Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Game Thread: Yankees @ Angels 5/6

The New York Yankees are in the middle of a quick three game set out west as they take on the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in the second of a three game set to start the week off. The Yankees will send Hiroki Kuroda to the mound to face off with CJ Wilson for the Angels and the game will be played at 10:05 pm ET. The game will be televised on the YES Network and MLB TV and can be heard on the radio with WFAN.

Join the conversation with us on twitter if you are still awake by following @GreedyStripes or by dropping us a line in the comments section of the site. The conversation is always going on in some shape, form, or fashion over here because we love talking Yankees baseball, won't you join us?

Enjoy the game Yankees family and I would tell you to enjoy the rest of your night or your tomorrow morning but I think we all know that won't happen. West Coast games suck!

Los Angeles Angels of San Francisco of Disney Land of Orange County of San Diego of Arnold's House of Anaheim... Meme

So you're the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim... but you play in Anaheim... and are not in any part of Los Angeles county. Now that's not confusing at all.

It is time to fire the coaches!?

Right on guys and gals. Developing the players is their job, that's what they get paid for right? Wrong! They try and work with what they get from the farm or in a trade. If a player will not accept the hitting coaches help, there is little he can do to help the player.
He can't teach one to bunt, if he has never done much bunting in his last few years and says; "I am paid to hit HR's and RBI's, not to bunt!"! The same attitude arises when it comes to hitting the other way.
Pitching coaches are in a similar situation as the other coaches on every team. One pitcher I have respect for is David Cone, a very very good pitcher with a ++fastball when he first came on the scene. As we have seen with most other fastball throwers. He soon found himself getting hit much more as his fastball slowed down enough that batters were able to handle it better. He was (as many before and after) smart enough to know when to learn something new, for him...how to pitch! He changed his style and became a pitcher with his head as well as his arm. He learned what my Favorite Pitcher, Lopat once told Allie Reynolds, “Take four pitches – the fast ball, the curve, the slider and the screwball. Now throw these at different speeds and you have 12 pitches. Next, throw each of these 12 pitches with a long-armed or short-armed motion, and you have 24 pitches.” He neglected to mention what you would have if you threw them with different arm angles, overhand, three-quarters and sidearm: 72 pitches.
I have no idea how many of you saw David pitch with the Yankees, but one thing I do know is he was a real pitcher and used Lopats' advice, as given to Reynolds! We now come to CC and his fight to become a real pitcher. As our great leader always says "Have Patience", let me be one that says the same with CC! One can't change over night, what they have been doing for 20+ years.
We have a player that will not (or can't) change his style of hitting. He has been told over and again to get his left foot down quicker, but he still raises his foot as though he were a 30 year old kid. We also, have a player that cheats on guessing fastball and starts his swing sooner therefore, if it isn't a fastball...oooops!
The bottom line here is a simple one...if one is not open to adjustments, no coach can teach you a thing.

Preview: New York Yankees @ Los Angeles Angels 5/6

The New York Yankees continue their three game West Coast trip this week as they take on the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in Angels Stadium tonight. The Yankees will send Hiroki Kuroda to the mound to face off with CJ Wilson for the Angels. The game will be played at 10:05 pm ET and can be seen on the YES Network, MLB TV, and can be heard on the radio with WFAN.

Kuroda's shortest start of the 2014 season came against these same Los Angeles Angels in New York as Kuroda could not make it out of the fifth inning. Kuroda allowed ten hits and eight runs in the campaign and has now taken a loss in each of his last two starts. Kuroda will look to bounce back tonight against the Angels and hopes to find some consistency and some victories for his New York teammates.

Wilson  has already beat the New York Yankees once this season after going six innings and only allowing one run against the Yankees in the Bronx. Wilson followed up that start with eight strong innings and only one run allowed against the Indians at home in Angels Stadium. Wilson has struck out 13 batters and only walked one in his last two starts, let's hope his luck is finally running out tonight against New York.

Go Yankees!!

