Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Game Thread: New York Yankees vs. Boston Red Sox 9/30

The New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox continue their four game set this week inside Yankee Stadium with the third game of the series. The next to the last game, the time before the last time these two teams meet. The final countdown before the final countdown. The Yankees will send Masahiro Tanaka to the mound to face off with Wade Miley for the Red Sox. The game will be played at 7:05 pm ET and can be seen on the YES Network and MLB TV.

Click the Yankees Tickets link to get your playoff tickets, we’re less than a week away from the Wild Card Playoff Round in the Bronx. Also be sure to head over to Twitter, especially if you can’t make it to the Bronx to see the team live, and give @GreedyStripes a follow to interact with us and root on the Yankees during each and every Yankees game remaining this season.

Happy Tanaka Day! Go Yankees!

My Hypothetical Playoff Rosters – Pitching

Earlier today we went over my personal predictions for the AL Wild Card Game featuring the New York Yankees and likely, although unofficial at this time, the Houston Astros. I put together a roster of 14 positional players for this one-game series leaving me just 11 pitchers to choose from. Keep in mind, and I said this in the previous post, that this is who I would personally bring along and not who I think manager Joe Girardi will bring along. I am assuming the health of Masahiro Tanaka and assuming that the Yankees line him up for the game and I am taking a serious chance bringing only 11 pitchers. Keep in mind that the team can reset their rosters if and when they make it to the ALDS.

With that in mind here is the pitching staff that I bring along with me to the Bronx on October, 6:

I know some people are probably shaking their heads wondering what in the hell I am doing here but bear with me. Again, the Yankees can reset their rotation if they win this one game and in the first two games a combination of Luis Severino and Michael Pineda would start making them unavailable for the game even if it went to 20 innings who why waste a roster spot on them? Girardi has shown a trust and confidence in James Pazos as a LOOGY type reliever and has not shied away from using both Caleb Cotham and Branden Pinder when need be. You bring Adam Warren in for a potential inning of relief, the big three in Justin Wilson, Dellin Betances and Andrew Miller and you bring in Chasen Shreve almost out of necessity. Finally you bring CC just in case the game goes to extra innings and you need multiple innings to save a bullpen.

That’s my roster, would you construct yours any differently? Leave your comments below in the comments section or head over to Twitter and let us know @GreedyStripes. 

Twitter Poll: Should the Yankees Celebrate?

For the first time since the 2012 letdown and broken ankle by Derek Jeter the New York Yankees have reached the postseason (unofficially but you might as well say it's a done deal), hallelujah! The fact that New York would make the postseason brought up an interesting debate about whether the team should celebrate a Wild Card berth. Manager Joe Girardi stated that the Yankees would celebrate the accomplishment which kicked off our latest Twitter Poll, should the Yankees celebrate their Wild Card berth or shouldn’t they have?

There are two sides to every story including the side that says the team should NOT have celebrated the playoff berth. Some even said that making the playoffs as a Wild Card wasn’t even a playoff game. Well I hate to break it to you, yes it was, but here are the responses and their arguments against the celebrations:

On the flip side you had the opinions, and surprisingly the opinions in the minority, which thought the Yankees should have celebrated the accomplishment:

Say what you will about what the Yankees used to do, the World Series or bust mentality or the addition of a one-game playoff system for the two Wild Card teams. The Yankees didn’t pick the Wild Card system, they didn’t pick to share their profits or pay a luxury tax of 50% on every dollar spent over $178 million. The Yankees didn’t choose to see George Steinbrenner die and the team did not choose to see Hal Steinbrenner run the team in an entirely different, and fiscally responsible, manner. You can bet your ass the Houston Astros or whoever wins the 2nd Wild Card will celebrate and you can bet than any of the 10 teams in the American League that don’t make the postseason in 2015 would have celebrated. It’s just my opinion but the Yankees should have celebrated and good for them for doing so. The 162 game schedule is a grind and the playoffs, whether it’s one game, three games or a five game series, is the reward. There are no trophies just for showing up in Major League Baseball so celebrate that you were better than the rest.

To be involved in our next Twitter Poll head over and give @GreedyStripes a follow on the app. 

Game Preview: New York Yankees vs. Boston Red Sox 9/30

The New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox will play in the penultimate game of their head-to-head season series tonight in the Bronx on Tanaka Day. The New York Yankees will welcome back their ace starting pitcher to the mound tonight as Masahiro Tanaka makes his first start since injuring his hamstring against the New York Mets. Opposing Tanaka will be Wade Miley for the Boston Red Sox. The game will be played at 7:05 pm ET and can be seen on the YES Network and MLB TV.

  • Tanaka will make his first start since September 18 tonight after sustaining a Grade 1 hamstring strain. Tanaka tried to leg out a bunt against the New York Mets and suffered the injury that kept him out almost two weeks. Tanaka has one more tune up before the AL Wild Card start next week.

