Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Yankees Blow Late Lead; Fall to Tigers in Extras 4-3

Hiroki Kuroda tossed 7 innings of three-run ball and the Brian McCann/Martin Prado duo hit home runs in the second and fifth, but since Matt Daly surrendered a big solo shot to Alex Avila in the top of the twelfth the Yankees fell to the Tigers, 4-3, tonight at Yankee Stadium. 

For most of this one, surprisingly, the Yanks did lead against Detroit's newest ex-Cy Young David Price (8 2/3 IP, 3 ER, 10 strikeouts), tying things early on that aforementioned homer by McCann (his third this season off of Price) before taking a 2-1 advantage in the third when Brendan Ryan and Jacoby Ellsbury connected on a pair of doubles. 

Still, since the overall-good Kuroda collapsed in the sixth and seventh New York did eventually lose its seemingly-comfortable 3-1 cushion, with #18 allowing 2 runs on 4 hits in those frames to even up the score.

Yes, from that point on the Yankees' bullpen of Dellin Betances, Shawn Kelley, David Huff, and Esmil Rogers did pretty well, but considering recent call-up Matt Daly still gave up that blast to Avila in the twelfth the Yanks were unfortunately defeated, the first time that's happened to them since Friday.

Gardner, Drew, and Prado Clear Revocable Waivers

Brett Gardner, Stephen Drew, and Martin Prado have cleared revocable waivers and are able to be traded to any team for the rest of the season. It's merely a procedural move to place players on waivers in August but this interesting if the Yankees fall out of the race that they could at least unload Prado or Drew. Last season the Yankees waited too long after falling out of the race and were stuck with ace Hiroki Kuroda and Robinson Cano specifically.

Speaking of waivers the Yankees made a run at Texas' outfielder Alex Rios and learned the news today that Rios was placed on revocable waivers. The Yankees could either claim him and try to work out a trade, or take on his salary, or they could wait and hope for him to clear waivers and try to work a trade out.

The Los Angeles Dodgers were able to sneak Matt Kemp, Carl Crawford, Josh Beckett, and Andre Ethier through waivers as well and can trade them anywhere is the Yankees are interested.

8/5 Yankees Open Thread vs. Detroit Tigers

Welcome to tonight’s open thread for the second game of a four game set between the New York Yankees and the high powered Detroit Tigers. The Yankees face a tough task as they ask Hiroki Kuroda to beat the newest member of the Tigers in David Price. 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 Yankees tickets right here on the blogfor any game this home stand or really any game home or away that the Yankeesplay this season. Follow us on twitter by following @GreedyStripes and like us on Facebook by searching for The Greedy Pinstripes to keep the conversation going.

It’s an open thread so let’s get to chatting it up in the comments section of the site, talk about whatever you like. Enjoy the game Yankees family and enjoy the rest of your evening. Go Yankees!

Injury Updates: Masahiro Tanaka & CC Sabathia

The Yankees got some encouraging news on the injury front today as we received two small updates from Masahiro Tanaka and CC Sabathia. Sabathia spoke with reporters for the first time since his surgery and announced everything had gone as planned with the knee. Sabathia had a bone chip removed but a group of doctors announced that microfracture surgery was not needed at this time. The knee will give CC problems for the rest of his playing career and likely his life as all the cartilage in the knee is gone. CC will have to at least have this monitored for the remainder of his career. CC did avoid the major surgery that would threaten his career so there is always that to feel good about.

Tanaka threw 50 pitches today from 60 feet and increased his velocity and intensity some and reported no pain whatsoever. Tanaka has a scheduled day off tomorrow and will resume throwing on Thursday. The Yankees have a date in mind for Tanaka to return to the Bronx if all goes well but they are not announcing it. Brian Cashman did state that it was "definitely September" though which should surprise no one.

Rich Hill Called Up To Replace Matt Thornton

The New York Yankees traded Matt Thornton to the Washington Nationals today so they could save some cash and create more flexibility in their bullpen. Both manager Joe Girardi and General Manager Brian Cashman stated that the move was partly made to make room for some of the younger guys in the Yankees system, namely Manny Banuelos, Jacob Lindgren, and Tyler Webb. Then the Yankees went and promoted 34 year old Rich Hill to take Thornton's roster spot and use him as a LOOGY. Say what?

