Thursday, March 12, 2015

Recap: Yankees 3, Braves 2

Masahiro Tanaka tossed two shutout innings and the Yankees rallied back from a late 2-1 deficit to beat the Braves, 3-2, Thursday night in Tampa.

Tanaka Perfect in Spring Debut: Besides only throwing 19 pitches, Tanaka retired each of the six Braves he faced on the evening -- striking out two with his signature splitter. Major-leaguers Freddie Freeman and Johnny Gomes were the victims of those punchouts -- Freeman having gone down looking and Gomes swinging.

Baker Bounces Back: Scott Baker wasn't great in his last outing against the Astros, but certainly seemed to have better control in this one. In three innings on the mound following Tanaka's removal, Baker surrendered just two hits and a run with a pair of strikeouts -- impressively sitting down seven consecutive at one point.

Gregorius Triples in Third: Didi Gregorius lined a triple to the left-center field gap to lead off the bottom of the third, crossing home on a Brett Gardner fielder's choice shortly afterwards. Gregorius then took a fastball to the thigh in his next at-bat in the fifth, but said after the game that he is experiencing no issues.

Rally in the Seventh: Aided by a Chase Headley single and a Stephen Drew walk, the Yankees went on the comeback trail against right-hander Tyrell Jenkins in their half of the seventh -- plating two with a couple of clutch RBIs by two of their more notable spring surprises. Outfielder Jake Cave tied it with a ground-rule double to straightaway center, and infielder Nick Noonan connected on a go-ahead sac fly to left moments later. 

Wilson Impresses: Justin Wilson struck out two in a 1-2-3 top of of the seventh, his first perfect appearance as a Yankee. The last 3-2 pitch Wilson made, granted, might have been a little high to Todd Cunningham, but was nonetheless callled strike three to end the frame.

Next Up: Adam Warren will look to continue his nice preseason Friday when the Yankees take on the Red Sox in Fort Myers -- the Yanks' only visit to Jetblue Park this year. Former Tiger Rick Porcello is expected to get the start for Boston when he and the Sox try to complete their first Grapefruit League sweep of the Yankees since 2011 -- beginning at 7:05 p.m. ET.

Spring Game Thread: New York Yankees vs. Atlanta Braves 3/12

The New York Yankees and their fans get a treat today as the team takes on the Atlanta Braves in the Grapefruit League as the Yankees ace Masahiro Tanaka makes his spring debut. Tanaka will start the game and likely go two or three innings with 20-30 pitches if all goes well. The Yankees defacto ace CC Sabathia also pitched in a simulated game today because the team did not want either Tanaka or Sabathia to have to come out of the bullpen for New York.

The game will be played at 7:05 pm ET and can be seen on the YES Network.

Chris Capuano’s Injury Opens the Door for Many, but not Adam Warren

As we all learned yesterday Chris Capuano hurt his right quadriceps muscle covering first base against his former team the Boston Red Sox. While it sucks to lose anyone in spring training the “prospect humper” in me is a tad bit excited. I’ve never been a big fan of Capuano and I think that was well documented last season right here on the blog. I’m also a big prospects fan so this injury may open the door for a prospect or two to make the team and crack the starting rotation, but I don’t think that prospect or player will be Adam Warren.

The back end of the Yankees bullpen looks solid on paper with David Carpenter, Dellin Betances and Andrew Miller but the pen really becomes a strength with a full season of Warren in the seventh inning. The Yankees could easily slot in Esmil Rogers (the likely choice) or Bryan Mitchell (who should get the nod) into the fifth and sixth starting slots and not skip a beat in the rotation or in the pen. The team doesn’t have another Warren sitting around on the outside looking in and not everyone can pitch late in the games in the Bronx.

While Warren may be the most deserving if Capuano misses significant time with this injury it may be more detrimental to the team then helpful in the long run. If you plug in Mitchell into the rotation you probably improve the starting rotation while keeping the bullpen solid and well rested with Warren on the bench. 

