Wednesday, December 23, 2015

The Rehab Report: Mark Teixeria HOT START OR NOT

The Rehab Report: Mark Teixeria HOT START OR NOT: The injury prone Mark Teixeira was having a healthy and productive MVP type season for the Yankees in 2015. Mark attributed this past seaso...

Starlin Castro & Girlfriend Yoselin Added to Wives& Girlfriends

The New York Yankees have a new second baseman, in case you haven't heard, and his name is Starlin Castro. Castro was a three time All-Star with the Chicago Cubs before a position change and a trade ultimately brought him to the Bronx and Yankee Stadium. With a new second baseman comes their talents, their baggage and their families. Especially their wives and girlfriends and this is what we're showcasing for you tonight, Castro and his girlfriend Yoselin as we have added them to the Wives & Girlfriends section of the site, SEEN HERE. 


Yankees Continue Signing Minor League Depth

Hat tip to Matt Eddy of Baseball America for the latest in all things Yankees prospects. The New York Yankees signed four minor league players this week as the club continues to add a bit of depth to the organization.

The first signing was the signing of catching prospect Sebastian Valle, a one-time top prospect at the position. The second was a veteran bullpen signing with former Minnesota Twins closer Vinnie Pestano joining the organization and likely Scranton/Wilkes Barre. The third signing was LHP Richard Bleir who is best known for his control. The fourth and final signing was CF and former New York Mets product Cesar Puello. If the name Cesar Puello sounds familiar there is probably a good reason for it, Puello was one of those suspended in the Biogenesis scandal. Puello is the only player to not yet make it to the Major Leagues that was suspended in the fallout. 

Former Yankee Update: Hiroki Kuroda

The New York Yankees have enjoyed some of the best starting pitchers in the history of the game over the franchise's storied history. The team has seen the first ever perfect game being thrown in the postseason with Don Larsen, great pitching performances from Andy Pettitte and Roger Clemens, Cuban-defected stars come over and make an impact like Orlando Hernandez and they may have had the best pitcher to ever come over from Japan wear the pinstripes during his career. That man is Hiroki Kuroda and he just made the next decision in his playing career.

Hiroki Kuroda, a Yankee as recently as 2014, decided to head back to the place where his career started. Japan. Last season Kuroda signed a deal with the Hiroshima Carp to presumably finish his career in the Nippon Professional Baseball League. It was thought to be a one-and-done for Kuroda but the crafty right-hander has at least one more season in him apparently.

Kuroda signed another one-year deal with the Carp worth $4.9 million making him the highest paid player in Japanese League history. Kuroda posted impressive numbers in 2015 with the Carp putting up an 11-8 record with a 2.55 ERA. Kuroda struck out 106 batters in 169.2 innings pitched which was good for 1.102 WHIP in 26 starts.

Starlin Castro Picks a Jersey Number

And that jersey number is #14. I know this picture is a bit outdated, the picture of Castro in a Yankees uniform for the first time, but you have to understand. This is a hobby for me, it's a job for others. It's Christmas time. I have two children, two very spoiled children, which means lots of gifts to buy and wrap. I hope you accept my apology.

Anyway, Castro posted a picture of himself in a Yankees uniform and informed us all what number he would be wearing, #14.

What other Yankees have worn #14 in their history?

Robinson Cano wore it in 2005. Stephen Drew wore it last year. Curtis Granderson wore it for four years and made the All-Star Team in two of those years. Pat Kelly and Lou Piniella wore the uniform for years. Martin Prado had it in 2014, so did Brian Roberts. Bill Skowron had five trips to the All-Star Game booked wearing the number. Hideki Irabu wore it, so did Wilson Betemit, Miguel Cairo, Angel Berroa, Enrique Wilson and Bobby Cox finish out the list of notable players to wear the number.

Good thing there will be no pressure for Castro to live up to those expectations... right?

Antonio Bastardo Shows Why the Justin Wilson Trade Was Bad

The New York Yankees had one of the better bullpens in all of Major League Baseball in 2015. Andrew Miller closed games, Dellin Betances set up games and literally saved games in the 7th and 8th and Justin Wilson struck out batter after batter all season long. Despite Adam Warren being traded from the pen and Chasen Shreve's second half fall off New York decided to trade Wilson to the Detroit Tigers for two prospects. Neither prospects look to have high ceilings and the deal looks more and more like a money saver. Wilson was set to make a tad over a million dollars in 2016, Antonio Bastardo wants to make a little more.

Bastardo is one of the top relief pitchers left on the free agency market and is a relative Wilson clone. I mean it, their stats and projections for next season are almost identical. Wilson is just entering his arbitration years when things start to get expensive for the team. Bastardo on the other hand is in free agency and has asked for a deal similar to the deal that Tony Sipp, a left-handed reliever, struck with the Houston Astros.

