Thursday, April 16, 2015

Yankees Interested in Braves Jose Peraza

The New York Yankees reportedly have interest in the top prospect in the Atlanta Braves system, Jose Peraza. Peraza is playing second base only because he is blocked by current Braves shortstop Andrelton Simmons and is a natural shortstop by trade and is only 20 years old playing in Triple-A Gwinnett.

The Yankees have informed the Braves GM John Hart that they have interest in Peraza and have sent scouts to watch him play this season in Atlanta. Peraza hit .339/.364/.441 with 20 doubles, 11 triples, two home runs and 60 stolen bases last season but is only out to a .214 average this season in 28 at bats.

Peraza is 6' 0" and right handed with an above average bat, above average defense and a more than adequate arm for his age. New York will reportedly not give up top prospect Luis Severino in any sort of deal but instead Gary Sanchez may be the center piece coming from the Yankees along with another player.

Yankees Off Day Open Thread

Normally this would be the time where we’re all gearing up for the Yankees game tonight. We’re all checking the lineups, seeing who is available out of the pen, reading my very awesome game previews, etc. etc. etc. And then we have the unfortunate days like today when the Yankees will not take the field and will not play a game, they call these off days.

So instead of a game thread for tonight we’re going to go with an open thread for the off day, maybe we will do one of these on every off day. Chat about whatever you want, the upcoming series with the Tampa Bay Rays, Hillary Clinton running for President of the United States, Cuba, whatever. Go wild and have a great evening Yankees family.

Comparisons: 2015 CC Sabathia to 2008 Mike Mussina

While I was watching CC Sabathia’s second start of the young season on Tuesday night I was very encouraged by what I saw. Sure CC gave up more runs than we are accustomed to seeing from him and totally gave up on covering first and third base on plays but there were a ton of positives to pull from it. CC is still a work in progress but he was striking people out despite his dip in velocity, was keeping the ball down and for the most part kept the ball in the ballpark. Most importantly though he kept his team in the game and at this point in his career that’s all that really matters. CC reminds me more and more of another Yankees hurler at the end of his career that learned to pitch, not throw, with a lower velocity and succeeded, Mike Mussina.

Mussina won 20 games for the first time in his career in 2008, his final season, with a fastball that sat around 88 or 89 MPH, much like Sabathia’s has been sitting this season. CC would be lucky, in my opinion, to win 15 games this season let alone 20 games but you have to keep in mind that Mussina had a few more years to work on the transition from a power strikeout pitcher to a control pitcher. Mussina was 39 years old at the time while CC is just 34, although his degenerative knee problem and subsequent surgery may leave his body feeling more like he is 37 or 38. Mussina also had one powerful offspeed pitch to work off of that he had great control over his entire career, the knuckle curve, where CC has more or less lived and died off his fastball and slider.

Mussina learned to pitch without the velocity and still had swing and miss stuff much like another Yankee that recently retired, Andy Pettitte. Pettitte reportedly worked with CC on this over the winter and I have to say in an incredibly small sample size the teachings have been working. Sabathia is far from a finished product but if he can keep this up and keep getting better and more confident with every start then the remainder of his contract may not be the black hole that we all may have originally thought. 

Yankees Leaders Through Nine Games

The New York Yankees have played a whopping nine games this season, three each against the Toronto Blue Jays, the Boston Red Sox and the Baltimore Orioles, and have had an up and down season to date. One night the team looks like a little league team playing against a High School team and the next they look like the bullies that are beating up on the Bad News Bears. All in all I see a lot of positives to pull from these first two weeks of the season whether they reflect in the win/loss column or not and whether they really show on this list of the Yankees leaders thus far in 2015.

Let’s take a look first at the offense that has been more like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and less like the Bronx Bombers that some of us have grown accustomed to seeing.

