Monday, February 8, 2016

TGP Prospects Month Open Thread featuring Yankees Hot Stove

Join the Yankees Hot Stove guys on the YES Network including Greedy Pinstripes follower (on Twitter) Michael Kay, Jack Curry and Bob Lorenz as they discuss how youth and the Yankees farm system will affect and help New York this season. Curry is a name in this industry I absolutely trust while Kay is someone I enjoy listening to. He may be a bit cocky on his radio show but he's smart as hell and I can overlook it most of the time. With that said, enjoy!

Prospects Month ICYMI: Yankees 2015 Minor League Suspensions Recap

Baseball America is awesome, we all know that. They bring us the best of the best when it comes to all things Yankees prospects and prospects in general. Unfortunately they cover it all though and that included the Yankees minor league suspensions from this season. CLICK HERE for the entire article but I will sample the Yankees related material below.


Yankees SS Holman Miranda3ds_yankees83
Suspension Length: 
72 games
Violating Substances: 
metabolites of Nandrolone
Miranda, 17, hit .246/.366/.324 for the Yankees’ DSL2 team this summer. The 5-foot-11, 175-pound shortstop is a switch hitter who signed with the Yankees in March.


Yankees RHPs Anderson Acevedo, Anthoniris Santana and Carlos Santana3ds_yankees85
Suspension Length: 72 games
Violating Substances: metabolites of Stanozolol
The suspensions of the three players, who are all currently on the Yankees’ DSL roster, are effective immediately. Acevedo, 21, is 0-1, 4.76; Anthoniris Santana, 20, is 1-1, 6.00, and Carlos Santana, 20, is 0-0, 3.24.


Yankees RHP Wilking Rodriguez
Suspension Length: 80 games
Violating Substances: Furosemide
Rodriguez, now 25, was signed to a minor league deal by the Yankees this winter. He was originally signed as an international free agent by Devil Rays on Feb. 26, 2007 and rose as high as No. 17 in Tampa Bay’s organization. At his best, Rodriguez has a 90-95 mph fastball with natural tailing action that makes it difficult for opponents to barrel. Following seven years in the Rays’ organization, Rodriguez spent 2014 in the Royals’ organization, reaching the majors for two games, before signing with the Yankees. He had not pitched yet this season after spending time in big league camp.


Yankees RHP Moises Cedeno
Suspension Length: 72 games
Violating Substances: Clenbuterol
Cedeno, signed by the Yankees in 2011 out of Panama for $354,800, has spent the past three seasons in the DSL with varying degrees of success. Last season, he was 4-4, 3.23 and averaged more than a strikeout per inning. When he signed he was touted for his fastball (93 mph) and what scouts termed an advanced changeup. He won’t turn 20 until Aug. 29.


Yankees RHP Brayan Alcantara
Suspension Length: 72 games
Violating Substances: metabolites of Stanozolol
The 6-foot-1, 170-pound Alcantara, now 21, has pitched in the Dominican Summer League the past three seasons with varying degrees of success. In 2014, he was 1-4, 4.21, but had a career-low 3.16 BB/9.


Yankees SS Tyler Palmer
Suspension Length: 50 games
Violating Substances: amphetamines and drug of abuse (second positive test)
Palmer, 22, was drafted by the Marlins in the fourth round in 2011 but was hampered by a hand injury that required three surgeries. He finished his amateur career in 2014 at Thomas (Ga.) and was the top prospect in the NAIA before he was signed by the Yankees as a nondrafted free agent in June. He slashed .262/.354/.443 in the Rookie-level GCL.

Most Popular Article of the Week: 40 facts about 40 Yankees

Featuring Bryan Van Dusen's article seen HERE:

"Wikipedia? Never heard of it."

I haven't been inspired to write much of anything lately, which unfortunately has led to Daniel having to carry the bulk of the load around here. Trust me, I've been looking out for something to spark that desire to write, but since the Yankees have had an incredibly quiet offseason things have been tough.

However, after reading something interesting about one of the current Yankees, I decided to do some research and try to find something about each player on the Yankees' 40-man roster that you may not have known.

If you did know something here please don't yell at me and say I didn't do enough research. It was really hard to find at least something about a few players, so cut me some slack.

So here we go with 40 facts about 40 Yankees...

Johnny Barbato - attended Felix Varela High School in Miami, the same school former Glee star Blake Jenner went to.

Dellin Betances - sat with the Bleacher Creatures during David Wells' perfect game in 1998.

Vicente Campos - he is the cousin of former MLB pitcher Kelvim Escobar and Kansas City Royals' shortstop Alcides Escobar.

Luis Cessa - during an interview with David Conde of, Cessa listed Andy Pettitte as one of his favorite players growing up.

Aroldis Chapman - while many start playing organized baseball around age 7, Aroldis didn't do so until he was 15.

Nathan Eovaldi - in his MLB debut, starting for the Los Angeles Dodgers against the Arizona Diamondbacks, Nathan gave up 4 hits in 5 innings... two to opposing starter Joe Saunders.

