Monday, September 28, 2015

Game Thread: New York Yankees vs. Boston Red Sox 9/28

The New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox are set to kick off their four-game series tonight as the rivalry will be renewed one last time this season. Four games separate the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox from another successful season in the rivalry. It is also worth mentioning that the Yankees can win their 10,000th game of the franchise's storied history. Donned with that task for the Yankees will be Ivan Nova who will face off with Eduardo Rodriguez head-to-head tonight inside Yankee Stadium. The game will be played at 7:05 pm ET and can be seen on the YES Network and MLB TV.

The Yankees have three more games inside Yankee Stadium during the regular season as well as a home playoff game against the Houston Astros if the season ended today. Click the Yankees Tickets link at the top of the blog to sit in the stands during any of these games and hopefully pop some champagne and celebrate with the ball club as they search for their 10,000th win in the franchise's history. Also be sure to head over to Twitter and give @GreedyStripes a follow to root for the team for the remainder of the 2015 while interacting with us here on the blog.

TBA is ready to lead the Yankees to another win along with a little help from the Yankees bullpen. Go Yankees!

Tanaka to Start Wednesday

If you ever needed confirmation that Brian Cashman and Joe Girardi read the pages of The Greedy Pinstripes then look no further than the Masahiro Tanaka hamstring decision. Just last night on the blog I showcased and laid out a plan to pitch Tanaka on Wednesday giving him one more start before getting five day's of rest for the Wild Card game. That's exactly what the Yankees announced they would do before tonight's game with the Boston Red Sox. 

Michael Pineda will start tomorrow, Tanaka Wednesday and CC Sabathia on Thursday giving Tanaka exactly five days of rest before October 6th, the American League Wild Card play-in game. 

ICYMI:Starlin Castro, the Next Great Yankees Second Baseman

The New York Yankees let Robinson Cano walk to Seattle along with Jay-Z a few seasons back now and the team has had what the experts like to call a “black hole” at second base ever since. New York has plugged in the likes of Yangervis Solarte, Brian Roberts, Kelly Johnson, Stephen Drew, Brendan Ryan and now Dustin Ackley at the position with varying degrees of success while leaving much to be desired out of the position. The team does not seem sold on the emergence and development of Robert Refsnyder at the position so does this mean the team would be willing to work out an offseason acquisition with the Chicago Cubs for Starlin Castro making his the next great second baseman for the franchise?

Castro was one of the few bright spots for the Chicago Cubs during the rebuilding years and now that the team is flush with talent from their minor league system the franchise has seemingly shunned their former shortstop. Castro was moved from shortstop to second base to make room for Addison Russel and has been the talk of trade rumors for much of his age 25 season in 2015. Castro has had his fair share of ups and downs in his career but has turned it on lately hitting .345 with five home runs in his last months’ worth of games building his trade value to maybe its highest it has ever been.

Castro would fit right into the mold that the New York Yankees are trying to build their team around, middle infielders who can defend, carry their own with the bat and infielders that can play multiple positions. Defense, offense and versatility in that order and Castro owns all three. Castro will be just 26-years old at the beginning of the 2016 season thus fitting in with the Yankees semi-youth movement and is signed through the 2019 season at a reasonable rate with a club option for 2020. Castro never makes more than $11 million in salary in one season, and keep in mind that the Yankees paid $5 million each for Stephen Drew and Chris Capuano this season, and comes attached to a $16 million club option. For a shortstop or second baseman that can hit that’s relatively cheap, ask Robinson Cano and the Seattle Mariners about it.

What would it cost to acquire Castro? While he may come cheap in terms of a contract he won’t come cheap in terms of the prospect package. For a young, cheap and controllable piece though there aren’t many names that I wouldn’t include. Robert Refsnyder? Take him. Gary Sanchez? Sure. The problem is the team is flush full of infield and catching help, they need pitching. They would ask for Aaron Judge and I’d have to decline, same for Severino, but if it was a Bryan Mitchell led package with Ivan Nova, Branden Pinder, Jacob Lindgren, Caleb Cotham, etc. then I would at least have to listen.

