Thursday, May 14, 2015

Recap: Rays 6, Yankees 1

Chase Whitley left with an apparent injury and the Yankees dropped their third consecutive to the Rays, 6-1, on Thursday night at Tropicana Field.

Whitley Goes Down: The youngster surrendered a run and two walks through 1 2/3 innings, putting runners on the corners before exiting with discomfort in his elbow. Whitley is scheduled to have an MRI on Friday, and will be replaced by Chris Capuano in the rotation for the time being.

Rogers Struggles Again: Looking to escape trouble following Whitley's removal, the Yankees called upon Esmil Rogers to face Rene Rivera -- a matchup that seemed to favor the Yanks considering Rivera's sub-.150 batting average. The Rays catcher drilled the first pitch he saw over the center-field wall, however, extending the hosts' advantage to 4-0 and essentially dooming New York on the evening.

Feels Like April: The Yankees' offense got a single from Jacoby Ellsbury in the first, but when the team needed them most in the contest's middle stages, they simply failed to deliver. Indeed, not one Yankee logged a hit from innings 2-5 -- the club's only run coming on an Alex Rodriguez solo shot in the ninth.

Pirela Having Issues: Jose Pirela went 0-for-3 with two strikeouts, raising his K total to four in the series. He's still solidly hitting .294 overall, but the infielder has certainly floundered this week.

What's Happening?: The Yankees had won 17 of their last 23 prior to this set, going 5-1 against the Rays during that stretch. They last three of four in this trip to St. Petersburg, though, shortening their lead for first in the AL East to just one game.

Next Up: The Yankees will try to bounce back from this disappointment on Friday when they visit the Royals in Kansas City, beginning at 8:10 p.m. ET and airing live on PIX 11. Michael Pineda (5-0, 2.72 ERA) will take the mound for the Pinstripes hoping for a third straight quality start, opposing breakout Royals right-hander Chris Young (2-0, 0.78 ERA).

Game Thread: New York Yankees @ Tampa Bay Rays 5/14

For the final time this week it is game time between the New York Yankees and the Tampa Bay Rays. Tonight these two teams play the fourth game of their four game series this week at Tropicana Field with Chase Whitley taking the mound for the Yankees to face off with Erasmo Ramirez for the Rays. The game will be played at 7:10 pm ET and can be seen on MLB Network, WPIX Channel 11 and MLB TV.

The Yankees are taking the next step in their journey home back to the Bronx tonight so as they prepare to return home to Yankee Stadium we as the fans need to prepare for their arrival by purchasing some Yankees tickets. By clicking the Yankees Tickets link on the top of the blog you can get your tickets in hand for cheap before the team returns home to play host to the Texas Rangers. If you can’t make it out to the game live then live tweet with us on Twitter (@GreedyStripes) or in our comments section of the site every single night.

Frankly I hate playing inside Tropicana Field because it’s generally empty, quiet and not so pretty on the eyes so let’s get this one out of the way as quickly as possible. I smell a Rob Manfred special coming on. Mr. Whitley it’s time to get to work. Go Yankees!

Twitter Poll: Yankees Fans Don’t Want Tulo?

I didn’t plan on doing another Twitter poll yesterday but it just kind of happened when I asked the question whether the Yankees should acquire Troy Tulowitzki if he asked for a trade like he is expected to do this week. Even with the Yankees winning despite the black holes that are Stephen Drew and Didi Gregorius I expected the Yankees family, despite his injury history and large contract, to be all for acquiring their next #2 but I was shocked to see some of the responses I got. I posted this morning my post clamoring for Tulo in the Bronx and truth be told I wrote that on Tuesday night halfway expecting the majority of the Yankees fans to agree with me. I was shocked to read some of the responses and felt compelled to share them with you this afternoon before the game tonight with the Rays.

