Monday, July 15, 2013

Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez Cleared To Sign W/ MLB Teams

The 26 year old Cuban defecting right handed starting pitcher Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez has been cleared to sign with major league teams and does not expect to be a free agent for long. Some writers speculate that he will sign before the July 31st trade deadline since it took so long to be cleared to play in the majors. Miguel is 26 years old so he would not count against a teams international spending cap which will make him even more attractive to contenders this July even though he is being linked to a five year deal worth as much as $60,000,000. Naturally the Dodgers seem to be the favorites to land the Cuban right hander which makes me reminisce on the days when we were the favorites to land actual talent that only cost money...

Game Thread: Home Run Derby

It is time for the 2013 Chevrolet Home Run Derby. Once again here is the lineups for the American League and the National League and may the best league win.

American League

Robinson Cano
Prince Fielder
Chris Davis
Yoenis Cespedes

National League

David Wright
Michael Cuddyer
Pedro Alvarez
Bryce Harper

Halfway Home! (Not Quite)

Yes, it's the All Star Break, but the Yankees are 95 games into the year (51-44) and desperate for a vacation. This last home stand seemed innocent enough (Orioles, Royals, Twins), while the Red Sox took a West Coast trip and the Orioles had the Texas Rangers at home. It looked like the Yankees would get a chance to pick up a few games; maybe get to second and/or close to first.

Well, ya know, plans have a way of, well, TOTALLY FLIPPING OUT OF CONTROL AND OFF COURSE. ONE run in the first two Royals games? Yeah, I understand the Royals aren't exactly the AL Central cellar team of years past. I understand they improved their pitching with James Shields and their all-around offense with the development of Billy Butler, Cain, guys like that. BUT COME ON! Thanks to Lyle Overbay, the Yankees felt the extra push to win those last two games.

Here's another little piece of irony. I went to Friday night's game against the Twins. It felt more like April 12th than July 12th. It was cool, misty and windy. I felt like I needed a jacket; my dad went to get ponchos ($20 in Yankee Stadium, I root for a very expensive team!) Kuroda and Scott Diamond (Twins starter) just took their sweet time, it rained for an hour and 13 minutes, but the Yankees still won 2-0, and I stayed for Mo's 30th save at 11:56 p.m.! But then they can't win on two sunny days, even with CC pitching Sunday. They looked like the Indians (the fictitious Major League Indians) yesterday. They couldn't field one grounder, and then CC gives up a homer to a .197 hitter.

I wrote on Sunday that Andy Pettitte's on his last legs, yet even with a bad start like Thursday against the Royals or last week against the Orioles, he always tends to hang in there and steal the win. Let's hope for more of the same. Finally, the Yankees will never admit to this, but here's the real reason Jeter came back Thursday. I was a little surprised when they brought him up at the end of a series instead of in the beginning of one. They can say it's because Gardner and Hafner are day-to-day, but here's the scoop: have you seen large blue patches in the stadium this year? Yeah, those are empty seats. It's starting to look more like old Don Mattingly 1980s highlights...when Mattingly hit homers in a near-empty Yankee Stadium. They brought him back to sell tickets...didn't work that well.

Peace, Love and Pinstripes,

Neil Dwyer @neildwyer1993/

Predicting The 2013 Home Run Derby

I am going to take a stab at predicting the home run totals and the winner of tonight's 2013 Chevrolet Home Run Derby. I have never been good at these predicting and guessing games so this should definitely be interesting tomorrow morning looking back. With that said here goes.

National League

Pedro Alvarez - 9

David Wright - 7

Michael Cuddyer - 4

Bryce Harper - 6

American League

Chris Davis - 8

Robinson Cano - 7

Yoenis Cespedes - 10

Prince Fielder - 7


Pedro Alvarez vs. Yoenis Cespedes


Pedro Alvarez hitting 7 home runs to Yoenis Cespedes hitting 4 home runs

This Season Sure Has Been Different

I was thinking about things to write about during the All Star break, and while doing so I thought about the myriad of non-All Stars that have made up the majority of the Yankees starting lineup during the first half of this season.

