Sunday, June 30, 2013

Game Thread: New York Yankees @ Baltimore Orioles

We have to salvage a game tonight and avoid the sweep in this three game weekend series with the Baltimore Orioles tonight on ESPN Sunday Night Baseball. Hiroki Kuroda will be on the mound for the Yankees and he will face off with a  right hander for the Orioles, which helps, in Chris Tillman. 

Here is the Yankees lineup

Brett Gardner CF
Ichiro Suzuki RF
Robinson Cano 2B
Travis Hafner DH
Zoilo Almonte LF
Lyle Overbay 1B
Jayson Nix SS
Chris Stewart C
David Adams 3B

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International Free Agent Spending Starts Tuesday 7/2

Starting on Tuesday July 2nd the International Free Agent spending free for all begins at midnight and the Yankees look to be busy on that day. We learned yesterday that the Yankees would not be interested in Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez but today we learned that the Yankees will be interested in Dominican third baseman Rafael Devers. We should also be interested in Dominican left fielder Leonardo Molina. 

Devers is only 16 years old but was ranked as the best international free agent in this pool by Baseball America. BA also calls him the most advanced left handed hitter in the pool thanks to his bat speed, power potential, and ability to hit and recognize off speed pitching. His only issue is that at age 16 he is already 6'1" and 215 lbs so he may grow himself out of the hot corner. 

Michael Pineda Roughed Up In Rehab Start

Of course Michael Pineda would get roughed up in what could be his last rehab start and make the decision a little bit harder for the Yankees. Of course I do not believe, by my unofficial count, his rehab assignment is up until July 8th so we could see one more start from Pineda but still. Pineda allowed four runs on four hits and allowed four walks and a hit by pitch in three innings for the Trenton Thunder. Pineda only was allowed to throw 67 pitches which is disappointing because we wanted and ultimately needed Pineda to be up to 100 pitches before we called him up to the majors.

If Pineda came out and blew everybody away I would have to say that the Yankees would have called him up and Phil Hughes would be moved in a deal but now I am not so sure. If the Yankees don't called Pineda up this season and option him to AAA when the rehab window is up they would still have four more years of team control left on Pineda instead of three and a half years.

New York Yankees @ Baltimore Orioles 6/30

The Yankees and the Orioles are the ESPN Sunday Night baseball game of the week tonight as they finish up their three game set at Camden Yards. Hiroki Kuroda will be on the mound for the Yankees and Chris Tillman will be on the mound for the Orioles. This game will be on until after midnight so I will likely not see the end of it because believe it or not ESPN some of us have to work and actually have to work at work. The game will be televised at 8:15 pm ET on ESPN.

What If The Yankees Were Sellers?

Being posted as a part of Syndicated Sunday from Pinstripe Bible/Alley

The New York Yankees are in a strange situation at the moment. They're 42-38, which isn't bad at all. They're 5.5 games back of first, which isn't awful since it's just the end of June (and would put them either in the lead or under two games back in a pair of other divisions). The pitching hasn't been awful all the time, but not all that great either outside of Hiroko Kuroda and a few guys in the bullpen.
Everyone assumes, and usually rightfully so, that the Yankees will try to acquire talent before the trade deadline to bolster the roster for the inevitable playoff push.
Yes, the Yanks are getting a lot of people off the disabled list eventually (more on that in a minute). Yes, they've got more money than all of sports and Exxon combined. Yes, they're still competitive in a hotly contested division that is easily the best in MLB.
So what?
At this point, what will the trio of Curtis GrandersonAlex Rodriguez and Derek Jeterreally be able to provide that will get the Yankees over the hump and into first?
A-Rod was worth 2.3 bWAR over 122 games last year (all references to WAR will be to Baseball Reference's version). Let's say he comes back in a month at the end of July and plays for ~55 some games, providing oh... 1.5 wins to be on the generous side. In fact, I'll kick in another fraction because the people that have played 3B for the NYY this year have accumulated negative numbers, so lets say 1.8.
El Capitan was worth 2.2 over an almost full season. Let's call his return as three weeks away, so we'll go with 60 games for one win and another fraction because the current options suck. 1.4 for arguments sake.
Grandy provided 3 WAR on a full season, but is probably not coming back until after the All-Star break as well. Three weeks it is, so that'll be um... 1.3 but no "bonus" because Vernon Wells has actually provided a positive WAR this year. That's 4.5 wins better, which is certainly nice, but not enough to mean anything, assuming current trends stay true.
You can't predict baseball, Suzyn, so perhaps one of those folks returns to their previous form (or perhaps the 39 and 38 year old infielders don't produce like they did a decade ago). Perhaps the Red Sox stumble back to earth, and none of the other teams in the AL East (all at .500 or more) ascend the ladder (or they just keep playing well but maybe one of the other teams plays well, too). But let's just say current trends hold, which is certainly another option, and they do improve a bit from the end of July onward.
It still wouldn't be enough to get a wild card berth.
Let's say the Yankees take a different tack, and try to sell off some pieces to acquire some prospects and depth. What's sellable?
Going off the 40-man roster, there's a few pieces big and small that might entice someone to send over someone with a bit of potential:
Brennan Boesch - Had a 2.5 WAR season just a couple years ago, had a 121 OPS+ this year in a small sample size and makes next to nothing - he could easily be a piece in a trade.

Joba Chamberlain - Lord, please take this man from our team. He strikes people out. He also pitches with little movement and gets blasted when those strikeouts don't happen - 25 hits (4 HRs) and 9 walks in just 19 innings this year.We'll take a used wad of chew.

