Tuesday, September 24, 2013

SALUT! CENT'ANNI! (For my paisan out there.)

Ok, while I procrastinate, let's talk. It's all over; we can look forward to what my dad grew up with; except instead of Horace Clarke at second, it's Cano (hopefully), but instead of Jeter and A-Rod on the left side, it's Brendan Ryan and Nunez. It was over after they lost 2 of 3 in Toronto, a team that the Yankees couldn't wait to play all year. It hurt the Yankees every time they would go on their stride, they had the Red Sox to humble them that weekend. It'll be a long, cold winter, especially with the Giants now.

I work on our school's (University of Miami) TV show down here called SportsDesk. I had written a monologue dedicated to Andy Pettitte that was supposed to air last week but was postponed, so I'll put it on here. I realize "Mrs. Andy Pettitte" already put down her little tribute on here, so no one can accuse me of ripping anyone off or plagiarizing:

Yankee closer Mariano Rivera is retiring at the end of the season. This afternoon, Andy Pettitte announced that he will also join the Sandman in the rocking chair. Andy really must’ve had the Yankee ghosts on his side; since 1996, he always seemed to be on the mound for some of the greatest moments of a Yankee run. From a Game Five pitchers duel with John Smoltz in 1996, starting and winning the clinching game of the series in 1998, to taking the hill for the finale of all three postseason rounds in 2009, and winning each of them. Through today, he’s amassed 255 wins in 18 seasons, two of which being 21-win seasons. He’s the all-time leader in postseason wins with 19, and through now has never, ever had a losing season (in danger now); quite an accomplishment. Hall of Famer? Maybe. Yankee hall of famer? You betcha! So here’s to you Andy…SALUT! CENT'ANNI!

In Italian that pretty much means "To 100 years!"

And to Mo: In the same amount of time, you've dazzled everyone from a skinny rookie to blown-up McGwire with that one pitch--that cut fastball that ever-so-gently broke before it hit Jorge's glove...or Russell or...Chris Stewart... You've been the epitome of class on and off the mound, and a true role model for people, not just little children, but an example of how a human being should conduct him/herself. God bless you...again I say SALUT! CENT'ANNI!

With the Yankees out of it, and the Giants being the Jets...go Knicks?? Yikes!

'Till Next Time!

Neil Dwyer @neildwyer1993

Game Thread: Rays @ Yankees 9/24

The New York Yankees and the Tampa Bay Rays begin the biggest series of the season for both teams tonight at Yankees Stadium. The Yankees sweep and we still have a shot at this, one loss and the season is basically over, two losses and the season is mathematically over. Much like the last few weeks these are must win victories for the Yankees. The pitching match up is Hiroki Kuroda for the Yankees and Matt Moore for the Rays and the game can be seen at 7:05 pm ET on MY 9 and MLB TV.

Here is the Yankees do or die lineup

Ichiro Suzuki CF
Alex Rodriguez DH
Robinson Cano 2B
Alfonso Soriano LF
Mark Reynolds 1B
Eduardo Nunez 3B
Vernon Wells RF
Brendan Ryan SS
Chris Stewart C

Follow us on twitter by following @GreedyStripes. This is the final Yankees home stand this season so get your Yankees tickets now before the 2013 season is over.

Tampa Bay Rays @ New York Yankees 9/24

This is it, this is the New York Yankees 2013 season right here. The Yankees trail the Tampa Bay Rays by four losses with six games left and here we are with three games head to head with Tampa. One loss and the season is basically over as we would be five back with five to go and would have to win every game while having Tampa/Cleveland/Baltimore/Texas/Kansas City lose all five games. It's not going to happen so this is it, sweep or go home. Let's do it!

The New York Yankees will host the Tampa Bay Rays in their final home stand of the season which will all but end the 2013 season for us. The Yankees will send Hiroki Kuroda to the mound looking for a heroes performance and a season saver right here. The Rays will send 15 game winner Matt Moore to the mound to try and end the Yankees season and put themselves one step closer to the wild card. The game will be televised at 7:05 pm ET on the MY9 and MLB TV.