Quick Hit: CC Sabathia’s Simulated Game & Opening Day Starter

Interestingly enough, and not coincidental because there are no such things as coincidences, both Masahiro Tanaka and CC Sabathia will be on the mound this afternoon for the New York Yankees. These two pitchers are the two obvious choices for the Yankees Opening Day starters and if both pitchers pitched on their normal four days rest would line up to pitch the opener on March 6th.

Sabathia pitched a 30 pitch simulated game today while Masahiro Tanaka will start against the Atlanta Braves in their Grapefruit League game. Who will start on Opening Day? Nobody knows right now but it looks like the Yankees are at least open to the idea of having Tanaka start that game if he looks healthy and is up to the task. That is encouraging to me as a fan because we may start to see some change in how the team does things relying on the younger “unknown” over the veteran. Then again we’re still a little over three weeks away from the games counting again so a lot can change between then and now.

Stay tuned…

The Follow up Interview You've All Been Waiting For: Robert Pimpsner

This is the follow up interview that you have all been waiting for as once again we spoke with Mr. Robert Pimpsner, a beat writer that covers the Staten Island Yankees and the owner of the very popular and YES Network affiliated Pinstriped Prospects. We want to thank Mr. Pimpsner for taking the time to do another interview with us, it truly is appreciated.

The Greedy Pinstripes: 

So you started off our last interview by predicting the breakout of Dellin Betances, thank you for that by the way, is there anyone you would like to predict as that breakout player in 2015?

Well the easy answer would be to say a guy like Rob Refsnyder or Jacob Lindgren, both should make their MLB debuts this year.  However I am going to say Jose Pirela, whose versatility will be a major component of it.  He is a guy that will be able to back up pretty much all around the field in a pinch. 


Another question I mean't to ask in our previous interview that I didn't get to ask is what Yankee, if anyone specific, actually made you a Yankees fan?

I can’t really say it is just one Yankee.  I became a Yankee fan due to everyone I became friends with being in the Yankees organization.  It is great to see some of these guys I have called my friend play in the bigs.


Also when we last spoke you were readying the release of your site, which I love by the way, Pinstriped Prospects. How is that going? Tell the readers who may not have checked it out yet a little about it.

Thanks for the kind words, it was a long process to work on building the site.  Took almost a year and a half to get it going after a setback after setback.  It is going great actually, the site is growing faster than I expected so it can be tough to keep up with that.  The thing that really helps us is our partnership with the YES Network and the Yankees affiliates.  Unlike almost every other site or blog out there we have a person there at each ballpark.  They are there to watch the players, talk to them, talk to the coaches, scouts, etc.  We believe that in order to really report about prospects you have to see them.  We don’t do the so called “box score scouting” or regurgitate what another site writes.  Our writers are there at the ballparks, getting to see these guys play and getting the first-hand report.


When you cover a team as a beat writer or even as a blogger do you consider your fellow bloggers and beats to be more like a family where you go out and eat together and such or is it more strictly business?

Well it is tough, in Staten Island all but myself and the Staten Island Advance guys are new each year.  There sometimes the occasional two or three year guy but for the most part it is a new group of media each year.  I am good friends with the folks at the Advance and we talk regularly.  Usually grab a bite to eat together before Opening Day and help each other out on stories. We sort of act like the older brothers in the press box, helping out the young kids and teaching them what to do.  Some come in scared others come in cocky and arrogant so it can be tough.


Which prospects do you see making impacts in the Bronx in 2015?

There are a bunch I see making an impact this year.  The easiest ones to bring up are Rob Refsnyder, Jose Pirela, Bryan Mitchell, Jacob Lindgren.  But look out for guys like James Pazos, Tyler Webb, Nick Rumbelow they are knocking on the door.


Anyone your secretly hoping rehabs down in Staten Island sometime this season?

I hope to see zero injuries and a phenomenal team on the field in Staten Island.


Have you cooked up anything good lately that would make Chef Gordon Ramsay proud?

I have been working on my family-recipe BBQ sauce.  Making some of my own alterations, so far I have gotten rave reviews from my family and friends.  You should see the ribs I made for my friend’s super bowl party.

Next we'll do a few rapid fire questions just for fun. You don't have to answer them but I think they can be fun:


Cole Hamels for Luis Severino, Aaron Judge and Robert Refsnyder. Yes or no?



