Thursday, March 31, 2016

New York Yankees Spring Training Open Thread 3/31

So what happened down at Yankees spring training camp today? Let's get caught back up!

Andrew Miller will pitch through his fracture in his wrist. Bryan Mitchell will not. Mitchell hurt his toe covering first base and will miss at least the next three months. Ouch.

Austin Romine is your backup catcher.

Masahiro Tanaka starts Game One against the Houston Astros.

Luis Cessa wins a bullpen slot. Johnny Barbato does as well. Kirby Yates replaces Bryan Mitchell.

Jake Cave has been waived and will be welcomed back to the Yankees if he clears waivers.

More news as it comes!

Predicting the Comeback Player of the Year

The Comeback Player of the Year, quite possibly the most useless award in all of Major League Baseball’s set of awards? Why you may ask? The league or whoever votes on these things focus too much, in my opinion, on a guy who missed a chunk of the previous season due to injury and less on a player that makes a true comeback. I was pretty on the fence about this award before last year but when Alex Rodriguez did not win the award that solidified it for me. Leaving my bias and opinions aside I wanted to take a stab at an American League and National League Comeback Player of the Year Award winner for the 2016 season. 

In the American League I went a little off the script here with my pick. This player is technically still coming back from an injury but the injury did not keep him off the field for the majority of the 2015 season. In fact this man played much of the 2015 season on the field and behind the dish for the Baltimore Orioles, Mr. Matt Wieters. Wieters is entering the 2016 campaign in his second season removed from Tommy John surgery after playing in 75 games last season. Wieters struggled with the bat last season and struggled to command the running game at times last season. They say positional players need a year to recover from the injury while pitchers need two full years to be fully back to themselves but everybody is different just like every injury is different. Wieters has to throw the ball back to the pitcher a good 150-200 times a night, control the running game and bat on a surgically repaired elbow that may or may not have been 100% when he did it all. Wieters should benefit from a long winter off and should be back to form in 2016 winning the award outright.  

I considered going with Marcus Stroman here for the AL but after that September and October he had I felt like he already came back, you know? 

In the National League I went with a “can’t miss” prospect that has yet to live up to the expectations and hype over a 162-game schedule. Wil Myers of the San Diego Padres was thought to be the next big thing when he was with Tampa but after a trade to the West Coast and a wrist injury later we fans were left wondering once again what could have been with Myers. 2016 may finally be the year we see a full season and a productive season out of Myers as he has yet to play in more than 88 games in a season during his career or get more than 335 at bats. Myers started out last season hitting well with four home runs and a .286 average in April as the leadoff man before hurting his wrist again and ending his season. Myers, if he can finally stay healthy, might not only win this award but may be in consideration for the NL MVP Award as well. You never know. 

Just as a quick note I am well aware that just one award is handed out and not one for each league. That just feels cheap to me so I gave one to each league, because I’m nice like that. Enjoy!

Randy Levine Complains About the Luxury Tax Again

When Randy Levine talks I usually find the nearest mute button, pair of headphones or loud gun and/or explosion to go listen to instead. It’s nothing personal Randy I just don’t agree with a lot of the things you say and I don’t believe you speak for the Yankees fan. Maybe you speak for the suits that run things but suits don’t cheer and suits don’t pay the bills but anyway that’s another blog post for another day. Today’s blog post focuses on what Mr. Levine had to say regarding the New York Yankees, the New York Mets and the luxury tax that both teams have to pay.

In an interview with Fox Sports Levine said that it was “unfair” that the Yankees have to pay so much more in luxury tax than the Mets. Here’s the exact quote:

“What is very burdensome to us – and is unfair – is the amount of money we have to pay in revenue sharing compared, for example, to teams in our market that pay 10 times less than us,” Levine said. “Hopefully that is something that will get looked at in the next labor agreement.”

