Monday, June 24, 2013

No Improvement On Injured Wrist For Mark Teixeira

Mark Teixeira visited team doctors over the weekend and still has soreness in his right wrist that has kept him out for most of the season. The season ending surgery is looking more and more likely the longer this ordeal goes on. I do not see why the Yankees will not just allow him to bat right handed and get SOMETHING out of him this season and do the surgery in the off season but what do I know?

Happy 27th Birthday Phil Hughes

A big happy 27th birthday goes out to Yankees starting pitcher Phil Hughes. Enjoy the day off and your day!

Reid Brignac Clears Waivers, May Elect Free Agency

Reid Brignac was designated for assignment on Friday and has cleared waivers. Reid now faces the decision of whether to elect free agency and try to latch on somewhere else or head down to AAA to play for the Railriders. I would think Brignac would want to stay with the Yankees for now seeing no real option that is all that much better than him but you never know.

Cuban RHP Miguel Alfredo Declared A Free Agent

Ken Rosenthal believes "the next big thing from Cuba" has arrived, and it comes in the form of 26 year-old right-handed pitcher Miguel Alfredo. Well, he has to be "unblocked" by the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets first. But after that he's "arrived".

Due to suspensions stemming from his attempts at defecting from Cuba, Alfredo hasn't pitched much in the last couple of years. However, he's said to have a fastball in the mid-90s, as well as a changeup, curveball, and forkball.

It's worth noting that, due to his age, Miguel's contract would not affect the international spending pool. The Yankees haven't been very active when it comes to signing international free agents, and adding to that they have a farm system with many good arms, so I'm not sure the team is really "in" on Alfredo.

Off Day New York Yankees Signatures

Before our time on this blog Bryan V, dm23HOF, and I all were members of various sports related and Yankees forums. On a forum you tend to be more known or recognized, sometimes anyway, for your avatars and your signatures then for your posts unfortunately so needless to say I have a plethora of them saved on my computer. I wanted to take the off day as an opportunity to share some with you. Enjoy and feel free to use them all that I ask is that you link back to The Greedy Pinstripes, thank you.

Off Day News and Notes

Yankees are off today but there has been some interesting news today:

- Alex Rodriguez is closer to playing rehab games, but Brian Cashman refuted a NY Post report that Rodriguez would start on July 1st.

"He has not been cleared by our doctors to play in rehab games yet," Cashman told Wally Matthews of "He's getting closer, there's no doubt about it, but we don't have a date for him to start playing games yet," Cashman said. "It could be July 1. It could also be July 5, or maybe June 25."

- Rodrgiuez also got his twitter account verified today, so he is officially on Twitter. You can follow him at @AROD. Pretty interesting timing for him

- Mark Teixeira's wrist does not appear to be getting any better, as Teixeira is still experiencing soreness. Surgery might seem like a good bet at this point.

“He’s still sore, even after the shot,” Cashman told Andy McCullough of The Star-Ledger. “So our doctors are obviously working through it, trying to analyze the situation. It’s clearly not a good situation."

- McCullough also tweeted that Cashman told him that the Yankees haven't decided what to do with Ivan Nova yet, but said "I don't view Nova as a threat right now to Hughes."

Off Day New York Yankees Baseball Poems

We've been to the wars together;
We took our foes as they came;
And always you were the leader,
And ever you played the game.
Idol of cheering millions,
Records are yours by sheaves;
Iron of frame they hailed you
Decked you with laurel leaves.
But higher than that we hold you,
We who have known you best;
Knowing the way you came through
Every human test.
Let this be a silent token
Of lasting Friendship's gleam,
And all that we've left unspoken;
Your Pals of the Yankees Team.
Poem on Lou Gehrig's Award by John Kiernan

Nova Good and Bad in Return to Majors

In his first start back with the Yankees since April 26th, Ivan Nova pitched 6 2/3 innings, allowed three earned runs on seven hits and struck out seven.

Two of the earned runs were not entirely Nova's fault, as he was pulled in the seventh inning after hitting two batters. Shawn Kelley came in and walked Evan Longoria on five pitches and then Boone Logan gave up a single to James Loney on a 1-2 count that drove home two.

