Monday, October 20, 2014

Yankees Release 2015 Spring Training Schedule

The New York Yankees 2015 Spring Training gets started with a road game on March, 3 in Clearwater, Florida as they take on the Philadelphia Phillies. On March, 4 the Yankees will host that same Phillies squad at George M. Steinbrenner Field at home in Tampa. This will be just two of a total of 33 exhibition spring training games in the Grapefruit League in 2015, 16 of them coming at home in GMS Field.

Yankees pitchers and catchers report to camp on February, 20 and will hold a workout the next day while positional players will report to camp on February, 25 and will hold their first workout the next day. The final game of Spring Training will be a day game at home against the Washington Nationals on April, 3 before the season gets started on April 6.

CLICK HERE for the full schedule. 

Gary Denbo Replaces Mark Newman, Pat Roessler Out

Gary Denbo has been named as the replacement for the all things prospects job previously held by Mark Newman in the New York Yankees organization. The official title is vice president of baseball operations but Newman definitely centered around the prospects more than anything else during his tenure. Denbo, 53 years old, has been the Yankees minor league hitting coach and manager (1990-1996), minor league hitting coordinator (1997-2000, 2006-2007), assistant minor league director (2000), hitting coach (2001), and scouting and player development consultant (2009-present). Denbo also played four seasons of minor league ball and was the hitting coach for the Toronto Blue Jays and the Japanese League Nippon Ham Fighters in his coaching career.
The team's director of player development Pat Roessler, who has held the position since the 2005 season, is also said to be out of job today. This could be where former Mets GM, and personal friend of Brian Cashman, Omar Minaya fits in.

Jung-Ho Kang Will Be Posted This Offseason

In case you haven't heard the New York Yankees will have a huge hole at the shortstop position following the 2014 season and the Derek Jeter replacement options are not encouraging. Currently on the roster the Yankees have Brendan Ryan, Stephen Drew (who will also be a free agent after the World Series), Martin Prado, and guys like Carmen Angelini in Triple-A. The free agent market doesn't look exactly encouraging either with Hanley Ramirez, Asdrubal Cabrera, and others showcasing the market. The Yankees may have to look outside the organization and outside the country for Jeter's replacement and their search may extend all the way to Korea and Jung-Ho Kang.

Kang is 27 years old and stands 6' tall and weighs in at 180 pounds. Kang plays above average defense and has the power to absolutely slug the ball at the plate. Here are Kang's Korean Baseball Organization stats:

9 Seasons892351730334659041901013753551381593.298.382.503.885
As you can see Kang has been above average in each of his last five to seven seasons, albeit in a lower class of baseball in the KBO. Kang has stayed healthy, hit for power, hit for extra base hits, takes enough walks, and has slugged the heck out of the ball for three seasons now. Kang was also in the 2013 World Baseball Classic where he hit the decisive two run home run off of Taiwan in the eight inning.

No positional player from the KBO has ever had much success in the major leagues so it would be nice if the first were with the New York Yankees because this team is definitely better with Kang in the field and at the plate.

Kang will be posted under the old Japanese rules where teams submit a silent bid and could conceivably bid against themselves. Kang is considered to be a dead fastball hitter that struggles with breaking balls which could mean trouble in the major leagues. The problem with these scouting reports are they don't translate well into the majors sometimes so it's a definite high risk type signing, a high risk the Yankees may be forced to take.

Yankees Will Not Hire Dave Magadan

In an interesting turn of events the New York Yankees will not hire Texas Rangers hitting coach Dave Magadan to be the team's hitting coach. No word on who the new favorite is for the job but Magadan and Chili Davis have come off the Yankees board in consecutive days.

ESPN New York Points Out Pros and Cons of Yankees Signing Jon Lester

ESPN New York's Andrew Marchand has pointed out the pros and cons of the Yankees possibly signing Jon Lester this offseason.

First the pros, which include Lester's reputation as a dominant postseason starter and the fact that he'd likely fit in well next to Masahiro Tanaka.

"Lester is coming off arguably his best season in the majors, which has included many good ones," Marchand wrote. "He basically throws 200 innings every season. All in all, he is an experienced top-of-the-rotation starter. There is a lot to like. "

Not many people disagree with that. Nonetheless, since a long-term deal would lock in Lester into his mid-30s Marchand warns that getting him might not be worth it, citing the other aging stars the Yankees currently have as reasons for his caution.

"The Yankees have been down this path before," he said. "These large contracts that extend into a player's mid-30s are often bad toward the middle and end. Between Sabathia, Mark Teixeira and Alex Rodriguezexpectations will likely be dulled for the aging Yankees going into 2015. To continue this cycle has a definite downside because Lester may not age well in pinstripes."

Despite making that argument, in the end, Marchand concluded that the Yankees should make a run at the lefty, but opined that they should do so with a length limit. Lester, 30, has gone 116-67 with a 3.58 ERA since 2006, numbers that seemingly represent a good amount of talent.

Watch All of the 2000 World Series Game 5 Here

Another day and another classic World Series or postseason game here on the blog. Once again let's re-watch the Yankees win another World Series, the Subway World Series, the 2000 World Series Game 5 between the New York Yankees and the New York Mets. Enjoy!

