Thursday, May 28, 2015

Game Thread: New York Yankees @ Oakland Athletics 5/28

When the clock strikes 10:05 pm ET on the East Coast the New York Yankees and the Oakland Athletics will take the field for the first of a four game set inside Oakland Coliseum. Tonight the Yankees will send their big lefty CC Sabathia to the mound looking to start a new winning streak while Kendall Graveman looks to start a winning streak for the Athletics. The game will be played at 10:05 pm ET and can be seen on the YES Network and MLB TV.

The Yankees stay out west for a few weeks before returning home to the Bronx in June. Have your Yankees tickets in hand for when the team returns home by clicking the Yankees Tickets link at the top of the blog. If you can’t make it live then that’s not a problem simply join us on twitter by following @GreedyStripes or join us on the comments section to keep the conversation going.

Mr. Sabathia will take it from here, go Yankees!!

Tanaka is Coming Back, Heathcott is Injured & I'm Going to Bed

While We Wait: Marlins Should Make A-Rod Their Next Manager

While we wait is going to be a daily series where we showcase a post from another site, giving full credit of course to the author, that I thought would be an interesting read while we wait. This will obviously be a thing we see when the Yankees are playing those annoying 10:05 pm ET starts on the west coast and not a regular occurrence, unless you guys show some support and really enjoy the posts of course. With the first post in the "While We Wait" series we showcase the USA Today's post that states that the Miami Marlins should make Alex Rodriguez their next manager. Enjoy:

Though the Marlins are only nine games deep into their experiment with former GM Dan Jennings in the manager’s chair, Buster Olney of presents a fascinating for Miami’s next manager: Alex Rodriguez.

He knows situations, he knows players, he watches other players. He is a fan of the sport. I would assume that if Rodriguez does not get a job on some team’s staff after retiring, he’ll probably work in television, and I suspect he would be pretty good at it because it’s clear, when you hear him discuss specific parts of the game, that he has accumulated a staggering amount of knowledge about how the game is played….
Rodriguez is owed about $41 million for the next two seasons, and even though he has been better than expected this season, Rodriguez knows his best days as a player are in the past. He might leap at the chance for a post-career lifeline and approve a deal, and if the Yankees could save $2 million or $3 million a year for the next two years in some sort of settlement with the Marlins, maybe they’d be open to it, in turn keeping open the DH spot for their aging roster.

Olney’s entire, Insider-only column is worth reading, as he details Rodriguez’s positive relationships with young players and the city of Miami. It makes a pretty reasonable case that hiring Rodriguez would be a decent baseball move.

It would also be an incredible and hilarious troll move on the part of Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria, like even far beyond the time his team hired its GM as field manager despite no experience playing, coaching or managing professionally.

One big issue with the plan, though: A-Rod is still playing really well. Actually, his .919 OPS would lead all Miami regulars. So if the Marlins can really have Rodriguez from the Yankees for a couple million dollars’ worth of salary relief, they’d probably be better off with him at a corner infield spot than on the bench. Or — or! — they could make him the game’s first player-manager since Pete Rose.

We say: Do it. Do it, do it, do it.

Meet a Prospect: Jacob Lindgren

Jacob Lindgren was finally called up this week after the team needed a fresh arm in the bullpen and made his major league debut on Memorial Day for the Yankees. Lindgren threw two scoreless innings of relief for New York on Monday after a blowout at the hands of the Texas Rangers forced the team to send down Branden Pinder and call up Lindgren. We introduced Lindgren to the masses when he was drafted in the 2014 MLB First Year Player's Draft and we will re-introduce Mr. Lindgren to the family today since he is with the club now and hopefully with the club to stay. Allow me to re-introduce myself Jacob Lindgren.

Lindgren was a starting pitcher in his Sophomore season at Mississippi State and posted a modest 4-3 record with a 4.18 ERA in 14 starts before converting to the bullpen for his Junior season. Lindgren appeared in 24 games this season and posted a 0.81 ERA with a 16.29 K/9 ratio while allowing just 23 hits, 22 of them singles, and striking out an even 100 batters.

Lindgren struggles with command and has some questionable mechanics on a smaller frame but still strikes out plenty of batters with a hard slider and a 93-94 MPH fastball. Lindgren hides the ball well but struggles with consistency and release points at times making him a project, but a fast mover nonetheless.

The Yankees do not have a shutdown left handed relief pitcher in the system currently unless they plan on using either Manny Banuelos or Jeremy Bleich out of the pen. Lindgren is going to be a site for sore eyes in the Yankees bullpen sooner rather than later.

