Friday, August 1, 2014

Open Game Thread 8/1: Yankees vs. Red Sox

Welcome to August baseball and tonight's open thread for the game between the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox tonight in Fenway Park. The Yankees will send former Red Sox pitcher Chris Capuano to the mound with backup from former Red Sox players Jacoby Ellsbury and Stephen Drew to face off with Anthony Raduano for the Red Sox. The game will be played at 7:05 pm ET and can be seen on the YES Network, MLB Network, MLB TV, and can be heard on the radio with WFAN.

Remember to get your tickets to see the newest members of the Yankees either in Boston this weekend or next week when the Yankees start another home stand. Follow us on Twitter by following @GreedyStripes and like our page on Facebook by searching for The Greedy Pinstripes.

It's an open thread and there should be plenty to talk about so light up that comments section tonight. Enjoy the game Yankees family and enjoy the rest of your evening. Go Yankees!

Cashman Confident Drew Can Play Second Base

When the Yankees first acquired INF Stephen Drew from the Red Sox yesterday, many people wondered if he could adequately play second base.

The 31-year-old veteran, who's hit just .176 with four home runs and 11 RBI this season after signing with Boston in late May, has never played a position other than shortstop, worrying some that cutting Brian Roberts could turn out to be a mistake. 

Nonetheless, Yanks GM Brian Cashman is confident Drew can make the adjustment, telling the NYDN's Mark Feinsand shortly after the deal was completed that Drew's abilities "will allow him" to handle it.

“We believe in Stephen’s abilities, we certainly have a great deal of respect for his athleticism,” Cashman said. “We’re asking for him to accept a new challenge and we believe that his abilities will allow him to do that. We’ll see how it unfolds.”

So far in 2014, unsurprisingly, Drew has committed just two errors to Roberts' ten, pretty much proving the former's defensive superiority.

Still, that dismal batting average and RBI total are also things that need to be considered when assessing Drew, as the 2013 World Series Champ's been about as unproductive as one can be over the last couple of months. 

Cervelli Ecstatic To Still Be In New York.... Meme

"I wanna thank God for keeping me a Yankee!"

I've Got Til 5! - Trade Deadline Review

By now you've all read a bunch of reactions to the moves made by the Yankees yesterday. Well... here are five more!

1. While you have relievers out there that are sexy like Scarlett Johansson, the Yankees acquired Esmil Rogers... who's sexy like the chupacabra.

He's not just a beast. He's a sexy beast.

An ERA of 6.97, WHIP of 1.694, and FIP of 5.40 are hardly numbers worth getting excited about. And while Rogers is doing a decent job of getting out right-handed hitters this season (.250/.283/.409), he hasn't always been as effective (career .282/.338/.447). But his strikeout numbers aren't bad, he doesn't walk a ton of hitters, and he didn't cost anything to acquire. So perhaps he could at least eat some innings for the Yankees.

2. I wasn't a fan of acquiring Drew at first, as I didn't think he'd be of any help. For starters, his batting line of .176/.255/.328 is pretty sad. And secondly, while he may be a fine defender, he's playing out of position and therefore may not be much of an upgrade (if any) over Roberts.

Thanks to Daniel and others I've learned that Drew is hitting much better as of late. So as for his bat I'm not as concerned. However, I'm afraid that his transition to 2B isn't going to go smoothly. It's a shorter throw to first, and it's made at a different angle. And don't forget that turning a double play from that side of the bag is completely different too.

But with that said, this could turn out to be a very good pickup. And when I say "very good pickup" I'm not talking about for 2014... I'm talking about for 2015. You never know how a player is going to do in the bright lights of New York, making this an excellent audition to be the heir to Derek Jeter.

3. I wanted the Yankees to get Prado a long... long... time ago, so I was really happy when the news came across my phone.

"I was at work... don't tell my boss."

While his hitting, particular the power part of it, is a little lower than expected, I still think this was an excellent trade for the Bombers. Not only is he a solid bat for the second half of the lineup, but his versatility will make Girardi's job so much easier when it comes to constructing a lineup. While the bulk of Martin's playing time has been spent at 3B, 2B, and LF, he's also played a significant amount of innings at 1B. He's even see over a hundred innings at SS.