"Well, I've been in MLB for 13 years now, so that means I've gotten 52 vacation days from work. So that's cool."

In 2012 Yankee regulars, meaning those players who spent the most time at each position other than "pitcher", had played in a combined 41 All Star games (that includes appearing in the 2012 All Star game). Those 41 games were split among eight of the nine regulars. The only Yankee regular last season that had never been an All Star was Eric Chavez, however Chavez had received MVP votes in four different seasons (in each season between 2002 and 2005).

The 2013 Yankee regulars have appeared in just 18 All Star games, which is split between only three of the nine regular position players. Those three players are Vernon Wells with three All Star appearances, Robinson Cano with five, and Ichiro Suzuki with ten.

Oh, and while Cano is the only position player for the 2013 Yankees to go to the All Star game, the 2012 team had three position players on it (Robbie, Derek Jeter, and Curtis Granderson).

"Ronery... I'm so ronery."

While that alone shows you just how different this year's Pinstripers are compared to last year's, take a look at the yearly salaries for the position players that appeared in at least a quarter of that season's games, starting with the 2012 team...

C - Russell Martin $7.5m
1B - Mark Teixiera $23.125m
2B - Robinson Cano $14m
SS - Derek Jeter $16m
3B - Alex Rodriguez $30m
LF - Raul Ibanez $1.1m
CF - Curtis Granderson $10m
RF - Nick Swisher $10.25m
DH - Eric Chavez $.9m

Andruw Jones $2m
Ichiro Suzuki $17m
Jayson Nix ~$.5m (signed a Minor League contract, last known salary was .4381 in 2011)
Chris Stewart $.4825m
Dewayne Wise ~$.5m (signed a Minor League contract, last known salary was .55 in 2009)

Total: $133.3575 Million

And now for the 2013 Yankees, who have appeared in at least 25% of games this season...

C - Chris Stewart $.5151m
1B - Lyle Overbay $1.25m
2B - Robinson Cano $15m
SS - Jayson Nix $.9m
3B - David Adams ~$.49m (Presumably making the league minimum)
LF - Vernon Wells $13m
CF - Brett Gardner $2.85m
RF - Ichiro Suzuki $6.5m
DH - Travis Hafner $2m

Eduardo Nunez $.5333m
Kevin Youkilis $12m
Zoilo Almonte ~$.49m (Presumably making the league minimum)
Austin Romine ~$.49m (Presumably making the league minimum)

Total: $56.0184 Million

That's a difference of $77.3391 million. To put that into perspective, the difference between what the 2012 and 2013 regulars made/make is more than the total payroll of nine MLB teams. And while I was just referring to Yankee batters that have appeared in at least 25% of games, the payrolls for those nine MLB teams are for their entire teams.

So next time you hear somebody laugh at the 2013 Yankees, saying something along the lines of "I guess the Yankees couldn't buy a championship this year", refer them to this article.

"I can't afford to pay attention."

Tonight's Home Run Derby Participants

American League

Robinson Cano
Prince Fielder
Chris Davis
Yoenis Cespedes

National League

David Wright
Michael Cuddyer
Bryce Harper
Pedro Alvarez

New York Yankees First Half Rookie Of The Year

The Greedy Pinstripes present the first half award for the New York Yankees Rookie of the Year to Zoilo "World War Z" Almonte. 

The Yankees have used a ton of rookies this season on all sides of the baseball but none have made the impact that Zoilo Almonte has. Zoilo has put up a .267 batting average with a home run and nine RBI stat line while playing left field most every day for the New York Yankees. Congratulations to Zoilo on winning the TGP award for the Yankees first half Rookie of the year award!