I know the guy has been injured a lot but so was AJ Burnett when the team acquired him off the free agent market and got at least a good season and a half of production out of him. He may not have pitched as well as the team had hoped but he took the ball every 5th day and seemed like he was a late bloomer when it came to durability. Getting Tulo out of the elevation in Colorado and surrounding him with a manager that will rest those nagging injuries and a team that is great in both range and overall defense, not to mention the DH position, I think Tulo could be fine. Apparently I’m in the minority here.

To be a part of our next twitter poll give us a follow on Twitter (@GreedyStripes) and be on the lookout for our next twitter poll tweet. We do these quite often because frankly I enjoy them and the people who are quoted seem very positive about them as well when they see their twitter handles on the blog. We will always let you know in advance that we will use your tweets on the blog post. 

Shift is Still Prevalent in MLB

The defensive shift in Major League Baseball is here, it’s been here and it’s here to stay apparently as the shift has been just as prevalent in 2015 as it has the last three or four seasons. Across the league through roughly 35 games teams have shifted on 3,395 balls in play this season which factors out to 17,666 times over a 162-game MLB season.

The Colorado Rockies have joined the shift campaign shifting 141 times already this season which puts the team on pace for 816 shifts in 2015. For a team that has had four consecutive losing seasons and a 10 game losing streak this season the team seems desperate to do anything they can to get an extra out here or there to help the team win. Colorado is currently on pace to shift seven times more than the entire team total in 2014 and is by far the highest percentage increase from 2014 to 2015 this season. The Diamondbacks are also joining the shift parade and are on pace for 659 shifts this season which is a 2.6 times larger number then it was in 2014.

The Detroit Tigers, Cincinnati Red and San Diego Padres seem to be joining the new trend as well and are on pace for 532, 502 and 491 shifts this season respectively. The highest shifted against players in the league this season have been Lucas Duda (106 times), David Ortiz (100), Chris Davis (90), Adrian Gonzalez (89) and Ryan Howard at 81 times. The New York Yankees are considered to be the most vulnerable team to be shifted against according to many but none of their players appeared on this list surprisingly, not even Brian McCann or Mark Teixeira.

Shifts are here to stay ladies and gentleman and Rob Manfred is not going to ban them so teams and players are going to have to start either beating them or employing them more because they aren’t going anywhere. The sluggers are likely going to be shifted against until they retire but the players like Chase Headley and others need to either go the other way more or drop a bunt down occasionally to counteract the shift. It has to be done or we’re going to see more perennial .300 hitters falling into the sub-.250’s due to the overwhelming shifts across Major League Baseball,

Game Preview: New York Yankees @ Tampa Bay Rays 5/14

For the final time this week, and hopefully for a while, the New York Yankees and the Tampa Bay Rays face off head to head inside Tropicana Field. The Yankees have pitched well this series and have hit the ball well for the most part and will look for yet another victory tonight before continuing their road trip in Kansas City tomorrow night. The team does have a getaway game tonight of sorts though that will showcase Chase Whitley on the mound for the Yankees and Erasmo Ramirez for the Rays. The game will be played at 7:10 pm ET and can be seen on MLB Network, WPIX Channel 11 and of course MLB TV.

  • Whitley is facing the Rays for the second time already this season after making his season debut against them on April 28 in the Bronx. Whitley went five innings allowing just one run and six hits in that game picking up his first victory of the season, something that hopefully repeats itself tonight inside Tropicana Field.

  • Ramirez is stepping out of the Rays bullpen and into the Rays rotation once again with the injury to Drew Smyly and will once again face off with the New York Yankees. In relief Ramirez allowed just two runs in his last five appearances, a two-run home run by Mark Teixeira on Monday, and has allowed 10 runs, nine earned, in 7.1 IP as a starter this season.

I’m not sure I am a fan of seeing your division rivals so many times during the first month or two of the regular season. I want these games in September so you can have exciting pennant chases and less scoreboard watching. I hate watching two or three games at one time you know what I mean? Anyway it’s not a big deal I guess as long as the Yankees keep winning the games the end result ends up being the same. Go Yankees!