Most Popular Article of the Week: Korean OF Ah-Seop Son To Be Posted

The New York Yankees could be in the market for an outfielder this offseason as Chris Young hits free agency once again but could that search take them all the way to Korea? Ah-Seop Son of the Korean Baseball Organization is expected to be posted this winter after spending parts of nine professional seasons in the KBO. Could the Yankees be interested in the 27-year corner outfielder?

Son batted .324/.412/.476 with 12 home runs and 11 stolen bases this season in 476 plate appearances finishing off another strong season for the left-hander. Son has batted at least .306 or better in the past six seasons in the KBO and has a career triple slash of .330/.405/.471. Those stats sound great and so does the expected salary, somewhere around Jung-Ho Kan's four-year deal worth $11 million with a $5 million posting fee, but the part that sounds less than ideal for the Yankees is the "left-handed" part.

Barring a trade the Yankees will have an outfield of lefty Jacoby Ellsbury, lefty Brett Gardner and switch hitter, although he is much better left-handed, Carlos Beltran. The Yankees almost need a right-handed bat and a right-handed bat Son is not. That alone will likely keep him off the Yankees in 2016.

Game Preview: New York Yankees vs. Boston Red Sox 9/28

The New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox will begin a four-game series tonight inside Yankee Stadium as the rivalry is renewed one more time in 2015. The Boston Red Sox have already clinched a losing record in 2015 and will not see the postseason while the New York Yankees have all but locked up at least the second Wild Card spot and lead for the first spot and a home playoff game in the Bronx. First things first though as the New York Yankees send Ivan Nova to the mound tonight to face off against the Red Sox starter Eduardo Rodriguez. The game will be played at 7:05 pm ET and can be seen on the YES Network and MLB TV.

  • Nova came back and dominated the Toronto Blue Jays in his last start despite having 11 games off in between starts. Nova had been banished to the bullpen only to return to the starting rotation after Masahiro Tanaka went down with a hamstring injury. Nova will look to remain dominant tonight against Boston. 

  • Rodriguez will make his final start of the season tonight as the rookie ran into an innings limit and a hypothetical innings wall. Rodriguez is 0-1 in the Bronx this season after allowing six hits and two runs in seven innings of work against the Yankees. 

Yankee Stadium will play host to four more games during the regular season including tonight and will likely host a playoff game as well before its all said and done. This season has been one of the most frustrating and at the same time one of the most rewarding seasons in recent memory, probably since the 2012 season. New York is set to break their two season playoff drought and they are likely to do it against the Boston Red Sox, it doesn't get any better than that. Go Yankees!

Looking Back At MLB Network's 2015 Pre-Season Playoff Predictions

Yesterday we brought you the preseason predictions from the experts and writers over at ESPN and revealed that only one writer, Buster Olney, had the New York Yankees making the postseason in 2015. While I couldn't find an article that broke down predictions by the specific writers I did find a general prediction post from before the 2015 season from MLB Network that I bring to you today. That post, seen HERE, was none too kind to the New York Yankees much like the ESPN article which goes to show you how much the team has exceeded expectations in 2015. 

From the article the MLB Network crew had the Boston Red Sox winning the AL East:

AL EAST: Red Sox
One step back and now another big step forward for the Red Sox is in store, according to our panel. The majority predict Boston's retooled lineup and revamped rotation are headed for a division title, one year after finishing fifth and two years after winning it all. The defending division champion Orioles and Blue Jays were pretty much a dead heat for second place.

The crew also had the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and the Cleveland Indians representing the American League with the two Wild Card spots:

AL WILD CARDS: Angels and Indians
The Angels are the clear choice as the top Wild Card team, with the Indians right behind them and Blue Jays hot on their tails.

The Seattle Mariners winning the AL pennant? Okay... 

According to our pool of experts, they'll be raising an American League pennant in Seattle for the first time. The Mariners were followed by the Angels and Red Sox in the voting.

Nationals over the Mariners in the 2016 World Series

Presumably in a Seattle-Washington Series (might as well get that out of the way now), our poll concludes that the Nationals will be your World Series champions for 2015.
According to our poll of and MLB Network experts, it'll be Matt Williams hoisting that golden trophy encircled in pennants, and a giddy band of Washington Nationals doing the champagne dance in October.

Quick Hit: Robert Refsnyder on the Postseason Roster?