Brett Gardner - This pains me, because we all like GGBG. However, his game is based on speed, and speed is usually the first thing to go. The man turns 30 in a couple months and will probably start to decline soon. If the Yankees really want to blow stuff up, Gardner would get quite a bit back - one of the best defensive outfielders in the game and some pop at the plate? He's got one more arbitration year left, so teams won't be too shy about looking at him, and he could easily get a top 5 prospect out of a lot of teams. Perhaps Carlos Martinez from St. Louis or Michael Choice from Oakland.

Curtis Granderson - Pop in his bat, strikeouts everywhere. While they might not get Zack Wheeler for him, a healthy Granderson at the trade deadline could certainly haul in someone who has some baseball ability. Maybe the Diamonbacks want to add some pop to an outfield without a lot of it and would give up Matt Davidson if the Yanks threw in someone else?

Phil Hughes - Get the guy out of Yankees Stadium and he's good. Get him into a pitcher's park and he'll be a decent acquisition. Any of the NL West teams that might need another arm should look into acquiring Hughes.

Hiroki Kuroda - Ace for sale! Ace for sale! Who wants a guy with a 149 ERA+? Who wants a guy who doesn't get hurt and has a sub-3 ERA? Let's talk turkey.

Boone Logan - Boone's good. Having a strong bullpen is nice. Having a good bullpen is fairly easy to replicate. Some teams have been willing to overpay for bullpen arms. If someone's willing to give up something hot in let's say a trade for Boesch and Boone, then fare thee well, LOOGY.

David Robertson - Remember what I just said about Logan? Same thing applies. A good bullpen is pretty easy to get. People overpay. Mike Napoli was traded for Frank Francisco. If there's any person out here who wouldn't take Napoli over the drek masquerading as catchers on the team now, raise your hand so you make better targets to have shit thrown at you.

Ichiro Suzuki - More of a fill-in at this point given his salary and mere adequacy with a bat at this point in his career, he's still a player that a lot of teams wouldn't mind having on their roster.
Basically, should Brian Cashman et al decide to go in a direction they haven't been in before, there's a lot of movable parts on this ship. Let's go hog wild and say they trade all nine of the people I just listed - can you imagine what our suddenly below-average minor league system might look like? Can you imagine the organizational depth we might have without having to rely on people like Ben FranciscoReid Brignac and Alberto Gonzalez? They're probably stuck with the terrible contracts, but that's still over 20 million coming off the books in 2014 - allowing the sudden penny-pinchers to come in under budget while positioning the club for a resurgence for the rest of the decade.

New York Yankees Injury Updates

It seems as though lately we are getting more news to write about from the Tampa Yankees minor league complex then the big league club with the plethora of stars we have rehabbing down there and inching ever closer to the majors. Today is no different as we bring the latest Yankees injury updates.

Alex Rodriguez is still taking batting practice at the Yankees minor league complex down in Tampa and says he swing is coming into form. A Rod is also fielding ground balls and doing base running drills as well as running the bases during simulated at bats. Still no word on when the rehab assignment will start for A Rod.

Derek Jeter took five simulated at bats on Saturday and did some base running drills as well. Jeter ran from first to third four times and then ran from third to first four times on the grass just outside of the infield. Joe Girardi says the next step would be a rehab game for Jeter so apparently he is getting pretty close.

Curtis Granderson is playing catch but still not swinging a bat for some reason.

Francisco Cervelli caught a bullpen session on Saturday.

Eduardo Nunez will play another rehab game on Sunday for the Tampa Yankees.

Yankees Not Interested In Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez

The Yankees are said to not be interested in international free agent Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez. The Cuban right hander has been scouted by the Yankees, and a slew of other teams, recently in Mexico but the Yankees apparently walked away unimpressed. The 26 year old still needs to be unlocked by the Office of Foreign Assets Control before he can negotiate and ultimately sign with a major league team but the Dodgers seem to be the front runners at this point, surprise surprise. George King expects the bidding to be in the $40,000,000 to $60,000,000 range and that is apparently too rich for the Yankees.

Yankees Not In On Ricky Nolasco

Unsurprisingly the Yankees are announcing that they are not in on trading for Ricky Nolasco this trading deadline. The Yankees are said to not be in on any starting pitcher given the offense woes we have been dealing with all season long. Nolasco would be more of an upgrade in the back of the rotation and considered to be a luxury right now and not necessarily a need.

Game 81 Lineup: Yankees @ Orioles

Yankees have one goal: They have to win or they're one game closer to the cellar. Here's the lineup.

Brett Gardner CF
Ichiro Suzuki RF
Robinson Cano 2B
Travis Hafner DH
Zoilo Almonte LF
Lyle Overbay 1B
Jayson Nix SS
Chris Stewart C
David Adams 3B

RHP Hiroki Kuroda

This Day In New York Yankees History 6/30

On this day in 1961 Whitey Ford becomes the first player in American League history to ever win eight games in one month.

On this day in 2002 the Yankees became the first team since the 1956 Chicago White Sox to have four infielders and a catcher on the All Star Game. Jason Giambi was the starting first basemen, Alfonso Soriano started at second base, Jorge Posada was the starting catcher, and manager Joe Torre hand picked shortstop Derek Jeter and third basemen Robin Ventura to play in the game too.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Game Thread: Yankees @ Orioles 6/29

The Yankees and the Orioles play the dreaded Saturday night game on FOX tonight at 7:15 pm ET on Camden Yards. David Phelps and Zach Britton is the pitching match up and the Yankees offense may or may not bother to show up tonight. Check out the game on FOX tonight and go Yankees!

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Another Look At Robinson Cano's Future In Pinstripes

A lot of things get said in the "heat of the moment." No matter how good a player has been, when they fail there's bound to be at least one person that says that player sucks. Luckily, when things cool down, the vast majority of those people realize they were being silly and move on. Although there are definitely other players that could fit into that discussion, the one I'm thinking about here is Robinson Cano.

"Who said I suck?"