Yankees Outright Chris Leroux To Scranton

The New York Yankees have announced that Chris Leroux has cleared waivers after being designated for assignment and has been outrighted to Scranton in Triple-A. The 30 year old has been designated and outrighted before so he has the option whether to elect free agency or not but it is expected that he will accept the assignment and head down with the RailRiders. No surprise that Leroux was DFA'd and then cleared waivers as he has a 6.03 ERA in 71.2 career innings pitched.

Yankees International Spending Coming Into Focus

The international spending spree for the New York Yankees begins on July, 2 this year as the new international signing period begins. The Yankees have said that they plan to blow the international spending limit cap out of the water and spend somewhere in the $15-$20 million range this signing period and deal with the spending limitations and penalties for the next two seasons in hope for an International Draft to be implemented. The players and cash allotment are starting to come into focus according to Ben Badler who has the Yankees signing at least four players for $2 million or more this signing period.

The Yankees are said to have verbal deals with outfielder Juan De Leon, shortstop Dermis Garcia, third basemen Nelson Gomez, and shortstop Christopher Torres. All four players are 16 years old and coming out of the Dominican Republic. De Leon seems to be the Yankees top priority as he has the potential for plus power in the future and has great bat speed as a right handed hitter. Garcia has "some of the best raw power in the 2014 class," Nelson has shown good hands and a good glove along with some pop, and Torres is a switch hitting shortstop that screams Cito Culver to me.

Assuming all these deals get done that is only somewhere in the neighborhood of $9 million so if you believe the rumors the Yankees have plenty of money left for pitching. The Rays, Red Sox, and Brewers are following suit and are expected to spend heavily internationally this season, although not as much as New York. It's going to be an interesting couple of months in Yankee land and I personally cannot wait for July 2nd.

Mariano Rivera Calls Out Cano In His Book

First of all raise your hand if you knew that Mariano Rivera was writing a book because I didn't. Also raise your hand if you thought the politically correct Rivera would call out a former teammate in the book because I didn't think he would. He did though in his book called "The Closer" which is being co-written by Daily News writer Wayne Coffee. In the book Rivera says that he would pick Dustin Pedroia over his former teammate Cano if he had to win one game because "There is no doubt that he (Cano) is a Hall-of-Fame caliber (player). It's just a question of whether he finds the drive you need to get there. I don't think Robby burns to be the best. You don't see that red-hot passion in him that you see in most elite players." Coming from anyone else you shrug that off but coming from the great Rivera, ouch.

You can read some excerpts from the book and the entire story on the Daily News HERE.

Michael Pineda Re-Instated... Placed on DL, Brendan Ryan Activated

The Yankees have re-instated Michael Pineda, and immediately placed him on the DL. I'm not sure how long Pineda will be on the DL, as I don't know the rules on if it can be backdated during the suspension.

In his place, the Yankees have activated Brendan Ryan.

Understand Sabermetrics : On Base Plus Slugging (OPS)

OPS is a stat that combines two major functions in a baseball player's every day life, getting on base and hitting for power.  OPS is basically your on base percentage (OBP) added with your slugging percentage (SLG).

Like I said in the intro to this series no sabermetric stat is perfect and no sabermetric stat is a "tell all" stat. The biggest beef with OPS is how it weighs on base and slugging equally, which seems "unfair" for those who are not big power hitters. Slugging percentage numbers average between 75-100 points higher then on base numbers traditionally in baseball over a full season.  I do not believe in totally disqualifying stats because they are not "fair" because you have to know what stat to use for each situation and each player. You do not define Derek Jeter by his OPS because he is not a power hitter, he is a lead off hitter. A lead off hitter is defined mainly by their ability to get on base (OBP) and set the tone for the rest of the team. You want your best hitter, the #3 hitter traditionally, and your clean up hitter to have higher OPS numbers. 

