games with Harper at 1st all depends on who’s pitching, who’s healthy etc. I know it may be crazy for a number of reasons trying the position change but I’m going for it.  

9. Gleyber Torres 2B Torres like Andjuar has shown his potential was not to be taken lightly. While a injury and poor play upon return may have cost him the AL Rookie of the year, Torres has been coming on strong once again and is proving that all his hype was the real deal. That being said Torres remains my 2nd Baseman for 2019.  

Well there you have it. From top to bottom this team should be able to hold pace with the hated BoSox, and strong Astro teams. I know I may be Greedy adding Harper and Machado but hey it’s all with the goal of winning the World Series. Players of there caliber don’t come around often but when they do you need to strike. Especially at their young ages, so as always Let’s G⚾️ Yankees!!!  Make it Happen!!!! 

James C Palma is a writer for The Greedy Pinstripes and can be reached by email at JamesCPalma@Yahoo.Com or on Twitter @JamesCPalma


Getting the Most Out of Two Hits...

Photo Credit: The New York Post (Paul J Bereswill)
Yanks Beat Tigers, 2-1…

Normally, I’d be very bummed the Yankees were only able to get two hits off Tigers pitching on Saturday but thanks to Masahiro Tanaka, that’s all the offense he needed en route to the one-run victory.

The way the game started, it looked like Tanaka was going to need significantly more offense than he eventually required. The Tigers scored first with a run in the first inning on a sacrifice fly by Victor Martinez. It looked like they might get more with only one out, but Tanaka worked himself out of trouble by striking out Niko Goodrum and getting Ronny Rodriguez to fly out to left.

Andrew McCutchen led off the bottom of the first for his first appearance as a New York Yankee. It is so weird seeing Cutch in Pinstripes. It’s great, don’t get me wrong, but is still a strange sight. When I think of Cutch, I think of the long dreadlocks and the beard but now both are nothing but a distant memory. I do have to say that the beardless look makes him look younger. It wasn’t the best of times for the former NL MVP as he struck out looking in his Yankees debut at-bat. He finished the game without a hit, going 0-for-3 with two strikeouts. However, McCutchen was not the only Yankee hitter to struggle against Tigers starter Daniel Norris. Through four innings, Norris held the Yankees hitless and had faced the minimum of twelve batters.  

Photo Credit: AP (Bill  Kostroun)

Miguel Andujar finally became the first Yankee baserunner when he walked to lead off the fifth inning. Gary Sanchez had first shot to move Andujar but he flied out to left. Next up, Gleyber Torres. The Rookie of the Year candidate made the most of his opportunity with the first Yankees hit of the game, a homer to left, which gave the Yankees a 2-1 lead. After walking the next batter, Luke Voit, Norris left the game with an apparent injury (later diagnosed as a leg cramp) but the Yankees didn’t fare any  better against the Tigers bullpen.  

Photo Credit: AP (Bill Kostroun)

The only other hit by the Yankees was an infield single by Aaron Hicks in the sixth inning but he was erased on an inning-ending double play.

Tanaka navigated his way through the biggest challenge in the seventh inning. Tigers catcher Grayson Greiner led off with a double to right field. JaCoby Jones followed with a single, moving Greiner to third. Jones subsequently stole second to give the Tigers two runners in scoring position with no outs. I would have pulled Tanaka at that point but manager Aaron Boone stayed with his right-hander and was rewarded. A ground out and two strikeouts left the two Detroit runners stranded and the Yankees still holding the slim one-run advantage.

Tanaka didn’t return but it was a great start. He evaded potential big innings for the Tigers in the first and seventh, finishing with seven hits scattered over seven innings. He limited the Tigers to the isolated first inning run, walking one and striking out six on 96 pitches. With the continued struggles of Luis Severino, Tanaka is pitching like a guy who wants the ball for the inevitable single-game elimination Wild Card playoff.  

From there, it was up to the Yankees bullpen. Jonathan Holder took the eighth, and to my surprise, Dellin Betances got the call in the ninth. Personally, I would not be comfortable with Betances as my closer (he proved to me long ago that he is better in setup) but Boone showed confidence in Betances, who was only two games removed from the disaster on Thursday night when he gave up two ninth inning home runs to blow the first game of the series to the Tigers. This time, there were no late game heroics for the Tigers. Betances struck out the first batter, Jeimer Candelario, for his 100th strikeout of the season (the fifth consecutive season he has hit the milestone, a record for a reliever). The Tigers did get a runner on base but he didn’t go anywhere. A couple of ground outs and it was game over. A save for Betances, his second of the season, and a win for Tanaka (10-5) and the Yankees.  

Photo Credit: Getty Images (Rich Schultz)

The Boston Red Sox won (6-1 over the Chicago White Sox) so the Yankees (86-50) remain 7 1/2 games behind the AL East leaders. The Yankees did pick up a game in the Wild Card standings over the Oakland A’s. The Athletics lost to the Seattle Mariners and slid 5 1/2 games behind the Yankees. The M’s, ten games behind the Yankees, trail the A’s by 4 1/2 games.

Like Andrew McCutchen, Gary Sanchez took an ‘O-fer’ this game. He was 0-for-4. He almost beat out an infield hit in the second inning but instant replay sent him to the bench. His season batting average dropped to .185 but then again, he wasn’t alone in his search for a hit in this game.

The Yankees conclude their four-game series with Detroit today at 1:05 pm ET. Lance Lynn (8-9, 4.84 ERA) gets the call against Detroit’s talented lefty, Matthew Boyd (8-12, 4.22 ERA). The Yankees will be managed by Bench Coach Josh Bard since Manager Aaron Boone gets the day off, thanks to a one-game suspension for the catching instruction he gave to the home plate umpire on Friday night. Giancarlo Stanton also gets a much-needed day off. Gary Sanchez will slide into the DH role. Sanchy, please feel free to mix in a hit or two…or three.

Saturday, with the expansion of rosters, was a busy day for the home team. Shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria, acquired Friday night, was added to the active roster and assigned #29, in addition to the activation of Gary Sanchez off the 10-day DL. Shortstop Tyler Wade and RHP Luis Cessa were recalled from Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, and the Yankees purchased the contract of LHP Stephen Tarpley from SWB. Tarpley was assigned #71 and will be making his Major League debut whenever he gets the call from Aaron Boone (or if today, Bard). To make room for Tarpley, the Yankees designated outfielder Shane Robinson for assignment. It remains to be seen if LHP Justus Sheffield will get the call or pinch-runner extraordinaire Quintin Berry for that matter. For either of those guys to be added, someone will have to be voted off the island.  A.J. Cole, you might want to start packing your bags, Dude.  

This morning, the Yankees recalled RHP Jonathan Loaisiga from Double-A Trenton.  

When the Yankees acquired Andrew McCutchen, I knew immediately that it would be a reunion with a long-time teammate (Neil Walker) but I had forgotten that Adeiny Hechavarria was the starting shortstop for the Miami Marlins for a few years before his subsequent stops in Tampa Bay and Pittsburgh. So, he had his own little reunion with Giancarlo Stanton.  

Despite the Thursday night disaster, the Yankees have a chance to take the series today with the Tigers. With a cross-country flight to the Bay Area awaiting them, it would be great for the team to take a winning feeling with them.  

Go Yankees!