New York Yankees First Half Cy Young Award Winner

The New York Yankees first half Cy Young award winner is none other then our ace, yes I said our ace, Hiroki Kuroda.

Hiroki Kuroda has quietly been our best pitcher the last two seasons even out pitching Yankees stars like CC Sabathia and Andy Pettitte. Kuroda has been the stopper all season long and the most trusted Yankees pitcher we have in the rotation. Kuroda has a 8-6 win loss record with a 2.65 ERA stat line and looks to improve on that in the second half in his contract year. Congratulations to Kuroda for winning the TGP first half Cy Young award!

New York Yankees First Half MVP Award Winner

And the Yankees first half MVP Award goes to, big shocker here, Robinson Cano.

Robinson Cano has put up .300 average with 21 home runs and 64 RBI's in a less than stellar Yankees line up that has given him zero protection all season long. Some may think that Cano has down numbers by his standards and probably were hoping for more in his contract season but it goes to show you just how good he has been this season with nobody in front or behind him. Congratulations to Robbie on winning the TGP first half MVP Award!

Trenton Thunder Ready To Host Alex Rodriguez

Press Release - July 14, 2013
(TRENTON, NJ) - The Trenton Thunder, Double-A affiliate of the New York Yankees, announced Sunday that third-baseman Alex Rodriguez is scheduled to join the team to continue his Major League injury rehab assignment.  The Yankees infielder is expected to be with Trenton as the club opens a three-game series at Reading on Monday at 7:05pm. 

Rodriguez, who has not played in the Majors in 2013 as he recovers from offseason hip surgery, has played in eight games combined between Class-A Charleston and Class A-Advanced Tampa during his rehab stint.  He is batting .176 (3-for-21) with three RBI.

Rodriguez has played games in back-to-back days with Tampa on Saturday and Sunday.  On Sunday he enjoyed his best day of the rehab assignment, going 1-for-3 with a walk, a double and two RBI.

Posted with permission from the Trenton Thunder organization. The original post can be seen HERE

Charleston Riverdogs Game Recap For 7/14

Nunez Blasts RiverDogs Past GreenJackets 5-4 in Extra Innings

Charleston smashes four homers including walk-off shot by Nunez in 10th inning
CHARLESTON, SC – Four home runs, including a 10th inning Reymond Nunez walk-off long ball, gave the Charleston RiverDogs a 5-4 victory over the Augusta GreenJackets on Sunday night. Nunez had two homers, and Greg Bird and Dante Bichette, Jr. each chipped in with one apiece in front of 3,027 fans at Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Park.
The RiverDogs are now 12-9 in the second half and 51-38 on the season. The GreenJackets move to 48-42 on the season and 10-11 in the second half. Charleston remains in second place in the Southern Division for the second half.
Augusta got off to a quick start with a run in the top of the first inning. After leading off the game with a single to left field, Andrew Cain eventually came around to score on a fielder’s choice groundout by Mitchell Delfino.
Charleston claimed the lead in the bottom of the second as Dante Bichette, Jr. blasted a two run opposite field home run. The homer was Bichette’s sixth of the season. Two batters later, Reymond Nunez nearly had his ninth homer of the season as he smoked a ball over the right field wall. But, Augusta right fielder Chuckie Jones robbed Nunez of the homer and keep it 2-1 Charleston.
Still on a strict innings limit, RiverDogs starting pitcher Vicente Campos was relieved after four innings. In those four innings of work he allowed one run on two hits and recorded five strikeouts but was not a factor in the decision.
The GreenJackets regained the lead in the top of the sixth. After reaching base with a single, Alberto Robles scored the first run of the inning on a wild pitch. Trevor Brown later made the score 3-2 as he scored on a fielder’s choice.
Greg Bird tied the game in the bottom half of the sixth inning with his 11th home run of the season, a towering solo shot to right. He has now homered in three straight games.
Eventually, Nunez did get his elusive ninth homer of the year as he ripped a line drive over the left-center field wall and gave Charleston a 4-3 lead after seven innings.
Augusta starting pitcher Justin Schumer was relieved by Mason McVay after the Nunez mammoth shot. In 6.2 innings of work, Schumer allowed four runs on four hits, three of which were home runs, and also struck out four batters. He threw 109 pitches.
The GreenJackets rallied in the top of the ninth to tie the game and send it into extra innings. Matt Duffy led off the inning with a triple and then scored on a Ben Turner sacrifice fly.
In the bottom of the ninth, Nunez came to the plate to lead things off for Charleston. He wasted no time in smacking an opposite game winning walk-off homer to right and give the RiverDogs a 5-4 win.
Ben Paullus (5-2), who blew the save in the ninth inning, was the eventual winner. In two innings of work he allowed one run on two hits and earned his fifth win of the season.
Ian Gardeck (2-2) was tagged with the loss for Augusta. He pitched two innings in which he surrendered just the one Nunez homer and recorded two strikeouts.
BALLPARK FUN: It was a Charleston County Parks and Recreation Commission and Crews Subaru Kids Club Sundaypresented by Y102.5. There was free parking and kids 12 and under received a coupon for a hotdog, a Pepsi, and a bag of chips.
COMING UP: The final game of this four-game series against the Augusta GreenJackets is Monday night at 7:05 at Riley Park. RHP Luis Niebla (3-4, 5.83 ERA) will be on the mound for Charleston and Augusta will start with RHP Joe Biagini (6-3, 4.46 ERA). There will be $1 beers and $1 hot dogs at the Ashley View Pub. Tickets are available in person at the Riley Park Box Office, by calling 843/723-7241, or by visiting Fans can also listen to the game live locally on ESPN Radio 910AM or online at