Nick Goody - while pitching at Louisiana State University, Nick took the closer's role from current teammate Nick Rumbelow.

Jacob Lindgren - while attending Mississippi State University Jacob was part of the rap group "Bench Mobb", where he went by the name "Big Chunk".

Andrew Miller - attended Buchholz High School in Gainesville, FL, which was also attended by former NBA player Vernon Maxwell, as well as former NFL players Ivy Joe Hunter, Lamar Thomas, Billy Latsko, and Doug Johnson.

Bryan Mitchell - during the 2009 MLB Amateur draft many teams passed on drafting Mitchell due to him having committed to The University of North Carolina. However, Bryan was drafted by the Yankees and decided not to enroll in UNC after all.

Ivan Nova - The Boston Red Sox tried to sign Ivan , however in an interview with ESPN The Magazine, Nova was quoted as saying "I really didn't want to sign with Boston. My father and I were both Yankee fans."

Tyler Olson - if the Yankees groundskeepers ever need help, then they can look to Tyler. While at Gonzaga, Olson spent a summer working alongside the baseball team's groundskeeper.

James Pazos - while it's only been 5 innings, Pazos has yet to give up an extra-base hit.

Brandon Pinder - in Pinder's 1st appearance in MLB he got out of the inning thanks to a rare bunt pop-up, where Alejandro De Aza was doubled off 3rd after hitting a triple in the at bat before.

Michael Pineda - while he likes to conduct interviews in English, he sometimes has to get help from Dellin Betances.

Nick Rumbelow - while some aspiring professional athletes would concentrate one that one sport during high school, Nick was an outside linebacker/punter in football and point guard in basketball.

CC Sabathia - actually signed a letter of intent to play football at the University of Hawaii, but decided to go pro in baseball instead.

Luis Severino - grew up a Yankees fan, and particularly Robinson Cano.

Chasen Shreve - was a teammate of Bryce Harper in college, and maybe will be a teammate of his again in a couple years?

Masahiro Tanaka - I've mentioned in the past that 'Hiro is a huge fan of Momoiro Clover Z, a female musical group from Japan, and their songs are played while he warms up. But Tanaka also uses a 5-colored glove for practicing, and wears a glove with a clover leaf during games... both of which pay homage to the same music group.

Kirby Yates - although drafted by the Red Sox in 2005, Kirby decided to attend college at Yavapai College instead. Good call, Kirby!

Brian McCann - Donny Osmond, a favorite of both Brian and his wife Ashley, performed at their wedding.

Austin Romine - his father, Kevin, spent seven years with the Boston Red Sox. Thankfully Austin didn't take after his dad.

Gary Sanchez - he follows Manny Ramirez on Twitter. Hopefully it's his way of learning what not to do.

Greg Bird - Greg was set to play ball for the University of Arkansas but decided to join the Yankees instead. Good call, Greg! You don't want to be in the SEC.

Starlin Castro - As a Cub Starlin hit a home run in his first MLB at-bat. The Yankees have had three guys do that... John Miller in 1966, Marcus Thames in 2002, and Andy Phillips in 2004.

Didi Gregorius - His father, Johannes, pitched for the Amsterdam Pirates. His mother, Sherista, played softball for the Dutch national team. His older brother, Johannes Jr., played in Honkbal Hoofdklasse of the Italian Baseball League, as well as for the national team of Curacao. And his grandfather, Antonio, is known as one of the greatest pitchers in the history of Curacoa. So you can say Didi was destined to do something good in the sport.

Chase Headley - While Chase was a good baseball player in college, including having broke Todd Helton's record of walks in a single season for the University of Tennessee with 62, he was also an Academic All-American with a 3.62 GPA.

Rob Refsnyder - Rob was not raised to be soft, as it wasn't until he was 17 that he beat his father in pick-up basketball. I like that.

Mark Teixeira - Mark is not only a big Broadway fan, but he also appeared on stage in a production of Rock of Ages as "Mark the bartender".

Dustin Ackley - a friend of mine has a son that was born months premature, and I know how strong my friend was going through that. So knowing that Dustin has a son that was born six months premature leads me to believe that he too is a good a strong man.

Lane Adams - when he graduated high school Lane was the fifth highest scoring basketball player in Oklahoma high school basketball history, and was committed to play for Missouri State University before he was drafted by the Royals.

Carlos Beltran - while sliding into second base for his 300th steal, joining the 300–300 club on June 15, 2012, a cross necklace popped out of his jersey, and after the game, he told a reporter that "all the glory" was God's.

Jacoby Ellsbury - Ellsbury released a zinfandel wine called ZinfandEllsbury through Charity Wines, with 100% of his proceeds donated among three charities: The Navajo Relief Fund, Project Bread: The Walk for Hunger, and Ellsbury Read Project.

Ben Gamel - graduated from Bishop Kenny High School, the same school attended by Darren O'Day and Jonathan Papelbon.

