Tuesday, January 27, 2015

New Yankees reliever Carpenter looking forward to seeing bullpen in action

After taking a quick look at its new pieces, it's tough for anyone to ignore the Yankees' bullpen's potential. 

Anyone including its own pitchers, apparently, as new Yankees' right-hander David Carpenter is also impressed with the group's talent. He said so during a conversation on Tuesday, just under four weeks since he was dealt from the Braves. 

"I think it can be really, really strong," Carpenter told MLB.com's Bryan Hoch. "There have been multiple people talking about it throughout baseball, the potential that our bullpen has. It can be one of the best in the Major Leagues."

The Yankees have certainly made it a priority to strengthen their relief core this offseason, a rather unsurprising happening given their unsure offense and rotation. Aside from trading for Carpenter January 1, the Yankees signed set-up man Andrew Miller and acquired lefty Justin Wilson from the Pirates this winter, moves they seem to expect will fill the void left by David Robertion.

Indeed, the Yankees are holding their 2015 backup arms to a high standard, and will likely need them to perform well if they want to achieve success. Maybe that's why they were so willing to cut ties with former top prospect Manny Banuelos in order to get a hold of Carpenter, knowing of the latter's relationship with catcher Brian McCann. 

"To be reunited with [McCann], it's going to be really, really special," Carpenter said. "The kind of words he shared with the front office, wanting to pull the trigger on trying to get me, it really boosts your confidence for sure."

Carpenter and McCann were teammates with the Braves in 2013, and appeared to work nicely together.

Not that that's an unusual occurance with McCann, who has a reputation for helping pitchers improve. With the Yankees last year, McCann helped two rookies, Dellin Betances and Adam Warren, record sub-three ERAs, often jogging to the mound in the middle of games when they or anybody else looked to be having trouble. 

Factoring in all of that, the Yankees' bullpen definitely strikes one as promising, and Carpenter is admittedly excited about it with the season nearing. 

"I'm really excited to get down there to Tampa, just get started and see where we end up," he said. 

What Bud Selig Really Left the Game

Bud Selig is no longer the Commissioner of Major League Baseball but will stick around in an advisor and consultant’s role for Rob Manfred and company after retiring at age 80. Whether you love Bud or hate Bud, I find myself somewhat in the middle and leaning towards the latter, the mark he left on the game today is undeniable. For the sake of argument, and to more honor the man than spit on his name, we are going to ignore the 1994 strike, cancellation of the World Series and the years leading up to the “cleanup” of the game.

Selig has brought the game two decades of labor peace with no real end in sight thanks to new collective bargaining agreements and a great working relationship with the MLB Players Union. Selig has expanded the game to a three division format from two divisions, a wild card team, then a second wild card team, 22 new stadiums and ballparks, attendance records each and every year, MLB.com, MLB Network, MLBTV, instant replay, the harshest and hardest steroid and drug testing program in the game, the World Baseball Classic, explosions of money due to lucrative television deals and billions and billions of dollars in revenue for everyone with the additions of the luxury tax, profit sharing etc.

Say what you will about Bud but you cannot deny the simple fact that the game is a better place today than it was in 1992 when Selig was merely just an owner of the Milwaukee Brewers. For that, one last time, I thank Mr. Selig for everything he did and brought to this great game of Major League Baseball. 

Could the Game Truly Go International?

Could Major League Baseball truly go international and have a team outside of the United States? This may be harder to answer than I make it out to be but truly I believe the game could with a little creativity and lots of security. Already Major League Baseball has a team in Canada and with the growing love for the game in South American countries such as Cuba, Venezuela and Mexico to name a few a team could end up there in the near future in my opinion.

Revenue in MLB rose to just under $9 billion during the 2014 season without tapping many potential markets outside of the United States and around the globe. The move outside the United States would have to start slow and start small with a team right over the border in Mexico, Monterrey maybe or even Mexico City, and security would be a nightmare to begin with but if MLB could make this work then the sky is the limit for the league. With the popularity of baseball in countries like Japan, Korea, Cuba, Australia, Columbia, the Dominican Republic, Venezuela and even smaller countries like Curacao the game could explode internationally and truly set itself apart from the rest of the sports world.

It’s a dream now as we stand here in 2015 but this, in my opinion, is and should be the long term goal and vision for the game. Call me progressive and call me a dreamer but its coming ladies and gentleman so prepare yourselves for it. 

Yankees Do NOT Have to Wait for Moncada to Be Cleared to Sign Him

The best news that could have been released for the New York Yankees regarding Cuban defecting stud Yoan Moncada may have been released today via sanctionlaw.com. In the article SEEN HERE new amendments to the Cuban Assets Control Regulations will make it easier for Cuban players to sign with Major League teams.

In years past the United States Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (or OFAC if you’re lazy) has had to unblock these players before they could be declared free agents by Major League Baseball and sign with major league teams. The player also had to establish residency in another country beforehand and take care of any visa and traveling documentation paperwork before coming to the states, see Rafael DePaula and his two lost seasons due to visa issues for the Yankees. The whole unblocking situation started because of the Trading with the Enemy Act which made Cuban citizens blocked persons in the United States and prevented US citizens to engage in any sort of transactions with them including their ball players.

