Monday, February 25, 2019

Meet the 2019 Yankees: Joe Harvey

Man, it was not easy to find information on Yankees right-handed pitcher Joe Harvey, but we did the best we could. In all actuality, I am glad that this was a challenge and that there wasn’t the plethora of information on the web about him like there was with others, that means when others head out looking for information on him later in the spring and throughout the season that maybe they will stumble upon the site and stay awhile. Let’s meet the man, the myth, and hopefully soon-to-be the legend, Mr. Joe Harvey.

Joe Harvey, 27-years old, is a right-handed relief pitcher currently in the New York Yankees organization. Harvey is a large, intimidating presence on the mound standing 6’2” and weighing in at 235 lbs. Harvey throws a mid-90’s fastball with a high spin rate to go along with a curveball that he worked on for much of the winter trying to improve. Harvey also throws a changeup that he has also dabbled with a lot this winter in search of improvement.

Joseph Robert Harvey was born on January 9, 1992 in Audobon, Pennsylvania and attended high school at Kennedy-Kenrick Catholic High School in Norristown, PA. After graduating High School, Harvey moved on to play baseball at the collegiate level for the University of Pittsburgh where he caught the eye as a pitcher of the New York Yankees. The New York Yankees drafted Harvey in the 19th round of the 2014 MLB First Year Players Draft out of the University of Pittsburgh and immediately assigned him to the GCL Yankees. Harvey spent time there and with the Staten Island Yankees in 2014 before being promoted to the Charleston Riverdogs for the 2015 season.

Harvey took a step back in 2016, heading back to the GCL to play for both Yankees affiliates there as well as the Staten Island Yankees. Harvey was promoted to the Tampa Yankees in 2017 before finally reaching Double-A, and then Triple-A during the 2018 season. Harvey was added to the Yankees 40-man roster prior to the 2019 season and also participated in the Dominican Winter League as well as he prepared for the possible call to the Major Leagues this season.

Good luck to you, Joe. You already struck out Troy Tulowitzki in a simulated game this spring, and that’s not nothing if you ask me. Injuries slowed Harvey’s path towards the majors, the right-hander was limited to just 41 games as a reliever from 2014-2016 and just 18 games in 2017 but took off and showed glimpses of what he could become for the Yankees in 2018.

Meet the 2019 Yankees: Luis Cessa

I know all 5000+ of my Twitter followers just rolled their eyes when they saw this post go live and get tweeted on Twitter but hear me out. Love him or hate him, I have to support Luis Cessa. Why? Because he wears Yankees pinstripes. Not every player on the team every single season will win you over, and that’s Cessa for me, but you still have to support the player and the team. Let’s meet the man that has a lot of “winning me over” to do, Luis Cessa.

Luis Cessa, 26-years old, is a right-handed starter and reliever currently within the New York Yankees system. Cessa possesses a 95 MPH four-seam fastball, an 84 MPH slider, an 86 MPH changeup, and a rarely thrown 81 MPH curveball. Cessa creates a lot of ground balls with his fastball as well as with his changeup. His slider has a 12-6 movement and has some two-plane movement.

Luis Enrique Cessa was born on April 25, 1992 in Cordoba, Mexico where he was signed as an international free agent by the New York Mets back in 2008. The Mets signed Cessa as a shortstop and watched him in his first two professional seasons at the position before transitioning him to a pitcher in 2011. Cessa continued his work as a starter with the Mets until July 31, 2015 when New York traded Cessa and Michael Fulmer to the Detroit Tigers for Yoenis Cespedes. By the end of the 2015 season, Cessa was on the move again, this time back to New York. On December 9, 2015 the Tigers traded Cessa along with Chad Green to the New York Yankees for lefty Justin Wilson.