Posted with permission from the Charleston Riverdogs Organization. The original article can be seen HERE

Morning Bits

Good morning everyone!

The Yanks fell to the Twins yesterday by a score of 10-4.

C.C. Sabathia's miserable season continues as he threw what amounted to batting practice against the weak Twins lineup.

Sabathia allowed 8 hits, 8 runs(only 3 of them earned) in just four innings.   It wouldn't be a Sabathia start without a home run to an opposing player this year. Sabathia have up his 21st home run to Aaron Hicks after SS Eduardo Nunez's error that would have ended the third inning.

That 21st home run allowed by Sabathia is just one fewer than his all-time high for home runs allowed in a season, which is 21, that was set last season. Only two pitchers in all of baseball have given up more home runs than Sabathia has this season, those being Joe Blanton and Jeremy Guthrie.

Sabathia's ERA right now is 4.07.  You'd have to go back to 2004 to find a season where Sabathia had an ERA over 4.

Opposing hitters are batting .259 against Sabathia this season, another career high.  Sabathia was and is the story of yesterday's game as his contract has to strike terror into the heart of Yankee fans and management. While his ability to go deep into a game will most likely prevent his contract from ever looking as bad as A-Rod's, it is definitely possible that he could enter Teixeira territory.  He has no fastball, and without that fastball he is just another pitcher.

Now on to today's news links:

Jorge Ortiz of writes about the Yankees being booed as they limp into the All-Star break.

Mark Herrman of says that Yankee prospect Rafael Depaula has a live arm.

Stephen Lorenzo of the New York Daily News reports on the next chapter in the bizarre A-Rod saga.

Have a great day everyone.


This Day In New York Yankees History 7/15

On this day in 2008 the Yankees held the All Star Game at Yankees Stadium and Dan Uggla wished that they didn't. Uggla wen't 0-4 at the plate with three strike outs and grounded into a double play with the go ahead run at third base in the top of the 10th inning. Uggla did not fare any better defensively as he made three errors, the first time this has ever happened in All Star Game history, including one in each of the 10th and 13th innings. The American League would win in 15 innings 4-3.