On January 16th, 2015 amendments were made to the Cuban Assets Control Regulations (CACR). Instead of feeding you a bunch of legal terms that you can read by clicking the link above I will instead dumb it down for everyone. Instead of establishing residency and filing this paperwork and that paperwork all a Cuban citizen has to do is take an oath to never return to Cuba, which obviously we all know can be rescinded, and that player is unblocked. New regulations do not even require official documents of said oath. If the Yankees wanted to sign Moncada right now and really upset and anger the rest of Major League Baseball all they legally have to do is get a cocktail napkin, write on it that Moncada swears to never return to Cuba, have him sign it and then have him sign a contract.

This is not a well-known loop hole just yet on the US side and will likely lead to more and more Cuban players defecting from their native lands to come to the United States. Those players won’t know about the new rules and laws until the first player gets around the rules and signs a contract. Make that Moncada and make that with the Yankees, please. 

Should the shift go? How will this effect the Yankees?

By Eddie Sapienza
MLB's new commisoner Rob Manfred may want to ban the shift. In this article I will explain if the shift should stay in baseball or not and how it will effect guys on the Yankees. So in 2014 we saw way more shifts than we did in 2013 and previous years.

The way the shift works is against left handed hitters all the infielders move closer to first base. So what happens is the third baseman is at shortstop the shortstop is at second base and the second baseman plays in the start of the outfield grass.

This shift has worked with the Yankees and against them and no matter what way it works I think it ruins the game of baseball. The shift has caused many left handers to dip their batting average. A solution to the shift is to hit the other way. Although that is hard for some hitters like Mark Teixeria and Brian McCann.

McCann has tried to go the other way but Teixeira puts no effort into that and keeps pulling the ball as usual. So now I'll say if the shift should stay or not.

No I don't think the shift should stay in the Major Leagues because it ruins the game of baseball completely and makes offenses not hit well. Previous MLB commisoner Bud Selig never thought or at least said anything about banning the shift. One thing I'm wondering if the shift is prohibited and a team just ignores the rule what would happen?

Now I'll move onto how this will effect the Yankees. The shift works in both ways when in effect and works both ways when it's out of effect.  So if their is no more shift expect to see better seasons from McCann and Teixeira.

Although the Yankees will give up more hits. I rather have the Yankees give up more hits instead of them hitting less and by banning the shift more hits from guys on the Yankees. These are my thoughts on the shift and if it should be banned or not.

A Plan to Acquire Troy Tulowitzki

It’s the offseason and it’s the slowest part of the offseason right before pitchers and catchers report and right after all the big named free agents have picked new homes for 2015. Let’s have some fun and throw a hypothetical out there and iron out a plan for the New York Yankees to acquire troy Tulowitzki from the Colorado Rockies either in July 2015 or next offseason before the 2016 season.

Tulowitzki will remain in Colorado through at least July mainly because he has to prove that his surgically repaired hip is healthy and healed. In my opinion New York, had it not been for the surgery, would have been all over acquiring Tulo this offseason but instead acquired Didi Gregorius from the Arizona Diamondbacks basically for Shane Greene in a three team trade.

Gregorius is under team control for quite a long time, all six years if I am not mistaken, and could be quite attractive in a trade if he were to rebound or breakout in 2015. That also gives New York a year to evaluate Tulowitzki and his surgically repaired hip to see if a trade would even be worth it. The Yankees could essentially flip Gregorius to Colorado to replace him at shortstop for much cheaper contract wise and five years of team control. Naturally New York would have to throw in a few more prospects but that would also give the team another year to bring along the plethora of young talent they have at the lower levels of their farm system making a trade realistically possible.

It’s a dream, I admit, but it may not be as farfetched of a dream as one may think.  This time next year we may be talking about how Tulowitzki is the true replacement for the great Derek Jeter, his idol, and that Gregorius was merely a stopgap and all a part of Brian Cashman’s evil plans. 

TGP Daily Poll: Manfred will Reinstate Rose in 2015

The MLB All Star Game is being held in Cincinnati this season and Bud Selig already gave MLB hit king Pete Rose permission to be there. Rob Manfred needs to make a name for himself in his first year as Commissioner of Baseball and will reinstate Rose from his banishment from the game in 2015.

Vote in our predication poll on knoda. 

Teixeira/McCann’s Reaction to Rob Manfred & the Shift

I think the gif above explains the direction that this quick hit of a post is going. Rob Manfred, the new and official Commissioner of Major League Baseball, announced among other things that he is at least considering eliminating defensive shifting in the game. His reasoning behind this is to increase offense in the game, and honestly I think that would help even if it was marginally, and the news would especially help a couple member of the Yankees if this came to fruition.

Mark Teixeira and Brian McCann easily, just going off an eye test estimate, lost 20 or more hits (probably more in McCann’s case) to the shift last year after showing an unwillingness to go the other way or at least fake a bunt the other way. The Yankees offense needs all the help they can get and all the bounce back that they can get and if Manfred eliminates the shift I think we see a totally different middle of the Yankees lineup in 2015. 

This Day in New York Yankees History 1/27: Giants play in Yankee Stadium

On this day in 1956 the New York football Giants switch their NFL home games to Yankee Stadium. This fueled tons of speculation that the baseball Giants would also be leaving the Polo Grounds.

The team also signed relief pitcher Chris Leroux on this day in 2014 but I didn’t figure many people cared about or cared for that signing much. Carry on.