I'm still on the side that says the Yankees should re-sign Robbie, albeit to a contract of 6 or 7 years rather than the 9 and 10 year deals that Prince Fielder and Albert Pujols recently signed. I could live with the Yanks giving Robbie an 8 year deal, but I wouldn't like it. And yes, I do realize that things could get rough on the backside of such a contract, but that's the way things are in today's game. To get an elite player teams have to make sacrifices. It's a matter of whether those sacrifices are worth it to them.

And remember that even in the last four years of Cano's contract, should he sign an 8 year deal, the Yankees will not have Alex Rodriguez, Mark Teixeira, Derek Jeter and CC Sabathia making a combined $92.125 million a season. I don't mean to say New York won't have any other big contracts to work around, but if they are to spend that much on a player (and you know they not only will, but they can) then it should be on somebody they can build around. And a perennial MVP contender, who plays a premium position such as second base, definitely fits that definition of "somebody".

I realize that Robbie is not having a great year. A batting line of .281/.361/.492 doesn't make you think the guy deserves a contract approaching $200 million. But you can't forget the .311/.370/.539 line, while averaging 30 home runs, that Cano put up in the previous three seasons. Or the three straight All Star appearances he made between 2010 and 2012. The four Silver Slugger awards. The two Gold Glove awards. And finally there are the many American League Most Valuable Player award votes he received throughout his career.

"What do you think of that?"

People like to say that elite players don't need lineup protection. That they are guys that can carry offenses all by themselves. First of all, that's silly. During a normal baseball game a team will get between 40 and 45 plate appearances. A single player will have 4 or 5 of them. So unless that single player is hitting 3 or 4 home runs a game, there's no way they can carry their team's offense. And as for players like Fielder and Pujols, who got those 9 and 10 year contracts, it's not as if they had nobody around them in the lineup.

While Prince Fielder was hitting to an OPS+ of 164 with the 2011 Milwaukee Brewers (the season before getting that fat contract with the Tigers), he had guys like Ryan Braun (OPS+ of 166), Corey Hart (OPS+ of 133), Rickie Weeks (OPS+ of 121), and Nyjer Morgan (OPS+ of 111) around him. The season before Albert Pujols signed that 10 year deal with the Angels, when his OPS+ was 148, he was in the Cardinals lineup surrounded by Lance Berkman (OPS+ of 164), Matt Holliday (OPS+ of 151), Yadier Molina (OPS+ of 124), David Freese (OPS+ of 118), Jon Jay (OPS+ of 112), and Colby Rasmus (OPS+ of 108).

In comparison, there are only two other Yankees in the lineup with Cano that are hitting to an OPS+ over 92... Brett Gardner at 116 and Travis Hafner at 106. There's a reason why Robbie's walk percentage this season is at a career-high 10.6% (up from a career-high mark of 8.8% last season), and it's not because he's a more disciplined hitter. Which any Yankee fan that watches most of the games can attest to.

So you'll have to forgive me if I either disregard or laugh at the "Cano is not that good" comments.

"Thanks for having my back."

New York Yankees @ Baltimore Orioles 6/29

The Yankees will face off with the Baltimore Orioles again tonight at Camden Yards in the second game of their three game weekend series. David Phelps will start for the Yankees, for real this time, tonight against Zach Britton for the Orioles. The game will be televised at 7:15 pm ET on FOX.

Mariano Rivera Will Close The All Star Game This Year

The Detroit Tigers made it to the World Series last season so their manager Jim Leyland will be the manager of the All Star Game for the American League this season. Leyland has said that Mariano Rivera will close out the game in his final season in the big leagues. Rivera immediately shot down the idea of him starting the game in New York and is pleased to know he will be closing out the game.

Game 80 Lineup: Yankees @ Orioles

It's Game 2 of the three game set and you might want to prepare yourselves...this game is on FOX. Anyway, here is the lineup.

Brett Gardner CF
Jayson Nix SS
Robinson Cano 2B
Vernon Wells DH
Ichiro Suzuki RF
Zoilo Almonte LF
David Adams 3B
Lyle Overbay 1B
Austin Romine C

David Phelps RHP

One Potential Trade Target Comes Off The Board

One guy that the Yankees would have probably had interest in this trading deadline has come off the board, but not in a way that you would expect. Corey Hart has been rumored to interest the Yankees with his power bat and versatile defense at the corners of the infield and outfield. Corey Hart has been rehabbing his right knee injury all season but it is a left knee surgery that will cost him the rest of the 2013 season. Corey Hart has a .279/.343/.514 triple slash over the last three seasons and 29 home run average would have got the Brewers a ton in a trade and would have upgrades the Yankees big time. Corey Hart has to be discouraged as he is a free agent at the end of this season and will likely have to sign a one or two year deal now to prove his health and worth rather than finally cash in. The Yankees should be interested this off season if you ask me but you don't have to ask me, you have to ask Brian Cashman.

Yankees That Should Go To The All-Star Game

Cleveland Indians v New York Yankees

The 2013 All-Star Game is quickly approaching and it's sure to be a week of festivities in New York City. Players from all 30 teams will go to Queens and fight for one of the most glorious prizes: home field advantage during the World Series. Now, there are multiple ways for players to go to the All-Star Game. There's the famous voting for your favorite player 25-35 times on (by the way you have till July 4 to do so), and there's the manager selection. For those of you unfamiliar with the manager selection here is the rule:

The manager of each leagues All-Star Team--in consultation with other managers in his league and the Commissioner's office-- will fill his team's roster up to 33 players .

So with that rule in effect and with the ballot voting, it's time to decide which Yankee should (in my opinion) should make it to the All-Star Game.

