Thursday, July 30, 2015

Game Thread: New York Yankees @ Texas Rangers 7/30

The New York Yankees and the Texas Rangers will finish off their four game series tonight in Texas before New York takes off to Chicago for a three game set. New York has had a stranglehold on the Rangers this series and look for the total annihilation tonight in Texas. New York will send CC Sabathia to the mound looking to put yet another game between them and the rest of the American League East Division while the Rangers will counter with Yovani Gallardo. The game will be played at 8:05 pm ET and can be seen on the YES Network and MLB TV.

The Yankees will fly to Chicago to face off with the Chicago White Sox after this series before an off day on Monday. After that the team returns home and returns to the Eastern Time zone for the remainder of the 2015 season. Click the Yankees Tickets link at the top of the blog to have your tickets in hand for when the team returns home to play host to the Boston Red Sox. Until then head over to Twitter and give @GreedyStripes a follow to interact with us during each and every Yankees game this season.

Sabathia is ready to throw dirt on the Rangers coffin and I’m ready to see if the Yankees offense can put up more runs in a game than the New York football Giants again. Go Yankees!

July 30th MLB Trade Deadline catch up Post

The trade rumors and all the wheeling and dealings have been flying around like crazy so let’s get caught up a bit before we head into the final day of the frenzy.

  • The Yankees tried to acquire Dustin Ackley from the Seattle Mariners in a trade that would have sent OF Ramon Flores and Ben Gamel to Seattle. Seattle wanted more and the deal, hopefully, fell through.

  • The Yankees came back and acquired Ackley anyway fpr Ramon Flores and Jose Ramirez.

  • The St. Louis Cardinals have acquired first baseman Brandon Moss from the Cleveland Indians for a prospect.

  • The Toronto Blue Jays sent LHP Daniel Norris and two prospects to the Detroit Tigers for LHP David Price in a deal that is sure to shake up the American League East Division race. 

Michael Pineda Added to 15 day DL

Michael Pineda has been added to the 15 day disabled list with what the Yankees are calling a Grade 1 forearm strain. Masahiro Tanaka had a similar injury earlier this season and however minor the Yankees made it out to be he still missed a little over a month worth of games with the injury. If Pineda was lucky enough to miss just a month we would not see him back on the mound until the calendar is ready to turn over to September.

Also a big thank you goes out to Mike Franceser (yes I spelled it wrong on purpose) who blew up the New York radio waves with “Ivan Nova is hurt and Michael Pineda has a very serious elbow injury” news scaring an entire state and fan base with your nonsense. 

BREAKING: Yankees Acquire Dustin Ackley

The New York Yankees have made a trade with the Seattle Mariners that will bring second baseman Dustin Ackley to New York in exchange for RHP Jose Ramirez and OF Ramon Flores. More details to come as they are released.

What if Ivan Nova Can’t Make His Next Start?

Ivan Nova left his last start against the Texas Rangers after just 75 pitches with what is being described as a bout of “tired arm.” Nova and the Yankees were quick to point out that many pitchers that have had Tommy John surgery have had similar issues with tired arm in their first season removed from the ulnar collateral ligament surgery, and Nova was making just his sixth start since coming off the disabled list with the injury, and both parties expect Nova to make his next scheduled start against the Chicago White Sox on Saturday. What if he can’t?

The obvious choice would be to call up Bryan Mitchell and option down whoever is holding the “revolving door” roster spot currently held by Diego Moreno. Mitchell pitched last weekend and could be held back or have his start pushed back if New York can see in time that Nova won’t be able to make the start.

The last thing the Yankees want to do after Tuesday night’s debacle is to let Chris Capuano start another game for the team. Capuano had no command of any of his pitches and he was simply throwing Little League fastballs and changeups up there to the Texas hitters. New York also can’t afford too many “bullpen games” with their bullpen already inching towards and over the “over-worked” line as it is. Obviously this is all dependent on him clearing waivers, accepting a minor league assignment and making his way back to the 40 man roster.

If Nova misses even one start this is going to severely change the Yankees starting rotation going forward. Masahiro Tanaka has not made a start on just four days rest since returning from the DL with a strained right forearm and would have to under these circumstances while others who benefit from the extra rest including Michael Pineda and CC Sabathia would have to once again change their habits, and we all know how much pitchers are creatures of habit, to accommodate Mr. Nova.