So let me get this straight. The league set a bar that currently sits at $186 million and said if you go over this total you’re hit with a tax. The league also mandated that the fine and penalty would worsen for consecutive seasons over the luxury tax threshold until or unless you get under the cap for a full season. Either the Yankees didn’t get a certified copy of the rules book or they knew what they were doing when they blew past the mark every year since its inception. Tell me again, please try anyway, how it’s “unfair” that the Mets don’t have to pay for blatantly disregarding the rules while the Yankees do. I’ll wait.

And I’m also wondering how Levine is confused by the whole revenue sharing thing as a whole. The Yankees are worth $3.4 billion, far and away the most in MLB, and the whole system was designed to steal from the rich and give to the poor. The Mets are poor, they are more in debt than the United States of America (almost anyway), and the Yankees are rich. But don’t worry Randy there is a silver lining in this all and how the team has been run recently. At the trend it’s going it won’t be the strongest, most desired or richest brand in all of North American sports anymore. That’s what losing and not reinvesting in your future will do to an organization. 

Yankees ST: Two More Games, One More Team

The New York Yankees have another two games today in the Grapefruit League as the team knocks out two more games in their spring training schedule today. In the first game the Yankees are on the road in Joker Marchant Stadium to face off with Matt Boyd and the Detroit Tigers while New York sends Chad Green to the mound. Meanwhile down at George M. Steinbrenner Field the Yankees will send Michael Pineda to the mound to face off against Mike Leake and the St. Louis Cardinals.

Both games will be played at 1:05 pm ET with the game against Detroit seen on MLB TV while the game with the Cardinals can be seen on the YES Network, MLB Network and MLB TV. Go Yankees x2!

Predicting the AL& NL Rookies of the Year

Every year around this time I roll out my predictions for the major awards, the standings, the division winners, the playoffs and even the World Series because I’m a glutton for punishment. Why? Because I’m wrong about 75% of the time, if not more, but it is fun to do pre-season and it’s fun to look back at in October or November so 2016 won’t be any different. We’ll start it off with a few players that are starting off their Major League careers in 2016 as I take a stab at predicting the American league and National League’s Rookie of the Year Award winners.

In the American League there is a name we’ve heard a ton about for a long, long time. That name is Byron Buxton of the Minnesota Twins, a longtime top prospect in Major League Baseball. The Twins have been patient with the young outfielder and they finally got some dividends paid back in 2015. Buxton hit .209/.250/.326 in 138 plate appearances in 2015 and is still considered a prospect for the 2016 season meaning he is still eligible to win the American League’s version of the ROY Award, and he will in my estimation. Let’s not forget that Mike Trout began his career in 2011 with a 40 game stint that included a .220/.281/.390 triple slash.

Don’t be surprised if Luis Severino is listed somewhere in the final voting though, this kid has all the making of being pretty special.

In the National League I considered going with Steven Matz of the New York Mets or Corey Seager of the Los Angeles Dodgers but I ultimately landed on the starting shortstop for the Washington Nationals, Trea Turner.  Turner burst onto the scene in a big way in 2015 posting a .322/.370/.458 triple slash with 29 stolen bases in the minor leagues before making a quick cameo in the Major Leagues last season. With Ian Desmond out the Nationals will give the bulk of the playing time to Turner giving him plenty of opportunities and plenty of runners on base in front of him to get him the award.

I wanted to go with Carlos Martinez of St. Louis but that suspension is going to eat up much of his season leaving him on the outside looking in. 

Press Release: Trenton Thunder Present Golf Night!

Golf Night, Presented by Cranbury Golf Club, Scheduled for April 21
mozes_golf boomer

Get back into the swing of golf season on Thursday, April 21 at ARM & HAMMER Park when the Thunder host their inaugural Golf Night.

The night begins with the perfect addition to any golfer's bag, a golf towel, presented by Cranbury Golf Club, to the first 1,000 fans, ages 12 and up. Keep your clubs sparkling clean with this outstanding collectible.

