Saturday, August 23, 2014

The Daily Dozen - August 23, 2014

The Daily Half Dozen - August 23rd, 2014
(Twelve Six Takeaways from Today's Game vs. the ChiSox in Honor of #6 being Retired)

1. Today was Joe Torre Day.  The previous special days going back to Mariano Rivera Day had all ended in losses.  But Joe Torre wouldn't have any of that.  Yankee greats David Cone, Reggie Jackson, Willie Randolph, Hideki Matsui, Paul O'Neill, Tino Martinez, Bernie Williams, Jorge Posada, Andy Pettitte, and Yogi Berra were all present for the retiring of Mr. Torre's #6 as well as for the presentation of the newest monument in Monument Park.  In Joe Torre's own words, "Monument Park is a long way from Yankee Stadium."  The last number left in the single digits guessed it #2...Derek Jeter...#2.  Here are just a few of the snapshots of the special day:
(Photo Credit: The New York Yankees Official Twitter Feed)
(Photo Credit: Yankees Magazine Official Twitter Feed)

2. Hiroki Kuroda gave up 3 doubles in the 1st two innings.  It looked like it might be a short day for Kuroda and a LONG day for the bullpen, but he settled down and had a respectable pitching line once again.  He gave up 2 earned runs over 6 innings with 101 pitches and 6 strikeouts.  His ERA now sits at 3.94 and he improved his record to 9-8.  This is a little bit different Hiroki then we've seen in the past that seemed to flounder in August.

3. The White Sox defense in the 2nd inning was deplorable.  But not as deplorable as the Yankees base-running and 3rd base coaching in the 4th inning.  When did Major League Baseball players stop drilling base-running, that is my question because Teixeira and Prado both looked lost.  Although I blame Teixeira's mistake a little more on the coaching since McCann should have been hightailing it on home, especially with the new rule in place allowing catchers to basically get scored on at will.

4. Martin Prado is EN FUEGO at the plate!  That means ON FIRE for those non-Spanish speaking individuals out there.  He was 3 for 4 today with 2 doubles, 2 RBI, and a run scored.  Would have been 2 runs scored if he hadn't messed up on the basepaths (see #3 above).  His .271 average has been helped along by batting .333 with 3 doubles, 2 home runs, and 7 RBI in the last 7 days.  Not to mention his walk-off hit the night before.

5. As hot as Martin Prado has been the last week...Jose Abreu is like a volcano.  In his last 37 games he has a .366 average, 6 home runs, 21 runs scored, and 12 doubles.  He added his 94th RBI in the 5th.  He now has a .965 OPS to go with his season average of .307.  I am really glad he is on my fantasy baseball team.  Really glad.  Ladies and gentlemen, your 2014 AL Rookie of the Year: Jose Abreu.
(Screenshot courtesy of
6. The Yankees had scored less than 4 runs in 11 games straight.  That streak ended today after Stephen Drew's sacrifice fly in the 6th gave the Yanks a 5-3 victory.  In their last 20 games since August 1st, the Yankees have only scored 5 runs or more 5 times.  They were all wins.  Imagine that!  The Minnesota Twins on the other hand, in doing the Yankees a HUGE favor have mopped up 37 runs in the last 24+ hours versus the Tigers en route to 2 wins and a current 5-4 lead in the night game of a doubleheader.  The Yankees have only scored 70 runs TOTAL since August 1st.  The Twins have half of that in basically one day.  ONLY IN BASEBALL!

(Honorable Mentions: Beltran hit another made-for-Yankee-Stadium home run today...good thing he was able to get a cortisone shot to allow him to DH.  Burch thinks they should give him one is this not "performance enhancing?"  David Robertson recorded his "Rivera" save...his 42nd of his career today...congratulations to Houdini!)

Joe Torre's Career Highlights

via Wikipedia

Catcher / First baseman /
Third baseman / Manager
Born: July 18, 1940 (age 74)
Brooklyn, New York
Batted: RightThrew: Right
MLB debut
September 25, 1960 for the Milwaukee Braves
Last MLB appearance
June 17, 1977 for the New York Mets
Career statistics
Batting average.297
Home runs252
Runs batted in1,185
Games managed4,329
Win–loss record2,326–1,997
Winning %.538
As player
As manager
Career highlights and awards
Vote100.0% (Expansion Era Committee)

Kuroda Solid as Yankees Beat White Sox Again

Hiroki Kuroda tossed 6 innings of two-run ball and Martin Prado collected three hits and a two-run double today as the Yankees beat the White Sox again, 5-3, in the middle game of this three game set. 