I'm as confused as you are. I know this move was more for the 2015 season or even more so for September when Lindgren and Banuelos could be called up but don't piss on me and tell me it's raining. Don't trade a guy away for cash to make room for a young guy and then call up a journeyman in Hill. Whatever.

David Price To The Tigers False.. Until It Wasn't.. Meme

We here on The Greedy Pinstripes even fell for it when the fake Ken Rosenthal account posted on Twitter that the Detroit Tigers had acquired both David Price and Ben Zobrist. It was quickly determined that the rumor was false, until it wasn't anyway. The Tigers did in fact get David Price, it was not a dream and it isn't fake, and he will be on the mound tonight in Yankee Stadium in a not so familiar uniform.

8/5 Yankees Game Preview vs. Detroit Tigers

Tonight the New York Yankees and the Detroit Tigers will face off in the second game of a four game set at Yankee Stadium. The Yankees will see a familiar face as David Price makes his Tigers debut and will face off with the Yankees Hiroki Kuroda. 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.

Kuroda is coming off an impressive month of July in which he posted a 3.38 ERA and held batters to a .258 batting average against in six starts during the month. Kuroda took the loss last time out against the Texas Rangers but still threw a quality start and simply fell victim to a lack of run support. 

Price will be making his Detroit Tigers debut against a familiar foe in the Yankees. Price has a career 10-5 record with a 3.66 ERA against New York including a 6-2 record with a 3.57 ERA inside Yankee Stadium. 

Go Yankees!

With Phelps Out It’s Time To Rush Michael Pineda

David Phelps left Sunday night’s start with elbow inflammation that he has been battling for nearly a month now. This injury could not have come at a worse time for the Yankees as we are in the final stretch of the regular season. Over two thirds of the season is behind us and the Yankees are barely hanging on for one of the two Wild Card playoff spots in the American League. The Yankees may have to ultimately ditch any ideas of winning the division and focus on the wild card but that’s tough when five of your starting pitchers are on the disabled list. One of those starters on the DL is Michael Pineda and it may be time to take the diapers off the right hander and really rush him back.

Pineda has been battling a teres major muscle strain in his back/shoulder area and has been out since the infamous second pine tar incident in Boston. Pineda had one set back and another bad evaluation that caused more rest for the shoulder. Now Pineda is back and fresh off throwing three shutout innings for the Triple-A Scranton Wilkes-Barre Railriders. Pineda is expected to throw around 75-80 pitches in his next start on Friday which got me thinking, should this start come in the major leagues or should it come in Scranton?

Pineda looks healthy and as small of a sample size of one start and three plus innings is he looked sharp and in control of the baseball. You didn’t see the obvious signs of rust and fatigue and command and control issues that easily get brushed off with the ‘at least he came through it healthy” mentality. Pineda looks good and looks to be throwing like he was pre-injury. With the current state of the Yankees bullpen and starting rotation would 75-80 pitches not be better suited in the Bronx Friday against a lesser hitting team like the Indians then wasted in the minor leagues?

It may be rushing him, I admit that, but it’s time to take the training wheels off. The Yankees are well known for the babying of their pitchers and protecting their investments but you won’t have the money to invest if New York misses the postseason for a second straight season. I hope Brian Cashmand and Joe Girardi are reading this because the team needs a savior and that savior isn’t saving anything if he is pitching in Triple-A on Friday. Make it happen or throw in the white towel because we’re done. 

Nationals Claim Thornton Off Waivers

When the Yankees signed left-handed reliever Matt Thornton to a 2-year/$7 million deal in January, not many people expected he'd struggle the way he has.

The 37-year-old veteran, who was great during his time with the White Sox, has usually had a high ERA this season, although his recent turnaround has lowered that stat to a respectable 2.55.

Nonetheless, Thornton has been overall bad this year, something that now appears to have cost him his job, with CBS Sports' Jon Heyman reporting today that the Nationals have acquired #48 off waivers. 