Prize giveaways will occur throughout the night thanks to the Mercer County Golf Academy and various clubs that will be in attendance on April 21. Following the game, the Academy will send one lucky fan home with a gift certificate for winning the closest to the pin contest. Fans will have the opportunity to sign up for the closest to the pin at Fan Services throughout the game and they will compete in partnership with a golf professional from one of the clubs represented on April 21.

Clubs that will be in attendance at Golf Night include Cranbury Golf Club, Trenton Country Club, Hopewell Valley Golf Club, Middletown Country Club, the New Jersey Golf Foundation, and Mercer County Golf Courses, Mercer Oaks, Mountain View Golf Club and Princeton Country Club.

Golf Night will feature a great opportunity for kids to get their first exposure to the game. The New Jersey Golf Foundation will be on Times Square (the area in front of the ballpark) with pros from local clubs providing five-minute educational lessons.

Tickets to Golf Night are available by clicking here and groups of 20 or more can get tickets for just $8 each by filling out the form on this page or calling 609-394-3300 x105.

This Day in New York Yankees History 3/31: Welcome to Coors Field

On this day in 1995 in front of a crowd of 47,536 the New York Yankees lost the first ever game at Coors Field, an exhibition game, 4-1 to the Colorado Rockies.

Also on this day in 1984 Roger Maris announced his #9 jersey retirement from the Yankees on an episode of ABC's Sports Beat with Howard Cosell. New York planned to retire the jersey number at Old Timer's Day that July. Maris showed much disbelief in learning the news and was very happy to be recognized for his seven years in pinstripes.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

New York Yankees Spring Training Open Thread 3/30


Chip fracture in Miller's wrist. First Julio Teheran hits Jacoby Ellsbury in the wrist and now this. Damn the Atlanta Braves.

So what happened down at Yankees spring training camp today? Let's get caught back up!

Bryan Van Dusen was Johnny on the spot this afternoon with the spring updates but just in case you missed it Ronald Torreyes will be on the Yankees bench and the final spots in the Yankees bullpen come down to Luis Cessa, Kirby Yates, Johnny Barbato and Anthony Swarzak. Only two will make the team.

Bryan Mitchell hurt his toe covering first base and will undergo some tests while Andrew Miller's X-ray on his wrist came back negative. He still needs to pass a CT scan to make the Opening Day roster.

The Yankees beat the Atlanta Braves 2-0

Bryan Mitchell & Andrew Miller Injured


During the Yankees Spring Training game today Andrew Miller took a line drive to his right wrist. His reaction, which included spiking his hat or glove into the ground before going straight to the clubhouse, did not fill Yankees fans with hope.

In fact, the one thing that made Yanks fans happy was that he didn't take the liner to his throwing hand. Not that he wouldn't still miss a couple months, but his effectiveness may have taken a hit if he gripped the ball differently.

Anyway, thankfully, his x-rays came back negative. He will be going for a CT Scan, so he's not totally in the clear, but avoiding a broken bone is a very good thing.

Bryan Mitchell injured his toe today as well, although we don't have any information on how bad it may be. Our only explanation is that his toe "locked up" while covering first base. While it shouldn't keep him out long at all, there is a chance that his mechanics change slightly to compensate for his toe, which is normally not a good thing.

We'll keep you updated.

Looking at the 2016 Schedule: Skipping CC Sabathia

No matter what the New York Yankees say they let the contract and the number of years on the back of the baseball card dictate the playing time. If they didn't Robert Refsnyder would still be in major league spring training camp about to break camp with the team and CC Sabathia wouldn't even be in a 5th starter competition with Ivan Nova and Bryan Mitchell. Mitchell has actually earned the spot while Nova has pitched better than Sabathia although all signs point to Sabathia winning the 5th spot in the Yankees rotation anyway. Let's just assume that Sabathia wins the last rotation spot, can the Yankees skip his starts with all the extra days off at the beginning of the season?

