Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Recap: Rays 3, Yankees 0

Chase Whitley surrendered just one earned run in four innings and Andrew Bailey continued his nice spring with a scoreless top of the seventh Wednesday as the Yankees fell to the Rays, 3-0, in a weak offensive contest at Steinbrenner Field.

Whitley Impresses: With the exception of a Desmond Jennings double and a James Loney RBI single to begin the second, Whitley looked sharp in this one -- striking out six Rays in total while allowing just four hits. He didn't issue a walk on the afternoon, and his ERA on the preseason is now a likable 1.17.

Bailey Works Out of Trouble: Bailey walked John Jaso and gave up a single to Tim Beckman in the Rays' half of the seventh, but managed to escape without any damage after a clutch strikeout of Joey Butler. It was Bailey's fourth consecutive outing in which he has kept his opponent off the board -- going back to his March 21 appearances against the Astros.

Ellsbury Returns: Jacoby Ellsbury has been nursing an oblique strain for the last couple of weeks, not playing in an exhibition since March 15. He manned center field and led-off Wednesday, though -- failing to record a hit in three trips to the plate.

Rogers Solid: Esmil Rogers yielded a pair of singles and a walk in 1 1/3 innings of relief, and was charged with an unearned run following a Brendan Ryan error in the sixth. Otherwise, Rogers fanned three and induced a routine ground ball during his four-out performance -- lowering his Grapefruit League ERA to just 2.35.

Starter Stats: As mentioned earlier, this game wasn't a particularly good one for the Yankees' bats, but nonetheless, New York's starters did collect a few hits here and there. Carlos Beltran and Mark Teixeira laced back-to-back singles in the first off Jordan Norberto, and Brett Gardner ran out an infield knock in the sixth off Jhan Marinez. 

Next Up: The Yankees will split the squad for the final time Thursday when they host the Pirates and visit the Tigers at 1:05 p.m. ET -- airing live on YES and ESPN, respectively. It will be Michael Pineda versus A.J. Burnett in the meeting at The Boss and Bryan Mitchell versus Angel Nesbitt in the matchup over in Lakeland -- Pineda and Mitchell's last starts before the regular season. 

Yankees Acquire Gregorio Petit for Cash or PTBNL

The New York Yankees and the Houston Astros have hooked up for a trade right before Opening Day as Houston sent Gregorio Petit to New York for a player to be named later or cash considerations. Petit is a a shortstop, second baseman and third baseman so you have to think Robert Refsnyder is going to get passed over once again here.

Petit is 30 years old and is not a free agent until the 2021 season.

Spring Training News & Notes from April Fools Day

Brendan Ryan left the Yankees spring training game today with a strained calf and will likely start the season on the disabled list. This opens the door for a plethora of young players who are hungry, and honestly more deserving, to take one of the last roster spots on the team for Opening Day. Ryan's right calf is undergoing an MRI basically as we speak but the team has already announced that they are beginning to prepare for the start of the season without the backup shortstop.

Also Adam Warren was officially named the team's fifth starter to start the season. No real surprise here I am just wondering what took Joe Girardi and company so long.

The Yankees don't plan on skipping anyone despite to off days early on in the season. There goes the six man rotation theory we were teased with.

New York Yankees Pitching Totem Pole Depth Chart

With the Opening Day roster all but finalized for the New York Yankees the team now has a much clearer picture of what they have heading into next Monday’s first game and what they have in the minors if things were to go wrong. The Yankees held a camp long competition for the fifth starter’s spot since Chris Capuano injured his oblique muscle and had so much depth in the bullpen that almost everyone got an extended look this spring. Today we will focus on those two positions, the pitching side of things, when we look at the totem pole and the depth charts the team has.

As far as starting pitching goes Capuano should be back no later than a month into the season bumping (presumably) Adam Warren back to the pen. Warren, just like Esmil Rogers, came to camp as starters this season after spending the 2014 season in the bullpen and could easily slot back into the rotation in that order followed by Chase Whitley, Scott Baker and Bryan Mitchell in that order. Luis Severino is always a dark horse as well for the rotation heading into the season while players like Jose A. Ramirez have also started in the minor leagues and could be called upon in an emergency situation.

For the bullpen it is looking more and more like Justin Wilson and Chasen Shreve will start the season in the Bronx leaving Jacob Lindgren at the door knocking heading into 2015. Following Lindgren is an impressive list of potential relief pitchers including Andrew Bailey, Tyler Webb, Nick Rumbelow, Nick Goody, James Pazos and Mark Montgomery bringing up the rear.

The Yankees have an incredible amount of underrated depth heading into the 2015 season which leads me to believe that even if the injury bug hits the team once again this season, the team will be just fine. 

