Friday, February 14, 2014

Sunday Funday

This is bad timing; I know the Yankees opened spring training today--but I meant to write this earlier in the week, but school and then Jeter got in the way.

Sunday, I went up to Gulfstream Park up in Hallandale Beach for the day; for a newcomer to horse betting and being at the track, I have to grade the experience as an A+. Every stereotype you may have heard about a racetrack was not true in this case. There were plenty of families there, it wasn't a bad environment, and they don't even shove the gambling down your throat. If you just want to go, take in some sun, fresh air and watch a few races, you're totally free to do so. If you want to box your picks and bet on the quinella in Tampa Downs, you can do that too.

If you get a nice cashier, they won't look down on you for being a rookie to the gambling aspect. Just a warning; I spent more on lunch than on the ponies. The racing form cost eight dollars; pocket change compared to Yankee Stadium, I guess. I just thought I'd write and share this cool experience. If you're ever bored on a nice sunny Sunday, and you're near one, head to a racetrack.

Neil Dwyer @neildwyer1993

Arguably The Biggest Announcement Of The Day...

Yankees Recently Scouted Aledmys Diaz

Whether the news of Derek Jeter's retirement had anything to do with it or not remains to be seen but the Yankees have recently been scouting Cuban shortstop Aledmys Diaz. Just as a quick reminder Diaz is ineligible to sign until next week due to originally lying about his age. Diaz is 23 years old and will not count against the International Spending cap this season and is treated as a true free agent.

Yankees Assign New Numbers To New Players

The Yankees wasted no time giving away Robinson Cano's old number, and not to someone who has exactly earned it either. Brian Roberts was given the #14, Scott Sizemore was given Cano's #24, Kelly Johnson will wear #33, and Matt Thornton will wear #48. Just as a reminder Carlos Beltran will wear #35, Brian McCann will wear #34, Jacoby Ellsbury will wear #22, and Masahiro Tanaka will wear #19.

News & Notes From Girardi's Spring Training Presser

Joe Girardi held his annual beginning of Spring Training press conference today and mentioned a few notable news and notes that I feel compelled to share. Did I mention that I am so glad baseball is back? I know I did in my last post but I felt the need to reiterate it, I love coming home and typing out stuff about baseball!

The batting order is still undecided but Derek Jeter is the "ideal" number two hitter in the lineup. That means Brett Gardner is going to be batting eight or ninth for the Yankees this season.

Kelly Johnson is the backup first basemen for Mark Teixeira this season. Johnson has two career starts at first base in his career. Oh and he is likely the starting third basemen too.

David Robertson is the closer. Nobody will say the words "David Robertson is the closer" but they have basically said as much, so Robertson is the closer.

Michael Pineda may start off in the bullpen to get his feet wet and his arm strong. I don't really like the idea of Pineda in the pen as much as I did a Manny Banuelos but it could work, I guess. Girardi did acknowledge that Pineda is a starter and the Yankees envision him as a starter so there is always that.

News & Notes From Pitchers & Catchers Day One

My apologies to everyone for the late post but I have a job that actually makes me work, imagine that, and then I took the wife and my kids out to dinner and such for Valentines. Anyway, congratulations everybody we made it. Spring Training officially starts today with pitchers and catchers reporting to camp. Here are a few quick hit news and notes from the day, an uneventful day for once.

CC Sabathia came to camp weighing in at 275 pounds, the least he has weighed since his early days in Cleveland. Some are worried and chalked up his struggles last season to his weight gain but I am not worried at all. Can't blame a guy for wanting to wanting to get into shape for his family and for the rest of his career, not just 2014.

Michael Pineda threw a bullpen session with Francisco Cervelli this morning. Cervelli had nothing but rave reviews on Pineda and how he is progressing and coming back from his shoulder surgery. Great news.

David Phelps and Adam Warren are already throwing to live batters. You also remember that they were well ahead of schedule last season as well. Warren said others were already facing hitters as well but no names were mentioned.

Masahiro Tanaka got Mariano Rivera's old locker. Alex Rodriguez's locker is completely empty, not even a name plate above it. Carlos Beltran got the locker next to the vacant locker. Jacoby Ellsbury got Nick Swisher and Kevin Youkilis' old locker in the corner. Shawn Kelley got Andy Pettitte's old locker and Dellin Betances' locker is next to CC Sabathia's.

I love the fact that baseball is back. I'd rather talk about locker assignments then most of the stuff we spoke about this long, cold winter. Baseball is back ladies and gentleman!

Charleston Riverdogs 2014 Schedule Released

The 2014 schedule for the Charleston Riverdogs, the Low A affiliate for the 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 Riverdogs and the exciting bunch of prospects that are likely to go through there this season. The Riverdogs season starts on April 3, 2014 and ends on September 1.

Meet A Prospect : Nik Turley

Nikolas C. Turley was born on September 11th, 1989 in La Canada, California where he attended Harvard-Westlake High School in California. With a 6'7" frame and weighing in at 230 lbs while throwing three plus pitches from the left side and has drawn comparisons to a young Andy Pettitte you can understand why the Yankees drafted him in the 50th round of the 2008 MLB First Year Players Draft. The Yankees offered him enough money, thankfully, to get him out of his written commitment to BYU and become a professional baseball player. With his three plus pitches, amazing pitchers frame, and the fact that he throws for control from the left side I cannot see how he fell to the 50th round but I am glad the Yankees scooped him up.