  • Miley is coming into this start fresh off a loss where he gave up four runs. Miley started the game out strong throwing five innings of shutout baseball allowing just two hits before the train came off the tracks in the loss for Boston.

New York has one more game against the Boston Red Sox this season and one more home game during the regular season, that game comes tomorrow night inside Yankee Stadium. The season is winding down and we’re finally starting to get some clarity and assurances about the postseason, a postseason that will include the New York Yankees for the first time since 2012. All they have to do is win, Go Yankees!

My Hypothetical Playoff Rosters - Offense

The New York Yankees are all but officially in the postseason, albeit as a Wild Card team and likely not as an AL East Division champion, so it’s time to start thinking about who the Yankees will bring with them to the postseason. The Yankees have been playing with 39 players for much of the month of September including 14 relief pitchers in the bullpen but that all has to be dropped down to 25 before October 6th. With this post we will focus on the offense and I will decide who I would bring, not who I think Joe Girardi will bring, with me back to the Bronx to play host to the Houston Astros, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim or whoever wins the second Wild Card in the American League this season.

Here are my left-handed and right-handed breakdowns for the Wild Card Game:

*dependent on the health of Drew. If not Drew, insert Ackley.

With less than a week left in the regular season almost nothing is decided when it comes to the second Wild Card. It looks like the Astros are going to be able to hold off the rest of the pack but will they have to fight down on the last game of the season or will they secure a spot before the weekend? This is important because if the Astros have to use Dallas Keuchel on the final day of the season that would make him ineligible for the Wild Card game unless Houston wants to pitch him on just one day of rest.

I think we all know that Stephen Drew, Dustin Ackley or Brendan Ryan are starting and backing up in this game since Joe Girardi and Brian Cashman are making the decisions, for better or worse, but this is my roster. Noel is in there to steal a base late and pinch run for Carlos Beltran, Refsnyder is in there to hit lefties, Ackley is in there to hit righties and I think this offense leads the Yankees to an ALDS trip as long as the pitching holds up. Speaking of pitching we’ll cover the pitching in our next post. Stay tuned for that.

2014 Predictions on Point for 2015

When the New York Yankees were officially eliminated from playoff contention in 2014 I harnessed my full Yankees Wizard powers in a few predictions for the 2015 season. I will showcase two predictions specifically that absolutely came true.

And they did... and they are in the postseason. Click the link to read the article.

Greg Bird, Luis Severino, Rob Refsnyder, John Ryan Murphy, Slade Heathcott and the bullpen.

Scoreboard Watching: September 30, 2015

The New York Yankees have a huge week ahead of them. 10,000 wins in the franchise's history. Clinching a playoff berth for the first time in two seasons. Beating the Boston Red Sox? We hope so.

Wednesday, September 30

New York Yankees vs. Boston Red Sox

Toronto Blue Jays @ Baltimore Orioles

Houston Astros @ Seattle Mariners

Texas Rangers vs. Detroit Tigers

Minnesota Twins @ Cleveland Indians

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim vs. Oakland Athletics

Cleveland Indians vs. Minnesota Twins

This Day In New York Yankees History 9/30: Yankees Win 100 Games

On this day in 2004 the Yankees won their 100th game, something they have done in three straight seasons, and their seventh consecutive American League Eastern Division championship. The Yankees join only the Braves from 1997-1999, the Orioles from 1969-1971, and the A's from 1929-1931 as the fourth team to win 100 games in three straight seasons.

Also on this day in 1973 the Yankees played, and lost, their final game played at the old Yankees Stadium before George Steinbrenner had the field renovated. The 50 year old Cathedral of Baseball would take two years to renovate while the Yankees played their home games at Shea Stadium.

Also on this day in 1966 Roger Maris blasted a two run home run in his final at bat as a member of the New York Yankees. Maris would be traded to the St. Louis Cardinals after the season for utility man Charley Smith.

Also on this day in 1962 Mickey Mantle belted his 30th home run of the season off of the White Sox's Ray Herbet. This would be the Mick's eight consecutive season of hitting at least 30 home runs in a season. This was amazing considering Mantle missed a month of the season with a leg injury.

Finally on this day in 1927 Babe Ruth would break his own record for home runs in a single season when he hit his 60th of the season off of Senators starter Tom Zachary. In a side note Hall of Famer Walter Johnson would make his final appearance of his major league career when he pinch hit in this game.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Game Thread: New York Yankees vs. Boston Red Sox 9/29

The New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox, rivalry renewed. The Red Sox tried to do the Yankees a favor the last two times that Boston faced off with the Toronto Blue Jays but the Yankees were unable to capitalize. Now The Blue Jays will hope that the Red Sox can do the same for them and knock the always tough Yankees down a few notches. The Yankees will send Michael Pineda to the mound to face off against the Red Sox starter Rick Porcello. The game will be played at 7:05 pm ET and can be seen on the YES Network and MLB TV.