Nova did some really good things and some not so good things yesterday, which is the case with him a lot of times. Nova allowed 12 base runners in 6.2 innings, which is entirely too many. He was fortunate get huge double play grounders in the first and sixth innings. However, Nova did not allow an extra base hit in the game, which probably means that some of the hits he gave up were unlucky, since he did not allow a ton of hard contact. Also, hitting Ben Zobrist on the foot with a curve intended to be in the dirt on an 0-2 count was pretty unlucky as well.  Extra base hits were what was really hurting Nova last year and in April this year.

Nova threw an incredible 50 curve balls and only 35 four-seam fastballs. He did not throw the slider yesterday that he added to his repertoire last year. He dominated with his curve, as he threw it for 32 strikes, including eight swinging. However, he will not be able to really on the curve that much every game. Nova will have to have better command of his fastball to reach his full potential. Nova has good velocity on his fastball (94.40 MPH this season), but bad location in and out of the zone has been a big problem for him.

This was probably just a spot start for Nova, although he said he thought he pitched well enough to stay in the rotation, but Joe Girardi made no such commitment. He will likely be sent down to Triple- A today to make room for another bench player. However, the best thing for the Yankees long term would be to keep Nova in the major league rotation, move Phil Hughes to the bullpen and move Joba Chamberlain to another team.

Nova is one of the few Yankees pitchers under contract for next season and is under team control through 2016. At 26, with those three more years of team control, and some good talent Nova is a commodity for the Yankees. They need to find out more about him this season so they can have a better idea of what he is going forward. Hughes has been terrible, so Nova is unlikely to do much worse right now than Hughes would. Nova could be apart of the Yankees rotation next year or be an asset in a trade while Hughes will almost certainly be on another roster next season.

So far in his Yankees career Nova has been an inconsistent back of the rotation performer. However, he still has talent and has only two full seasons under his belt. He should not be given up on yet. It would be in the Yankees' best interest to find out more about Nova this season because he can be much more valuable than Hughes in the future.

Off Day Movie Recommendation

The Yankees go back to work tomorrow so spend the off day snuggled up on the couch watching a movie with your loved one, your dog, your kids, yourself, whatever. Off days are for rest and relaxation so you can watch the entire movie right here on The Greedy Pinstripes. Enjoy our presentation of Bingo Long!

Alex Rodriguez To Begin Rehab

The New York Daily News is reporting that Alex Rodriguez has been cleared to begin a rehab assignment on July 1st.

ARod has been doing baseball activities for a little while now, and as far as Alex' return Brian Cashman has said "it's coming."

It's a good assumption that the Yankees will use the full 20-day rehab window, seeing as how ARod had no Spring Training, so it may be a little after the All Star break that we see Rodriguez in pinstripes again. And although Alex hasn't been the MVP of year's past, he's still bound to provide more offense than the fill-ins so far this year at third base (75 OPS+).

Off Day Music Recommendation

The Yankees are off today so I spend most of my off day catching up on new music or music that will never die off my Ipod. This song my wife, @CryBurch on Twitter, has played to death and she is still going. Check it out and let us know what you think in the comment box. Enjoy!

Travel Day

Blockbuster trades may be looming, the Blue Jays are rolling and two divisions have established themselves as the power of their leagues head this week's Travel Day.

Stars On The Move

In recent years the deadline trade market has been rather weak.   Jerry Crasnick of ESPN had a classic line last year when he called covering the deadline trade news like an episode of Seinfeld, it was writing about nothing.

This year's circumstances appear to have this deadline trade market one withe potential to excite and delight many teams and their fans.

Giancarlo Stanton, Cliff Lee, Justin Morneau, Andre Ethier, Chase Utley, Carl Crawford, and Matt Garza could all have new homes before or on July 31st.

The fact that it makes sense for the teams who possess these players to trade them is one reason the trade market could be humming very soon.  The other big reason is that the number of teams being labeled as buyers is large.

Among teams labeled as buyers are the Red Sox, Yankees, Tigers, Rangers, A's, Blue Jays, Orioles, Rays, Braves, Pirates, Reds, Cardinals, and Giants.

Something to watch for are trades to be made much earlier than in recent years involving key players.  The competition for these key players who may be available will be steep amongst the buyers and at least a few GM's will see the value in acquiring a key player sooner rather than later.