1. Robinson Cano

Robinson Cano obviously should be on the All-Star Team (and if voting went his way, he should be the starting second baseman). Robbie Cano is having a slight off-year in the batting average department but he leads the team in HR's and RBI's and is one of if not the best second basemen defensively in the game. I know defense isn't going to mean anything in the All-Star Game, but Cano has many other aspects. And if (for some odd, strange reason) Cano doesn't make it to the All-Star Game, we will see him during All-Star Week, since he is the Captain of the AL HR Derby Team.

2. Mariano Rivera

This is an obvious no-brainer. It's Mariano Rivera's final year, he's having another All-Star season and I bet if it weren't for his season ending ACL injury, he would of been on the 2012 All-Star Game Roster. The only issue is where would Mariano Rivera pitch in the game. Fans want him to start the All-Star Game but Mariano Rivera wants to close the All-Star game. If I could have a say, I would love it if Mo got the last three outs of the game. It would be a fitting end and it would be better than getting the first three outs of the game. Plus, if Mo does go in the game, can we hear Enter Sandman as a loving tribute to the greatest closer ever?

3. Preston Claiborne

The good news with pitchers is the league decides and not the fans. And I know Preston is a rookie and has only been here for roughly 2 1/2 months, but he has done a phenomenal job in the Yankees bullpen. Maybe with the roster moves that the league would have to do with the pitchers that pitched the Sunday before the game, Claiborne can somehow squeeze his way on the roster. David Robertson did so in 2010 when he wasn't originally listed on the roster, yet made it after the plethora of changes the day before the All-Star Break.

4. Brett Gardner

Brett  Gardner

Before you say that 'Gardner is not an All-Star' and 'There are a bunch of players that are better than Gardner for the manager's vote' just hear me out here. For most of the season, the one who has been carrying the Yankees on their backs (along with Robinson Cano) is Brett Gardner. He has the most hits on the team, is tied for the most stolen bases on the team and numbers show that he is the fourth best outfielder defensively. Gardner's not a power-hitter but he already has 6 HR's on the season and has shown some power with his booming doubles and triples that almost leave the park. If anyone should at least be considered for the manager's vote, it's Gardner. Right now, he's the Yankees best player hitting with consistency.

5. Hiroki Kuroda

CC Sabathia is the 'ace' of the Yankees staff, but the one that has been pitching like an ace this season is Hiroki Kuroda. Other than his two starts to begin the season, Kuroda has not had a 'bad' outing. He considers a couple of his starts bad when he gives up three runs (which isn't bad at all) but if you look at his numbers, he has been the guy that they go to in order to shut down the other team's offense. The only reason Kuroda has those losses is because--the Yankees can't score. But his ERA and his numbers should tell the story as to why he's having an All-Star year.

So now that I have given my five players that I think should make it to the All-Star game (whether by the fans or managers vote), it's time for you to decide. If you had five players that you wanted to take to the All-Star game, which five players would it be?

Yankees Are On Yovani Gallardo's No Trade List

Yovani Gallardo signed a five year extension worth $30,100,000 during the 2010 season which included a full no trade clause through the 2012 season and a partial no trade clause for the 2013 - 2015 seasons. That limited no trade clause includes 10 teams that can change at the beginning of every season and this season that list includes the New York Yankees. Thankfully, I think anyway, the Baltimore Orioles and Boston Red Sox are also on his no trade list for this season so that always helps. Yovani could always waive his no trade clause and go to one of these 10 teams anyway if he so chooses but this complicates matters a little bit.

I mentioned that him being able to block trades to our division rivals and teams we are chasing, the Boston Red Sox and Baltimore Orioles, may be a good thing even though his stats say that he is struggling a little bit this season. Gallardo has pitched to a 4.20 ERA this season and has seen his velocity drop down to under 91 MPH on the fastball. He is still a good pitcher though and only 27 years old so you never know what a change of scenery or a new pitching coach can do for a pitcher.

Gallardo is owed $11,250,000 in 2014 and has a club option worth $13,000,000 for the 2015 season and would still be on the right side of 30 years old heading into free agency. The Yankees may be interested in acquiring Gallardo to replace Phil Hughes if we traded him or to have him tucked away along with CC Sabathia, David Phelps, and Michael Pineda for the 2014 season. Either way it should be an interesting trade deadline and we should explore all areas to upgrade because frankly, we need upgrades everywhere it seems.

This Day In New York Yankees History 6/29

On this day in 1941 in a double header Joe DiMaggio ties and then breaks the American League hitting streak record previously held by George Sisler. The previous record was 41 consecutive games with a hit and DiMaggio would reach 42 consecutive games by nights end.

On this day in 2000 the Yankees acquire David Justice from the Cleveland Indians for Ricky Ledee and two players to be named later. The Yankees would get David a ring when they beat the Mets in five games in the Subway World Series.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Joe Girardi Throwing In The Towel GIF

Everyone else is posting it and I felt left out...

Tyler Austin Added To International League All Star Team

Tyler Austin won the fan vote and was added as the final man to the International League All Star Game for the AA affiliates. Tyler Austin will be the fifth Trenton Thunder player to be added to the game to represent the Yankees in the game. I think it means a little more when the fans or your peers vote you in so congratulations to Tyler and the Trenton Thunder.

Dariel Alvarez Is Free To Sign With Any Team

Cuban defector and big time prospect Dariel Alvarez has been cleared by the Commissioners Office to sign a contract with a major league team. Since Dariel, going with the new Collective Bargaining Agreement, is over 23 years old (he is 24 years old) and has more than the minimum of three years of professional baseball under his belt he will be an unrestricted free agent. Dariel will not be part of the International free agent spending cap that the new CBA brought when it was signed.