You have just two more shots, two more, to see the Yankees live inside Yankee Stadium this season before the playoffs begin. Click the Yankees Tickets link to see the Yankees take on the Boston Red Sox as they finish their home schedule or to see New York play host to a playoff game in 2015 before they are all gone. Also be sure to get on Twitter and give @GreedyStripes a follow to root for the home team in their final three games in Baltimore and to interact with us during every game left this season.

TBA is ready to lead the Yankees to the promised land and the offense is ready to put this out of reach as early as possible. Here's to hoping it happens, Go Yankees!

Stephen Drew Likely Finished As A Yankee

Andrew Marchand of is reporting that Stephen Drew may never play another game for the Yankees.

Drew is still suffering from dizziness and equilibrium symptoms, and Girardi indicated that he doesn't expect Drew to return.

If Stephen Drew does not return this season, chances are he's finished as a Yankee due to his contract being up after this season (he was given a 1 year deal for $5 million this offseason). Drew has hit .201/.271/.381 this season, which is hardly enough to have earned another contract. Especially considering that Brendan Ryan is likely to exercise his player option for next season, Dustin Ackley is still arbitration eligible, and Rob Refsnyder would likely be just as good as Stephen for much less money.

For some reason I don't think any Yankees fan out there is sad about this bit of news.

Mat Latos the 2016 Version of Kyle Davies?

When the Miami Marlins decided to go "all-in" in the winter before the 2015 season the team made various deals including signing Giancarlo Stanton and Christian Yelich to extensions and acquiring the likes of Dee Gordon, Dan Haren, Mat Latos and others in various deals. While the Stanton and Yelich extensions look good on paper and the middle infield including Gordon looks to be set for a long time the team has not received the best returns from Haren or Latos. Haren has pitched much better than Latos, and essentially for free mind you as the Dodgers sent Haren's $10 million in salary along with the right-hander in the deal, which led Jeffrey Loria's club to trade Latos to the Los Angeles Dodgers before the trading deadline. Latos did not pitch much better in the pennant race and has recently been designated for assignment and ultimately released by Los Angeles, could he be a minor league option for teams, especially the New York Yankees who love these sorts of deals, for the 2016 season?

The New York Yankees sign a veteran to a minor league deal virtually every offseason with relief pitcher Jared Burton and starting pitcher Kyle Davies the most recent examples of this strategy. Burton was not long for the team but Davies led the Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes Barre RailRiders to the postseason as their "ace" after Luis Severino's promotion. Does Latos fit the mold and would the Yankees even want him?

The second question is much easier to answer than the first, of course the Yankees would want him if we're talking about a minor league deal. There is no such thing as a bad minor league deal, Hal Steinbrenner probably spends more on booze in a month than a MiLB free agent makes in a full season, and if Latos is willing to accept one then the Yankees, or any team, should pounce. At 27-years old I think Latos is far from done, even with a combined 4.95 ERA this season between the Marlins and the Dodgers. Latos is one season removed from an injury riddles 2014 season and two seasons from removed from his second consecutive 14-win season. 

It is not uncommon to see certain injuries carrying over the next season despite being fully healed, see Mark Teixeira's wrist injury from 2013, and it's not common for Latos to see his BABip above the .300 mark like it is in 2015. Latos strikes out enough batters to survives and contains the walks enough to be competitive while keeping the ball in the ballpark while keeping the ball on the ground enough to win ball games. If he wants to throw those strikes and ground ball outs in Scranton with an opt-out clause to come to the majors then sign me up, if not I think some team is going to get a ton of value on a relatively small MLB contract with Latos in 2016. Just a hunch. Plus I like his tattoos. 

My Confidence, or Lack Thereof, In The Yankees

I'm hardly the only Yankees fan that doesn't feel confident about the team right now.

"What the heck is going on with this team!?!?"

When the team is doing well I get upset when they lose, while at the same time I feel that when they win it's expected and therefore I don't get excited. But right now I feel the opposite... if they win I'm happy, but if they lose I don't get upset as I'm not really surprised.

That's pretty sad, isn't it?

But I'm not giving on them this season. They are still postseason bound. And any team that gets into the postseason has a shot. Sure, on paper, some teams have a better shot than others, but the winners aren't decided on paper. So I have to stay the course.

On that note, I decided to write down reasons why I'm confident and not confident about how the rest of the Yankees' season plays out...

Why I'm not confident in the Yankees heading into the postseason

1. The Yankees were 58-44 heading into August. Since then the team's record is 28-26 (.519). Speaking of record, often times having the best record in MLB means little, as sometimes it's the hottest team going into the postseason that wins it all. On that note, the Yankees are 14-12 (.538) since the end of August. That's not what I'd call "hot".

2. Going further with the idea of a team being "hot" going into the postseason, let's see what the team has done in the past 30 days...

  • Team wOBA of .317, behind playoff or possible playoff teams Toronto, Houston, Texas, Kansas City, and Minnesota. 
  • Team ERA of 3.93, behind Houston, Toronto, Kansas City, and Los Angeles of Anaheim.

