Thursday, February 13, 2014

Tanaka Throws A 25 Pitch Bullpen Session Today

Yankees pitcher Masahiro Tanaka threw his first bullpen session in the United States, a 25 pitch session, and all of New York is losing their mind about it. Tanaka threw in front of Yankees pitching coach Larry Rothschild and to probable Yankees backup catcher Francisco Cervelli. Tanaka threw a mixture of four seam fastballs, two seam fastballs, split finger fastballs, and sliders. Cervelli guessed that Tanaka was throwing at about 60% but everyone was happy, including Rothschild.

Yankees Exhibition To Panama Is Now Official

Major League Baseball announced today that the New York Yankees trip for a set of exhibition games in Panama are now official. The two game exhibition against the Miami Marlins will be the first trip for MLB teams in Panama since 1947. The "Legend Series" will be played on March 15th and 16th at Panama City's Rod Carew Stadium and the great Mariano Rivera, a Panama hometown boy and the MLB's all time saves leader, will be honored before the games.

Magic Dreams Productions, Patricia Lynch, and Rivera will be promoters for the event as the Legend Series will also host charitable events away from the field as well. On March 14th a gala representing both teams will be held to benefit the Mariano Rivera Foundation. Proceeds from the dinner will go to the Children's Hospital of Panama City, the largest children's hospital in the country.

Tampa Yankees 2014 Schedule

The 2014 schedule for the High A Tampa Yankees is in and being brought to you as a part of Prospects Month here on The Greedy Pinstripes. CLICK HERE to see the full schedule for the Tampa Yanks. The Tampa Yankees season starts on April 3, 2014 and ends on August 31.

Derek Jeter Stands Alone in the Post-Strike Baseball World

Derek Jeter announced that the 2014 season will be his last. He will retire after spending his entire career with the New York Yankees, winning five World Championships, seven American League Pennants, 14 division titles, and just two seasons out of the playoffs.
The first Yankee to join the 3000-hit club, Jeter has more base-hits than any shortstop in history. A 13 time All-Star, he is the only player to win the World Series MVP and All-Star Game MVP. When all said and done, he could be top six in base-hits and top 10 in runs scored.
His #2 will likely be retired at the end of the season, joining his life-long friend Mariano Rivera and the other Legends in Monument Park. The only question is if the Yankees can win their 28th World Series Championship this year, to do it for the Captain.
Derek Jeter never won an MVP. He never hit 30 home runs in a season. He has just one 100 RBI season. Just twice he had a season with an OPS over .900. He was never the greatest defensive player at the position and sabermetricians always decried him as one of the most overrated players in the game. Over his time, there were shortstops who had better years than him.

But this is what defines him: Like Mariano Rivera, he has stood the test of time. In the post-strike era of baseball, an era ravaged with PEDs, Jeter has been consistent year in and year out. He didn’t have to be a 30 HR/100 RBI/.900 OPS kind of guy to be great. He was simply consistent;  in him you knew what you would get year in and year out.
Quite simply, his overall brilliance makes him the absolute greatest player of the last 20 years. In an era in which the game has been haunted by greed, lying, cheating, and corruption, Derek Jeter stands alone in time.
There have been plenty of shortstops that have put up better numbers than Jeter, but only he has been there for all these years. Back in the 90s, the four best SS in the game were him, Alex Rodriguez, and Nomar Garciaparra and Rey Ordonez. A-Rod and Nomar won MVPs and batting titles and Ordonez’s defensive play reminded many of the recently retired Ozzie Smith. Jeter ended up with the rings, but many had him third behind those three.
Eventually, however, Jeter won the day. Only he has beaten Father Time and the temptation of drugs. A-Rod moved to third when he joined the Yankees and is now disgraced forever thanks to the steroid issue. Nomar kept getting hurt and was sacrificed by the Red Sox to break the Curse. Rey Ordonez couldn’t hit and was out of the league few years later.

Even in the latter part of the past decade, upcoming shortstops were placed above the Captain. But those guys like Troy Tulowitzki and Hanley Ramirez have had their injuries and have yet to establish their own greatness.
Many stars have been better than Jeter, but almost all have had their tragic flaw (steroids!!!! and others I guess) or fell off. Jeter hasn’t.
Moreover, the Captain has done it all without drama off the field, just on it. Unlike Alex Rodriguez and many others, he never has been suspected of using performance enhancements drugs. He has never gotten into any legal trouble (save for a minor tax residence issue). He has always held his own with the media, reflecting his calm demeanor on and off the diamond. He has been a stand-up citizen in the community, always giving back through his Turn 2 Foundation.
When Derek Jeter plays his final game, it will be one of the saddest days in sports history. It will truly be the end of an era, not even just for the New York Yankees. For he defines everything that a baseball player should be. The era after the 1994 strike should be known as the era of Derek Jeter, for he stands alone after all these years.