Early in this one, as usual, Kuroda struggled to get men out, surrendering three doubles and a run to the first seven guys he faced.

Nonetheless, after a Chase Headley double play tied it in the second and Prado connected on the aforementioned double in the fourth Kuroda looked dominant, with a top of the fifth single by the always-dangerous Jose Abreu acting as the only other concern on his six-strikeout line.

Indeed, the 39-year-old put together another quality outing this afternoon, but still, when he left the Yanks were only up by one, meaning that things weren't quite over yet. 

Thankfully, though, they would be in the bottom of the sixth, as Carlos Beltran homered and Stephen Drew contributed a sac fly in that at-bat, knocking Chicago's Scott Carroll (6 IP, 4 ER) out and eventually setting David Robertson up for his 34th save of the season.

Yes, in their half of the seventh the Sox rallied for a nerve-wracking run off Shawn Kelley, but since Dellin Betances was still able to pick up the slack against Adam Dunn that rebellion was quickly crushed, a fortunate happening that seemed to kill the vistors' remaining momentum. 

The Yankees and a Six-Man Rotation

Yesterday Joel Sherman reported that the Yankees are considering going to a six-man starting rotation in September, and possibly even into next season.

A six-man rotation has been brought up for years, but never seemed to get serious consideration until now. That hasn't kept people from arguing the case for or against it. In the past I've argued against it because of how important a consistent schedule seems to be for most pitchers. There's a good chance you've heard the phrase "creatures of habit".

Well, I decided to take a look at some numbers to see if it would be a good thing, and here's what I found...

From 2011 to 2013, CC Sabathia has given up a triple-slash of .255/.306/.395, which includes a career high of .272/.326/.445 in 2013. Seeing that batters have put up a line of .250/.307/.385 when CC has started on 5 days rest, which is what would happen with a six-man rotation, I think he'd be just fine. Not to mention how lowering his work total could be a good thing in order to keep him healthier for the remainder of his time in New York.

The next two guys are quite a bit younger, so I admit the numbers are harder to go by, but none-the-less here they are...

Ivan Nova has give up a batting line of .273/.338/.426 throughout his 4+ years in MLB. While starting on five days rest, that line sits at .272/.339/.465. I can't see what years may have skewed that mark, but seeing as how they're in line with his career totals, then I can't see it being a bad thing. Perhaps that extra rest would help get that triple-slash against down to the .258/.330/.348 we saw in 2013.

Here's where the age thing makes the stats almost pointless. But, like I said, I'm going to give them to you anyway. Throughout his career Michael Pineda has a batting line against of .211/.273/.340, while that line on five days of rest goes down to .185/.257/.292. I wouldn't get too excited about moving Pineda to the six-man rotation, as those numbers are based on a small sample size, but it makes me think that the extra rest shouldn't hurt Michael. Oh, and there's the health thing again.

As for Masahiro Tanaka, seeing as how pitchers in Nippon Professional Baseball only throw once a week, this could be a good thing for him too. And to continue the health theme, it would be nice to keep Tanaka away from the DL or... God forbid... the knife.

For the hell of it, I decided to see what Brandon McCarthy's numbers look like too. With how well he's thrown for the Yankees since coming to the team it wouldn't be at all surprising to see him back next season.

As for McCarthy's triple-slash against over the past three years, that number sits at .284/.318/.420... not something to brag about. However, if you see what he's done on five days of rest, that batting line drops to .258/.295/.380.

The 5th or 6th starter next year could very well be David Phelps and/or Shane Greene, who don't have nearly enough innings to make looking at their stats worth it. At least since I couldn't find how they pitched in the minors on 5 days rest.

No, it's not that I'm lazy. If you know where I can get those minor league splits, then please let me know.

In all, it looks like a 6-man rotation would make a heck of a lot of sense for the Yankees. Of course, seeing how things have gone, things that make a lot of sense don't tend to happen.