The Los Angeles Dodgers, Texas Rangers, Boston Red Sox, Kansas City Royals, Seattle Mariners, Arizona Diamondbacks, San Diego Padres, and New York Yankees are said to be the teams interested in Dariel's services. Dariel is capable of playing all three outfield positions and is praised for his strong throwing arm so the Yankees should definitely do what they have to do to sign this guy. We have missed the boat, no pun intended, on too many of these IFA's lately and need a big splash.

Yankees Looking To Trade For A 3B At The Deadline

It is no surprise that the New York Yankees have gotten close to nothing out of their over $40,000,000 worth of third basemen this year with Alex Rodriguez yet to play in a game, Kevin Youkilis spending much of the season on the DL, and David Adams struggling. The Yankees will be undoubtedly looking to add a third basemen at the trade deadline even if Alex Rodriguez comes back or not. Alex can always get at bats as a designated hitter with Travis Hafner struggling so we could use someone down at the hot corner.

Mark Reynolds could be a good stop gap guy but I cannot see the Cleveland Indians trading him to us for whatever reason. Michael Young could be made available since the Philadelphia Phillies are not in the pennant race and Chase Utley could be made available as well not that he has experience as a third basemen. Aramis Ramirez could probably be had but I cannot see the Yankees taking a chance on him with him having a hefty contract for next season and he has not exactly knocked the cover off the ball this season. Lesser names could be had but at this point even the lesser names may be an upgrade over what we have currently.

Game Thread: Yankees @ Orioles

It is not a good feeling when games in late June actually mean something and could bury us in the standings but that is exactly what this three game set could do. The Yankees are on the road this weekend to face off with the Baltimore Orioles in a three game set. CC Sabathia is on the mound for David Phelps as he was scratched for an unknown reason. 

Here is the Yankees lineup

Brett Gardner CF
Jayson Nix SS
Robinson Cano 2B
Vernon Wells DH
Ichiro Suzuki RF
Zoilo Almonte LF
Chris Stewart C
David Adams 1B
Alberto Gonzalez 3B

Follow us on Twitter @GreedyStripes

New York Yankees @ Baltimore Orioles 6/28

Happy Friday Yankees fans! The Yankees are in the midst of a dog fight with the Baltimore Orioles for second place in the AL East and will begin a three game weekend series tonight at Camden Yards. The Yankees will send David Phelps to the mound looking to put the Yankees back into the win column after losing two out of three against the Texas Rangers. The game will be televised at 7:05 pm ET on YES and MLB TV.

Game 79 Lineup: Yankees @ Orioles

This weekend it's a battle for second place between the Yankees and the O's. Anything could happen here. Here's the lineup!

Brett Gardner CF
Jayson Nix SS
Robinson Cano 2B
Vernon Wells DH
Ichiro Suzuki RF
Zoilo Almonte LF
Chris Stewart C
David Adams 1B
Alberto Gonzalez 3B

CC Sabathia LHP

Where are they now?

A while back Fish and I put together our top prospects lists, ranking the farm kids on their current status within the system. Now that we're halfway through the minor league season it's time to revisit that list and see how some of these guys are doing. Our list was 40 deep, so i'll put this out in a couple of articles. Taking it from the top:

Mason Williams - Mason got himself off to a slow start this year; in addition to his DUI and some apparent attitude issues, Williams struggled in the early goings. He, like a few others have turned it on as of late. In his last ten games he's hit a .333/.381/.538/.919 quad slash. His season OPS still sits under .700 but the signs of life are encouraging. Mason is facing a pretty hefty platoon split thus far, hitting just .194 against lefties and his over the wall power is lacking a bit this year. Many of us were expecting to see that come up a few ticks but we've yet to see him develop that pop. Still just 21 there's time for him to progress, but after an impressive 2012 campaign it leaves us anting more.

Gary Sanchez - Since the departure of the chosen one to Seattle, Sanchez has slotted in as the systems best catching prospect. I spite of JR Murphy's work this year i'd say that's still true. Sanchez is hitting to the tune of a .276/.338/.486/.824 slash, having already sent 12 of his 71 hits out of the park for round trippers. While the raw numbers aren't ridiculous, he's worked his BB/K ration down to nearly two to one, and even more importantly his defense behind the plate has continued to take steps forward. Once questioned as to whether or not he could stick behind the dish as a catcher, those worries are becoming a thing of the past as Sanchez puts in the work it will take to realize him as a ML catcher.

Slade Heathcott - After tearing up the AFL last year, teeth were gnashing over what Heathcott might do this season in the minors. Like Williams he's been a bit of a disappointment this year overall; he's had some little hot streaks tossed in there, but a .666 OPS isn't anything to write home about. He's stolen a few bags (7) but has been caught nearly as many times (6). The good news is that he's still on the field. Being one of those full tilt players Slade has had little regard for his body over the years and it tends to cost him playing time in the form of trips to the DL. He has amazing tools, but like everyone else it's a matter of realizing those gifts he has and making the most out of them. After only ~200 AB's in Tampa and having his path obstructed by injuries i'm not too worried about Slade struggling in AA ball; it's a big leap to make going to Trenton so some adjustment time is certainly in order.

Tyler Austin - Another one of our OF prospects sent to Trenton, Tyler blazed through the system and emerged as one of our top overall prospects of 2012. Tyler as well has had his struggles in the bump to Trenton, but has come on the last few weeks, raising his batting line to .273/.365/.393/.758. Like Sanchez, his walks are up a bit this year but more noticeably is his lack of power at this point. It should be noted that the Thunder host one of the bigger ballparks in their division and that 4 of his 5 HR's have come on the road. That brings him a little closer to his 2012 pace, and at 21 years old there's plenty of room for growth in that area. He also has more of a line drive swing without a ton of loft in it which puts a bit of a damper on getting the ball over the wall with any frequency. Tyler admitted to getting out of tune early on, and like Heathcott struggled with the advanced pitching sequences the AA hurlers approach them with.