Meet A Prospect : Jose A. Ramirez

Jose Altagracia Ramirez was born on January 21st, 1990 in Yaguate, San Cristobal, Dominican Republic. The Yankees must have loved his 6'1" 155 lb frame pitching from the right side because they signed Jose as an International Free Agent in June of 2007. The Yankees added him to the 40 man roster this year to protect him from the Rule 5 Draft so time is almost up for Jose and it seems like it is 2012 or never for this guy. Personally after winning the Florida State League Pitcher of the Week twice in 2011 for the Tampa Yankees I think it may be a bit premature to write this guy off.

Jose Ramirez started his professional baseball career in 2008 in the Dominican Summer League with the Yankees 2nd DSL team. He would get 39 IP under his belt with an unimpressive 0-3 record and a 4.15 ERA with 39 strikes outs. The Yankees moved him up to the Gulf Coast League for 2009 where he spent 61 IP and compiled a 6-0 record with a 1.48 ERA earning him a late season promotion to the Tampa Yankees, skipping Low A Charleston. While only pitching 3 IP with the Tampa Yankees the Yankees started him out with the Low A Charleston Riverdogs for the 2012 season where he went 6-5 with a 3.60 ERA in 2010 in 115 IP and 105 strike outs. Jose would start the 2011 season back in Charleston where he went 79 IP and had a 5-7 record with a 4.90 ERA before being promoted back to the Tampa Yankees where he went 0-5 with an 8.14 ERA in 24.1 IP. Jose had a bounce back season in 2012 with the Tampa Yankees after going 7-6 with a 3.19 ERA in 98.2 IP and striking out 94 batters. Jose started his 2013 season in Trenton but ended up with the AAA RailRiders. Although injuries shortened his season he still finished with a 2-6 record combined with a 3.67 ERA and 78 K's in 73.2 IP. 

It is speculated that Jose A. Ramirez was the reason the Yankees seemed so willing to let go of Arodys Vizcaino in the Javier Vazquez trade with the Atlanta Braves. It is looking better for us all the time as Jose Ramirez is hitting 100 mph in instructs and Arodys missing the 2013 season with Tommy John surgery after the Braves put him in the bullpen and he blew out his elbow. Ramirez comes in with three plus pitches including hist traditional four seam fastball that touches 98-100 mph but sits consistently at 93-96 mph. He also junked a slurve for a traditional curve ball that he also struggled with so he decided to throw a true slider that he has made major strides with at instructs before the 2012 season. His third pitch has always been considered to be his best pitch which is a power change up that he throws from the same arm slot as his fastball that sits in the 80-84 mph range. His change up as even been compared to Manny Banuelos's change up and has rivaled his as the best change up in the Yankees farm system.

ETA : Late 2014 - Early 2015

Yankee Stadium Legacy: #46 Sparky Lyle

Sparky Lyle won the American League Cy Young Award in 1977 although the award is usually reserved for starting pitchers. Lyle won 13 games out of the Yankees pen and added 26 saves with a 2.17 ERA. Lyle pitched in 72 games that season and finished 60 games which were both good for tops in the league.

46 days until Yankees Opening Day

Prospects Month: Top 28 Yankees Prospects List #16

Continuing our look at The Greedy Pinstripes Top 28 prospects list as a part of Prospects Month we name our #16 prospect, Aaron Judge!

Here is the complete up to date list. Check back every day as the list fills out and we continue our look at the prospects in the New York Yankees system during Prospects Month here on TGP.

16. Aaron Judge
17. Ty Hensley
18. Luis Severino
19. Abiatal Avelino
20. Rob Refsnyder
21. Nik Turley
22. Cito Culver
23. Ramon Flores
24. Mark Montgomery
25. Rookie Davis
26. Jake Cave
27. Ben Gamel
28. Angelo Gumbs

Exclusive Interview w/ Yankees Pitcher Conner Kendrick

Another day of Prospects Month here on The Greedy Pinstripes and another interview. This time around it is with a pitcher for the New York Yankees in their affiliate down in Staten Island, Mr. Conner Kendrick. Former Auburn alum as well as a Georgia Tech Yellow Jacket for a minute now Kendrick brings his heat to the New York Penn League. Let's meet Mr. Kendrick, enjoy!

The Greedy Pinstripes: Conner! How are you today sir? How is your offseason going?