Phil Hughes/David Huff Will Start Tomorrow For CC

The Yankees have announced that Phil Hughes and David Huff will start tomorrow for the injured and shut down CC Sabathia. Hughes is the official starter but much like the rest of the season David Huff is expected to piggy back him. This leaves an opening for one of the games in Houston against the Astros but by that point it probably won't matter who makes that start.

Preparing For 2014

"So you're telling me there's a chance."

Although the Yankees haven't been mathematically eliminated from the postseason, their chances of playing beyond this Sunday might as well be 0% rather than .1% (according to ESPN.com). It's hard to believe that I'm advocating looking towards next season, as I've ridiculed fans of so many other sports teams that way, but I'm going to do so anyway.

Looking at the numbers, I don't understand why some players have gotten as much playing time as they have recently. Due to them either being veterans, or having no other good options, I can understand why Girardi has put them in the lineup a lot of the time this season. But at this point forward it makes no sense. Which is why I believe the Yankees should do the following...

  1. Chris Stewart should not step foot onto the field. Although Austin Romine has been far from great in 2013, we shouldn't give up on him. In 67 plate appearances between July and August, Romine hit .316/.394/.474. Meanwhile, JR Murphy has only had 13 plate appearances in MLB, after batting .270/.342/.430 in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre this season. I believe JR should start next season in AAA, while Romine gets more experience as the backup in 2014, but the team might as well give them some more experience in the Majors.
  2. Expanding on something else I said earlier, Suzuki and Wells should see a lot more time on the bench for the rest of the season than they do the field. Zoilo Almonte should start in the outfield from here on out, giving the team an idea for what they can do with the roster next season. Zoilo may not be the .303/.351/.485 hitter we saw in June, but his fielding ability along with switch-hitting could be very useful to the 2014 Yankees. Meanwhile, you can make arguments that neither Ichiro nor Vernon should even by on the team next year... despite the fact they are under contract.
  3. Dellin Betances  should pitch as much as possible out of the bullpen. That means if Girardi wants to take a starter out before the 8th inning, then he should turn to Dellin. He sure as hell shouldn't call upon Joba Chamberlain. Not because Joba stinks, but because Joba will be wearing a different uniform next season (maybe not even a baseball uniform), while Betances could play an important role out of the bullpen. Heck, Dellin could prove to be a fine set-up man for David Robertson. 
  4. Why start Phil Hughes this weekend? I understand that with Sabathia out the rest of the year we have a hole in the rotation, but why not fill that with somebody who has a future with the Yankees? Say, Adam Warren? Adam wasn't lights out during his time in AAA in 2011 and 2012, but his sub-4.00 ERA there, along with a sub-4.00 ERA in MLB this season, should be more than good enough to be given more than one start in MLB. With the Yankees possibly needing to fill three of their rotation spots next season, it doesn't make sense not to give Adam a start.
As much as I hate being in this position, I really don't want to be thinking this way a year from today.

Six Yankees Land On Top 20 Gulf Coast League Prospects List

Although it's only rookie ball, and the chances that these guys all make it to MLB are closer to "none" than "slim", it's still pretty cool that the Yankees placed six players on Baseball America's Top 20 Gulf Coast League Prospects list.

Thairo Estrada was 20th on the list, after hitting .278/.350/.432 this season. To that he added five triples and seven stolen bases, in only 50 games. Thairo only turns 18 next February, so there's plenty of time for him to improve and make an impact. Scouts point out that, along with playing great defense, Estrada is said to have excellent instincts as a hitter, with good bat control, leading to a lot of contact.

Luis Severino, who is actually in his second season with the Yankees, was #17. Luis had an ERA of 1.37 in the GCL before being promoted to the South Atlantic League (A ball). His WHIP was 0.835, and he struck out almost 11 batters per nine innings. He didn't fair so well in his low-A debut, but we'll hopefully hear more about him next season. Luis has a hard fastball, that at times touched 98, to go with a put-away slider. Severino's changeup has improved drastically this past season as well.