Note how Toronto, Houston, and Kansas City are on both of those lists.

3. Brian McCann, Chase Headley, and Brett Gardner are in serious funks the past couple of weeks (wOBAs of .256, .224, and .202, respectively). Along with Didi Gregorius and Alex Rodriguez being average hitters at best during that same time, the team has only managed to score 45 runs (25th in MLB).

Now that I have the negativity out of the way, I'm going to get back to trying to be positive.

"Cheer up, little man."

Why I am confident in the Yankees heading into the postseason

1. Michael Pineda and Luis Severino have looked really good over their last two or three starts. And in his previous four starts, Masahiro Tanaka has thrown really well too. Those three are the team's probably top three starters in the postseason, which bodes well for the Yanks. Just don't bring up the 4th starter.

2. Andrew Miller, Dellin Betances, and Justin Wilson have done well as in the 7th through the 9th innings. That means a starter doesn't have to worry about going deep into games, and thus holding back something early on. If you need somebody for the 5th and/or 6th innings, we may have Nathan Eovaldi to step in. Provided he can relieve... something he hasn't done in MLB since his 2011 rookie season.

3. While McCann, Headley, and Gardner have been bad the past couple of weeks, regulars Greg Bird, Jacoby Ellsbury, and Carlos Beltran have been hitting quite well. Hopefully those six all return to normal (meaning some hit better and some worse, but falling into the "average" range), while Alex Rodriguez and Didi Gregorius hit a little better as they have in before 2015. That's not a tall order.

I'll wrap this up by doing something I usually shy away from.... thinking about other teams. See, normally I'm all about the Yankees doing their thing, and not worrying about other teams, but if I'm to root for something to happen I'd like to see Texas hold onto the AL West, while Houston falters and loses the 2nd WC spot to LAA or MIN. Plus, let's all hope that Toronto and KC lose it at least a bit.

"A little help here would be nice."

USA Today's Weekly MLB Power Rankings

The USA Today released their penultimate set of power rankings for Major League Baseball this week as the 2015 regular season comes to a close. In the rankings the New York Yankees once again struggled against the Toronto Blue Jays losing two of the three games while picking up the pace against the Chicago White Sox in a four-game series in the Bronx. Was it enough to jump those pesky New York Mets who they beat in the final series in last week's rankings?

I won't make this post suspenseful, the Yankees offense is doing enough of that lately, so we'll start with New York's ranking. After a very Yankees-like week the New York Yankees finished the week ranked 8th overall according to the USA Today. To round out the rest of the American League East the Toronto Blue Jays finished the week with the #3 position while the Baltimore Orioles finished the week ranked #16. The Boston Red Sox took the spot they lost to the Tampa Bay Rays last week back finishing with the #17 position while the Tampa Bay Rays were last seen in a familiar place, the last place spot in the division and the 18 ranking.

The Top Five teams according to the rankings are the #1 St. Louis Cardinals, the Pittsburgh Pirates, the Toronto Blue Jays, the Kansas City Royals and the Chicago Cubs. The five worst teams according to the rankings are the #26 Colorado Rockies, the #27 Oakland Athletics, the #28 Cincinnati Reds, the #29 Atlanta Braves and the #30 Philadelphia Phillies. The biggest rise of the week goes to the Miami Marlins who rose three spots to the #24 position while the biggest fall goes to the Cincinnati Reds who fell four spots to the #28 position.

One more set of rankings in a full week before the postseason, although I'm sure the USA Today will post an end of season set of rankings, and one more set of rankings before the rankings mean nothing. The postseason is a new season, a second season, and you can throw these rankings out the window. Cherish them until then, Go Yankees!

Game Preview: New York Yankees vs. Boston Red Sox 9/29

The New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox are set to kick off the second game of a four-game series this week as each team winds down their 2015 regular season. The Yankees, a much better home team than away team, have three more games this week against the Red Sox and three more at home so the pressure is on New York, not Boston, tonight. The Yankees will send Michael Pineda to the mound looking to keep the winning ways going in the Bronx while the Boston Red Sox counter with their ace Rick Porcello. The game will be played at 7:05 pm ET and can be seen on the YES Network and MLB TV.

  • Pineda heads into possibly his final start of the season tonight fresh off another good start his last time out. The Yankees were concerned with Pineda since coming off the disabled list but the right-hander has delivered stellar starts against the New York Mets and the Chicago White Sox to regain his Big Mike XXL status. 

  • Porcello has finally been the ace that Boston thought they were getting when they traded for him from the Detroit Tigers and signed him to an extension before the season started. Porcello beat the Tampa Bay Rays in his last start and will look to keep his strong second half going tonight inside Yankee Stadium.

The Yankees and the Red Sox rivalry has been pretty one-sided in recent years with the exception of the 2013 season with the Red Sox missing the postseason for the second straight season and the third time in the last four seasons. Meanwhile the Yankees have just about clinched their first postseason since the 2012 season after missing out on October baseball for the last two seasons. What better team to clinch a playoff spot against than your most hated, bitter and storied rivals right? So get it done, Go Yankees!