Nik only saw 8 IP in his first professional season for the Gulf Coast Yankees and put up a 2-1 record with a 1.13 ERA in four games, one of them as a starter. He stayed in the GCL in 2009 where he compiled 54.1 IP to go with a 2-3 record and a 2.82 ERA. Nik would start the 2010 season in the GCL once again but was not long for the league as the Yankees moved him up to the Staten Island Yankees where he put up a 4-4 record with a 4.38 ERA in 61.2 IP. By the end of the 2012 season Nik had made it all the way to the Trenton Thunder AA affiliate where he only got to pitch 5 IP before the season ended. In 2012 Nik had a combined record of 10-5 with an 3.00 ERA in 117 IP while splitting time with Tampa and Trenton. 2013 saw Turley repeat at AA Trenton and put up an 11-8 record with a 3.88 ERA before seeing one game in AAA for the RailRiders.

Nik is an intimidating prescence on the mound when he comes out there at 6'7" and throws a 2 seam fastball that sits in the 91-92 mph range. He also throws a nice changeup that sits in the 79-81 mph range and has a big looping curveball that is by far his best pitch. Unlike many tall pitchers in baseball, see Andrew Brackman, Nik has shown to be consistent with his control and his ability to repeat his mechanics and stay on top of the ball. Nik is a ground ball machine so he projects to do very well in the new Yankees Stadium if he can keep the ball down and make hitters pound the ball into the ground a la Chein-Ming Wang or Ivan Nova. Nik projects to be a middle of the rotation kind of starter and if everything goes as planned that will be in the Bronx for the New York Yankees.

ETA Mid to Late 2014

Yankee Stadium Legacy: #45 Sparky Lyle (Again)

Sparky Lyle was one of three Yankees pitchers with a career ERA under 2.50 and Lyle had a Yankees career ERA of 2.41 in seven seasons in pinstripes. Lyle had a career high 35 saves in 1972 and an anemic 1.92 ERA that season. In 1974 he was nearly un-hittable with a 1.66 ERA and a 1.19 WHIP.

45 days until Yankees Opening Day

Prospects Month: Top 28 Yankees Prospects List #15

Continuing our look at The Greedy Pinstripes Top 28 prospects list as a part of Prospects Month we name our #15 prospect, Peter O'Brien!

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.

15. Peter O'Brien
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 Infielder Dean Anna

Dean Anna, the Dean of Swing, and one of the many men vying for a spot on the Yankees big league club this season. Dean was acquired before the Rule 5 Draft from the San Diego Padres for nobody you would probably know and looks to bring his versatility to a stadium near you in 2014. Today though he took the time to do an interview for The Greedy Pinstripes and for you, our readers, so I hope you enjoy and are enjoying Prospects Month. Prospects Month is already half over after today, hard to believe. 

The Greedy Pinstripes: Hello Dean, how are you today sir? How is your offseason going?

Dean Anna: Hello, thank you, the offseason has been good. 

TGP:  For those of our readers living under a rock you have spent your entire minor league career in the San Diego Padres organization. What do you miss most about San Diego?

DA: I will definitely miss the players I was coming up with and the coaches that I played for.

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

DA: I grew up rooting for the Chicago based teams, the Bears, the Bulls, and the Cubs.

TGP: How did the nickname "Dean of Swing" come about? Did you give it to yourself or was it given to you?

DA: I got the nickname Dean of Swing from my agent who also runs my social media stuff. 

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

DA: What I did this offseason to improve was worked on my agility a bit more. 

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

DA: I work with the youth in baseball at the Bo Jackson Dome in Lockport, Illinois. I love working with the youth in baseball.   

TGP: Favorite restaurant to eat at?

DA: My favorite restaurant is Barraco's Pizza. Best deep dish on the south side of Chicago.

TGP: I am waiting on getting an X Box ONE, mainly because I just had a child and I have enough things collecting dust, what are your thoughts on it? Do you have a PS4 as well?

DA: I love this X Box, you can talk to it. No PS4 though. 

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

DA: With the New York Yankees hopefully. 

Short, sweet, and to the point just like his swing. Nothing but the best of luck to you Dean in everything that you do both on and off the field. You can follow Dean on Twitter by following @DeanofSwing and in a New York Yankees Spring Training camp near you.

Yankees Single Game Tickets Go On Sale 2/24

In case you were wondering the Yankees announced that single game ticket sales would begin on February 24 at 10:00 am ET with a Mastercard pre-sale running February 19 through February 23. Mike Axisa of River Avenue Blues linked to the press release, SEEN HERE, that has all the pertinent information. Derek Jeter's final regular season home game will be on September 25 which makes you wonder if Derek Jeter Dasy will be that weekend or the weekend before like they did with Mariano Rivera this past season. Maybe not a bad idea to buy Yankees tickets for both weekends just to be sure.

Happy Valentines Day From The Greedy Pinstripes

We just wanted to take the time to wish everyone a very Happy Valentines Day from everyone here at The Greedy Pinstripes. Whether you have a significant other, you're happily single, or you're lonely on this day you have to at least try and make the best of it, it's Friday after all! Have a great day everyone and be sure to check back in often in between your romantic dinners, crying fits, and ice cream eating as we are in the thick of Prospects Month here on TGP. Have a great weekend everyone!

This Day In New York Yankees History 2/14

On this day in 2009 the Yankees lost free agent Bobby Abreu to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim after they signed him to a one year deal worth $5 million. Abreu was in his age 34 season and came off a very solid .296 average with 20 home runs and 100 RBI's for the Yankees the previous season.

Happy Valentines Day everybody!