The Yankees could survive a missed start or two or even a disabled list stint for Nova if they need be but anything more than that could be disastrous for New York and their World Series aspirations. Nova says he will make his next start and so do the Yankees so I’m taking them at their word, I just hope they have a Plan B in place in case he can’t. 

The Purge 3: Hall of Fame Voters

We’ve all seen the Purge and Purge 2: Anarchy movies, imagine that type of plot just with Hall of Fame voters instead of everyday people. For one day and one day only all voting for future Hall of Fame players is allowed for a select few owners, writers and men and women who cover this great game of baseball. These Hall of Fame voters have made a bit of a mockery, in my opinion anyway, of the Hall of Fame voting over the past few seasons and for much of the steroid era and that may change starting in 2016.

The Baseball Writers Association of America just inducted four members into Cooperstown this past weekend including Craig Biggio, Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez and John Smoltz but that may change for better or worse going forward. Under the old rules you had lifetime voting rights no matter how far removed you were from covering the game but a purge is going on with the Hall of Fame voters. Under the new rules you are no longer allowed to vote if you have not actively covered the game in the last 10 years, a breath of fresh air for the more progressive fans of the game.

This by no means will eliminate the “character clause” that is keeping many steroid users, suspected steroid users and players out of the Hall but it is a definite step in the right direction. In 2016 I don’t expect the likes of Roger Clemens, Barry Bonds, Rafael Palmeiro and others to make the game but it may help those borderline cases in Jeff Bagwell and Mike Piazza finally make the Hall despite their undeserved “ties” to the steroid era in general. 

Game Preview: New York Yankees @ Texas Rangers 7/30

The New York Yankees and the Texas Rangers will play in the finale of their four game series this week inside the great state of Texas with the Yankees going for the jugular. New York has pitched well this series outside of Chris Capuano’s start, if you want to call it that, and have slugged their way to a football score or two in the series. Tonight the Yankees will send Michael Pineda to the mound looking to keep this hot streak and this streak of dominance alive as the Rangers counter with Yovani Gallardo, if he isn’t traded before game time. The contest will be played at 8:05 pm ET and can be seen on the YES Network and MLB TV.

  • Pineda is Big Mike no more after losing each of his last two outing against the Seattle Mariners and the Minnesota Twins. At one point Pineda was thought to be the ace of the staff after striking out 16 Baltimore Orioles hitters on Mother’s Day but after allowing nine runs on 14 hits in just 11.2 innings many are left rethinking that philosophy.

  • Gallardo has not looked great in his last four starts for Texas making it less and less likely that the team trades him before his start tonight. Gallardo has a 0-3 record with a 6.52 ERA in his last four starts and has allowed five runs in four innings in his last two starts combined. Gallardo is 4-4 this season with a 2.43 ERA at home in nine starts and has also posted a 1-1 record with a 4.63 ERA in two career starts against the New York Yankees.

The Yankees will head to Chicago to face off with former Yankees faces in David Robertson and Melky Cabrera after this series while the Texas Rangers unfortunately go on to play someone else. New York has today and until 4:00 pm ET tomorrow to make deals to add to their team before the non-waiver trade deadline passes so it should be an interesting 28 hours or so in Yankee-land. I can’t wait for that and I can’t wait for this game. Go Yankees!

July 31st Trade Deadline Eve Fact or Fiction

The July 31st non-waiver trading deadline ends in right around 31 hours, not that I’m counting, and the New York Yankees have some work to do despite having a comfortable lead in the American League East Division race. We mentioned yesterday on the blog that standing pat meant getting worse when teams like the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim are acquiring three outfielders in a week and the Kansas City Royals are snatching up every player the Yankees had targeted this summer and that is no more evident than it is today. This morning I want to do a little fact or fiction regarding the fast approaching July 31st trading deadline specifically geared towards the New York Yankees.

Will the Yankees acquire a starting pitcher before the deadline?

With Ivan Nova being limited to just 75 pitches in his last start due to tired arm, whether that is normal or not for recent Tommy John surgery recipients or not, mixed with the fact that he wasn’t overly dominant beforehand leads me to believe that yes, the Yankees will make a move. It won’t be for Cole Hamels obviously or David Price in my opinion but a Mike Leake or Dan Haren type back end of the rotation type starter. FACT.