Manny Banuelos - With the emergence of both Rafael DePaula and Jose Ramirez Manny's position as top pitcher in the system may take a hit by the end of the year due to his lost season after undergoing TJS. The procedure is hardly a kiss of death these days with a over 90% success rate so he could easily make his way back up in 2014. Manny took a lot of flak for losing his command a bit the last year or so, but considerations must be taken to him working on a fourth pitch and in general just growing into his body and adding a bit of velocity to his FB. His size (or lack thereof) is used as a strike against him, bringing his durability into question. He has the abilities to be a top half of the rotation guy, and we really need to get some upper level pitching out of this system with the Stein's and their self imposed salary cap, and Banuelos would be a great start.

Jose Campos - Another lost year for a prospect, Campos was part of the 2012 revolving DL door. He started the season brilliantly and went down with elbow fatigue, which turned out to be a fractured elbow relieving him from any further duties in 2012. This season has seen Campos struggle to get back to form, but could be in the process of getting the bugs worked out. Keith Law had a quick report on some of the youngsters a few weeks back and had really nothing good to say, which included a quip on Campos. He did however preface his report by saying that he hadn't really seen him pitch much so the lack of enthusiasm could be off the mark. Personally I don't know why one would even comment on a kid who was just getting back on the mound after a near year long layoff, but it is what it is. They have him on a regulated pitch count this year which keeps him around 4 innings per appearance; from what I gather they want to stretch out his innings across as much of the season as possible. Possibly another result of the Gil Patterson regime, which I am fine with. I expected a bit more from him at this stage of the season, but his last two games were more of what we saw last year before his injury so if thius is what we are in for moving forward then he's on track and doing well in his return.

That's it for this time.... i'll get back to you shortly with another episode of where are they now, moving further down the prospect list as we examine the state of the farm prospects.

Morning Bits

Good morning everyone!

The Yankees lost to the Rangers by a score of 2-0 yesterday afternoon.

Phil Hughes was very good, allowing only 2 runs in eight innings, but he got no run support from the Yankee offense.

That was the 5th consecutive series that the Yankees lost or tied. The last series that the Yankees won was back on June 6th-June 9th against Seattle.

The Yankees are now 4 1/2 games out of first place in the AL East, the furthest out of first place that they have been all year.

The Yankees begin a three-game series against the Orioles tonight at Camden Yards that will take them to the halfway point on the year.

David Phelps(5-4, 4.01 ERA) will face T.J. McFarland(1-0, 4.14 ERA) at 7:05 PM ET and will be broadcast by WWOR.

Now on to today's news links:

Bill Madden of the New York Daily News says the Yankees offense is hitting the wall.

Jay Jaffe of says the Yankees need A-Rod back.

Ian O'Connor of says A-Rod won't ever grow up.

Also the Yankees ticket exchange has some great prices on some upcoming games.  Click the link to check it out!!

Have a great day everyone!

This Day In New York Yankees History 6/28

On this day in 1907 the Yankees had a catcher that gave up 13 stolen bases in one game, none other than Branch Rickey. While he was not a great catcher he was the man that brought Jackie Robinson to the game so he gets a pass in my book.

On this day in 2009 the great Mariano Rivera joined Trevor Hoffman in the 500 career saves club. The Yankees would beat the New York Mets 4-2 in Citi Field while Rivera got the save and his first and only RBI of his career with a bases loaded walk.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Gary Sanchez Has Been Traded For Pedro Ciriaco

We learned today that Yankees #1 prospect  Gary Sanchez has been traded for Pedro Ciriaco. Both players are under contract in the Dominican Winter League and that is where the trade went down, not between the Yankees and the San Diego Padres. I didn't scare you guys, did I? Gary is still a New York Yankees player and we did not trade him for a guy that was recently designated for assignment and picked up by the Padres from the Boston Red Sox.

Curtis Granderson Injury Update

Curtis Granderson is healing and is ready to rehab from that broken pinky on his left hand but is not yet ready to start swinging a bat. The hand is considered to be fully healed but Curtis still has some strength building exercises to get through before he starts swinging a bat, even dry swings or under water. The problem with this news is this puts us right at or around the trading deadline by the time Grandy comes back so we either put all of our stock into Granderson not getting a third freak injury this season or we make a trade and have a log jam in the outfield.

The Bronx Is Burning Part Two Continues W/ A Rod

Alex Rodriguez and the drama behind his hip, Biogenesis, his Twitter account, and so much more is seemingly taking a new twist or turn every day now and today is no exception. Alex Rodriguez has told the team that his hip is not ready for rehab games contrary to what his doctor and his now famous tweet said. Speculation has already begun that A Rod plans to begin a rehab and retire from the game of baseball because of the hip avoiding a suspension from Major League Baseball and so he can collect the entire amount of his contract that is still pending. If Alex retires due to a medical reason that keeps him off the field he will get the entire $114,000,000 owed to him whether he later gets suspended or not by MLB.

The Yankees have insurance on the Alex Rodriguez contract that was originally for 10 years and $275,000,000 with incentives allowing him to reach a maximum of $320,000,000 which would cover roughly 80% of his contract if he should retire from baseball. Alex Rodriguez knows that he is not going to the Hall of Fame and while I doubt that he actually needs the money I can see why he would want to collect everything he can from Major League Baseball and the New York Yankees before he is basically banished from it. Maybe that is why he got the twitter account in the first place because he knew he was going to have some time on his hands really really soon.

I really hate writing about this and I really hate reading about this but this story is just beginning and this will not go away any time soon unfortunately. This is going to get ugly and is going to be a distraction for this team, I mean how could it not? I just hope the best comes out of it for everybody whether that includes A Rod retiring from baseball or coming back to give a big middle finger to everyone like he did in 2009.