Would the Yankees, after starting him in three consecutive games this week against left-handed starting pitching, be willing to bring the once outcast Robert Refsnyder with them back to the Bronx on their postseason roster? With Stephen Drew, Brendan Ryan and Dustin Ackley on the team many are immediately rolling their eyes and giving a definitive "NO" but it could happen Yankees fans and I'm here to tell you why.

First and foremost, and probably most importantly, Refsnyder has seemingly won back the confidence of manager Joe Girardi. Whether the team and their manager is simply that desperate for an offensive spark or not remains to be seen but where a month ago Ryan would be starting these games against left-handed pitching Refsnyder is in there and he continues to hit. Refsnyder looks uncomfortable at second base sometimes and lacks the instincts of a true second baseman, it can almost be described as a player who was drafted in 2012 as an outfielder and moved to the position due to a weak throwing arm and a weak bat for the corner outfielder... oh wait, but the Yankees may feel like they can survive with his defense if he can keep the line moving on the offensive side of the game.

Secondly it is worth mentioning that if the season ended today the New York Yankees would play host to the Houston Astros and their left-handed ace Dallas Keuchel. Refsnyder laced a double off Chris Sale as recently as this week showing that he's either incredibly lucky or not afraid of the spotlight and great pitching who may be overlooking him as a rookie bat and Refsnyder may get the start in this potential Wild Card game.

This doesn't mean that Refsnyder would be carried on the roster in a hypothetical ALDS trip for the Yankees but it wouldn't surprise me if he was on the 25 man roster for the Wild Card Playoff Round.

Scoreboard Watching: September 28, 2015

Another week in Major League Baseball, and the final full week of the 2015 regular season, and another full slate of Major League games for your viewing pleasure. While some of these games become more and more meaningful, the chase for the second Wild Card and the AL West Division race specifically, while others, the Toronto Blue Jays chase for the top seed in the American League, take back seats to most. Enjoy another great day of Major League Baseball and Happy Monday!

Monday, September 28

New York Yankees vs. Boston Red Sox

Toronto Blue Jays @ Baltimore Orioles

Houston Astros @ Seattle Mariners

Texas Rangers vs. Detroit Tigers

Minnesota Twins @ Cleveland Indians

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim vs. Oakland Athletics

Cleveland Indians vs. Minnesota Twins

Baseball America: Three Yankees In Top 20 New York-Penn League Prospects List

picture courtesy of Pinstripes Prospects

Baseball America has been covering all the minor league league's and affiliates and ranking the Top 20 prospects in each league for the better part of a week now. The Yankees have been well represented in each of these lists with prospects from the Appalachian League and Gulf Coast Leagues but the team has been no more well represented than the team was in the New York-Penn League.

New York had three prospects listed in the Top 20 for the short-season NYPL including #3 overall prospect RHP Domingo Acevedo, #10 OF Jhalan Jackson and and #18 SS Kyle Holder.

The top two prospects in the league are the Boston Red Sox outfielder Andrew Benintendi and Washington Nationals outfielder Victor Robles. For the complete list CLICK HERE. 

This Day In New York Yankees History 9/28: Moose FINALLY Wins #20

Mike Mussina had pitched many stellar seasons both in Baltimore with the Orioles and in New York with the Yankees but never won 20 games in a single season, until this day in 2008. On the last day of the 2008 season Mussina would improve his record to 20-9 becoming the oldest player in major league history to win 20 games for the first time. It took Mussina 18 seasons to win 20 games when he threw six shutout innings against the Red Sox in Fenway Park in a Yankees 6-2 victory.

Also on this day in 2005 Alex Rodriguez broke the Yankees All-Time record for home runs in a single season by a right handed batter when he slugged his 47th home run of the season. DiMaggio hit 46 home runs in 1937 and Alex passed him as the Yankees beat the Orioles 2-1.

Also on this day in 1955 Elston Howard, in his first World Series at bat, hit a two run home run off the Dodgers right hander Don Newcombe. This marks the first time that a black batter hit a home run off a black pitcher in the history of the World Series.

Finally on this day in 1947 the Yankees held their first Old Timers Day on the final day of the season. General Manager Larry MacPhail came up with the idea along with public relations director Red Paterson as an idea to honor the ailing Yankees legend Babe Ruth.