4/4 - Masahiro Tanaka (5+)
4/6 - Michael Pineda (5+)
4/7 - Nathan Eovaldi (5+)
4/8 - Luis Severino (5+)
4/9 - CC Sabathia (5+) or Tanaka on 4 days rest
4/10 - Masahiro Tanaka (5)
4/12 - Michael Pineda (5)
4/13 - Nathan Eovaldi (5)
4/14 - Luis Severino (5)
4/15 - CC Sabathia (5) or Tanaka on 4 days rest
4/16 - Masahiro Tanaka (5)
4/17 - Michael Pineda (4)
4/19 - Nathan Eovaldi (5)
4/20 - Luis Severino (5)
4/21 - CC Sabathia (5) or Tanaka on 4 days rest
4/22 - Masahiro Tanaka (5)
4/23 - Michael Pineda (5)
4/24 - Nathan Eovaldi (4)
4/25 - Luis Severino (4)
4/26 - CC Sabathia (4)
4/27 - Masahiro Tanaka (4)
4/29 - Michael Pineda (5)
4/30 - Nathan Eovaldi (5)

The number in the parenthesis shows how many days of rest these pitchers would have. Is it possible to skip a couple CC or 5th starter starts in the early days of the season? Unfortunately it doesn't look like it. In plenty of situations Tanaka could be used on normal rest but the rest of the rotation would not fall in line behind him. Unfortunately it looks like New York will not be able to take advantage of the extra days off during the first month of the season and that means we should see plenty of Sabathia, Mitchell, Nova or whoever wins that final slot. I hope they are up to the task.

With Refsnyder/Sanchez Gone What Does the Opening Day Roster Look Like Now?

I have done many of these prediction posts this winter and spring as I looked to guess the Opening Day roster for the New York Yankees. You know what? As usual, I suck. Illuminati not confirmed. I had both Gary Sanchez and Robert Refsnyder on my rosters throughout the spring  and both have been sent down to minor league camps ending their chances at making the Opening Day rosters barring an injury. What does my prediction look like now that these two big names are gone from the pool of candidates?

We'll skip the starting lineup and rotation as we can all pretty much guess who is going to be there. Let's focus instead on the bench and bullpen specifically.

C: Austin Romine
3B: Ronald Torreyes
OF: Aaron Hicks
UTIL: Dustin Ackley

Aroldis Chapman
Dellin Betances
Andrew Miller
Chasen Shreve
Ivan Nova
Bryan Mitchell
Johnny Barbato

I can see the Yankees pulling the whole "send Luis Cessa down to work as a starting pitcher and stretch him out" excuse giving the last bullpen slot to a guy who has impressed for much of the spring in Barbato. Meanwhile I can see New York giving the backup catcher position to Austin Romine, if anyone has earned it with this organization it's Romine, while Torreyes is listed as a backup third baseman that can play almost literally all over the field for New York.

The Final Offensive Bench Spot Goes To...

After Rob Refsnyder was sent to the minors, the final bench spot on the Yankees came down to either Ronald Torreyes or Pete Kozma. And we learned this morning, via Joe Girardi, that the team would be taking Torreyes.

The path to the Yankees Opening Day roster wasn't a simple one for Ronald.

Torreyes started the 2015 season in the Los Angeles Dodgers organization, joining their AA affiliate in Tulsa. That was followed by a 16-game stint with the Toronto Blue Jays AA affiliate in New Hampshire. Ronnie then played in 19 games in AAA for Fresno, in the Houston Astros organization. Finally, he finished the season back with the Dodgers, and after spending some time at AAA Oklahoma City, Torreyes made his MLB debut and appeared in 8 games.

The silliness doesn't end there, though.

