Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Game Thread: New York Yankees vs. Oakland Athletics 7/8

For the second time in as many nights the New York Yankees and the Oakland Athletics will face off head-to-head inside Yankee Stadium. The pitching matchups were advertised as great for the entire series and this game should be no exception with the Yankees sending CC Sabathia to the mound to face off with the A’s starter Scott Kazmir. The game will be played at 7:05 pm ET and can be seen on the YES Network and MLB TV.

The Yankees have one more game tomorrow in the Bronx before the team heads out to Fenway Park to pay a visit to David Ortiz and the Boston Red Sox so that leaves you with one more opportunity to click the Yankees Tickets link at the top of the blog and grab a pair of tickets to root for the home team in the Bronx. If you can’t make it to the stadium live then that’s no problem, simply jump on Twitter (@GreedyStripes) to interact with us during each and every Yankees games.

I’m interested to see what Sabathia and Larry Rothschild worked on this week so I’m going to get off here and watch the game. Go Yankees!

Ellsbury & Miller Return Tonight!

"We're back, baby!"

Tonight, the Yankees will welcome back two important members to the team.

After missing 43 games with a freak knee injury, Jacoby Ellsbury will make his return to the Yankees lineup. While the team has actually scored more runs per game without Jacoby (4.80 vs. 4.38), the offense certainly will be stronger with their leadoff hitter.

While Dellin Betances has filled in admirably as the team's closer, Andrew Miller will also return from the disabled list after suffering a strained forearm muscle. The bullpen has done pretty well in Miller's absence, but just like the offense will get stronger with Ellsbury back, the Yankee bullpen just got a whole lot stronger.

Unfortunately, these two returns mean that two men will return to the minor leagues. 

Ramon Flores, who started off pretty well but fell hard back to Earth, was optioned. Joining him will be Nick Rumbelow (sorry Daniel), who has done well in his short stint, but with Adam Warren joining the bullpen he doesn't really have a roll.

Yankees Scout Cueto, Headley is Injured, Miller and Ellbury Back and so much more

Here is a quick little "catch me up" type post for you to get caught up on all the latest Yankees news before tonight's game, assuming Mother Nature allows it.

  • The 2015 Home Run Derby Field is set and Mark Teixeira is not participating thankfully.

  • The New York Yankees have been following around the Cincinnati Reds and have been scouting almost every Johnny Cueto and Mike Leake start. The Orioles were also in attendance to watch Cueto's start last night so this could get interesting fast. 

  • New York made their first signing of the new International signing period and his name is Luis Medina. Medina signed for $280K and a scholarship to go to school worth $120K. The Dominican born RHP is the first the Yankees signed with their new spending restrictions after blowing past their allocated budget in the last signing period.

  • Jacoby Ellsbury and Andrew Miller are both activated for tonight's game with the Oakland Athletics. To no one's surprise the Yankees optioned RHP Nick Rumbelow to accommodate Miller and OF Ramon Flores for Ellsbury. 

  • Brett Gardner is fourth among the five finalists in the All-Star Game Final Vote. See below for the official standings and which hashtag you can use to vote for Gardner starting Friday.


1. Mike Moustakas (KC) – #VoteMoose
2. Brian Dozier (MIN) – #VoteDozier
3. Yoenis Cespedes (DET) – #VoteYo
4. Brett Gardner (NYY) – #VoteGardy
5. Xander Bogaerts (BOS) – #XforASG


1. Johnny Cueto (CIN) – #VoteCueto
2. Troy Tulowitzki (COL) – #Tulo
3. Carlos Martinez (STL) – #VoteTsunami
4. Clayton Kershaw (LAD) – #MVPtoASG
5. Jeurys Familia (NYM) – #VoteFamilia

The Year of the Prospect Continues

For the first time in a long time the New York Yankees are actually relying on, and relying heavily on I might add, players from their farm system. While I only give the Yankees half credit, they are turning to their prospects because of injuries to their key veterans like Jacoby Ellsbury and Andrew Miller to name a few and it’s too early in the season to take on anyone else’s leftovers, the Yankees are using them nonetheless. The Yankees aren’t the only team to turn to prospects in a time of need this season, it seems like everyone is doing it. Byron Buxton came up with the Minnesota Twins before suffering an injury while the Cubs finally called up Kris Bryant to anchor their offense. I always thought this year would be remembered as the Year of the Prospect and that thought was solidified when the American League and National League All-Star rosters were announced.

All in all, and barring injury replacements and such, 10 players will be making their first trips to the All-Star Game in 2015 and many of them, 35 players to be exact, are age 27 or younger. These numbers are subject to change as well with the final vote still going on as the Yankees left fielder Brett Gardner is eligible for his first All-Star Game appearance as well if he wins the fan vote. Gardner could be potentially joining rookies Joc Pederson and Kris Bryant for the National League and Brock Holt of the Boston Red Sox for the American League.