Unsurprisingly, the Yanks won't get anything in return for Thornton, who struck out 20 in 24 2/3 innings during his four months with the team.

Still, they will get to send the remainer of his contract elsewhere, a happening that could help them re-sign David Robertson come free agency. 

Also, as River Avenue Blues' Michael Axisa points out, it improves the odds of New York calling up recent draft pick Jacob Lindgren in September (1-0, 0.68 ERA, 13 1/3 IP, 30 strikeouts this summer in the GCL and at Low-A and High-A), likely making this trade a good one for the currently 58-53 club.

Meet a Prospect: Stephen Drew

Stephen Drew was the latest member of the Boston Red Sox to either die a hero or live long enough to see himself become the villain as he switched sides and joined the New York Yankees. Obviously Drew didn’t have much choice as he was traded but still, it’s always fun to watch the responses of Red Sox fans when their players become Yankees. Anyway, I digress… Drew is part of the only trio of siblings in major League Baseball to be selected in the first round of the MLB Draft. Drew is the younger brother of former outfielder J.D. Drew and former pitcher Tim Drew. Drew has come a long way since his father found his first baseball glove in a dumpster and is now a member of the New York Yankees. Well he will be after we introduce him to you anyway, this is meet a prospect the Stephen Drew edition.

Stephen Oris Drew was born on March 16, 1983 and spent him high school years in Valdosta, Georgia while attending Lowndes High School. Following in the footsteps on the aforementioned JD Drew the younger Drew played college baseball at Florida State University. Drew caught the attention of the Arizona Diamondbacks and was drafted out of college. Drew was polished so he started his professional career in High-A ball in 2006 and ended the season all the way in Triple-A. Drew was a player in the 2006 All Star Futures Game after tearing up the minor leagues. Drew was called up in 2006 when Craig Counsell injured his ribs and made his major league debut on July 15, 2006. In the same game against the Milwaukee Brewers was another player making his own major league debut in Tony Gwynn Jr. Drew would have a strong 2006 season ending with a .316 batting average with five home runs and 23 RBI.

Drew couldn’t follow up his successful 2006 season in 2007 and only hit .238 with 12 home runs. Drew had another disappointing season in 2008 that was only highlighted by hitting for the cycle on September 1, 2008 against the St. Louis Cardinals. On the same day the Seattle Mariners Adrian Beltre hit for the cycle. Drew bounced around with average numbers in 2009 and 2010 before the injury bug hit him hard in 2011. Drew missed the first four games of the season with abdominal pain and then on July 20 he slid into home plate and fractured his right ankle. Drew would miss the remainder of the season and ended the season with 86 games played and a .252 average with five home runs and 45 RBI. The ankle injury caused Drew to spend the early parts of the 2012 season on the disabled list as he did not make it back onto the field until June 27 of that season. August of the 2012 season the Diamondbacks traded Drew to the Oakland Athletics for minor league shortstop Sean Jamieson.

Drew finished the 2012 season with just a .223 batting average in 79 games with seven home runs and 28 RBI. The Oakland Athletics declined Drew’s $10 million option on his deal and instead paid a $1.35 million buyout making Drew a free agent for the first time in his career. Drew would sign with the Boston Red Sox before Christmas in 2012 on a one year deal worth $9.5 million plus incentives for an additional $500K. Drew had another typical Stephen Drew season in 2013 batting .253 with 13 home runs and 67 RBI and even hit a home run in the series clinching Game 6 of the World Series. This was Drew’s first World Series ring of his career and the Red Sox third in nine seasons. Drew was offered a qualifying offer after the 2013 season that was ultimately denied making him less attractive as a free agent.

Drew declined the one year deal worth $14.1 million and could not find a deal until May 20, 2014. Any team that signed Drew except the Red Sox would have had to forfeit a draft pick to sign Drew and Drew ultimately signed with Boston on a one year $10 million deal with the Red Sox when it was all said and done. The deal equated to a prorated version of the qualifying offer that he declined earlier in the winter. Drew struggled through May and June before turning it on offensively in July just in time to get traded at the July 31 trading deadline. The Yankees and Red Sox swapped Drew for Kelly Johnson and Drew will be the Yankees every day second baseman.

