Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Recap: Twins 3, Yankees 1

Masahiro Tanaka had a rough last outing of the spring, surrendering three earned runs in 4 1/3 innings as the Yankees dropped a pitcher's duel to the Twins, 3-1, Tuesday in Fort Myers.

Tanaka Struggles: Tanaka was cruising up until two outs in the bottom of the third, when he gave up a double to Eduardo Escobar and a single to Chris Herrmann to put the Twins on top. He then allowed two more runs in the fourth and fifth -- ending with an unfavorable final line of seven hits, one walk and one strikeout. 

Flores' Clutch Knock: Following a Chris Young single and a Rob Refsnyder walk, Ramon Flores lined a Tommy Milone fastball to center with two outs in the fourth -- scoring Young easily from second to even the game at one. It was Flores' eighth RBI of the month and sixth since last Tuesday -- accounting for the only time the Yankees reached third on the afternoon.

Martin's Nice Performance: It's been a tough preseason so far for Chris Martin, but at least in this one, the Yankees invitee pitched to his potential. He shutout the Twins for a full two innings after Tanaka's removal -- retiring each of the six batters he faced while striking out three.

Gardner Shows Promise: Brett Gardner went 1-for-2 with a walk in three plate appearances against Milone -- his walk being one of just two the lefty issued in the contest. As for his hit, it came on a seeing eye single in the Yankees' half of the third -- a slow grounder to right that just made it past a dive by the first baseman.

Rally Falls Short: Down 3-1 in the top of the ninth, the Yankees put two men on with two out for the .219-hitting Nick Noonan -- who proceeded to strike out swinging on a 3-2 offering to strand the tying runners. The punch-out wrapped up an 0-for-4 day at the dish for Noonan, and clinched a 26-pitch save for Twins right-hander Casey Fien. 

Next Up: The Yankees will send Chase Whitley to the hill Wednesday when they host the Rays at Steinbrenner Field -- a matchup set to air live on YES and on tape delay on MLB Network. Jordan Norberto is expected to get the nod for Tampa Bay when the action begins at 1:05 p.m. ET -- the last exhibition meeting the two clubs will have this year.

Domingo German Needs Tommy John Surgery

A photo posted by el negro de los guasiviri (@domingogerman75) on
When the New York Yankees acquired Nathan Eovaldi from the Miami Marlins for David Phelps and Martin Prado Domingo German was one of the lesser pieces thrown into the deal for the Yankees. What the Yankees may or may not have known was that German needed Tommy John surgery, according to his Instagram account anyway.

German is just 22 years old and pitched in one Grapefruit League this season before being shut down. The team has not confirmed anything as of yet but it's interesting to note that German jumped from 67.0 IP in 2013 all the way to 123.1 IP last season.

German seems done for the 2015 season so it's time for him to focus on his rehab and the 2016 season. Good luck German and we can't wait for the return.

Predicting the MVP Award Winners for 2015

It’s time for the big awards to be given out as I take a stab at predicting the American League and National League MVP Awards. These predictions are such a crap shoot and so much goes into them and so much can alter the award winner during the season it’s almost silly to attempt to predict it in March but it’s all for fun anyway so why not.

For the American League I am going to go against the grain a little bit and pick a member of the Detroit Tigers, just not the Detroit Tigers player that you would expect. I am going to go with Yoenis Cespedes winning the award and not Victor Martinez or Miguel Cabrera. With that kind of protection in the lineup and that many runners on base in front of him Cespedes should see plenty of fastballs this season, and we all know Cespedes is a dead fastball hitter. He should hit his fair share of home runs and doubles while knocking in a ton of RBI and scoring a ton of runs. He may not compete for a batting title but I expect the Cuban, who FYI is playing for a contract since he is a free agent at the end of the season, to be right there in the MVP discussion this season.

For the National League I am going to pick a familiar face in Giancarlo Stanton of the Miami Marlins. Until Stanton gives me reason to pick someone else for the award I am going to pick him year in and year out, which makes next year’s post a little anti-climactic for you guys. Stanton is still the best hitter in all of the game and especially all of the National League and has a chip on his shoulder in 2015. He has a much improved team around him, a lot of money to justify to the fans that he deserves and he wants to prove that he can still hit after taking a fastball to the face that ended his 2014 season. He will do all that and then some in 2015, mark my words. 

Spring: New York Yankees @ Minnesota Twins 3/31

The New York Yankees and the Minnesota Twins continue their Grapefruit League schedules this afternoon when the Yankees travel out on the road. The Yankees will send Masahiro Tanaka to the mound this afternoon to face off against Tommy Milone for the Twins. The game will be played at 1:05 pm ET and can be seen on MLB Network.

Opening Day is a mere six days away Yankees family. 

Former Yankees Faces in Different Spring Places

The New York Yankees have seen a lot of turnover over the past few seasons and especially during the 2015 offseason so I thought now would be a good time to see how those former Yankees faces are doing in different spring places. Not that spring stats mean much of anything at all but it can still be fun to look at to see if the team “won” a specific transaction or not.

Francisco Cervelli:

PIT 29 11 27 6 9 2 1 3 5 7 4 .333 .486 .815 1.301

Shane Greene:

DET 26 4 1 1 3.95 4 13.2 13 9 6 1 3 14 1.171 8.6 0.7 2.0 9.2

Brandon McCarthy:

LAD 31 4 1 1 6.75 4 14.2 20 11 11 1 3 9 1.568 12.3 0.6 1.8 5.5

Martin Prado:

MIA 31 17 46 4 12 2 0 0 4 .261 .306 .304 .610
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 3/30/2015.