On the 20-80 scale that scouts use Lindgren has a 60 fastball, 65 slider, 45 command, and compares to BJ Ryan. It would not surprise me one but to see Lindgren up this September with the big league club.

Position: LHP
DOB: 03/12/1993 (Age: 21)
Height/Weight: 5'11", 205 pounds
Bats/Throws: R/L
School: Mississippi State (Junior)

Game Preview: New York Yankees @ Oakland Athletics 5/28

Tonight the Yankees head west for the first time this season when the club faces off with the struggling Oakland Athletics inside Oakland Coliseum. The Yankees are fresh off a great series against the best record holding Kansas City Royals while the A’s continue to struggle and pile up injuries this season. Tonight the Yankees will send CC Sabathia to the mound to face off with the A’s Kendall Graveman. The game will be played at 10:05 pm ET and can be seen on the YES Network and MLB TV.

  • Sabathia has possibly his worst start of the season last time out when he failed to make it out of the third inning against the Texas Rangers. Sabathia was coming off back-to-back strong starts before the debacle inside Yankee Stadium and will look to get back to his winning ways tonight in Oakland.

  • Graveman is coming off a start in which he pitched six shutout innings against the Tampa Bay Rays on Saturday after spending four weeks in the minor leagues. Graveman is taking the roster spot and rotation spot of the injured Drew Pomeranz and will be making his first start this season against the Yankees.

If I get to watch three or four innings of this contest I will consider myself very lucky, I just can’t stay up for these late games anymore. I guess they call that a bit of getting old but anyway if I am MIA on Twitter tonight don’t send a rescue party or call the police, I’m probably snoring on the couch. As long as I wake up to a Yankees victory it all makes it worth it in the morning. Go Yankees!!

Luis Severino Promoted to AAA

Earlier today it was announced that Luis Severino was promoted to AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

Although Severino did not go longer than six innings in all eight of his starts at AA Trenton, and had a little setback when he ran into issues with blisters, in his last two starts he's thrown 10 innings while giving up just three hits, two earned runs, two walks, and 14 strikeouts.

While nothing is official, Luis is currently on schedule to start on Sunday, when the RailRiders will host the Norfolk Tides (Orioles).

From Derek To Didi

Like this, only somehow with better writing, acting, and... well... just better.

I'm going to start off by showing you some of the achievements, or lack thereof, of two players.

Player A
-1996 American League Rookie of the Year
-14 time AL All Star
-3 time finisher in top 3 of AL MVP voting
-5 time Silver Slugger Award winner
-5 World Series Championships
-7 AL Pennants
-5 AL Gold Glove Awards
-2000 World Series MVP
-All Time Yankees Leader in Hits
-All Time Yankees Leader in Doubles
-All Time Yankees Leader in Stolen Bases

Player B
-Did not win Rookie of the Year
-No All Star selections
-No MVP votes
-No Gold Glove Awards
-Let's just say he has no awards of significance
-.243/.313/.366 before being traded to New York

I probably don't have to tell you who those players are, but just in case...

Player A is Derek Jeter, and Player B is Didi Gregorius.

Furthermore, I probably don't have to point out that Derek Jeter was not just some "role" player with the Yankees, but was arguably the best player to wear Yankees pinstripes since Mickey Mantle. Actually, Mickey is among just four players in the history of the franchise to amass a higher bWAR than Jeter.

Let the arguments continue.

So to say Didi Gregorius is under pressure as The Captain's heir at shortstop is perhaps the understatement of the century. How can a 25 year-old succeed in such an environment? Heck, when I was that age I was under no pressure, and to call me a "success" would have been laughable. Just saying I was doing "okay" in life at that age is a whopper. But here we are watching this kid trying to follow in the footsteps of one of the greatest Yankees of all time, and do so in an era where criticism is thrown at him from every possible angle.

Back in 1996, when Tino Martinez was playing first base after beloved Yankee Don Mattingly retired, he didn't have to deal with the internet and everything that comes with it (blogs, comment boards, Twitter, etc). Tino had to answer questions from a handful of beat writers for the local newspapers, and perhaps some national reporters too.

On that note, I don't think it would be a bad idea for Didi to shut down his Twitter account. Take a step back from all the craziness that goes on there. Sure, you could say he could ignore the idiots that run amok there, but you know as well as I that that's an impossible task. We have a little over 3,000 followers on Twitter, and I see some silly stuff every time I log on there. Didi, on the other hand, has over 26,000 followers. I'm sure he sees a lot more stupid stuff than I do.