Sipp signed a three-year deal worth $18 million with Houston and Bastardo, also a southpaw, wants a comparable deal. Bastardo, remember a Wilson clone, will presumably earn a $6 million AAV while Wilson will make a bit over $1 million and will likely never reach $6 million before free agency.

Bastardo gets left-handed and right-handed batters out equally as well and has posted a Justin Wilson esque 3.18 ERA with a 10.5 K/9 ratio.

This is all a moot point if Brian Cashman got a substantial haul for Wilson but he didn't. Chad Green is an organization prospect at best, and he was in a very weak Detroit Tigers system, and Luis Cessa is only the 18th best prospect in the Yankees system according to MLB Pipeline.

Brett Gardner & His History w/ Second Half Swoons

The New York Yankees are being aggressive this winter on the trade market and that mindset and aggression has already led to four separate trades for Brian Cashman and the Bronx Bombers. The Yankees are far from done there, according to reports anyway, and the names of Ivan Nova, Andrew Miller and Brett Gardner have been thrown around basically all winter long. While trading Nova makes sense and while trading Miller does not, well unless they are simply blown away, the idea of trading Gardner makes a whole lot of sense for the New York Yankees.

Gardner didn't have a spectacular season in 2015 and his second half was absolutely horrible but the Yankees hitting coach Alan Cockrell blamed a wrist injury for his struggles. Gardner did have three cortisone shots for the wrist injury, the maximum one player is allowed in a season, but there is a shocking trend that shows that, wrist or not, Gardner was probably going to struggle in the second half anyway and will likely struggle again in 2016's second half.

1st Half 531 2069 317 511 79 28 38 186 203 390 .283 .360 .421 .781 .341 111
2nd Half 388 1451 202 296 57 16 18 115 151 277 .236 .326 .351 .676 .287 84
These splits are huge!These are career splits too factoring in every one of his seasons in the Major Leagues. This is a trend.

April/March 141 540 79 125 20 8 48 48 103 .265 .340 .372 .711 .323 93
May 164 643 100 160 20 11 56 66 116 .284 .360 .417 .777 .339 110
June 152 589 101 170 36 14 54 57 98 .328 .400 .521 .921 .382 148
July 158 626 86 129 18 11 63 75 130 .244 .343 .359 .702 .299 91
August 142 581 72 115 19 5 37 57 108 .229 .318 .325 .643 .281 75
Sept/Oct 162 541 81 108 23 7 43 51 112 .227 .308 .349 .658 .281 78
Going from .328 to .244 from June to July is an alarming trend. Dropping below .230 in September and October is even worse. If the Yankees can trade him, especially when he isn't going to be getting any better at 32-years old, they need to. Now.

Jonathan Papelbon Interested in the Yankees

If any of you reading this ever had a middle school or high school crush you know one thing is more true than anything else you have ever known in your life. It takes two to tango. You can be interested, you can even borderline on obsessed, but that doesn't guarantee that the "one made for you" would even know you existed let alone also be interested in you that way. This brings me to the delusional one, the one closing games in Washington. Jonathan Papelbon.

Papelbon has a limited no-trade clause written into his contract and can block trades to 17 teams around the league. Those teams are the Arizona Diamondbacks, the Atlanta Braves, the Baltimore Orioles, the Cincinnati Reds, the Colorado Rockies, the Chicago White Sox, the Houston Astros, the Kansas City Royals, the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Miami Marlins, the Milwaukee Brewers, the Minnesota Twins, the Oakland Athletics, the Pittsburgh Pirates, the Seattle Mariners, the Texas Rangers and the Toronto Blue Jays.

One team name not listed, the New York Yankees. Papelbon is interested in the New York Yankees, let's hope the interest is not mutual. Friend zone this guy, and now.

How I Woke Up to Elf on a Shelf Today...

This Day in New York Yankees History 12/23: Mark Teixeira vs. Nick Johnson

On this day in 2009 Nick Johnson signed a one year deal worth $5.75 million to return to the New York Yankees. Johnson would come back to be the DH after Hideki Matsui was let walk to the Angels. Johnson was traded before the 2004 season for Javier Vazquez the first time.

Also on this day in 2008 the Yankees also signed first basemen Mark Teixeira to a eight year contract worth $180 million. Teixeira was coming off a season in which he posted a .308 batting average with 33 home runs and 121 RBI's. Teixeira joins recently signed AJ Burnett and CC Sabathia as big names the Yankees have signed this offseason.

Finally on this day in 2005 the New York Yankees introduced their clean shaven Johnny Damon to the fans and media at Yankee Stadium. Damon was one year removed from the cavemen 2004 World Series Boston Red Sox championship team and signed a four year deal worth $52 million.