The Plan To Sign Jason Heyward & Trade Brett Gardner

The New York Yankees have almost all of their positions and roster spots set in stone for the 2016 season as we sit here on September, 29. The second base position will be open with Stephen Drew hitting free agency, the 4th outfielder position will be left open with Chris Young hitting free agency and a few bullpen slots will be open with Chris Capuano hitting free agency, that's it. The Yankees have one of two choices here really, they can head into 2016 with basically what led them to the postseason in 2015 or they can get creative trading away Major League talent, signing Major League talent and continuing their youth movement. You guys know me, I started a blog called The Greedy Pinstripes, so you know what I want to do and you know that I come with a plan.

One player that the Yankees had discussions about in the winter of 2015 before he was ultimately traded to the St. Louis Cardinals was Jason Heyward. Heyward is set to hit free agency after the 2015 season at age 26, something you are seeing less and less of in the days of the luxury tax and profit sharing in Major League Baseball, after probably surpassing the 6.0 WAR plateau in what many consider to be a down season for the Cardinals.

The problem with acquiring Heyward is the team has no place to play him. Brett Gardner, Jacoby Ellsbury and Carlos Beltran are all under contract for the 2016 season and are all set to make significant salaries with the team. The good news, for lack of a better term, is that only two of them have full no-trade clauses meaning one could be traded to fill a spot for a starting pitcher or second baseman, Gardner.

The experiment, in my opinion, of having Ellsbury and Gardner hitting at the top of the same lineup has failed. It has failed because neither men are stealing bases or helping the team create runs. With a team that is reliant on the home run and less on manufacturing runs and big innings the team needs to make a change. Station to station baseball with some of the speediest guys in MLB is not working for whatever reason and Heyward, a left-handed batter, would help alleviate the problem. Slotting Heyward into the second hole in the starting lineup gives the team more on-base percentage, more pop in the lineup and more chances to score and score big when the likes of Brian McCann, Mark Teixeira and Alex Rodriguez come up behind them.

I love Gardner, I truly do, and I love everything that he brings to the table. His grittiness, his hard-nosed approach to the game and all the other intangibles that cannot be defined by simply heading over to Baseball Reference but his greatest asset, his speed, is being under-utilized with this team. Sending Gardner in an offseason trade with, for an example's sake, Ivan Nova and prospects could fetch the Yankees a good second baseman and the final piece to the puzzle while getting younger, and in my opinion better, in 2016.

Quick Hit: Comparing Dellin to Mariano in Season Two

When Dellin Betances broke into the league and broke into the back end of the New York Yankees bullpen in 2014 many compared him immediately to the Yankees legendary closer Mariano Rivera. When looking at the stats from Mariano's first full season in 1996 and Dellin's 2014 campaign you can see that Dellin met or exceeded many of Rivera's totals including passing his franchise record for strikeouts in a single season. Has Dellin met, exceeded or fallen short of Rivera's second season in the majors in only his second full season in 2015?

Dellin Betances 2015 stats (to date):

2015 ★ 6 3 1.36 70 8 79.2 41 15 12 5 39 124 295 2.43 1.004 4.6 0.6 4.4 14.0
Mariano Rivera's 1997 stats: 

1997 ★ 6 4 1.88 66 43 71.2 65 17 15 5 20 68 239 2.96 1.186 8.2 0.6 2.5 8.5
You have to keep in mind that Rivera was the closer for the New York Yankees in 1997 which led to a decrease in innings pitched and subsequently most of his stats in his second season. Rivera was throwing multiple innings in 1996 where he was limited to one, and no more than two, innings in 1997. The stats don't lie either way though and they tell a very interesting story, a story that states that Betances

Scoreboard Watching: September 29, 2015

The New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox continue their final renewal of the rivalry in 2015 this week and the Toronto Blue Jays continue to battle the Kansas City Royals for the #1 seed in the American League. The Twins, Indians, Astros, Rangers and Angels continue to search for the final playoff spot in the American League. This is likely going to go down to the final game of the season, the way Major League Baseball had it planned out all along.

Tuesday, September 29

New York Yankees vs. Boston Red Sox

Toronto Blue Jays v@ Baltimore Orioles

Houston Astros vs@ Seattle Mariners

Texas Rangers vs. Detroit Tigers

Minnesota Twins @ Cleveland Indians

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim vs. Oakland Athletics

Cleveland Indians vs. Minnesota Twins

This Day In New York Yankees History 9/29: Don Mattingly Has Six Grand Slams

Don Mattingly had a career with the bases loaded in 1987 as he hit more home runs with the bases loaded this season then some people hit in their entire careers. Mattingly set a major league record on this day by hitting his sixth grand slam of the season passing Ernie Banks (1955 Chicago Cubs) and Jim Gentile (1961 Baltimore Orioles). What makes this more amazing is Mattingly played 14 seasons in his career and never hit another grand slam outside of the 1987 season.