Although, I do drive around Columbus every day, where stupidity runs rampant.

Gregorius will most likely never be a great hitter. His triple slash in AAA was .287/.350/.452, and it's very rare that a player exceeds or even meets those numbers in MLB. If Didi ever comes close to those numbers we should count ourselves lucky.

One thing we can all expect out of Didi is to be a great defender. While he's had plenty of brain farts in the field this season, we've also seen glimpses of greatness. He has a fantastic arm to go along with excellent range... two things that you can't teach a player. He can be coached on how to slow things down, and not try to do too much (see the flip play he tried to make in the 8th inning of yesterday's game). In fact, by this time next year, I'm willing to bet we will watch balls hit his way and assume he's going to complete the play flawlessly. And every once in a while we'll think "no way he's got that one", only to watch him pull off a Web Gem.

We all succumb to emotional knee-jerk reactions. When Didi strikes out in a big situation we're going to get mad. When he boots a ball that should have been routine, we're going to want to punch something or somebody (namely him). But I'm begging all Yankees fans to stop themselves from calling for Didi's head when he messes up, because... again... he's a 25 year-old kid following in the footsteps of one of the greatest Yankees of all time.

Now, if nothing's improved by the end of the season, then I may write something completely different about him here. But for right now, just 41 games into his career as a Yankee, I'm cutting him some slack.

If you still can't let your anger go, then here's a picture that should brighten your day.

First Set of All Star Game Ballots Released

Voting for the 2015 version of the Major League Baseball All Star Game has been open for around a month now and the league has released their first set of results for the voting. There are many members of the New York Yankees that are currently on the ballots that may or may not be deserving of the fan votes and the honor but none are at the top of the ballots at this time.

The Yankees with the most votes to date are Alex Rodriguez who is third among DH's with 351,567 votes, Mark Teixeira who is third among AL first baseman with 342,788 votes and Brian McCann is fourth among AL catchers with 342,826 votes. The leading Yankees vote-getter and probably most deserving of the All Star Game nod is Jacoby Ellsbury who had received 546,188 votes but still ranks just 8th overall among American League outfielders. Brett Gardner and Carlos Beltran rank 12th and 13th respected for the AL in the outfield in case you were wondering with no other players reasonably close in the voting thus far.

Royals catcher Salvador Perez has garnered the most votes of any player thus far this season with his 1,447,753 votes and would join four other Royals teammates in the starting lineup if voting for the mid-summer classic ended today. Alcides Escobar, Mike Moustakas and Lorenzo Cain are also starting if the voting ended today and have all garnered over 1,000,000 votes respectively in around a month's worth of voting. The Royals have two other players in second place in Kendrys Morales and Eric Hosmer while Alex Rios is currently sixth among AL outfielders leaving the possibility that Kansas City could conceivably have all nine starting spots in the All Star Game this season. No way that happens, right?

TGP Daily Poll: Yankees Win Series w/ Oakland

The Oakland Athletics may be the worst team in the American League right now with no hope or hero on a white horse in sight. The Yankees start a four game series inside Oakland Coliseum this week and will win at least three of them.

Vote in our prediction poll on

Weekly Check In: Tyler Austin

Tyler Austin has been mired in a season long slump in 2015 leaving his batting average hovering around the Mendoza Line. Austin has taken steps forward every year of his minor league career when healthy and I have to wonder if he is simply pressing or suffering from being in the minor leagues for too long. I am a big time believer that you can stunt a player’s development by leaving them in the minor leagues or in any affiliate for too long. A player needs to be challenged or he gets bored, remember when Zack Greinke was so bored he used to make up games while pitching major league contests? Hopefully this is just a mechanical thing and Austin can get back on track because the Yankees may need an outfielder before it’s all said and done in 2015.

Here’s the stat line that must improve or we will be forced to check in weekly with another prospect, maybe Ramon Flores. 


This Day in New York Yankees History 5/28: Mo Reaches 300 Saves

On this day in 2004 Mariano Rivera converted his 300th save of his career in a 7-5 win over the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. Rivera would become the 17th reliever in major league history to reach the historic milestone.

Also on this day in 1946 the first night game is played in New York at Yankee Stadium when General Electric president Charles E. Wilson throws out the first pitch. The Yankees drew 49,917 fans as the Washington Senators beat the Yankees 2-1. Dutch Leonard would have a complete game for the Senators and allowed only six hits to improve his record to 5-0 on the season.