Baseball Prospectus Top 50 List Includes Gary Sanchez

Baseball prospectus has released its mid season Top 50 prospects list and one Yankee made the cut and that was Gary Sanchez. Gary is currently playing for the High A Tampa Yankees but looks to be promoted to Trenton to play AA ball for the Thunder any day now. Sanchez ranked #26 on BP's list which is a huge jump from ranking #47 in the preseason list from BP. Sanchez is currently sporting a .265/331/.473 triple slash with 11 home runs for the Tamp Yankees.

Game Thread: Rangers @ Yankees 6/27

The Yankees and the Rangers play an afternoon game in their finale of their three game set right now at Yankees Stadium. The Yankees will head to Baltimore to play the Orioles who they are in a dog fight with in the AL East. Phil Hughes is on the mound for the Yankees looking to keep the ball in the park and the Yankees in the ball game. Tune in to MLB Network and YES to watch the game.

Follow us on Twitter by following @GreedyStripes to keep up to the minute with us and the New York Yankees all season long.

Looking At Another Trade Target

Jim Salisbury of mentioned a few Phillies that he thought would be of interest to the Yankees. Philadelphia is three games under .500, and currently sits seven games in back of the NL East leading Atlanta Braves, so I was a bit skeptical. 

And there's something about the Phillie Phanatic that doesn't seem right. I mean... what is that?

For starters, I don't believe the Phillies are a team that would really be interested in salary relief. They have the third highest payroll in Major League Baseball, which shows they aren't the must budget conscious team in the league.

Secondly, we're not talking about a team that's known for being okay with rebuilding. At least as of late. Philadelphia hasn't finished worse than 3rd in the National League East since 2000, and they actually won that division five straight times between 2007 and 2011. So after missing the playoffs last season, and there being a good chance they miss them again this season, I can't believe they would just give anybody away in a trade. 

Let's face it, with the lack of big-time prospects to offer in a deal (at least in the upper minors), the Yankees will be relying on a team that's looking for salary relief and doesn't plan on contending right away next year. The Phillies don't fit that mold.

But what the hell? Why not at least take a look at the guys Salisbury mentioned as players the Yankees might be interested? 

The first player brought up was Chase Utley. Utley is currently hitting .266/.335/.462 with 8 home runs. Those aren't horrible numbers by any means, but they don't really grab your attention and make you jump out of your chair yelling "BUY, BUY, BUY!" Perhaps I would bother to delve a bit deeper into what he's done lately if it wasn't for the fact that he just doesn't fit the team's needs. Chase has played exclusively as Philly's second baseman since 2009, and hasn't started more than 6 games at any other position (1B) since 2005. So unless the Yankees were to move Robinson Cano to a different position, which is highly unlikely seeing as how Cano has played all but 1 inning of his MLB career at second, then there's no point in giving Utley another thought.

Moving on...

"Really? Are you sure?" - Chase
"Yes" - Me

Michael Young was mentioned by Salisbury as well. The 36 year-old third baseman has played a decent amount at first base, including a couple starts there this season and 40 starts there for the Rangers last year. As a right-handed hitter I can see where the Yankees may be attracted to Young, as he could not only play third base regularly, but could play first base in place of Lyle Overbay when facing a left-handed starter (I don't recommend looking up Lyle's numbers against LHP, as they are pretty ugly). As for what Young can do with the bat, over the past 3+ seasons he's had a really good batting average (.297), decent on-base percentage (.341), and some power (.426 SLG while averaging double-digit home runs per year). Seeing as how Young's contract is up after this season, and therefore we don't have to worry about a guy that will turn 37 in October (the 19th... same birthday as mine!) being around another year or more, I can see him being of interest to the Bombers.

But it's the final player that was mentioned that intrigued me the most... Carlos Ruiz. 

Now let me get one thing out of the way before I go any further here. I'm not concerned about the 25-game suspension Ruiz served due to testing positive for the banned amphetamine Adderall before this season. While doing an interview in Spring Training, Carlos broke down crying due to how bad he felt. Phillies manager, Charlie Manuel, backed up his catcher and said that he was confident Ruiz had learned from his mistake. I don't know the guy personally, so I can't tell you whether he and Charlie are simply full of it or not, but at this point I'm really not concerned when it comes to this subject.

What I am concerned about is whether or not Carlos Ruiz can play. A quick look at his batting line so far this season may make you say "no" right away, which I can understand considering that triple-slash is currently .273/.310/.299. But if you keep in mind that this is a guy that hit .325/.394/.540 last season, and has hit .303/.388/.454 over the previous three years, then it wouldn't surprise you when you see what Ruiz has done lately. In his past 7 games, Carlos is hitting .346/.357/.346. The power still hasn't come around, but I have reason to believe it will. 

Carlos is hitting a lot more balls on the ground than he normally does (about 54% ground balls, as opposed to hitting about 45% throughout his career), while hitting the ball just as hard (20% line drive percentage, just over his career number of 19%). The fact of the matter is this... a batter is going to have a really hard time hitting home runs, or more than a couple extra-base hits, if he's not getting the ball up in the air. 

Besides the fact that Ruiz is a pretty good hitter, we have to consider the fact that our current crop of catchers are just not getting it done. Yankee catchers this season have hit a combined .231/.298/.336. Many Yankee fans can't wait to get back Francisco Cervelli, but if they think he's going to come back and continue to bat .269/.377/.500 then I'd recommend they visit a neurologist and get their heads checked. Sure, Frankie may be able to keep up that batting average, as he's hit .271 in his MLB career, but he won't get on base that often (.343 OBP in 201 MLB games), nor will he hit for that much power (.367 SLG in those 5+ years). And you can't discount the fact that he fractured a bone in his throwing hand, which is surely going to have some effect on his game.