Soaring Jays

Many people picked the Toronto Blue Jays to win the AL East before this season began. I was one of them. As a matter of fact, I picked the Blue Jays to win the AL and head to the World Series.

In April and May as the Jays struggled and occupied last place in the AL East, a friend asked me how I could have been so stupid as to have bought into the preseason hype of the Blue Jays. My response was that everything that could have gone wrong for the Blue Jays had gone wrong and that when their pitchers got on track and they got healthy that they would come charging.  What is surprising is that the charge has come in June and with such incredible force.

The Blue Jays are coming at the AL East leaders like a downhill runaway train.  Not only are the Blue Jays a winner of their last eleven games, the last ten games were wins against teams who are all over .500.  The Rangers, Rockies,  and Orioles were all swept by the Jays.

Not only are the Blue Jays now hitting and pitching at the level they anticipated before the season began, opponents will be very unhappy to hear that SS Jose Reyes and P Kyle Drabek are on their way back soon.

Drabek made his first rehab start on Saturday and should be back to the Jays very soon, which will give them even more depth in pitching.  Reyes, expected to be a major catalyst for the Jays this season, will most likely rejoin the Jays on Thursday against Boston.

The Blue Jays are going to be a very tough team to beat the rest of the way.

The AL East and NL Central Are A Cut Above

The AL East continues to impose its will upon their rivals.  Every team in the Al East possesses a winning record, a remarkable achievement as the season is less than a week from the halfway mark.

The teams in the AL East have a combined record of 205-174.  Removing the divisional games from that record, the AL East is a combined 117-86 against the rest of the teams in MLB.  It's almost unfathomable that a division could be a combined 31 games over .500 against teams from other divisions.

Only five games separate the first place Red Sox from the last place Jays and Rays as all teams in the AL East are clearly in playoff contention.

The NL Central clearly stands out as the powerhouse of their league.

Incredibly, the Cardinals(18 games), the Pirates(16 games), and the Reds(13 games) represent 47 games over .500 against their rivals.  These three teams also happen to have the best three records in the NL.  It is very rare indeed to see the best three records in a league come from the same division this late in the season.

All three of these teams are serious playoff factors that may propel the NL Central to become the first division to send three teams to the playoffs in just the second year that such a feat would be possible due to the expanded playoff system.

If The Playoffs Began Today

In the AL:

The Oakland A's would host the Baltimore Orioles in a one-game playoff to determine who would face the Texas Rangers in a best-of-five series.

The Boston Red Sox would host the Detroit Tigers in the other best-of-five series.

In the NL:

The Pittsburgh Pirates would host the Cincinnati Reds in a one-game playoff to determine who would face the St. Louis Cardinals in a best-of-five series.

The Atlanta Braves would host the Arizona Diamondbacks in the other best-of-five series.

Off Day Throwback: Whose On First?

The classic "Whose On First" by Abbot and Costello can now been seen here in it's entirety on The Greedy Pinstripes. Enjoy a classic that will never die. 

Morning Bits

Good morning everyone!

The Yankees fell to the Rays yesterday by a score of 3-1 to wind up with a split of their four game series with the Rays.

Ivan Nova was very good in defeat but after exiting with two runners on base and two outs in the 7th inning, Shawn Kelly walked the bases full and Boone Logan gave up a hit that allowed two runs.

The Yankee offense was stagnant outside of Brett Gardner and Zoilo Almonte who went 3-4 and 2-4 respectively.

The Yankees are off today and will resume against with a game against the Rangers, who are coming to town to begin a three game series on Tuesday.

Now on to today's news links:

Michael O'Keefe and Teri Thompson of the New York Daily News report that Alex Rodriguez is on his way back to the Bronx soon.

Jon Heyman of says it is looking more likely that Robinson Cano will test free agency at the end of the season.

Have a great day everyone!

This Day In New York Yankees History

On this day in 1936 Joe DiMaggio becomes the first Yankees player ever and the fifth overall in the majors to hit two home runs in one inning. DiMaggio would do this as a 21 year old rookie which makes the feat all the more impressive.

On this day in 1962 the Yankees played the longest game of their history when they won in a 22 inning affair against the Detroit Tigers in Tigers Stadium.

On this day in 2011 Yankees pitcher AJ Burnett became the first Yankees pitcher to strike out four in one inning when he struck out four Colorado Rockies.