Spring: New York Yankees vs. Tampa Bay Rays 4/1

This afternoon the New York Yankees and the Tampa Bay Rays will continue their Grapefruit League schedules with a contest inside George M. Steinbrenner Field. The Yankees will send Chase Whitley to the mound to face off against the Rays starter Jordan Noberto. The game will be played at 1:05 pm ET and can be seen on the YES Network and MLB TV.

Go Yankees!

Breaking News: Robert Refsnyder Traded to Washington

Breaking news coming out of Yankees spring training camp that New York has agreed to trade their top infield prospect Robert Refsnyder to the Washington Nationals. According to my sources* the Nationals are worried about the knee injury to Anthony Rendon enough to give up Bryce Harper in the deal before he gets too expensive. More will be added to the deal on the Yankees side I am hearing but the deal is not going to include Luis Severino or Aaron Judge. It will likely include Greg Bird. Stay tuned as this develops and remember where you heard it first.

* The April Fools Bear at Build a Bear Workshop is my source
** Let’s see how many people read the article and not the headline.

*** April Fools

Potential Alex Rodriguez Milestones in 2015

Alex Rodriguez despite missing the better part of the last two seasons is still within striking distance of more than a few milestones in 2015. We all have heard the dead horse being beaten about if and when Rodriguez hits his sixth home run of the season to tie Willie Mays on the all-time home run list because of the $6 million bonus the team reportedly plans on fighting but there are quite a few more that the soon to be 40 year old may reach this season.

Rodriguez is just 61 hits away from the historic 3000 hit plateau while also sitting 6th all-time in RBI with 1969 RBI. Alex is a mere 61 home runs away from tying Babe Ruth on the home run list and just 26 RBI behind the great Yankees legend Lou Gehrig in RBI. Rodriguez may also pass Barry Bonds (1996 RBI) on the RBI list to take sole possession of third place all-time. Rodriguez sits just 245 RBI behind Ruth for 2nd place all-time and with a healthy next three seasons could conceivably push for that record, although it looks less and less likely.

Alex also sits 10th all-time in runs scored with 1919 runs. Even with a diminished Yankees offense I believe Rodriguez could at least pass Derek Jeter (1923) and Stan Musial (1949) on the list with an outside chance of passing Cap Anson (1999) for 8th all-time with less than 100 runs scored.

TGP Daily Poll: Tanaka Has More Starts Than A Rod Home Runs

The 2015 season for the New York Yankees hinges on the right arm and elbow of ace Masahiro Tanaka. Good news for the Bronx Bombers, I predict that Tanaka will make more starts this season than home runs that Alex Rodriguez can hit.

Vote in our prediction poll on

The New York Yankees Give Tino Martinez a Job

The New York Yankees are very good about taking care of and honoring one of their own. They did so this offseason when they gave jobs to Eric Chavez and Hideki Matsui and now the team is offering a position to another former member of the team in Tino Martinez. Martinez, who was honored with a plaque inside Monument Park in 2014, is back with the club as a minor league instructor.

Martinez will be at the team’s minor league camp until it ends this weekend and is expected to continue the role throughout the 2015 season. Martinez was part of four World Series championship teams and five American League pennants from 1996-2001. Martinez was also the Miami Marlins hitting coach in 2013 until he resigned after an altercation with Marlins players.

Welcome back to the family.

Official Press Release for Minor League Player/Pitcher of the Year Awards

NY Yankees Name Former RiverDogs Infielder Rob Refsnyder & RHP Luis Severino Winners of the
2014 Kevin Lawn “Player of the Year” and
“Pitcher of the Year” Awards

CHARLESTON, SC -- The New York Yankees have announced that former Charleston RiverDogs infielder Rob Refsnyder and right-handed pitcher Luis Severino, another former RiverDog, were named winners of the 2014 Kevin Lawn Award as the Yankees’ minor league “Player of the Year” and “Pitcher of the Year,” respectively. The two players received their awards prior to the Yankees vs. Orioles game at George M. Steinbrenner Field.

The annual awards are dedicated to Kevin O’Brien Lawn—the son of longtime Yankees Vice President and Chief of Operations Jack Lawn—who passed away in 1999.

Refsnyder, 24, split the season with Double-A Trenton and Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, combining to bat .318 (164-for-515) with 82R, 38 doubles, 6 triples, 14HR and 63RBI in 137 games. The 2012 fifth-round draft pick ranked third among all Yankees minor leaguers in batting average. Following the season, he was tabbed an Organization All-Star by and ranked as the Yankees’ seventh-best prospect by Baseball America.