Gosuke Katoh, who was drafted in the 2nd round of this year's amateur draft, came in at # 15. Katoh had a very nice debut in pro ball, hitting .310/.402/.522, along with seven home runs, in his 50 games with the Gulf Coast Yankees. Gosuke also added 11 doubles and five triples. It hasn't been long, but he's made the Yankees look smart to have picked him in the draft. It's said that Katoh has incredible plate discipline and bat-to-ball ability, making him a tough out. Although he doesn't have the arm strength for shortstop, he fits very well at second base.

Like Severino, Abiatal Avelino is also in his second season as a Yankee prospect. The 18 year old was #13 on the list, but actually ended 2013 playing in the New York-Penn League (low-A ball). Before that Abi hit .400/.481/.586 in 17 games in the Gulf Coast League. He didn't fair so well in his debut in the New York-Penn league, batting .243/.303/.271, but nobody should be giving up on the talented shortstop.

Miguel Andujar, from the Dominican Republic, came in at #11. Miguel started his professional baseball career as a 17 year-old in 2012, and returned to the Gulf Coast League this past season. There, Andujar hit .323/.368/.496, to go with 4 home runs in only 34 games. Scouts have pointed out that Andujar has learned to hit to all fields this year, and doesn't chase pitches. His lack of power makes him questionable to stick at third base, but he has smooth hands, great footwork, and a very nice arm.

It should come as no surprise that the Yankee that finished the highest on Baseball America's list of Gulf Coast League prospects is a catcher. At #10 comes Luis Torrens, a 17 year-old Venezuelan. Although the numbers don't pop out at you (.241/.348/.299), but the Yankees gave him the most of any of their international signings last summer with $1.3 million. Scouts really like Torrens' approach to the plate, and ability to recognize pitches early. His swing is said to produce a natural loft, showing power potential.

On Friday Baseball America will release their list for the New York-Penn league. We'll let you know how that one looks.

Happy Birthday To An Original Greedy Pinstripe

I just wanted to take this time right here to wish my beautiful wife a very Happy Birthday. Without her patience, support, and love this blog would not be possible in any shape or form let alone the form it is in today. Thank you Cry and I love you, Happy Birthday!

This Day In New York Yankees History 9/24

On this day in 1925 Babe Ruth hit the first walk off grand slam in Major League history as the Yankees come from behind to beat the Chicago White Sox 6-5.

On this day in 1978 Ron Guidry tied the American League record for shut outs in a season when he threw his 9th shut out of the season. This shut out would equal Babe Ruth's previous record that dated back in 1916 when he was with the Red Sox.

On this day Jason Giambi hit two home runs in a 6-0 victory over the then Tampa Bay Devil Rays. This would be Jason's 40th home run of the season and with brother Jeremy Giambi's 20 home runs the Giambi brothers have the most home runs hit in one season by a set of siblings. The previous record was 59 home runs hit in one season when Joe DiMaggio hit 46 and brother Joe DiMaggio hit 13 in 1937.

On this day in 2005 the Yankees became the third organization to draw over 4,000,000 fans in one season. The Yankees would be the first team to draw that many fans since the 1994 strike as the Yankees drew over 50,000 fans a game. The other two teams to achieve the feat were the 1993 Colorado Rockies and the 1991-1993 Toronto Blue Jays.

On this day in 2011 the Yankees celebrated Roger Maris' hitting his 61st home run. This was the 50th anniversary of the historic summer of 1961 where Mickey Mantle and Maris both attempted to break Babe Ruth's single season home run record.

On this day in 2012 Curtis Granderson became the fifth player in New York Yankees history to hit 40 home runs in consecutive years. Curtis joined Jason Giambi and Yankees legends Lou Gehrig, Babe Ruth, and Mickey Mantle as the only Yankees players to achieve the feat.