OPS is set into 7 categories to determine how to rank a player. Here is the ranking via WIKI

CategoryClassificationOPS Range
AGreat.9000 and Higher
BModerate.8333 to .8999
CAbove Average.7667 to .8333
DAverage.7000 to .7666
EBelow Average.6334 to .6999
FTerrible.5667 to .6333
GAtrocious.5666 and Lower

The highest career OPS (entering 2011) is held by some guy named George Herman Ruth, with a staggering 1.1638 career OPS. He is followed closely by some names I have never heard of, guys like Ted Williams, Lou Gehrig, Barry Bonds, Jimmy Foxx, Albert Pujols, and Hank Greenberg to name a few.

Barry Bonds and Babe Ruth hold 8 out of the top 10 highest OPS seasons in baseball history, the other two are held by Ted Williams. The highest ever OPS in a season, by Barry Bonds, was an insane 1.4217 in the 2004 season.

Like I usually do, and like to do, let us use a Yankee to make this hit home a little bit. I wanted to use Mark Teixeira, but he does not walk a lot, and I wanted to use Alex Rodriguez but he barely played 100 games in 2011, so let us use the Yankees best hitter Robinson Cano. Robinson Cano, in 2011, had a OBP of .349 and had a SLG of .533 making his OPS a very respectable .882 putting him in the B category as a "moderate" OPS player. The fact that his OPS is so high with such a low OBP , compared to his batting average, and only  38 walks shows you just how good Robinson Cano is at making contact and hitting for power. 

There is an updated version of OPS, called OPS+, that is EXTREMELY complicated to understand and to use for a novice. I think it would be easier for you to read it HERE and try to understand it rather then my try to explain it.

When Do We Start To Hold Rothschild Responsible?

I know I am not alone when I say that I am growing pretty darn tired of CC Sabathia struggling almost every single time out, at least for an inning or two a game. CC was brought in to be the workhorse and the ace and the stopper and for the past few seasons he has not been that, not by a long shot. Are we really chalking up Sabathia's struggles to weight loss, which is conceivable, or is it something more? Could it possibly be that Larry Rothschild could be to blame? Maybe...

Rothschild was hired before the 2011 season and enjoyed two great seasons from Sabathia, see below for his stats: 
2011 30 19 8 .704 3.00 33 237.1 230 87 79 17 61 230 143 2.88 1.226 8.7 0.6 2.3 8.7
2012 31 15 6 .714 3.38 28 200.0 184 89 75 22 44 197 125 3.34 1.140 8.3 1.0 2.0 8.9
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 5/5/2014.

While I understand that CC has lost a bunch of weight and had what we were led to believe was a minor and clean up type elbow surgery we have seen CC struggle over the past two seasons to the tune of: 
2013 32 NYY 14 13 .519 4.78 32 211.0 224 122 112 28 65 175 85 4.10 1.370 9.6 1.2 2.8 7.5 2.69
2014 33 NYY 3 4 .429 5.75 7 40.2 50 27 26 7 9 44 74 4.16 1.451 11.1 1.5 2.0 9.7 4.89
Generated 5/5/2014.

Rothschild is the pitching coach and if CC is having to learn how to pitch with reduced velocity or reduced this or reduced that then when does some of the blame go to the pitching coach? Plenty of pitchers have learned how to pitch with reduced velocity and lengthened their careers, see Andy Pettitte for example, but CC is 33 years old. We're not talking about an aging veteran here on a one year deal like Hiroki Kuroda. We have CC for a long time and owe him a lot of money and something needs to be done, sooner rather than later.

I'm not saying pull a George Steinbrenner and fire Rothschild but he needs to start being held responsible for the Yankees pitching struggles and woes and it starts at the top. CC is struggling, Kuroda is struggling, Ivan Nova is gone (nobody can help Tommy John surgery), Michael Pineda is suspended for using pine tar again, Vidal Nuno is struggling, and the revolving door in the bullpen is getting rather old. It's time to do something and do something now. Cashman, your move. 

Can't Predict Baseball: Worst Shutout Ever!?!