Also on this day in 1934 Babe Ruth hit his 659th and final home run in a New York Yankees uniform. Ruth had 49 home runs with the Boston Red Sox before being sold to New York and would add six more with the Boston Braves before retiring in the 1935 season.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Game Thread: New York Yankees vs. Boston Red Sox 9/28

The New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox are set to kick off their four-game series tonight as the rivalry will be renewed one last time this season. Four games separate the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox from another successful season in the rivalry. It is also worth mentioning that the Yankees can win their 10,000th game of the franchise's storied history. Donned with that task for the Yankees will be Ivan Nova who will face off with Eduardo Rodriguez head-to-head tonight inside Yankee Stadium. The game will be played at 7:05 pm ET and can be seen on the YES Network and MLB TV.

The Yankees have three more games inside Yankee Stadium during the regular season as well as a home playoff game against the Houston Astros if the season ended today. Click the Yankees Tickets link at the top of the blog to sit in the stands during any of these games and hopefully pop some champagne and celebrate with the ball club as they search for their 10,000th win in the franchise's history. Also be sure to head over to Twitter and give @GreedyStripes a follow to root for the team for the remainder of the 2015 while interacting with us here on the blog.

TBA is ready to lead the Yankees to another win along with a little help from the Yankees bullpen. Go Yankees!

Tanaka to Start Wednesday

If you ever needed confirmation that Brian Cashman and Joe Girardi read the pages of The Greedy Pinstripes then look no further than the Masahiro Tanaka hamstring decision. Just last night on the blog I showcased and laid out a plan to pitch Tanaka on Wednesday giving him one more start before getting five day's of rest for the Wild Card game. That's exactly what the Yankees announced they would do before tonight's game with the Boston Red Sox. 

Michael Pineda will start tomorrow, Tanaka Wednesday and CC Sabathia on Thursday giving Tanaka exactly five days of rest before October 6th, the American League Wild Card play-in game. 

ICYMI:Starlin Castro, the Next Great Yankees Second Baseman

The New York Yankees let Robinson Cano walk to Seattle along with Jay-Z a few seasons back now and the team has had what the experts like to call a “black hole” at second base ever since. New York has plugged in the likes of Yangervis Solarte, Brian Roberts, Kelly Johnson, Stephen Drew, Brendan Ryan and now Dustin Ackley at the position with varying degrees of success while leaving much to be desired out of the position. The team does not seem sold on the emergence and development of Robert Refsnyder at the position so does this mean the team would be willing to work out an offseason acquisition with the Chicago Cubs for Starlin Castro making his the next great second baseman for the franchise?

Castro was one of the few bright spots for the Chicago Cubs during the rebuilding years and now that the team is flush with talent from their minor league system the franchise has seemingly shunned their former shortstop. Castro was moved from shortstop to second base to make room for Addison Russel and has been the talk of trade rumors for much of his age 25 season in 2015. Castro has had his fair share of ups and downs in his career but has turned it on lately hitting .345 with five home runs in his last months’ worth of games building his trade value to maybe its highest it has ever been.

Castro would fit right into the mold that the New York Yankees are trying to build their team around, middle infielders who can defend, carry their own with the bat and infielders that can play multiple positions. Defense, offense and versatility in that order and Castro owns all three. Castro will be just 26-years old at the beginning of the 2016 season thus fitting in with the Yankees semi-youth movement and is signed through the 2019 season at a reasonable rate with a club option for 2020. Castro never makes more than $11 million in salary in one season, and keep in mind that the Yankees paid $5 million each for Stephen Drew and Chris Capuano this season, and comes attached to a $16 million club option. For a shortstop or second baseman that can hit that’s relatively cheap, ask Robinson Cano and the Seattle Mariners about it.

What would it cost to acquire Castro? While he may come cheap in terms of a contract he won’t come cheap in terms of the prospect package. For a young, cheap and controllable piece though there aren’t many names that I wouldn’t include. Robert Refsnyder? Take him. Gary Sanchez? Sure. The problem is the team is flush full of infield and catching help, they need pitching. They would ask for Aaron Judge and I’d have to decline, same for Severino, but if it was a Bryan Mitchell led package with Ivan Nova, Branden Pinder, Jacob Lindgren, Caleb Cotham, etc. then I would at least have to listen.

Most Popular Article of the Week: Korean OF Ah-Seop Son To Be Posted

The New York Yankees could be in the market for an outfielder this offseason as Chris Young hits free agency once again but could that search take them all the way to Korea? Ah-Seop Son of the Korean Baseball Organization is expected to be posted this winter after spending parts of nine professional seasons in the KBO. Could the Yankees be interested in the 27-year corner outfielder?