Will New York upgrade their bullpen and completely rid themselves of Chris Capuano?

This one is easy, the team has already designated Capuano for assignment and called up Caleb Cotham but the team could also make moves for Bryan Mitchell, Branden Pinder, Danny Burawa or a slew of other names including Tuesday night’s savior Diego Moreno. The bullpen would be better and the team would be better. I don’t think New York acquires a relief arm with so many plentiful in the minor leagues and on the 40 man roster. FACT.

Will the second base situation be solved by August 1st?

The New York Yankees could designate Stephen Drew for assignment, bench him in favor of Brendan Ryan who has actually shown some signs of life with the bat in an extremely small sample size this season, the team could acquire Martin Prado from the Miami Marlins or they could simply call up Robert Refsnyder. The Yankees aren’t going to get in any hurry as long as Ryan is hitting and Drew hits a home run once every two weeks so I think this drags out until August or later. FICTION.

Will the four “untouchable” prospects be untouched on August 1st?

I can get behind the notion of holding onto Luis Severino, Aaron Judge and Jorge Mateo but I don’t understand the line of thinking that keeps Greg Bird untouchable. Sure he’s a great prospect and I’d like to see him in pinstripes one day but he’s not going to ever hit .300 or anywhere close even in his prime and he’s no defense wizard at first base like Mark Teixeira is. Granted he’s not a natural first baseman, he was drafted as a catcher, but he’s not a natural high average hitter either. Think Mark Teixeira this season, all home runs and doubles but that is about it. If the Phillies want Bird for Hamels without any of the other three I think the Yankees pull the trigger, and should. FICTION.

Will the blog do more posts like this in the future?

I really enjoyed this and I don’t know why I haven’t done more of them to date. FACT so be on the lookout for more fact or fiction posts. Thank you as always for the support. 

Meet a Prospect: Caleb Cotham

Caleb Cotham has been called up to the Major Leagues after the New York Yankees designated Chris Capuano for assignment, finally. Cotham was spending his time in Triple-A with the Scranton Wilkes-Barre RailRiders when he got the call and will presumably make his next appearance in a Yankees uniform inside the great state of Texas. Let's take a second to mee the man who replaced Little CC, Mr. Caleb Cotham.

Caleb Kent Cotham was born on November 6, 1987 in Mount Juliet, Tennessee before taking his baseball talents to Vanderbilt University to play College Baseball. Cotham was drafted by the Yankees in the fifth round of the 2009 MLB First Year Players Draft and has seemingly worked his way through New York's farm system with relative ease.

Here are Cotham's stats in his minor league career:

20092 Teams013.3838.073313131.2507.91.13.414.6
2009Staten Island014.5026.05331381.3337.51.54.512.0
20112 Teams011.961323.02395110321.4359.00.43.912.5
2011Staten Island011.711221.0217419291.4299.00.43.912.4
20122 Teams573.6423101.11034441529761.3039.
20132 Teams875.0728124.114277701247861.52010.
20145 Teams044.701853.2573128420441.4359.
2014Yankees 1, Yankees 2000.0046.04000060.6676.
2014Yankees 2000.0022.11000040.4293.
2014Yankees 1000.0023.23000020.8187.
20152 Teams522.172745.2351211110530.9856.

Weekly Check In: Brady Lail

The July 31st trade deadline is fast approaching and the New York Yankees have a slew of talent not only on the field in the Bronx but in their various farm system affiliates. While the Yankees have stated that four of their top prospects, you all know the names by now, are untouchable at this year’s trading deadline there is still plenty of talent to pull from if the team decides to make a deal. The team is unlikely to trade much away from their Triple-A affiliate the Scranton Wilkes-Barre RailRiders but the team has just as much talent, if not more, down in Double-A with the Trenton Thunder and that talent begins and ends with starting pitcher Brady Lail.

Lail has quietly had one of the best seasons for the Thunder this season pitching alongside of Eric Ruth, Miguel Sulbaran and others in Trenton. Lail could easily be one of the arms that is sent to, for example’s sake and not an actual rumor, Miami for a Martin Prado or Cincinnati for a Mike Leake. Lail hasn’t been an ace by any means but does have the same makeup and ceiling in my opinion as a good Adam Warren or David Phelps.

Will Lail survive the deadline in Pinstripes? Stay tuned.