It’s not all prospects though as AJ Burnett is a first-time All-Star in his age 38, and final, season while 35 year old’s Albert Pujols and Mark Teixeira are back in the game after being absent for a few years. Of course there are snubs, Clayton Kershaw isn’t an All-Star for an example, while Miguel Cabrera and Giancarlo are both slated to miss the game due to injuries. The game should be entertaining and it should have some familiar faces from around the league but it’s also going to have a ton of new faces to get to know in 2015. The Year of the Prospect continues… 

Potential Trade Partners: The Milwaukee Brewers

The New York Yankees are still atop the American League East despite essentially black holes at second base and right field while the bullpen that was showcased as a plus has been anything but.  I’ve said it in every one of these posts and I’ll say it again here, the American League East Division will be decided by the July 31st trading deadline. While the last two teams we covered, the Cincinnati Reds and the Chicago White Sox, are unsure of whether they will sell or not but one thing for sure is the Milwaukee Brewers will sell this summer, could the Yankees take advantage?

Milwaukee has stated that they would like to build around, not sell off, pieces like starting pitcher Jimmy Nelson, catcher Jonathan LuCroy and shortstop Jean Segura but the team would be willing to sell on about anyone else. The list of available players for trade is highlighted by center fielder Carlos Gomez and closer Francisco Rodriguez while Aramis Ramirez and others will likely be shipped off before seasons end. The only two players that would really fill a need for New York would be second baseman Scooter Gennett, who the team would like to hold onto if they could, and very expensive outfielder Ryan Braun. Gennett is hitting .240 and has posted a .279 OBP this season with four home runs and 16 RBI. Gennett would not come cheap and is likely out of the Yankees budget as far as prospects go. Young middle infielders with upside, good defense and pop are hard to come by these days making Gennett unlikely to even be traded, let alone to the Yankees.

Braun is intriguing to some, not so much to others. He has had issues with his thumb for the last few seasons and has seen a steep decline in his numbers as well. Braun was also involved in the Biogenesis scandal that cost Alex Rodriguez his 2014 season while he also comes attached to a hefty salary with all these questions marks making his acquisition questionable. What is not questionable is his on the field performance which is evident by his .273 average, .339 OBP, 15 home runs and 55 RBI. Braun would give the Yankees another middle of the order bat that hits from the right side and an enormous upgrade over Carlos Beltran. If the Yankees take on the whole salary they could also pay less in terms of prospects, but would they?

Honestly New York would not make the trade for Braun. The team has aspirations of getting under the luxury tax threshold either in 2017 or 2018 and Braun’s contract that runs through the 2021 season (his age 32-37 seasons) for $111 million doesn’t exactly fit into that plan. If Braun was able to replicate his numbers he posted earlier in his career he’d still be a bargain for $20 million or less annually and could replace the production left behind when Mark Teixeira and A-Rod’s contract expires but I just can’t see the Yankees doing it. It makes too much sense to do it now when they can wait until he’s broken down and 35 or 36 years old and get him in a “salary dump” type trade. Silly Yankees.

A-Rod and the magic number

Oh, A-Rod. Just think what could have been!

Despite the proven allegations of A-Rod’s PED use, the euphoria surrounding the chase for his 3,000 struck a similar tone to when Derek Jeter was chasing his 3,000 hit. Both Jeter and A-Rod hit homeruns to achieve the milestone. Yet Jeter is a sure-fire first ballot Hall of Famer while A-Rod must settle for his season of redemption.

It’s a shame that his need to artificially supplement his natural talents will prevent A-Rod from having a Hall of Fame career. He will undoubtedly go down as one of the best players to ever play the game. However, after his playing career is finished, A-Rod will be ostracized by the game in a similar manner to Pete Rose. Pete Rose’s accomplishments are certainly historic, but his actions during his playing and managerial career got himself blacklisted from the MLB.

As a result of suing the MLBPA, A-Rod — whether he wants to acknowledge it or not —alienated his peers in the game. While he is saying all the right things now, it is too little too late. With that being said, 3,000 hits is still 3,000 hits. The accomplishment may be tainted, but from where I sit, it does not take away from the hard work required to achieve this milestone.

Only if A-Rod did it the right way…

Game Preview: New York Yankees vs. Oakland Athletics 7/8

The New York Yankees and the Oakland Athletics face off again tonight in the Bronx and inside Yankee Stadium as these two teams face off head-to-head in the second of their three game set. The Yankees will send CC Sabathia to the mound this evening on three days extra rest and hopefully equipped with some new mechanics and a new game plan that he and Yankees pitching coach Larry Rothschild went over during the week. Opposing Sabathia will be another tough left-handed starting pitcher in Scott Kazmir for the A’s. The game will be played at 7:05 pm ET and can be seen on the YES Network and MLB TV.

  • Sabathia is coming into the start after having his last start skipped by Yankees manager Joe Girardi. Sabathia has allowed 10 runs over his last 12 innings in two starts and has been working on sharpening his pitches in the bullpen with pitching coach Larry Rothschild. With Sabathia being skipped he misses starts against the Tampa Bay Rays and the Boston Red Sox while being limited to just one start before the All-Star break.