Son batted .324/.412/.476 with 12 home runs and 11 stolen bases this season in 476 plate appearances finishing off another strong season for the left-hander. Son has batted at least .306 or better in the past six seasons in the KBO and has a career triple slash of .330/.405/.471. Those stats sound great and so does the expected salary, somewhere around Jung-Ho Kan's four-year deal worth $11 million with a $5 million posting fee, but the part that sounds less than ideal for the Yankees is the "left-handed" part.

Barring a trade the Yankees will have an outfield of lefty Jacoby Ellsbury, lefty Brett Gardner and switch hitter, although he is much better left-handed, Carlos Beltran. The Yankees almost need a right-handed bat and a right-handed bat Son is not. That alone will likely keep him off the Yankees in 2016.

Game Preview: New York Yankees vs. Boston Red Sox 9/28

The New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox will begin a four-game series tonight inside Yankee Stadium as the rivalry is renewed one more time in 2015. The Boston Red Sox have already clinched a losing record in 2015 and will not see the postseason while the New York Yankees have all but locked up at least the second Wild Card spot and lead for the first spot and a home playoff game in the Bronx. First things first though as the New York Yankees send Ivan Nova to the mound tonight to face off against the Red Sox starter Eduardo Rodriguez. The game will be played at 7:05 pm ET and can be seen on the YES Network and MLB TV.

  • Nova came back and dominated the Toronto Blue Jays in his last start despite having 11 games off in between starts. Nova had been banished to the bullpen only to return to the starting rotation after Masahiro Tanaka went down with a hamstring injury. Nova will look to remain dominant tonight against Boston. 

  • Rodriguez will make his final start of the season tonight as the rookie ran into an innings limit and a hypothetical innings wall. Rodriguez is 0-1 in the Bronx this season after allowing six hits and two runs in seven innings of work against the Yankees. 

Yankee Stadium will play host to four more games during the regular season including tonight and will likely host a playoff game as well before its all said and done. This season has been one of the most frustrating and at the same time one of the most rewarding seasons in recent memory, probably since the 2012 season. New York is set to break their two season playoff drought and they are likely to do it against the Boston Red Sox, it doesn't get any better than that. Go Yankees!

Looking Back At MLB Network's 2015 Pre-Season Playoff Predictions

Yesterday we brought you the preseason predictions from the experts and writers over at ESPN and revealed that only one writer, Buster Olney, had the New York Yankees making the postseason in 2015. While I couldn't find an article that broke down predictions by the specific writers I did find a general prediction post from before the 2015 season from MLB Network that I bring to you today. That post, seen HERE, was none too kind to the New York Yankees much like the ESPN article which goes to show you how much the team has exceeded expectations in 2015. 

From the article the MLB Network crew had the Boston Red Sox winning the AL East:

AL EAST: Red Sox
One step back and now another big step forward for the Red Sox is in store, according to our panel. The majority predict Boston's retooled lineup and revamped rotation are headed for a division title, one year after finishing fifth and two years after winning it all. The defending division champion Orioles and Blue Jays were pretty much a dead heat for second place.

The crew also had the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and the Cleveland Indians representing the American League with the two Wild Card spots:

AL WILD CARDS: Angels and Indians
The Angels are the clear choice as the top Wild Card team, with the Indians right behind them and Blue Jays hot on their tails.

The Seattle Mariners winning the AL pennant? Okay... 

According to our pool of experts, they'll be raising an American League pennant in Seattle for the first time. The Mariners were followed by the Angels and Red Sox in the voting.

Nationals over the Mariners in the 2016 World Series

Presumably in a Seattle-Washington Series (might as well get that out of the way now), our poll concludes that the Nationals will be your World Series champions for 2015.
According to our poll of and MLB Network experts, it'll be Matt Williams hoisting that golden trophy encircled in pennants, and a giddy band of Washington Nationals doing the champagne dance in October.

Quick Hit: Robert Refsnyder on the Postseason Roster?

Would the Yankees, after starting him in three consecutive games this week against left-handed starting pitching, be willing to bring the once outcast Robert Refsnyder with them back to the Bronx on their postseason roster? With Stephen Drew, Brendan Ryan and Dustin Ackley on the team many are immediately rolling their eyes and giving a definitive "NO" but it could happen Yankees fans and I'm here to tell you why.

First and foremost, and probably most importantly, Refsnyder has seemingly won back the confidence of manager Joe Girardi. Whether the team and their manager is simply that desperate for an offensive spark or not remains to be seen but where a month ago Ryan would be starting these games against left-handed pitching Refsnyder is in there and he continues to hit. Refsnyder looks uncomfortable at second base sometimes and lacks the instincts of a true second baseman, it can almost be described as a player who was drafted in 2012 as an outfielder and moved to the position due to a weak throwing arm and a weak bat for the corner outfielder... oh wait, but the Yankees may feel like they can survive with his defense if he can keep the line moving on the offensive side of the game.

Secondly it is worth mentioning that if the season ended today the New York Yankees would play host to the Houston Astros and their left-handed ace Dallas Keuchel. Refsnyder laced a double off Chris Sale as recently as this week showing that he's either incredibly lucky or not afraid of the spotlight and great pitching who may be overlooking him as a rookie bat and Refsnyder may get the start in this potential Wild Card game.