The Troy Tulowitzki to the Bronx Parade Starts Here

As many of you know I am a big fan of Troy Tulowitzki and I have been beating the drum for him to come to the Bronx for a couple seasons now. Between the re-emergence of Derek Jeter in 2012, Jeter's retirement tour in 2014 and the hip surgery that Tulo underwent this offseason the stars have not aligned for Tulowitzki to follow in the footsteps of his idle in the Bronx. With the Yankees currently employing a struggling shortstop in Didi Gregorius and Tulo reportedly meeting with his agent this week to discuss whether to request a trade from the Colorado Rockies may align the stars as much as they are going to be aligned any time soon.

Paul Cohen represents Tulowitzki and may help him make the biggest decision of his career this coming week. While Cohen and Tulo could request a trade that doesn't mean Colorado has to honor that trade, I get that but this could be just the first domino to fall in an eventual breakup between the club and Tulowitzki. The bottom line is the Rockies have fallen victim to four consecutive losing seasons and while Tulo is oft-injured he has to be getting tired of losing, anybody would be.

The deal makes more sense then ever for the Yankees because Colorado would almost have to eat some of the salary owed to Tulowitzki, maybe even as much as half, due to the fact that Tulo is averaging just 117 games per season in his career. If Tulo is traded any team would be potentially taking on six years and $120 million after a $2 million bonus and an automatic no-trade protection triggers in his contract if he is traded. While the Yankees have been going defense first in the infield the team has long coveted Tulowitzki's services and may make an exception for another #2.

Will the Yankees make the deal? Honestly who knows but if they don't this season then they never will, that much seems clear to me. Tulo is not getting younger and will likely not exceed his best seasons going forward but he does represent a significant upgrade over what New York currently has in the Bronx. Should the Yankees make the deal? Of course it comes down to the deal, who the team is giving up and how much, if anything, Colorado would be willing to put into the deal to sweeten the pot. If New York can unload Didi for Tulo while not emptying the farm or taking on  $100 million on their books I think the team at least has to think about it... no?

TGP Daily Poll: Bronx Bombers Show Again on Thursday

The New York Yankees became the Bronx Bombers on Monday night against the Rays hitting five home runs. While they won’t hit five home runs again on Thursday against Tampa they will hit at least three in another victory over the Rays.

Vote in our prediction poll on

Weekly Check In: Tyler Austin

Tyler Austin is currently in a holding pattern down in Scranton as he has done enough to warrant a call up on most teams, not New York of course, but does not have an obvious spot on the roster. If I were making the decisions I think I would have to let Garrett Jones off the hook and let him go elsewhere while calling up Austin. The Georgia boy has played third base, first base and the outfield in his professional career with the Yankees and could not be any worse defensively then Jones has been. Honestly he could probably be better at first base especially and that’s not even his natural position, Jones is that bad right now with the glove.

While it may hurt his development to bring him up and sit him on the bench rather than letting him play every day with the RailRiders I would much rather see these stats in the Bronx then in some town in Pennsylvania. 


This Day in New York Yankees History 5/14: Dwight Gooden No-Hitter

On this day in 1996 Dwight Gooden threw 135 pitches and threw a no-hitter against the Seattle Mariners. The Yankees would win the game 2-0 and the 31 year old Gooden would become the eight Yankee pitcher to throw a no hitter in their history. Gooden hadn't won a game in nearly two years prior to the no hitter and was almost released a month prior after a slow start to his season.

Also on this day in 1967 Mickey Mantle kept his promise to his wife Merlyn and hit his 500th career home run on Mother's Day. The "Commerce Comet" was the sixth player to ever reach the 500 home run club when he hit a ball into the right field corner off Orioles pitcher Stu Miller.

Finally on this day in 1920 the New York Giants informed the New York Yankees that their lease to play in the Polo Grounds would not be renewed at the end of the season. The Yankees have played at the Polo Grounds since 1913 and will continue to play there until Yankee Stadium was completed in 1923. Speculation was that the Giants were not pleased with the acquisition of Babe Ruth for the Yankees and that was the reason they wanted them out of their stadium.