8/23 Yankees Open Game Thread vs. Chicago White Sox

Welcome to Joe Torre Day and the open thread for the game between the New York Yankees and the Chicago White Sox. The Yankees desperately need a win if they want to keep their playoff hopes alive in the second Wild Card chase. The Yankees will send Hiroki Kuroda to the mound to face off with the White Sox Scott Carroll. The game will be played at 1:05 pm ET and can be seen on the YES Network, MLB TV, and can be heard on the radio with WFAN.

Get your Yankees tickets for tomorrow’s game and see Chris Sale for the White Sox face off with the Yankees Chris Capuano. Also be sure to follow us on Twitter by following @GreedyStripes and like our page on Facebook by searching for The Greedy Pinstripes.

It’s an open thread so use the comments section to discuss your favorite Joe Torre moment or anything you want. Go Yankees!

Prado: Walk-Off Hit "One of the Biggest Moments of My Career"

When any player wins a game with a big hit, you have to think that he'll remember doing so.

In baseball nowadays, as we all know, most guys are average, good at their work but not someone you'll be amazed by every night.

So, when an inconsistent talent like Martin Prado completes a victory for the most storied franchise in MLB history it's not unreasonable for him to enjoy it, telling The Star Ledger's Craig Wolff after last night's walk-off single that the knock was one of the biggest moments of his career.

"I can describe that as one of the biggest moments of my career," Prado said. "After you get two strikes, for some reason you take a look to the dugout and you see all your teammates supporting you and cheering for you, and you see all the people standing up, it gives you a little extra."

While the hard grounder up the middle was undeniably good, at this point it really wasn't that surprising, as Prado has been on an absolute tear over the last week.

Last Saturday in Tampa, for example, the veteran homered in a close one, before driving in two more with a double on Monday and lifting another one out of the park yesterday.

No, he hasn't been completely perfect, but yes, he has been New York's main offensive threat, batting an impressive .409 (9-for-22) for them since the second Rays contest.

ICYMI: Joe Torre's Hall of Fame Induction Speech

8/23 Yankees Game Preview vs. Chicago White Sox

On the day that the New York Yankees present Joe Torre Day they also take on the AL Central’s Chicago White Sox in the second of a three game set this weekend at Yankee Stadium. The Yankees will send Hiroki Kuroda to the mound to face off with the White Sox Scott Carroll. The Yankees definitely need this win today as they face off with the White Sox best pitcher in Chris Sale tomorrow and have their worst pitcher in Chris Capuano facing off with him. The game will be played at 1:05 pm ET and can be seen on the YES Network, MLB TV, and can be heard on the radio with John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman on WFAN.

Kuroda benefited from a extra few days off last time out and beat the Tampa Bay Rays in his last start. Kuroda allowed just two runs in 6.2 innings throwing 97 pitches. 

Carroll is coming off a start in which he allowed five runs and eight hits on 5.2 innings last time out in a victory over the Toronto Blue Jays. Carroll is a rookie in 2014 making his 15th start of the season and first against the New York Yankees in his career. 

Go Yankees!!

Remembering Yankees Of The Past: Joe Torre

Joe Torre was born in Brooklyn, New York so when he was hired on to be the manager of the New York Yankees before the 1996 season it was a bit of a homecoming for the skipper. Torre was hired by George Steinbrenner who was known for frequently firing managers and was the longest tenured manager under Mr. Steinbrenner before he relinquished his control of the team before his passing in 2009. Torre was actually the second longest tenured Yankees manager in their history behind only Joe McCarthy. Torre lasted 12 seasons in New York managing in 1,942 regular season games and went to the playoffs in all 12 seasons. Torre finished with a 1173-767 record as the Yankees manager and won six American League pennants and four World Series championships.

Torre’s tenure with the Yankees did not start off as all rainbows and sunshine as the New York City press and fans greeted him as “Clueless Joe” before the season even started. Torre was also almost fired by Steinbrenner before having a deal fall through thankfully for the Yankees sake. Torre would win the Manager of the Year in his first season in New York and led the Yankees to their first World Series since 1981. Once Torre won the World Series with the Yankees in 1996 Steinbrenner tore up his contract, literally, and gave Mr. Torre a more lucrative and longer term contract as a reward.