This doesn't mean that Refsnyder would be carried on the roster in a hypothetical ALDS trip for the Yankees but it wouldn't surprise me if he was on the 25 man roster for the Wild Card Playoff Round.

Scoreboard Watching: September 28, 2015

Another week in Major League Baseball, and the final full week of the 2015 regular season, and another full slate of Major League games for your viewing pleasure. While some of these games become more and more meaningful, the chase for the second Wild Card and the AL West Division race specifically, while others, the Toronto Blue Jays chase for the top seed in the American League, take back seats to most. Enjoy another great day of Major League Baseball and Happy Monday!

Monday, September 28

New York Yankees vs. Boston Red Sox

Toronto Blue Jays @ Baltimore Orioles

Houston Astros @ Seattle Mariners

Texas Rangers vs. Detroit Tigers

Minnesota Twins @ Cleveland Indians

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim vs. Oakland Athletics

Cleveland Indians vs. Minnesota Twins

Baseball America: Three Yankees In Top 20 New York-Penn League Prospects List

picture courtesy of Pinstripes Prospects

Baseball America has been covering all the minor league league's and affiliates and ranking the Top 20 prospects in each league for the better part of a week now. The Yankees have been well represented in each of these lists with prospects from the Appalachian League and Gulf Coast Leagues but the team has been no more well represented than the team was in the New York-Penn League.

New York had three prospects listed in the Top 20 for the short-season NYPL including #3 overall prospect RHP Domingo Acevedo, #10 OF Jhalan Jackson and and #18 SS Kyle Holder.

The top two prospects in the league are the Boston Red Sox outfielder Andrew Benintendi and Washington Nationals outfielder Victor Robles. For the complete list CLICK HERE. 

This Day In New York Yankees History 9/28: Moose FINALLY Wins #20

Mike Mussina had pitched many stellar seasons both in Baltimore with the Orioles and in New York with the Yankees but never won 20 games in a single season, until this day in 2008. On the last day of the 2008 season Mussina would improve his record to 20-9 becoming the oldest player in major league history to win 20 games for the first time. It took Mussina 18 seasons to win 20 games when he threw six shutout innings against the Red Sox in Fenway Park in a Yankees 6-2 victory.

Also on this day in 2005 Alex Rodriguez broke the Yankees All-Time record for home runs in a single season by a right handed batter when he slugged his 47th home run of the season. DiMaggio hit 46 home runs in 1937 and Alex passed him as the Yankees beat the Orioles 2-1.

Also on this day in 1955 Elston Howard, in his first World Series at bat, hit a two run home run off the Dodgers right hander Don Newcombe. This marks the first time that a black batter hit a home run off a black pitcher in the history of the World Series.

Finally on this day in 1947 the Yankees held their first Old Timers Day on the final day of the season. General Manager Larry MacPhail came up with the idea along with public relations director Red Paterson as an idea to honor the ailing Yankees legend Babe Ruth.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

ESPN's Preseason Predictions Not Good to the Yankees

ESPN, like many news outlets and blogs including my own, made their predictions for the standings and playoffs teams in Major League Baseball before the season started and the predictions were not good to the Yankees. Only one man, Mr. Buster Olney, had the New York Yankees making the postseason as the second Wild Card in the American League. See below for the predictions and a big hat tip to Buster for showing confidence in the Yankees. Also a few had the Blue Jays winning the AL East Division and I don't think many saw that coming so kudos to you as well. Enjoy the rest of the evening and what is left of your weekend.

*photos courtesy of

Let Masahiro Tanaka Rest Until Wednesday

The New York Yankees have missed their ace starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka since a Sunday night game against the New York Mets that was showcased on ESPN. Tanaka was up to bat since the game was played inside a National League park and attempted a bunt that ultimately led to a hamstring injury that has kept him out of the rotation ever since. Tanaka said he is well enough to pitch, and pitched five innings against the Mets after the injury occurred, but the Yankees are remaining cautious since his injury is not 100% healed. If the Yankees want to be overly cautious, and when do they not, they should let Tanaka rest until Wednesday.

The New York Yankees can perfectly set up their rotation by letting Tanaka rest his elbow and his hamstring to rest until Wednesday when the New York Yankees face off with the Boston Red Sox in the Bronx. Letting Tanaka pitch on Wednesday gives him one tune up start before giving him five days of rest before a one-gamer playoff on October 6th inside Yankee Stadium. Inserting Tanaka into the rotation on Wednesday allows Ivan Nova to pitch Monday, Michael Pineda on Tuesday and CC Sabathia on Thursday with an extra day of rest.

The final series of the season would showcase Adam Warren, Luis Severino and Nova pitching in the final game of the season. This seems like the best case scenario for the New York Yankees and for Tanaka. A win-win that could lead to a win and a trip to the ALDS.