Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Remembering 2015: Jacoby Ellsbury

Remaining Key Dates Left on 2015-2016 Offseason Calendar

Major League Baseball and their fans have been able to check off many boxes on their offseason calendar including the World Series, the Winter Meetings, the Rule 5 Draft, the GM Meetings, the owners meetings and the Hall of Fame pre-integration era committee announcements. If you think the big events left this winter are over you may be right but there are a few notables events worth mentioning. We will mention those here for your information.

January 6 — Baseball Writers’ Association of America Hall of Fame vote announced
January 12 — Salary arbitration filing
January 15 — Salary arbitration figures exchanged
February 1-21 — Salary arbitration hearings

New Years Resolutions for the New York Yankees

Before the Christmas holiday we brought you some fictional lists that the New York Yankees players wrote to Santa Claus and today we will bring you some equally as fictional New Year's resolutions written down by those same Yankees. Now as we all know many people do not keep to their New Year's resolutions but my way of thinking is who cares? Nobody like a skinny, rich and good person anyway. I'm just going to be me, but anyway without further delay and banter from me here are the Yankees resolutions.

Alex Rodriguez:

To win a World Series Championship. That's my resolution every single season. I'm just so blessed to play in front of the best fans in the world and I just want to thank Joe (Girardi) and the entire Steinbrenner family. This time last year I did not think I would be in this position and I'm truly humbled and blessed.

Mark Teixeira:

To add gluten back into my diet and have the biggest contract season I can have. Not many people want a 35-year old first baseman any more so I'm going to have to go out and do my best early and often.

Greg Bird:

Yeah, go ahead and add that gluten back. My resolution was to do something about those eye brows but now it's to get in playing shape because I'm going to see you all before June.

Hal Steinbrenner:

To give Brian Cashman full control to do his job now that I've completely cut the cash flow from the team. If you thought the calls for his firing were loud before....

Brian Cashman:

Now you tricked me last time into telling the truth but this time I don't care. I'm trading all his high-priced talent HE signed so I can do things my way. 2016 season be damned.

Brian McCann:

To not scream obscenities in the Yankees dugout during the playoffs anymore.

Starlin Castro:

To make you all say "Robinson Cano who?"

Brendan Ryan:

Bring me back Cash!

My Thoughts on the PED Documentary Scandal

Another black eye is about to hit Major League Baseball if it hasn't already, and that bothers me. In a documentary that was leaked by Al Jazeera it was revealed that steroids are still prevalent in sports, and not just MLB. Some NFL players were revealed to be using steroids in this documentary as well as three major MLB players Ryan Howard, Ryan Zimmerman and Taylor Teagarden.

The documentary showcases a months long investigative report on PEDs in global sports and they even went as far as to send British hurdler Liam Collins undercover to expose other athletes.  Collins worked with pharmacist Charlie Sly who allegedly worked at an Indiana-based anti-aging clinic called the Guyer Institute in 2011. Sly reportedly told Collins that he sold both Howard, the Philadelphia Phillies first baseman, and Zimmerman, the Washington Nationals first and third baseman, a hormone supplement known as Delta-2. The drugs is specifically designated to evade drug tests and is included on Major League Baseball's list of banned substances per their collective bargaining agreement. Meanwhile Teagarden is seen on camera discussing how and when he took PEDs in previous seasons, ouch.

Howard and Zimmerman have denied using the drugs and NFL notable players like Peyton Manning, James Harrison and Mike Neal have as well. None of the three players that are named have ever been linked to steroids or PEDs and have never been suspended for any sort of drug or substance use. If the documentary, and the investigation that you know is to follow, proves to be true all three players will likely receive an 80-game steroid suspension. So what are my thoughts? This sucks. It's another black eye for MLB and it's going to be a major talking point, and argument point I think, in the next CBA after the current one expires after this season.

I want steroids to be legal or completely out of the game. I live in a fantasy world, I know this, but that's what I want and that's how I feel. Without stringent blood testing these clinics will keep popping up every few years and the game will have to try and prove to their fans that it's clean again. This is a step back, even if it's a minor one, for the game and I hate that because I love this game.

Top 10 Yankees Starting Pitching Prospects

The New York Yankees, as it stands right now, will head into the 2016 MLB season with more questions than answers as far as their pitching goes. The bullpen was an absolute strength in 2015 but the trades of trusted relievers Adam Warren and Justin Wilson has left the bullpen depleted of trusted pitchers at Joe Girardi's disposal. The starting rotation may also be held on by a rubber band with the elbow of Masahiro Tanaka, the shoulder of Michael Pineda, the elbow of Nathan Eovaldi and Ivan Nova and the knee of CC Sabathia. For this reason alone the Yankees are adding as much depth as possible to the minor leagues, none more notable than the minor league deal for Vinnie Pestano, in hopes of being prepared for such an injury or blow to the rotation.

The easiest way to add some depth and options for the Yankees GM Brian Cashman is to build from within and bring up prospects from their farm system. With this in mind I wanted to go over the Top 10 starting pitching prospects in the Yankees system in my opinion. Here is my list, what's yours? Leave it below in the comments section.

1. James Kaprielian
2. Domingo Acevedo
3. Ian Clarkin
4. Bryan Mitchell
5. Brady Lail
6. Drew Finley
7. Jonathan Holder
8. Domingo German
9. Austin DeCarr
10. Jeff Degano

The only pitchers I can see being true MLB options in 2016 are Bryan Mitchell and maybe (MAYBE but unlikely) James Kaprielian. I know I rate Mitchell higher than most, or everyone to be honest, but I truly like his stuff. He just needs to learn how to harness it and the more he gets to work with coaches and specifically Larry Rothschild the better I think he will do. The Yankees have a ton of top level talent down in the minor leagues so the future is good, the present though I still worry about. Thank goodness for Luis Severino!

Remembering 2015: Brett Gardner Highlights

This Day in New York Yankees History 12/30: Return of the Rocket

On this day in 2002 Roger Clemens signed a one year deal worth $10.1 million with the Yankees at age 40. Clemens was coming off of a 13-6 season with a 4.35 ERA and states that this would probably be his last season. The six time Cy Young Award winner was only seven wins shy of 300 victories for his career.