You may not see RF in there, which is where he's slotted to play for the Yankees this season, but with all that experience around the diamond I don't see that as a problem at all. Furthermore, he won't be needed in CF since we have Ellsbury and Gardner to play there, and I think the battery is covered as well.

4. The question of what the 2015 Yankees will look like is a whole lot clearer after yesterday.

My crystal ball is telling me that Mark Teixeira will be at 1B, Martin Prado will move to 2B, Chase Headley will be at 3B (I want to see the Yankees release ARod... much more on that in the offseason), and Stephen Drew will take over at SS. Of course, Brian McCann will be the catcher, Brett Gardner will return to LF, and Jacoby Ellsbury will continue running down balls in CF.

That leaves the Yankees looking for an everyday RF (I see Beltran at DH most days), a starter or two (Sabathia, Pineda, and Phelps seem like good bets to be there on Opening Day, while Tanaka is a question mark due to his health, and Nova probably won't be ready until later in the season), and an arm or two for the bullpen (depending on whether the team re-signs Robertson).

Oh yeah.

5. The best part about all the moves the Yankees made yesterday is that they didn't trade any good prospects. To be more specific, they didn't trade any big prospects for players that aren't a sure thing to be a key part of the team now and in the future.

If Cashman dealt away some bigger names like Luis Severino for somebody like that Tulo guy, or Cole Hamels, then that would be cool. But if the return was somebody like pre-injury Cliff Lee, who's a bit of a question mark for the future, then I'd be a little ticked off. And with the history of the Yankees I don't think any of us would have been surprised by that.

But the Yankees have essentially improved the team now and for next season, and did so without getting rid anything significant. How sweet is that?

Zelous Wheeler & Zoilo Almonte Sent Down For Prado

Zoilo Almonte and Zelous Wheeler have been sent down to make room on the 25 man roster for Martin Prado and Stephen Drew. Brian Roberts will be designated for assignment to make room for Esmil Rogers. Stay tuned... 

8/1 Yankees Game Preview vs. Pawtucket Red Sox

Tonight the New York Yankees will travel to Fenway Park and face off with the Pawtucket Red Sox, or a team that resembles the Pawtucket Red Sox after the trading deadline, in the first of a three game set this weekend. The Yankees will send Chris Capuano to the mound to face off with his former team and will be opposed by Anthony Ranuado of the Red Sox. The game will be played at 7:05 pm ET and can be seen on the YES Network, MLB Network, MLB TV, and can be heard on the radio with John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman on WFAN.

Capuano makes his first start for the Yankees back in his old stomping grounds of Fenway Park tonight. Capuano started the season with the Red Sox and worked out of their bullpen before moving on to the Colorado Rockies. Capuano had a good start in his Yankee debut last time out allowing just two runs in six innings.

Martin Prado, Stephen Drew, and Esmil Rogers are the newest Yankees and are expected to be available tonight for New York.

Ranuado is a New Jersey native that will be making the start tonight in place of recently traded away Jon Lester. Ranuado is a former LSU star and should be used to the bright lights and all eyes watching him. The Yankees will likely be calling him "Cy" or "daddy" by the end of the night like they usually do when they face a pitcher for the first time.

Yoenis Cespedes is expected to be in the lineup for the Red Sox tonight in Fenway.

Get your Yankees tickets to see all the new faces in Fenway Park this weekend or in Yankee Stadium when the Yankees return home to host the Detroit Tigers. We can offer cheap tickets for any game and any seat without the bulky and annoying fees and shipping costs. Buy now.

Go Yankees!!

Michael Pineda To Start Sunday in AAA

Lost in all the hoopla surrounding the trade deadline a bit of big news has been missed by a lot of people...

This Sunday, in Scranton, Michael Pineda will make his first rehab start against the Syracuse Chiefs.

That start will begin Pineda's 30-day minor league rehab assignment. Earlier this week Joe Girardi said Pineda would throw 60-65 pitches in his first rehab start. That means he'd likely bump that up to around 80-85 pitches in his second rehab start, and could very well be back with the Yankees five days after that.