Alex Rodriguez fan? Yes or no?



Does your Alma mater St. John's reach the Sweet 16 in March Madness?

Yes (I’m optimistic)


Did Apple show you anything new this year that peaked your interest? (since you are un-American, I mean anti-Apple). Apple Pay is outdated and so is the Apple Watch but the new Notebook is pretty impressive you have to admit.

I have to admit that new MacBook looks beautiful and I am really interested in that USB-C tech.


We'll end it with this one. What advice do you have to anyone who is either trying to get into the sports blogging or sports photography field as you have seemingly mastered both?

Don’t be afraid to ask those who have been there questions and listen carefully.  See what they are doing and pay attention to it closely.  They are successful for a reason and most will help you out if you need it.

Be sure to check out Pinstripes Prospects by clicking the link and be sure to give those guys a follow on Twitter by following @PinstripedPros. Thanks again Robert for the interview and we wish you, Jed, Gershon and the rest of the crew nothing but the best of luck in the future, although I have a feeling you guys won't be needing it.

The Kids Are Alright But…

As depressing as this may sound the New York Yankees may be playing their best baseball of the entire calendar year right now and it’s only March 12. Why you ask? It’s surprisingly a young and hungry group of Yankees prospects that are stealing the show in spring training while the Yankees veterans are slumping and still being guaranteed jobs, here’s looking at you Stephen Drew. Remember when I posted a week or so back that the team was advertising spring competitions and for some reason I just couldn’t see it? Do you believe me now?

Robert Refsnyder, and yes I realize and understand the value of a spring training at bat, had an 0 for 3 days and dropped his spring average to right above .400 the other day against the Orioles. Greg Bird is impressing, Tyler Austin is hitting booming home runs, Gary Sanchez is driving in the only RBI for the team in games with ninth inning home runs, Aaron Judge is drawing his walks and hitting home runs and the list goes on and on. Who is the best Yankees “regular” right now you ask? Just based on stats alone it’s Alex Rodriguez.

The pitching has been overall amazing this spring including strong starts from Adam Warren, Jacob Lindgren, Luis Severino, and a slew of prospects and recently added 40 man roster pitchers. Masahiro Tanaka gets into a game today, Chris Capuano looked as mediocre as ever in his first spring start and CC Sabathia is still pitching simulated games. Ivan Nova is still rehabbing from Tommy John surgery and expects to be back by June while Michael Pineda looked great in his spring debut and Nathan Eovaldi is striking out guys with ferocity this spring.

The kids are alright but we still hand jobs to Capuano, Drew and Chris Young and I don’t understand it. It’s depressing Yankees family but this may be the best baseball we see all summer and it’s sad to think in about three weeks it will all be gone.

TGP Daily Poll: Masahiro Tanaka’s Good Start

Masahiro Tanaka makes his spring debut on Thursday when the New York Yankees face off against the Atlanta Braves and Tanaka will have a good start. One run or less allowed and more importantly, no health issues.

Vote in our prediction poll on

Now Presenting the Krispy Kreme Hot Dog

As you guys know, or are slowly figuring out as the blog goes on, I love food, I love baseball and I love stadium food, especially minor league stadium food. I thought that nothing could top the grilled cheese bacon burger and the funnel cake burger I posted a few weeks back but this one may take the cake, or the donuts.

The Wilmington Blue Rocks, an affiliate of the Kansas City Royals, have partnered with Krispy Kreme to bring you the Krispy Kreme Donut Dog. I don’t know about you but I’m hungry. The Krispy Kreme glazed donut is used as the bun with the hot dog, bacon and raspberry jelly in the middle.

Yay or nay on this latest creation?

This Day in New York Yankees History 3/12: Spring Training Brawl

On this day in 2008 the benches cleared in a rare spring training brawl between the Tampa Bay Rays and the New York Yankees. New York's Shelley Duncan slid into second base with his spikes aimed at Rays infielder Akinori Iwamura after being thrown out by a wide margin. Four days earlier the Rays played aggressively and injured Francisco Cervelli with a home plate collision.

Also on this day in 1903 the New York Highlanders, soon to be renamed the Yankees in 1913, were approved to be admitted into the American League.