On this day in 1915 Babe Ruth hit his first career home run at the Polo Grounds as a member of the Boston Red Sox off Yankees pitcher Jack "Crab" Warhop. Ruth would hit home run number two a mere two weeks later off the same Yankees pitcher.

On this day in 1962 Jim Bouton makes his first major league start and blanks the Washington Senators 8-0 at Yankee Stadium.The 22 year old right hander was nearly removed from the game when 11 of his first 12 pitches in the first inning were called balls. Bouton gave up seven hits and seven walks in what he described as "the worst shutout in the history of the game."

Girardi, Kelley ejected as Yankees fall to Angels, 4-1

David Phelps threw 5.1 innings of one-run ball and Shawn Kelley followed him by giving up another three last night as the Yankees dropped the opener of this three-game set to the Angels, 4-1. In this one, the Yanks pitching staff was overall pretty good, surrendering just one trip around the bases through the first seven frames, but in the bottom of the eighth everything started to fall apart for them, as Kelley gave up those 3 runs before he and Manager Joe Girardi were ejected for arguing balls and strikes.

Anyway, the Bombers offense, again, couldn't do anything yesterday, collecting just one run against Jered Weaver in his 8 innings of work. That trip around the bases, unsurprisingly, came thanks to the red-hot Mark Teixeira, who singled home Derek Jeter (2-for-4 with a single, double, double play) in the top of the seventh to tie the game at 1. 

Besides those guys, Pinstripes Seventh-inning man Adam Warren also played pretty well in this loss, tossing 1.2 frames of shutout relief. The first hitter he faced in that time, Albert Pujols, actually hit a single to put men on the corners with just one out, but after that #43 really got to work, inducing a foulout and a groundout to end the threat.

Quick Hit: I Hate West Coast Baseball Games

Okay whose idea was it to have a game start at 10:00 pm ET on the East Coast knowing I have to work tomorrow? Those same people also know that I cannot resist staying up and watching at least a few innings, and by a few I mean at least six if we are losing and nine innings if we are winning. Does Bud Selig not care that I have to be up at 5:00 am and get two kids, myself, and my wife ready for work today? Quit trying to clean up the game or suspending people for using pine tar and make these games earlier. That's called East Coast bias and frankly I don't care because I get cranky when I'm tired, get over it.


Trenton Thunder Game Recap 5/5

One Out from Victory, Thunder Lose 3-2 in 10

NEW BRITAIN, CT - After being shutout for the first 8.2 innings, the New Britain Rock Cats scored with two outs in the 9th inning and two runs in the 10th inning for a walk-off, come-from-behind 3-2 win Monday night.

Reliever Tyler Webb made his Double-A debut with a 1-0 lead in the 9th inning and looked to get the final three outs for a save. The 23-year old was transferred from High-A Tampa prior to Sunday's ballgame, and allowed five of the six batters he faced in the 10th inning to reach including a walk-off single with the bases loaded and one out.

In the ninth, Webb issued a one-out walk but had two outs and two strikes on Nate Hanson with Corey Wimberly at first base. Hanson lined a double over the head of the right-fielder Yeral Sanchez to score Wimberly and tie the game 1-1.

In the 10th inning, Sanchez led-off the inning with a double before Taylor Dugas was hit by a pitch to put runners at first and second base with one out. After a fielder's choice bunt groundout kept runners on first and third with one out, Mason Williams slapped a single to left field to score Dugas from second base with an aggressive slide home to give the Thunder a 2-1 lead heading into the bottom of the tenth.

An RBI single by Gary Sanchez in the top of the first inning gave the Thunder a 1-0 lead which was enough for starting pitcher Caleb Cotham in his six innings of work. Cotham, making his first start of the season with Trenton after five starts to begin the season with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, allowed just two hits in six shutout innings and faced just one batter over the minimum in his outing.

The three-game series continues Tuesday at New Britain Stadium when the Thunder take on the Rock Cats with a scheduled 6:35 p.m. first pitch. The game can be heard on www.trentonthunder.comor on 91.3 FM WTSR with the Trenton Thunder Pre-Game Show beginning at 6:20 p.m.