If it weren't for the fact that the Yankees are in desperate need of rotation help I'd think Pineda's rehab would be longer.

A Yankees Fans Reaction to the Jon Lester for Yoenis Cespedes Trade

Paint a beard on this man...
In my opinion the Boston Red Sox may have made the best trade of the trading deadline yesterday when they acquired Yoenis Cespedes for Jon Lester and Jonny Gomes. Let’s face it the Red Sox are very likely to get Lester back this winter, reports have said as much, and they aren’t going anywhere but down this season. It makes perfect sense to open your eyes, realize where you are, and make a move for the future. The great thing that Boston does that New York will never do is the Yankees will hold onto their players and suffer while Boston will be a much improved team in 2015.

The Red Sox will basically have Lester in the rotation next season, Gomes would have been gone next season via free agency anyway and is very easily replaced, and they will have one more season of Cespedes in the middle of that lineup. That Boston lineup in the middle with David Ortiz, Dustin Pedroia, and Cespedes is going to be really scary this season and next.

Cespedes may also be responsible for the Red Sox having to tear down Fenway Park after he breaks the green monster with some of his hits off his bat. Even if the Red Sox don’t get Lester back this winter in my opinion they still made a great trade, probably the best trade of the deadline. Cespedes is guaranteed through 2015 and could sign an extension while the Lackey trade cleared some money for free agents. This looks to me like 2012 all over again.

Brian Cashman, pay attention. This is what makes a good general manager. 

The Greedy Pinstripes Had The Martin Prado Deal First

I don't generally like to toot my own horn here on the blog but toot freaking toot. Bryan Van Dusen and myself had Martin Prado coming to New York months ago, weeks before anyone else even mentioning his name. Yesterday as we all know Peter O'Brien and a player to be named later or cash was sent to Arizona for Mr. Prado and I felt inclined to remind people where this all started. Right here...

Bryan Van Dusen brought up the fact that the Yankees should try and trade for Prado on June 22. CLICK HERE. Here's an excerpt:

While Prado's batting line so far in 2014 is not impressive (.274/.318/.377, with only 1 SB in 2 attempts), he's hit pretty well this month (.307/.338/.427). Along with having a solid bat, Martin's versatility would work well in New York, since last season he played over 200 innings at both 2B and LF, while playing almost 900 innings at 3B.
Improving in the infield may not be the Yankees most pressing need, but Yangervis Solarte's fall from grace and Brian Roberts being... well... Brian Roberts, should make Brian Cashman take a hard look at Prado.

The fire got going again on June 30 when I reminded fans that the Prado trade rumors were heating up and that they started here. CLICK HERE. I asked fans to remember where they heard it first when it happened and it happened, so remember....

Many thought we here at The Greedy Pinstripes were just pulling this awful idea out of our behinds and then Pinstripe Alley, one of the biggest and best Yankee blogs, wrote a piece on it. Now The New York Daily News and Billy Madden wrote about it. Now it's on MLB Trade Rumors. The fire is spreading, remember where you heard it first.

I even went as far as to ask Prado to be the new Kelly Johnson. Johnson was traded for Drew but Drew will be the new Roberts and it seems like Prado will be the new Johnson. Don't be mad at me for being happy for getting one right, it doesn't happen often. CLICK HERE.

Welcome to pinstripes Mr. Prado. I've had your name for a long time.

Predicting Tonight's Lineup In Boston

New faces wearing pinstripes tonight for manager Joe Girardi to pencil into the lineup. Let's have some fun on this Friday morning before we get back to work tonight in Fenway Park.

1. LF Brett Gardner
2. SS Derek Jeter
3. CF Jacoby Ellsbury
4. 1B Mark Teixeira
5. RF Martin Prado
6. C Brian McCann
7. DH Carlos Beltran
8. 3B Chase Headley
9. 2B Stephen Drew

I am probably way off base with this but I don't mind. In all actuality Beltran will probably be switched with Prado which still makes for a pretty balanced lineup. I like this lineup a lot better than I did two weeks ago that's for sure. It would look better with Yoenis Cespedes in the middle, I hate you Boston, but what can you do. 