Severino, 21, combined to go 6-5 with a 2.46 ERA (113.1IP, 31ER) in 24 starts with Single-A Charleston, Single-A Tampa and Double-A Trenton. He allowed three earned runs or fewer in 23 of his 24 starts, posting a 1.96 ERA (110.0IP, 24ER) in those games. The right-hander led all Yankee minor leaguers in strikeouts (127) and competed for the World Team in the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game. Following the season, he was named an Organization All-Star by and was tabbed the Yankees’ best prospect by Baseball America.

Each player was presented with a trophy designed by C&C Awards, as well as a designer watch, courtesy of Betteridge Jewelers.
New York Yankees Kevin Lawn Award Winners

Player of the Year Pitcher of the Year

2014 *INF Rob Refsnyder (TRE/SWB) *RHP Luis Severino (CHA/TAM/TRE)

2013 *INF Greg Bird (CHA) *RHP Shane Greene (TAM/TRE)

2012 *OF Tyler Austin (GCL/CHA/TAM/TRE) *RHP Mark Montgomery (TAM/TRE)

2011 *C Austin Romine (TRE/SWB) *RHP D. J. Mitchell (SWB)

2010 *SS Eduardo Nunez (SWB) *RHP David Phelps (TRE/SWB)

2009 *C Austin Romine (TAM) *RHP Zach McAllister (TRE)

2008 *OF Brett Gardner (SWB) *LHP Phil Coke (TRE/SWB)

2007 *OF Austin Jackson (CHA/TAM/SWB) RHP Ian Kennedy (TAM/TRE/SWB)

2006 *1B Cody Ehlers (TAM) *RHP Phil Hughes (TRE)

2005 OF Kevin Thompson (COL/TRE) RHP Matt DeSalvo (TRE)

2004 1B Andy Phillips (COL/TRE) RHP Chien-Ming Wang (TRE/COL)

2003 C Dioner Navarro (TAM/TRE) RHP Jorge DePaula (COL)

2002 2B Andy Phillips (COL/NOR) *LHP Danny Borrell (NOR/TAM)

RHP Jorge DePaula (NOR)

2001 OF Juan Rivera (COL/NOR) LHP Brandon Claussen (NOR/TAM)

OF Marcus Thames (NOR)

2000 3B Scott Seabol (NOR) LHP Randy Keisler (COL)

1999 2B D’Angelo Jimenez (COL) LHP Ed Yarnall (COL)

1B Nick Johnson (NOR)

1998 1B Nick Johnson (TAM) RHP Ryan Bradley (TAM/NOR/COL)

1997 3B Mike Lowell (COL/NOR) LHP Eric Milton (NOR/TAM)

1996 OF Ricky Ledee (COL/NOR) RHP Jay Tessmer (TAM)

1995 SS Derek Jeter (COL) RHP Matt Drews (TAM)

1994 SS Derek Jeter (TAM/ALB/COL) LHP Andy Pettitte (COL/ALB)

1993 OF Billy Masse (COL) LHP Ryan Karp (ALB/PRW/GBO)

1992 1B J.T. Snow (COL) RHP Sam Militello (COL)

1991 C Kiki Hernandez (GBO/PW) RHP Ed Martel (ALB/COL)

SS Dave Silvestri (ALB) RHP Sam Militello (PW/ALB)

1990 OF Hensley Meulens (COL) RHP Dave Eiland (COL)

1989 1B Hal Morris (COL) LHP Steve Adkins (FTL/ALB)

1988 1B Kevin Maas (PRW/ALB) RHP Todd Malone (Sarasota)

1987 OF Darren Reed (COL) RHP Dana Ridenour (FTL)

1986 3B Chris Alvarez (FTL) RHP Logan Easley (ALB)

1985 OF Dan Pasqua (COL) RHP Brad Arnsberg (ALB)

1984 C/OF Scott Bradley (COL) LHP Jim Deshaies (COL)

1983 OF Brian Dayett (COL) RHP Jose Rijo (FTL/Nashville)

1982 OF Matt Winters (GBO/Nashville) RHP Bob Tewksbury (FTL)

1981 1B Don Mattingly (COL) LHP Pete Filson (FTL/Nashville)

1980 1B Steve Balboni (Nashville) RHP Gene Nelson (FTL)

 *Denotes former Charleston RiverDog 

This Day in New York Yankees History 4/1: No News is Good News

You know what they say, no news is good news. I don’t see how that is grammatically possible because how can nothing be something, you know? Anyway I digress, apparently nothing of note happened on this day in Yankees history so you get the day off from your "learnings."

Five more days until Opening Day including today Yankees family, we’re close.