Conner Kendrick: Pretty good. The off season for me is going well. Just started a throwing program in the beginning of January. Happy to be able to throw.

TGP:  Do you pay attention to the Auburn football team as well as their baseball program? Wow what a season huh?

CK: I've spent a lot of time in Auburn during the offseason. Working out along side some of my old teammates. Also was able to go to a football game. It's crazy what one year can do. But that's sports for you.

TGP: What do you miss most about the whole college experience, specifically at Auburn?

CK: The main thing I miss about college baseball was the atmosphere. Sure MILB is a lot better competition but nothing beats a Friday night as a starting pitcher in the SEC.

TGP:  What were you doing when you found out that you became a member of the New York Yankees?

CK: When I got drafted I was watching it on tv with my family. I was not aware the Yankees had taken me until I received a phone call. It was a great feeling to be able to share with my family.

TGP: How do you think your faith helped you in your career and in your life thus far?

CK: My faith plays a huge role in my career. I've truly been blessed and cannot thank the man up stairs enough for this opportunity.

TGP:  What teams and sports did you root for and watch growing up?

CK: I was born in raised in Georgia so obviously I'm a Braves fan. Yet a newborn Yankees fan. Watching the pitching staff of the Braves inspired me to play the game.

TGP: Did you play any other positions coming up either in Little League, High School, or at Auburn?

CK: I grew up playing outfield as well as pitching. Played both in highschool as well as I did while playing in junior college.

TGP: What are you doing this offseason to improve on your 2013 season?

CK: The offseason consist of strength and conditioning workouts as well as a clean diet. As well as I can. It's a long season and you have to get your body prepared for it.

TGP: What do you do during the offseason to keep yourself occupied?

CK: Besides working out and conditioning I spend a lot of time saltwater fishing since I live at the beach.

TGP: Favorite restaurant to eat at?

CK: My favorite place to eat at is Shrimo basket. It's just a local seafood place in town. It's a nice place to spend time with your family.

TGP: I think this answer may be obvious but in my time around social media I have noticed there are two kinds of fans when it comes to prospects. You have the "prospect humpers" (myself being a self professed prospect humper) and a name yet to be determined (due to my lack of creativity) describing those who want to sell all the prospects off for the 37 year old "sure thing." Which category do you think yourself as a fan falls into?

CK: If it's not broken don't fix it is what I'd say. Sure having prospects in the organization is a huge part of the game. But why get rid of a sure thing? Prospects can wait their turn just as the veterans did. Hopefully they will turn out to be that sure thing veteran.

TGP: What current Major League player do you think you compare to the most?

CK: I've been compared to [Derek] Holland from the Texas Rangers. It's nice to be able to compare film with a guy that has already made it

TGP: If you could be the Yankees GM for a day what would you do? Don't have to really be realistic here. 

CK: It's hard to answer any questions about the general manager from your own organization. I don't want to step on any toes here.

TGP: How do you get any training done working out on that beach? Sorry I may or may not have been stalking your Twitter pictures :)

CK: Running in sand is like running on a treadmill on full incline. I feel training on that will make it easier while I'm conditioning during the season.

TGP: Have you ever considered returning to Auburn to mentor or coach?

CK: Being a coach or a mentor is what I would like to do one day. If I'm blessed enough to be able to come and give back to Auburn then I'd do it in a heartbeat.

TGP: Most famous person in your cell phone?

CK: I don't even have anyone famous in my phone unfortunately. I'm not known for being the most outgoing person in the world.

TGP: Most embarrassing song in your iPod?

CK: Music is really not my thing. I don't even use my iPod anymore. Any music that's on there is comprised of my brothers music.

TGP: We'll finish with this one, where do you see yourself in life and your career in five years?

CK: Hopefully 5 years from now I'll be fulfilling my dream and playing in the Major Leagues. I've been blessed beyond belief with this opportunity and I want to stay in this game as long as possible.

TGP: Keep giving those Georgia fans hell for me Conner, it's tough saying anything as a Georgia Tech Fan

CK: Haha I went to GT my freshman year actually. Always have not liked Georgia and I will never

Good man Conner, good man. Thank you for fighting the good fight against the Georgia Bulldogs fans and for doing all that you do in the New York Yankees organization. Thank you for taking the time to do this interview for us, we appreciate it and so do our readers I'm sure. Have a great season! You can follow Conner on Twitter by following @ckendrick42 all season long.

This Day In New York Yankees History 2/13

On this day in 1986 the Yankees acquired catcher Ron Hassey from the White Sox along with Neil Allen, Scott Bradley, and a minor league player. This is significant because just a few weeks earlier the White Sox acquired Hassey from the Yankees and they gave him right back.