Quick Hit: Catching Up From An Active Trade Deadline

Just a quick hit to get everyone caught up from the flurry of roster moves and such out of Yankee land yesterday. The Yankees were very active at the trading deadline and while New York didn't make any blockbuster deals I think Brian Cashman gets a good grade for this deadline. Cashman did not give up any top notch talent and definitely bolstered our depth problem and our infield defense problems. A new right fielder, starting pitcher, or bullpen help would have been nice but there is always August for that I guess.

Anyway here is what happened to catch you up on this Friday:

The Yankees and Red Sox swapped Stephen Drew for Kelly Johnson. The Yankees will pay basically all of Drew's remaining $5 million on his deal. All signs point to Drew being the every day second baseman from here on out.

New York also acquired Martin Prado for prospect Peter O'Brien and a player to be named later or cash considerations. I am a big fan of O'Brien but I am a huge fan of this deal. O'Brien has shown incredible power in the minor leagues but Prado has shown a versatility and flexibility the Yankees seem to be missing this season. Not to mention that Prado has a very affordable contract for next season and 2016 as well. If I was a betting man I'd say Prado, while getting bounced around, will play a lot of right field this season and will be New York's every day second baseman next season.

The Yankees claimed starting pitcher Esmil Rogers off waivers from the Toronto Blue Jays and will stash him in Triple-A for now. Scott Sizemore was released to make room on the 40 man roster for Rogers. Rogers has struggled with Toronto this season, doesn't miss a lot of bats, but keeps the ball on the ground and that may be enough with this new look infield the Yankees have.

The Yankees did not acquire Marlon Byrd. Naturally I learned this after I typed out about a 2000 word article about it. Oh well, so is life. Now you know and knowing is half the battle. Happy Friday.

New York Travels To Pawtucket Tonight To Face Red Sox Triple-A Squad

The Boston Red Sox may throw out a team tonight that more resembles their Triple-A affiliate then a major league team, at least in the pitching department. With the trades of John Lackey to the St. Louis Cardinals, Felix Doubront to the Chicago Cubs, and Jon Lester to the Oakland Athletics the Red Sox went in a full blown fire sale in their pitching department. This comes just in time for the series tonight in Fenway Park with the New York Yankees.

The bad news is the first Yankees pitcher to greet newly acquired Yoenis Cespedes will be Chris Capuano. That could get hairy pretty quick. Guess we will just have to watch and stay tuned. The Yankees need whatever help they can get on and off the field right now and a depleted Boston squad certainly helps. Let’s just hope this isn’t another trap series like the Texas Rangers series turned out to be.

New York needs wins and hopefully they come tonight in Boston, or Pawtucket, or Oz, or wherever the Yankees are playing. Have a good day guys. 

This Day In New York Yankees History 8/1: The Boss Smells a Rat and His Name Is Bud Selig

It is no secret that over the years it has come across, maybe just to New York fans, that Bud Selig does not like the Yankees. It seems like every major change to Major League Baseball, international signing caps, draft caps, the luxury tax, etc., has been specifically aimed at the Yankees in an effort to keep the team down. This was no different on this day in 2002 when George Steinbrenner called out MLB on a fishy kind of one sided trade that helped out the rival Boston Red Sox. It all started when the MLB owned Montreal Expos traded away Cliff Floyd (.275 with 21 home runs and 61 RBI) to the Red Sox for two minor league pitchers from Korea Seung Song and Sun-Woo Kim. Obviously everyone involved denied the allegations but at least Selig didn't approve the deal for "baseball reasons."

Also on this day in 1975 the Yankees hired Billy Martin to be their manager for the first of five times. Martin replaced Bill Virdon after he never won a game at Yankee Stadium since New York was playing their home games at Shea Stadium while Yankee Stadium was being renovated. 

Finally on this day in 1941 the Yankees held Ladies Night at Yankee Stadium and were entertained by a Lefty Gomez shutout. This shutout makes today's list because Gomez set a new major league record with 11 walks in the Yankees 9-0 win over the St. Louis Cardinals. Gomez improved his record to 10-3 and the Yankees won the game.