Torre and the Yankees fell in heartbreaking fashion in 1997 to the Cleveland Indians in the postseason but would then rattle off consecutive World Series victories in 1998, 1999, and 2000. Torre also won American League pennants in 2001 (losing to the Arizona Diamondbacks) and 2003 (losing to the Florida Marlins). The Yankees won a then American League record 114 games in 1998 and lost only once in the playoffs to capture the World Series over the San Diego Padres. Torre was the manager when David Wells through his perfect game, the first in regular season play in Yankees history, on May 17 1998 and was also managing when David Cone through his own in 1999. Torre won Manager of the Year once again in 1998.

For every memorable moment Torre had another setback as he was the manager in 2004 when the Yankees led the Boston Red Sox in the ALCS 3-0 in a best of seven series before Boston was able to rattle off four consecutive wins to complete the Yankees collapse. The Red Sox would win the 2004 World Series to simply add salt into the wound, the first in 86 seasons. Torre bounced back to manage the AL East champions in 2005 and 2006 and even won his 2,000th game as a manager in 2007. Torre became the first member of Major League Baseball to win 2,000 games and have 2,000 hits in his career. 2007 was full of memorable milestones for Torre as he won his 2,010th career game passing Leo Durocher for 9th place on the all-time managerial wins list and also passed Casey Stengel on the Yankees all-time managerial wins list for the Yankees with his 1,150th victory.

The 2007 postseason marked the beginning of the end of Torre’s tenure as the Yankees manager as Steinbrenner said in an interview that the Yankees would not renew Torre’s contract if the team did not beat the Cleveland Indians in the ALDS. The Yankees quickly lost two games in the series before winning Game 3 at Yankee Stadium before inevitably losing Game 4 the very next night. The team and the fans knew that Torre was probably not coming back and gave him a huge standing ovation as he came out to make his final pitching change in Game 4 of the ALDS. The Yankees would ultimately offer Torre a one year deal after the season worth $5 million with an additional $1 million in incentives that Torre quickly declined.

Torre was beloved by the fans I New York and wrote a book that was published on February 3, 2009 called “The Yankee Years.” Torre would not return to the Bronx until September 20, 2010 when he paid his respects to the Yankee owner George Steinbrenner. Steinbrenner received a monument in Monument Park on that night and the occasion seemed to smooth over some of the problems the two sides had. Torre has been a staple at Yankee Stadium in recent years for various events and Old Timers Days and will finally get his own day in about 15 minutes or so. A big thank you goes out to Mr. Torre for everything he has done for the Yankees and for Major League Baseball since his tenure in the Bronx. If anyone deserves this day it’s definitely you. Congrats again Joe!

The New York Yankees Present Joe Torre Day

Today the New York Yankees present Joe Torre Day at Yankee Stadium before they host the Chicago White Sox in the Bronx. Joe Torre was the manager of the 90’s and most of the 2000’s Yankees squads that had so much success under then owner George Steinbrenner. Torre seemed to be the one that held it all together with his calm aura and patient approach to the game. Torre seemingly loved his players and his players loved him back and respected him more.

Today Mr. Torre will receive a plaque in Monument Park and a plethora of former and current Yankee greats should be in attendance. Tino Martinez Day was awesome, Paul O’Neill Day was cool, Goose Gossage Day was interesting, but Joe Torre Day should be a site to see. Over/under 10 words into his speech that he is crying like a baby? I’m going under.

This Day In New York Yankees History 8/23: Joe Torre Passes Casey Stengel

What a coincidence, or maybe it wasn't, that the New York Yankees would hold Joe Torre day at Yankee Stadium this afternoon in the Bronx. Conveniently, because I don't tend to believe in coincidences, Joe Torre passed Casey Stengel for second place on the Yankees all-time managerial wins list on this day in 2007. The victory was Torre's 1,150th win as a Yankees manager.

In case you were wondering Joe McCarthy still holds the all-time Yankees managerial wins record with 1,460 wins in 16 seasons as the Yankees manager.

Also on this day in 2003 the Yankees honored another great from the past when they held Ron Guidry Day at Yankee Stadium. Guidry's #49 uniform was retired after Louisiana Lightning spent his entire career with New York posting a 170-90 record and being co-captain of the club with Willie Randolph. Guidry also received a plaque in Monument Park in his honor on this day.

Finally on this day in 1958 the Yankees Whitey Ford ended Nellie Fox's consecutive games streak without a strikeout. Fox had gone 98 straight games without striking out before Ford rung him up in a 7-1 victory for the White Sox.