The Yankees acquired Torreyes in a trade with the Dodgers over the winter. Three days after trading for him, the Yankees DFA'd Ronald, where he was claimed by the Los Angeles Angels In The Outfield (or whatever). Three days after that, Torreyes was again DFA'd, this time by the Angels. And who was there to claim him? Why, of course... The New York Yankees.


And now Mr. Ronald Torreyes has learned he'll be on the Opening Day roster for the Yankees.

Congratulations, and good luck!

The Final Four Bullpen Spots, That Should Be Final Three

He's a starter until proven otherwise.

I've always been a firm believer in that statement, and I thought about it yet again when reading about the final two bullpen spots available on the team.

Two of Johnny Barbato, Anthony Swarzak, Kirby Yates, and Luis Cessa, will join the Yankees on Opening Day.

In his five minor league seasons, Johnny Barbato has appeared in 179 games, however he's only started 20 of them. And more than half of those starts (13 to be exact) happened back in 2011, his first professional season after being drafted by the San Diego Padres the year before. Johnny actually hasn't started a game since 2013, and he wasn't too successful at it.

Anthony Swarzak started four games for the Minnesota Twins in 2014, however he came into 46 other games that season as a reliever. In 2015, Anthony gave it a shot in the Korean Baseball Organization, starting in 17 out of 20 games appeared in, however a 5.26 ERA in the KBO didn't "wow" anyone. Swarzak returned to the States last season, and appeared in ten games of relief for the Cleveland Indians

Kirby Yates has been a professional baseball player for seven years. In those seven years he's appeared in 285 games, and started just 18 of them (only one of them coming after 20111).

It's safe to say that these three men are relief pitchers. They were given a shot as starters, but those experiments didn't pan out.

Then we come to Luis Cessa. Luis has appeared in 95 professional baseball games, and started 86 of those. And the nine games he appeared as a reliever all came back in 2011.

I think it's safe to say that Luis Cessa's career as a starting pitcher are not over with yet.

Therefore I believe it would be best for the Yankees to send Mr. Cessa to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre to continue work as a starter.

Last season ten different pitchers started at least two games for the Yanks, and seven of those started in 11 or more. The point being that the five pitchers to be awarded spots in the starting rotation on Opening Day, along with the next guy in line... Ivan Nova, will not be enough to get the team through the season.

Yankees ST: New York Yankees @ Atlanta Braves 3/30

The month of March is almost coming to a close as we turn the page to April and the regular season for 2016. With just a handful of games left in this Grapefruit League schedule the vast majority of the spring competitions in Yankees camp are over. Now it's get the work in, get out and stay healthy. That's the plan today against Julio Teheran and the Atlanta Braves. Get your nine innings in and get out alive and in one piece. The eye is on the prize that is Game One against the Houston Astros.

Today's game will be played at 1:05 pm ET and will not be televised anywhere locally or nationally.

Old Faces in New York Spring Training Places

The New York Yankees have seen a lot of turnover over the past few seasons and especially during the 2016 offseason so I thought now would be a good time to see how those former Yankees faces are doing in different spring places. Not that spring stats mean much of anything at all but it can still be fun to look at to see if the team “won” a specific transaction or not.

Adam Warren:
CHC 1 0 0 5.14 4 1 2 7.0 7 6 4 1 0 5 1.000 9.0 1.3 0.0 6.4
Stephen Drew:
WSH 16 37 4 9 3 1 8 0 4 8 .273 .351 .455 .806
Brendan Ryan:
WSH 34 17 30 5 11 2 0 3 0 1 5 .379 .400 .517 .917
Rookie Davis:
Chris Capuano
MIL 0 0 0 1.69 7 0 1 10.2 9 2 2 0 3 8 1.125 7.6 0.0 2.5 6.8
Chris Young:
BOS 32 14 37 4 7 3 2 6 1 3 6 .206 .270 .471 .741
Jake Cave: 
Jose Pirela:
SD 26 21 52 5 18 5 1 4 0 1 8 .353 .365 .510 .875

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