MLBTR: Brandon McCarthy vs. Ervin Santana

MLB Trade Rumors is firing up this year’s version of the Free Agent Faceoff series, in which comparable free agents are analyzed side by side. Each post will conclude with a reader vote on the value of the players involved. The first faceoff featured three shortstops. In the second, we’ll look at a pair of starters:
It’s a common consensus this year that the free agent class for starting pitchers has a great deal of separation between the top three starters — Max ScherzerJon Lester and James Shields — and the rest of the class. While opinions on the ranking of those three vary (perhaps a topic for another installment in this series!), there’s a cloudier picture when it comes to the second tier of free agents. Most of the pitchers in the second tier come with some form of blemish on their record, be it a checkered injury history, the possibility of a qualifying offer, inconsistent year-to-year results or some combination of the above. Today we’ll take a look at a pair of 31-year-old starters who can each try to make a case that he’s the best among the second tier: Ervin Santana and Brandon McCarthy. (This is, of course, not to say that the “best among the second tier” is specifically limited to these two.)
McCarthy vs. Santana is somewhat of a case of tantalizing upside versus steady and reliable. McCarthy totaled an even 200 innings in 2014 — the first time in his career he’s reached that mark and just the second time in which he’s topped 180 frames. Santana, on the other hand, threw 196 innings and has topped the 200 mark on five occasions in his career. He’s averaged 207 innings per season over the past five years — durability to which McCarthy cannot lay claim.
In four of the aforementioned seasons, Santana has posted an ERA south of 4.00 — bottoming out at 3.24 last season in Kansas City. McCarthy’s best seasons came in 2011-12 with Oakland when he posted a combined 3.29 ERA in 281 1/3 innings. However, those two seasons are the only in which he’s successfully kept his ERA under 4.00.
To this point, the argument seems skewed heavily in Santana’s favor, but McCarthy’s case is certainly not without merit. When looking at the two through a sabermetric lens, McCarthy can be seen as not only the better pitcher, but arguably one of the better pitchers in the league. McCarthy’s 2.86 FIP in 2011 led the league, and a comparison of their marks in ERA (3.81 vs. 3.87), FIP (3.44 vs. 4.19), xFIP (3.43 vs. 3.88) and SIERA (3.60 vs. 3.93) all favor McCarthy. The Yankees were likely drawn to McCarthy’s sabermetric profile this July when trading for him, and that investment paid off handsomely, as McCarthy pitched to a stellar 2.89 ERA with 8.2 K/9 and 1.3 BB/9 in 90 1/3 innings down the stretch.
McCarthy has generated more ground-balls than Santana since buying into sabermetric principles back in 2009, but he took his ground-ball rate to a new level in 2014 (52.6 percent) while Santana regressed in the same area (42.7 percent). Both pitchers possess strong command and can miss bats, but McCarthy has shown better control over the past four seasons while Santana has bested McCarthy in strikeout rate each year. McCarthy’s strikeout rate did jump in 2014, along with his velocity (career-best 92.9 mph average fastball), but Santana’s strikeout rate rose as well (even against non-pitchers in the NL).
Other factors to consider: Santana will pitch all of next season at age 32, while McCarthy won’t be 32 until July. Additionally, Santana is eligible to receive a qualifying offer, meaning he could again come with draft pick compensation attached to his name; McCarthy is ineligible to receive a QO after being traded midseason.

Brian Roberts Retires From MLB

"If you ruin my farewell tour I swear to Jesus...."

Former Baltimore Orioles and New York Yankees second baseman Brian Roberts announced his retirement from Major League Baseball on Saturday. I spent the weekend with the family and I am just now getting to the news so sorry if it's a little late, and if you missed it then you're welcome. Roberts played parts of 14 seasons in the majors and will hang up his spikes at age 37.

Roberts got a total of 348 plate appearances with the Yankees this season after spending his entire career with the Orioles and slashed .237/.300/.360 with five home runs and seven RBI. When New York acquired Stephen Drew to play second base Roberts was designated for assignment and released to make room on the roster.

TGP Daily Poll: Kansas City Takes 1-0 Lead in World Series

The 2014 World Series kicks off on Tuesday night in Kansas City and the Royals will keep their postseason winning streak alive with a victory to take a 1-0 lead in the series.

Vote in our poll.

VIDEO: Jose Fernandez, 2B, Cuba

Here is a quick, and I truly mean quick, look at the Cuban defecting second baseman Jose Fernandez that has defected from his native country and currently attempting to establish residency in another country in hopes of being a major league free agent this winter. Enjoy, all 30 second of it. 

This Day in New York Yankees History 10/20: Hell Freezes Over

On this day in 2004, Yankees fans close your eyes, the Boston Red Sox completed their historic comeback winning the ALCS is Game 7 after being down 3-0 to the New York Yankees. I think we all remember the Johnny Damon grand slam that pretty much sealed our fates, no?

Also on this day in 1964, just three days after resigning from the World Series Champion St. Louis Cardinals managers job, Johnny Keane signs on to replace Yogi Berra as the New York Yankees manager.

Finally on this day in 1931 the Commerce Comet Mickey Mantle was born in Spavinaw, Oklahoma. Mantle was named after major league catcher Mickey Cochran with his dad not realizing that Cochran's real name is Gordon, not Mickey.