This is truly an audition for Drew who could be the man who replaces the great Derek Jeter after his retirement this season. Will Drew be the next Yankees shortstop? Will he even want to be? Only time will tell but for now, welcome to the family Drew. Make us proud. 

Bryan Mitchell, Come On Down

It is definitely a small world and I don’t believe in coincidences, I’ve said that a few times on this blog before, and it’s definitely not a coincidence that the Yankees decided to hold on to Bryan Mitchell at the trading deadline. The Seattle Mariners were prepared to trade second overall pick Dustin Ackley to New York for the Triple-A right hander but the Yankees declined. Instead the Yankees traded catcher Peter O’Brien to the Arizona Diamondbacks for Martin Prado and the rest is history. David Phelps left Sunday night’s game with elbow inflammation and he had reportedly been dealing with the inflammation for three starts or so before leaving the game. Coincidence? Probably not, the Yankees knew they may need Mitchell sooner or later.

Mitchell may be in line to join the revolving door that has been the Yankees pitching staff this season as David Phelps is being placed on the 15 day DL. It is worth mentioning that Phelps pitched two stellar stars with the aforementioned inflammation and had a great start going in Texas in the start against Yu Darvish before losing his grip halfway through the game. The Yankees sent Phelps for an MRI and an evaluation and the ulnar collateral ligament is intact so there is always that bit of good news. Phelps will be out at least a month with the injury, two weeks of rest and two weeks of rehab, and the Yankees have yet to announce a starter for this Friday. Why not Mitchell?

The Yankees are hoping this is a quick two week rest and two week rehab program but if this goes how any of the other injuries we have had this season I am not holding my breath. The Yankees season may be over anyway as Phelps has been one of the Yankees best starters this season since Masahiro Tanaka, CC Sabathia, and Michael Pineda have gone down. I’m not trying to be pessimistic and honestly I am generally an optimistic kind of guy but I also deal in realism and this hurts the Yankees chances realistically.

Stay tuned… 

Quick Hit: Ellsbury To Recruit Jon Lester In Offseason

Jacoby Ellsbury was asked recently if he would do any recruiting of the former Red Sox ace Jon Lester and he responded that he was sure he would talk to him. The exact quote was:

“I’m sure I’ll talk to him at some point in the offseason, but I would have anyways,” he said. “When you’re with a teammate that long, you build strong relationships, not only as teammates but off the field as well — your wives, your kids and everything.”

Ellsbury could help out the Yankees a lot in the recruiting department by talking to Lester as well as Stephen Drew, both former Red Sox teammates. Lester was traded halfway through the season so Oakland cannot offer him a qualifying offer which makes him all the more attractive for teams. When you are acquiring a talent like Lester you can easily swallow the pill of the lost draft pick but it doesn't hurt anyway.

Lester has AL East experience as well as postseason experience so he would easily fit in with the Yankees way of thinking. I am a huge advocate for acquiring Lester if he chooses to come to New York so hopefully Ellsbury can help that along.

Stay tuned..

This Day In New York Yankees History: Biogenesis

On this day in 2013 Major League Baseball was dealt another bad hand and another black eye as we all watched the Biogenesis scandal unravel before our eyes. On this day Major League Baseball released the names of the 13 players that had been suspended for their involvment with the anti aging clinic. The Yankees Alex Rodriguez was suspended for 211 regular season games while Francisco Cervelli of the Yankees was suspended for 50 games.

Also on this day in 2007 Mike Mussina won his 246th career game making him the winningest pitcher in major league history without a 20 win season. Mussina would finally reach the 20 win plateau in his final season in 2009 when he finished with a 20-9 record.

Finally on this day in 1983 the Yankees manager Billy Martin was suspended for two games after calling umpire Dale Ford a "stone liar" after the July 31st extra inning victory over the Chicago White Sox. This marks the second time this season that Martin was disciplined by the league due to abuse of umpires.