Being posted with permission from the Trenton Thunder. The original article can be seen HERE

Charleston Riverdogs Game Recap 5/5

RiverDogs Close Series on Third Straight Win
Charleston earns season split against Delmarva while winning home series by 3-1 margin

CHARLESTON, SC - The Charleston RiverDogs used five pitchers on Monday evening and needed good work from all of them to hold on to a 4-3 victory over the Delmarva Shorebirds in front of 2,543 fans at Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Park in South Atlantic League action.
The RiverDogs are now 16-14 after their third consecutive victory as the Shorebirds fall to 13-17. Charleston earned a series victory with a 3-1 edge at home against Delmarva that also evens the regular season series, which closed at four wins apiece.
Brady Lail started for the RiverDogs and allowed the Shorebirds to score just two runs in five innings pitched. Federico Castagnini gave Delmarva a 1-0 lead in the third inning when he scored on a two-out single by Josh Hart. In the top of the fifth, Castagnini scored again off Mike Yastrzemski's double, bringing Delmarva's lead to 2-0.
Charleston took the lead with a four-run rally in the bottom of the fifth. A hit batsman, a walk, and an error on a sacrifice bunt loaded the bases for the RiverDogs. After Hunter Harvey tossed a strikeout, John Murphy scored Charleston's first run on a low throw to home plate after a ground ball. Kale Sumner tied the game by scoring on a strikeout that was coupled with a wild pitch. Aaron Judge put the RiverDogs ahead 4-2 with a two-run single that capped the rally.
Andury Acevedo kept Delmarva scoreless in the sixth inning before the Shorebirds tagged Philip Walby for an unearned run in the seventh. Gregory Lorenzo had a leadoff single and would cut the Charleston lead to 4-3 when he came in on a groundout from Hart. Cesar Vargas and Nick Rumbelow followed with scoreless innings that wrapped up a RiverDogs triumph.
Lail is 4-1 after his third consecutive winning decision. Hunter Harvey took the loss and is now 1-2 despite allowing no earned runs in a quality start. Rumbelow nailed down his fifth save in as many opportunities. This was also the first time this season that Charleston won a game when it was the second team to score.
BALLPARK FUN: Carolina One Real Estate presented a 50-inch flat screen television to Conner Ellis before Monday's game and will reward a lucky RiverDogs fan with a television for every 50 runs scored by Charleston at home this season. During a promotional contest, Kenneth Norman proposed to his girlfriend, Haley. The future Mrs. Norman said, "Yes!" The RiverDogs also celebrated Cinco de Mayo, including Mexican-themed player headshots, musical entertainment, and clips from "The Three Amigos" on the video board.
COMING UP: Charleston will be idle on Tuesday and begins a three-game road trip at Rome on Wednesday evening at 7:00pm. RiverDogs RHP Rookie Davis (2-2, 4.45 ERA) opens the quick road trip against Braves LHP Yean Carlos Gil (2-1, 0.86 ERA). A seven-game RiverDogs homestand begins on Saturday, May 10 with another Social Media Saturday as well as a Tony the Peanut Man Bobblehead Giveaway for the first 1,000 fans through the gates, courtesy of WCSC Channel 5. Tickets may be purchased at the Riley Park Box Office, (843) 577-DOGS (3647) or on-line at www.riverdogs.com. If fans cannot make it to the ballpark, they are encouraged to tune in to all the action this year both home and away worldwide on www.riverdogs.com and locally on 1250 WTMA, the new radio home for RiverDogs baseball.

Being posted with permission from the Charleston Riverdogs. The original article can be seen HERE

This Day In New York Yankees History 5/6

On this day in 2007 Roger Clemens announced that he would be coming back for another season and that it would be with the New York Yankees. Clemens agreed to a one year deal worth $28 million, which prorated down to a little more than half that. This would be the richest deal in the history of the game for a pitcher. Clemens made the announcement in the seventh inning at Yankee Stadium in owner George Steinbrenner's press box.