Cessa made the Yankees Opening Day roster in 2016 and made his MLB debut on April 8, pitching two innings and allowing two hits, including a home run, with two strikeouts against the Detroit Tigers. Cessa bounced back and forth between Triple-A and the Bronx for the remainder of the 2016 season before starting the 2017 season back in Triple-A. Cessa bounced back and forth again in 2017 and 2018 with the Yankees, mainly as a spot starter, but may have found his niche with the team as a relief pitcher during the 2018 campaign.

Listen, Cessa isn’t my favorite Yankee of all-time, I am on record of thinking that many, many times, but I still support him. I think Cessa could be more than serviceable as a relief pitcher, but in no way do I ever want him starting games for the New York Yankees again. His stuff just doesn’t translate in my opinion, but again… I will still support him regardless. I support my Yankees, and you should too.

Yankees Sign Hicks to 7-Year Deal Worth $70 Million

The New York Yankees have signed Aaron Hicks to a new seven-year deal worth $70 million that will begin in 2019 and keep the switch-hitter in Yankees pinstripes through his age 35 season. There is also a club option for an 8th season. The deal runs from age 29 until Hicks is 35, 36 if the club option is exercised.

Here is a breakdown of what the deal looks like:

2019 - $6 million salary, plus $2 million signing bonus
2020- $10.5 million
2021 - $10.5 million
2022 - $10.5 million
2023 - $10.5 million
2024 - $9.5 million
2025 - $9.5 million
2026 - $12.5 million club option or $1 million buyout

Hicks does not receive a no-trade clause, but gets $1 million in bonus money if traded

FYI, according to Fangraphs and their "value" stat, Hicks was worth a $26.4 million contract in 2017 and worth a $39 million contract in 2018... and the Yankees just got him for $10 million a season.

Meet the 2019 Yankees: Thairo Estrada

For whatever reason it feels like Thairo Estrada has been around forever with the New York Yankees. It is hard to believe that Thairo is still just 22-years old, but it’s true. It’s also hard to believe that Thairo survived a gunshot wound in the hip during a robbery attempt in January of 2018, but that’s another story for another blog post. Let’s meet the man that will look to finally crack the Major League roster here in 2019, Mr. Thairo Estrada.

Thairo Estrada, 23-years old with a Happy Belated birthday from us here at TGP, is a right-handed throwing and batting infielder that has experience as a second baseman, shortstop, and third baseman as a professional player. Estrada has a small frame, standing just 5’10” and weighing just 185 lbs., but he will take his walks and hit for average if he’s healthy and right, physically.

Thairo Jose Estrada Villegas was born on February 22, 1996 in Bejuma, Venezuela where he was signed as an international free agent back in August of 2012. Estrada made his professional debut with the club’s Gulf Coast League team in 2013 and spent the whole season there. Estrada returned to the GCL Yankees in 2014 but was quickly promoted to the Staten Island Yankees. Estrada returned to the New York-Penn League and the SI Yankees in 2015, but again earned a promotion to the Charleston Riverdogs and the Tampa Yankees by the time the 2016 season came along.

Estrada was promoted to the Trenton Thunder in 2017 and was an Eastern League All-Star in Double-A, finishing the season with a .301 batting average with six home runs and 48 RBI. Estrada was added to the Yankees 40-man roster following the season.

Estrada was shot in the hip during a robbery attempt before the 2018 season and was limited to just 18 games and 78 at-bats between Triple-A and the Tampa Yankees of A+ ball. Estrada also went to the Arizona Fall League following the 2018 season and played in 19 games there with Glendale. 
Estrada will look for another productive and healthy season in 2019 and will also hope for his ultimate shot at the Major League level. Estrada is ready, make the call.

TGP Trivia and Fact of the Day for February 25th, 2019

Good morning Yankees family!

Name the Yankees player who holds the club record for pinch-hit home runs in a career:

Highlight below for the answer, but before you do... leave your guesses and answer below. No cheating!

Yogi Berra, who has nine. 

Good morning my amazing wife. I love you so very much.