  • Kazmir is coming off a dominating performance last time out over the Seattle Mariners. Kazmir pitched eight shutout inning against Seattle leading the A’s to a 4-0 victory over Nelson Cruz and Robinson Cano. Kazmir pitched at least seven innings in each of his last three starts and has only allowed a total of four runs combined in that span meaning it could be a long night for the Yankees offense tonight.

These two teams face off one more time tomorrow afternoon before the Yankees take their talents to Fenway Park to hopefully pick on the Boston Red Sox. The Red Sox, like the Athletics, have played much better baseball as of late so neither series will be a walk in the park for the Yankees. Here’s to hoping the team is up to the task. Go Yankees!

Taking a Waiver on Jason Frasor

When I heard the news that the Kansas City Royals had designated Jason Frasor for assignment I didn’t really think twice about it. I’m not in the loop as much as I’d like to be so I knew that Frasor was doing well but I didn’t know how well until Jack Niemuth, a writer here for TGP, commented that the Yankees needed to take a look at signing or trading for Frasor. When he posted some stats for Frasor this season I did some research and I was immediately intrigued. Jack was right, it’s time to take a waiver on Jason Frasor.

Now yesterday I laid out my plan to bring Andrew Miller back into the bullpen fold and while I wanted to designate Chris Capuano for assignment I knew that either Nick Rumbelow or Bryan Mitchell would be the ones to get sent down. Both Rumbelow and Mitchell throw from the right side and have been highly effective in their bullpen stints this season but neither have been as effective as the veteran Frasor. Frasor has posted a 1.54 ERA in 26 games for the Royals this season and when he is the one being designated for assignment you know that bullpen is legit.

Frasor is 37 years old and would come with a veteran presence and postseason experience that Joe Girardi and Brian Cashman love while also coming with American League and specifically American League East experience. Frasor was once a member of the Toronto Blue Jays organization and will likely have to be claimed and traded for after being designated for assignment for the first time in his career. There is absolutely no way he clears waivers and there is absolutely no way he gets released or ends up a free agent, he’s too good not to.

The waiver process goes according to league and record with the worst teams in the American League getting first dibs so the Yankees will have some competition for his services. It’s unlikely that Frasor falls to New York and it is probably unlikely that New York claims him, it makes too much sense to and really makes the bullpen a plus again, because it should happen. Good eye and good catch Jack, hopefully we can say the same about Cashman this time next week. 


Brett Gardner is one of the five finalists in the running for the final spot on the American League All-Star team that you can vote for by using the hashtag #VoteGardy. Gardner is going to win and make his first All-Star Game in his career.

Vote in our prediction poll on

Weekly Check In: Greg Bird

In last Wednesday’s check in with Greg Bird I mentioned that the Yankees first base prospect was likely the next recipient of a promotion in the Yankees system. Bird was in Double-A with the Trenton Thunder when the post went live and was in Triple-A with the Scranton Wilkes-Barre RailRiders before the week was done, who says Brian Cashman and the Yankees don’t read The Greedy Pinstripes?

In all seriousness though Bird was finally effective, and more importantly healthy, enough to garner the promotion and is in perfect line to replace Mark Teixeira when his contract expires. Bird will likely spend the remainder of the season in Scranton barring a catastrophic injury to Garrett Jones and will at least compete for a job in Spring Training 2016 as long as everything goes as planned.

The RailRiders now have the great problem of having too many good players and potentially not enough positions to play them all. Kyle Roller is an All-Star this season at first base while Austin Romine in behind the plate, Aaron Judge is in right field and has dabbled in center field some all while Luis Severino continues to shut guys down on the mound. It’s a great problem to have and the future looks bright in the Bronx.


This Day in New York Yankees History 7/8: Yankees Sweep Mets

On this day in 2000 the Yankees swept the New York Mets in the first double ballpark doubleheader since 1903 with a pair of 4-2 victories. The first game was won by the Yankees 4-2 in Shea Stadium and the night cap was won in Yankee Stadium by that same 4-2 score. You can also remember this day as the day Mike Piazza was hospitalized after being hit by a pitch by the Yankees Roger Clemens. Dwight "Doc" Gooden also got his first win at Shea since 1994 in the first contest.

Also on this day in 1947 the Yankees rookie right hander Spec Shea becomes the first rookie to win an All Star Game. The 26 year old throws three innings in the American League's 2-1 victory in Chicago's Wrigley Field. Shea would deal with sore and dead arm issues after the game that would severely hamper his season and career with the Yankees.

Too many times in today's game we have seen Major League Baseball change their rules to negatively affect or even hurt the New York Yankees. You can look at things like the luxury tax, international spending caps, draft slot recommendations and penalties, the fact that the Kansas City Athletics couldn't trade any players to the Yankees for 18 months after trading one player to New York, and the limitation on innings pitched in an All Star Game as many cases. The latter came as a result of the Yankees Lefty Gomez throwing six outstanding innings in the 1935 All Star Game leading the American League to their third consecutive victory over the NL by the score of 4-1. After the game the rule that no pitcher can throw more than three innings unless the game goes to extra innings will be implemented.