Cervelli hasn't played regularly since his 2007 season with single-A Tampa, being the back-up catcher on each team since. So while I don't think it's imperative that the Yankees trade for a catcher, it's definitely something to consider. But with Cervelli returning, Curtis Granderson returning to give the outfield a bit more oomph, and Derek Jeter coming back to settle things up at shortstop, the team may want to give first and third base the majority of their attention.

"Ready to give me another look?" - Michael
"Perhaps." - Me

Trenton Thunder Send 4 Players To All Star Game

The Trenton Thunder will send four of their players to the Eastern League All Star Game played on July 10th. The Thunder players representing us will be Ramon Flores, Nik Turley, Tommy Kahnle, and Tyler Austin. You have to wonder if JR Murphy and/or Jose Ramirez would have made the team had they not been recently promoted to AAA Scranton. Good luck to these four guys and hopefully they will make us all proud and represent us well in the game!

Texas Rangers @ New York Yankees 6/27

The Yankees and the Rangers will finish their three game set this afternoon at Yankees Stadium in a day game after a night game. If the Yankees had any extra hands on deck we would expect a "B Squad" type lineup but we have been throwing that lineup out there since April. The Yankees will sen Phil Hughes to the mound to face off against left hander Derek Holland. The game will be televised at 1:05 pm ET on YES, MLB Network, and on MLB TV.

Brian Cashman Please Read Me Before Christmas

Okay so earlier I said I was not one to be negative or rant or such but I have really had enough of Brian Cashman this season. First he called out Kevin Long and now he calls out Alex Rodriguez for an insignificant tweet the other night about being ready to play in games. He didn't say he was cleared to play in games by the Yankees or that he rehab assignment started here and when, all he said was he was healthy enough to play. I digress I know everyone has heard the story and is probably already sick of it but I had to go to twitter and see what Brian Cashman was obviously missing. Tell me Brian, and anyone reading this is urged to also use the comment box to voice their opinions and will not to be told to shut the f*&k up, what is the difference between A Rod's tweet seen above and these below?

If Brian Cashman wanted your fans to know you got your brace off I think he would have a twitter account now wouldn't he Curtis Granderson?

Brian Cashman says when you can get back on the field, not you Mark Teixeira!

Did Brian Cashman approve this? Did he say you could come back Francisco Cervelli?

I probably missed it but I do not remember reading a press release from Brian Cashman regarding you starting a rehab assignment Eduardo Nunez so can we please stop telling your fans on a social media site what is going on? Thanks!

Once again Brian Cashman I think YOU are the one that needs to shit the f*&k up and get me a first baseman that can actually hit the ball and worry less about the third basemen that we need because of your lack of GM skills lately.


Cashman Is A Prick, End Of Story, No Caption Needed

Now I am not one to be negative, bash my team or any of its players or personnel, or even really rant but this one is a long time coming. I try and be politically correct and an optimist not because I run a blog but because thats the kind of man and fan that I am. One thing I do not have a tolerance for is being a hypocrite though and that is all I can see when I woke up this morning and read Brian Cashman's "shut the f&*k up" comment. How quickly Brian Cashman forgets his comments about Yankees hitting coach Kevin Long when he commented on Mark Teixeira's wrist setback. I believe the quote was something like :

"Some people are better with the microphone than others, let's put it that way."

Now would a quote like this one qualify as him being better with the microphone then Kevin Long or do we have a little bit of a hypocrite on our hands?

"You know what, when the Yankees want to announce something [we will]. Alex should just shut the f*#k up. That's it. I'm going to call Alex now."

I used to love Brian Cashman and put my faith in "Ninja Cash" but this guy has lost his ever loving mind. When did Brian Cashman become George Steinbrenner or grow the balls to think that he could be? Brian Cashman has one job and that is to field a team that can compete and stay healthy on the field. While I believe he got lucky more than he did his job in the competing field he has not done a great job bringing durability, versatility, or depth to the team. Maybe Brian Cashman should make sure his kitchen is clean before he goes out talking about other peoples tidiness.

I have lost all respect for Brian Cashman after the off season that he had and now after calling out publicly not only Kevin Long but Alex Rodriguez. I know there is going to be people who take either side but I am definitely Team A Rod on this one. A Rod's tweet was harmless and he wanted to show his fans and his followers that he was making progress in his rehab because here's a reality check Brian Cashman thanks to you and your less than stellar general managing we NEED A Rod, like it or not. I'm sorry but if I am running this team, and this goes to you Hank and Hal Steinbrenner, you are handing in your time card at the end of the shift this afternoon. What happened to the days of Joe Torre when we handled things internally and not through the media? And while we are at it damn that A Rod for taking the moral high ground with this quote in response to Brian Cashman being a prick.

A Rod should have let him have it but A Rod showed maturity and a, faked or not, love for the game and for the New York Yankees. All Brian Cashman has done lately is show that he has no faith in the farm system, is still stuck in the ways of trading highly touted prospects for established players, and he seems like he does not give a crap anymore. If you're tired of the New York media and the pressure and having to find a way to win with $200,000,000 plus payroll then allow me to show you the door Mr. Cashman. Alex should shut the f*#k up? No Mr. Cashman I think it is your turn to shit the f*#k up, and I mean indefinitely.


Game 78 Lineup: Rangers vs. Yankees

It's the series finale with Phil Hughes on the mound. So after you read the lineup, please pray for Phil Hughes to perform well?

Ichiro Suzuki CF
Jayson Nix SS
Robinson Cano DH
Vernon Wells RF
Zoilo Almonte LF
Lyle Overbay 1B
David Adams 2B
Alberto Gonzalez 3B
Austin Romine C

Some Notes:

-- Brett Gardner was originally slated to be in the lineup but was scratched due to a head cold. It probably came at a good time since Gardner has played a lot lately.