GP: 9 (Carlos Beltran, Alex Rodriguez, Chase Headley and Didi Gregorius)

H: 10 (Jacoby Ellsbury)

HR: 3 (Mark Teixeira)

RBI: 7 (Alex Rodriguez)

BA: .290 (Jacoby Ellsbury - regulars) .333 (Chris Young - bench)

SB: 2 (Jacoby Ellsbury)

2B: 4 (Carlos Beltran)

The pitching is supposed to be the strong suit for the team this season, especially the bullpen, and honestly it has lived up to the hype thus far. I know that two weeks is an extremely small sample size but I’d rather be great the first two weeks and have something to build on rather than left on this off day wondering what in the world is going on.

G:5 (Chris Martin & David Carpenter)

ERA: 1.69 ( Adam Warren - starters) 0.00 (Andrew Miller - bullpen)

W/L: 1-1 (Masahiro Tanaka) 1-0 (Michael Pineda)

K: 15 (CC Sabathia and Michael Pineda)

S: 2 (Andrew Miller)

Carlos Beltran, You’re Worrying Me

* naturally this was written before last night's game where he did well. 

Carlos Beltran was one of the seemingly knee jerk reactions that the New York Yankees had when they lost out on free agent Robinson Cano just a couple winters ago. Beltran has waited patiently to play in a Yankees uniform for much of his career and when finally given the shot has really struggled in pinstripes. Last season was chalked up as a loss because of an ailing bone spur problem that bothered him and required offseason surgery to repair. Beltran is said to be healthy and feeling no pain and effects from the surgery but is still continuing to struggle at the bat not only this season but in the spring as well. When is it too early to start worrying about Beltran and what his lack of offense is doing to the New York Yankees?

When the Yankees hitting coach Jeff Pentland was asked this very question he responded that Beltran was “frustrated” and he’s “not used to struggling” according to the New York Post. Beltran has been a great hitter for his entire career, even when oft-injured with the Mets, but has struggled mightily since returning to New York. Beltran was batting .156 after hitting a double in Tuesday night’s game with four RBI in the Yankees first eight games. What also compounds the problem, and makes me worry, is that his on base percentage is only 20 points higher at .176 so without really looking he couldn’t have taken more than one or two walks this season.

Beltra turns 38 years old next week and is in the second year of a three year deal worth $45 million with the Yankees. Beltran is a career .281 hitter and has 373 home runs in his career and before coming to New York led the St. Louis Cardinals to the World Series with a .296 batting average, 24 home runs and 84 RBI. Those numbers with New York are a far cry from what the Yankees were expecting when they signed him and I don’t know about you guys but I’m beginning to worry. If he was taking his walks or having good at bats or even playing adequate defense that would be one thing, when a guy is struggling and leaving me struggling to find a redeeming factor and quality about him I tend to worry. Well Beltran, I’m worried. 

Prove me wrong, please?

TGP Daily Poll: Yankees Not in Last Place After April

If you go on twitter (@GreedyStripes) you would think the sky is falling above Yankee Stadium after just two weeks’ worth of games that actually count. The Yankees may not be in first place but it’s not like they are going to be in last place either when the calendar changes to May.

Vote in our predictions poll on

Yankees Off Day Walk Up Music Recommendation: Jacoby Ellsbury

With the Yankees entering their second off day of the young 2015 season I wanted to bring back something we did all of last season, music recommendations. We’re not just doing any old music recommendations though as this is a Yankees blog, and if you want music you will likely go to a music blog, so I will try and mix the two once again this season by showcasing the walk up music for our beloved Yankees players.

Jacoby Ellsbury leads off for the Yankees so we’ll start with his walk up music, N**** in Paris by New York's very own Jay-Z. 


This Day in New York Yankees History 4/16: Sweet Caroline & the Evil Empire

On this day in 2013 the Yankee Stadium fans and the New York Yankees players sang Neil Diamond's Sweet Caroline to pay tribute to the victims of the Boston Marathon bombing. Sweet Caroline is the anthem for the Boston Red Sox which makes it significant. Prior to the game with the Arizona Diamondbacks the Yankees displayed their logo alongside the Red Sox logo with the words "United We Stand" on an outside video board.

Evil Empire huh?