David Phelps:

MIA 28 2 0 1.00 6 18.0 10 3 2 0 7 14 0.944 5.0 0.0 3.5 7.0

Predicting the Final 25 Man Roster

With the latest round of spring training roster cuts now done I figured now would be the best time to take another stab at predicting the 25 man roster this season. I originally had Robert Refsnyder, Jose Pirela and Jacob Lindgren on my rosters but none of those three players unfortunately will make the cut out of camp in 2015. In their place is Stephen Drew, Chasen Shreve and Brendan Ryan. See below for the rest of the players who have all but locked up a 25 man roster spot for the Yankees when camp breaks at the end of this week.

C: Brian McCann
1B: Mark Teixeira
2B: Stephen Drew
SS: Didi Gregorius
3B: Chase Headley
LF: Brett Gardner
CF: Jacoby Ellsbury
RF: Carlos Beltran
DH: Alex Rodriguez

BN: Garrett Jones
BN: Chris Young
BN: Brendan Ryan
BN: Austin Romine

SP: Masahiro Tanaka
SP: Michael Pineda
SP: CC Sabathia
SP: Nathan Eovaldi
SP: Adam Warren

LR: Esmil Rogers
LR: Chase Whitley
RP: Chasen Shreve
RP: Justin Wilson
RP: David Carpenter
RP: Dellin Betances
RP: Andrew Miller

TGP Daily Poll: Yankees Continue to Dominate Minnesota

The New York Yankees have destroyed the Minnesota Twins over the past five to ten seasons and that will continue this afternoon. Even if it is just spring training the Yankees continue to dominate.

Vote in our prediction poll on Knoda.com

Charleston Riverdogs Introduce New Food & Beverage Items for 2015

Brisket Ramen Bowl Highlights RiverDogs’

New Food & Beverage for the 2015 Season

New items include Summer Harvest Salad, Kimchi Dog & chocolate covered bacon

CHARLESTON, SC – One of the highlights of the Charleston RiverDogs’ preseason is the announcement of what those wacky guys in the kitchen have new coming up in the concession stands.

Rest assured, fans won’t be disappointed. In fact, there will be several new mouth-watering items at Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Park this spring when the season opens on April 9.

For a very long time, the Charleston RiverDogs have been recognized for their diverse and tasty concession offerings, which have in recent years drawn Food Network star Rachel Ray and Man v. Food celebrity Adam Richman to Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Park to sample the variety of delicacies. Whether it’s at the Doghouse, DogWorld, Joe’s Grill or the Pie House, fans can always find something to satisfy their every craving.

And this year, multiple new items are being added to the fan-favorite hot dog menu and the culmination of meticulous work in the RiverDogs’ top-secret test kitchen.

John Schumacher, the food guru for the RiverDogs’ ownership ensemble, The Goldklang Group, said that the new items were “the result of extensive kitchen research” for new ideas.

“With Josh Shea in his third year as our F&B Director and with the addition of Jay Weekley, we’ve again raised the bar of expectation and increase our food exploration,” said Schumacher.

Smokin Joe’s stand has been relocated inside the Beer Garden and features a ramped-up menu. A highlight is the Brisket Ramen Bowl, which is a healthy serving of Ramen noodles sautéed in an orange teriyaki glaze topped with smoked beef brisket, snow peas, carrots, green onions and a hardboiled egg. There will also be a Smoked Turkey Wing Basket that features two half-pound turkey wings that are slow-smoked and served with a blackberry sage barbeque sauce over a basket of in-house cooked pork rinds.

In an effort to enhance the healthy food offerings served at DogWorld, both black bean and turkey burgers return. Added this year is the Summer Harvest Salad that feeds two-to-three adults and includes an entire head of hydroponically-grown butter leaf lettuce stuffed with grape tomatoes, edamame, and an herb and carrot quinoa mixture. It is topped with sprouts, sunflower seeds and a creamy avocado dressing, all served in a replica baseball batting helmet.

Beer shakes, an item that grows in popularity, return for their third year and the two distinct flavors – Palmetto Espresso Porter Chocolate (from a local brewery) and Guinness Caramel – will return. New this year, however, is the Shock Top Creamsicle Shake and makes its debut during the opening seven-game homestand.

The Wacko Taco Stand, a popular stop on the concourse, features a Lowcountry Taco, which is smoked pulled pork, slow cooked collard greens and mac n’ cheese topped with a Memphis-style barbeque sauce.

The Funnel Cake Stand enjoyed an offseason makeover and is now called the RiverDogs’ State Fair. And with that comes two innovative menu items: chocolate covered pepper bacon and deep-fried cheesecake on a stick.

The club introduces a new hot dog annually and this year Schumacher unveils a new “signature” specialty that will be a Southern Kimchi Dog which is a Hebrew National hot dog topped with collard greens, kimchi and piquant peppers tossed in soy sauce and a sesame seed oil sauce.

The RiverDogs will also offer a giant, 24-ounce soft pretzel that is cleverly called “A Knot to Remember,” and it is served in a pizza box with marinara, garlic butter and a nacho cheese sauce.

And finally, the Firefly Tiki Hut returns with many of the old favorites and a new Peach Moonshine Mojito.

This Day in New York Yankees History 3/31: Welcome to Coors Field

On this day in 1995 in front of a crowd of 47,536 the New York Yankees lost the first ever game at Coors Field, an exhibition game, 4-1 to the Colorado Rockies.

Also on this day in 1984 Roger Maris announced his #9 jersey retirement from the Yankees on an episode of ABC's Sports Beat with Howard Cosell. New York planned to retire the jersey number at Old Timer's Day that July. Maris showed much disbelief in learning the news and was very happy to be recognized for his seven years in pinstripes.