Brett Gardner - while you may have heard this one before, I love it... Brett had initially tried to walk onto the baseball team at the College of Charleston. Although he didn't hear anything about making the team afterwards, Brett showed up to practice anyway. The coach asked why he was there, and Brett told him that he knew he was capable of playing at the Division 1 level. The coach allowed him to stay as long as he didn't screw up, and Gardner ended up a third-team All-American and a second-time All-Southern Conference player.

Slade Heathcott - Slade's overcome a lot in his life. When he was younger he was arrested for DUI, and was kicked off the high school baseball team for academic reasons. And is said to have pointed a 12-gauge shotgun at his father during an argument. Thankfully, with the help of Sam Marsonek, a former MLB pitcher, Slade turned his life around.

Aaron Hicks - Aaron actually wore #32 in Minnesota to honor Dave Winfield.

Mason Williams - Williams' father, Derwin Williams, played in the National Football League for the New England Patriots. His grandfather's brother, Walt Williams, played Major League Baseball from 1964 through 1975 as an outfielder with the Houston Colt .45s, Chicago White Sox, Cleveland Indians, and New York Yankees.

Alex Rodriguez - we all know how gifted a baseball player Alex was when he was younger, but did you know that he was very close to becoming the next Bo Jackson/Deion Sanders? Before joining the Seattle Mariners, Alex was set to play both baseball and football at the University of Miami?

Although I'd love to see Brian Cashman pull a rabbit out of a hat and make a big splash with a trade that would net the Yankees a good/young starter, part of me hopes nothing happens otherwise I might have to re-do this article.

I tell you what, should it happen I'll include a bit of information about whoever joins the team... but not all 40 of them again.


By the way, if you have something about a player, then put it in the comments. Even if the person isn't currently on the team, or heck... never was, tell us about it. I think stuff like this is really interesting.

TGP Prospects Month Top #29 Prospects List - #22 Jonathan Holder

The New York Yankees picked apart the Mississippi State Rebels baseball team during the 2014 MLB First Year Players Draft by taking Jacob Lindgren with their first pick and today's showcase prospect later in the draft Jonathan Holder. Holder, or Kenny Powers.. I haven't quite figured it out yet, was drafted as a relief pitcher and is expected to absolutely fly through the Yankees system as soon as the 2018 season realistically which has him at the #22 spot on this list.

So you may be asking why Holder is ranked above a guy like Tyler Wade on my list, right? Well like I said yesterday I don't believe Wade has enough of a bat to be a good second baseman, especially in this day and age while Holder was drafted as a reliever. Holder was drafted as a reliever but that doesn't mean he has been solely a relief pitcher as a professional. Holder made 18 starts with the Tampa Yankees last season and made three starts with the Gulf Coast Yankees before finishing his season in Triple-A with the Scranton RailRiders. Holder was only there for the playoff push after the organization gutted the team with September call ups but still, Holder has a whopping 5.2 innings of Triple-A experience on the back of his baseball card.

If Holder can continue being a starting pitcher and continue to post numbers similar to his 2.87 ERA and 1.094 WHIP as a starter from Tampa he may reach Trenton by the end of the season, if not Scranton. If Holder can be a starter his value is more, in my eyes anyway, than as a reliever. Sure it may slow down his progression to the Major Leagues but it may be the best thing not only for himself but for the team in the long run.

22. Jonathan Holder
23. Tyler Wade
24. Nick Rumbelow
25.Jordan Montgomery
26.Trey Amburgey
27. Ben Gamel
28. Austin DeCarr
29. Thairo Estrada
30. James Pazos

Meet a Prospect: Donovan Solano

The New York Yankees found themselves this winter pretty thin at the middle infield positions in Triple-A forcing Brian Cashman to look outside the organization for help. Despite already signing Pete Kozma to a minor league deal and Robert Refsnyder destined for second base in Scranton the Yankees were looking for depth up the middle after trading Brendan Ryan and Jose Pirela this winter. In an attempt to fill the depth chart back up the team made a minor league signing with an invite to spring training and offered it to former St. Louis Cardinals and Miami Marlins product Donovan Solano. Today we meet him and officially welcome him to the New York Yankees family and organization. This is Meet a Prospect: The Donovan Solano Edition.

Donovan Solano Preciado was born on December 17, 1987 in Columbia along with his brother and fellow Major League player Jhonatan Solano. It was in Columbia that Donovan caught the eye of the St. Louis Cardinals leading the team to sign him as an international free agent in 2005. Solano spent the next seven seasons inside the Cardinals organization as a backup infielder before his eventual release from the only professional organization he’s ever known. The Miami Marlins came calling in 2012 and invited Solano to spring training camp as a non-roster invitee after signing him to a minor league deal and this is where Solano’s MLB career began.

In 2012 Solano made his MLB debut with the Marlins after losing out on the spring competition to Donnie Murphy. Solano began the season in Triple-A with the New Orleans Zephyrs before getting the call to the majors on May 20, 2012. Solano became just the 12th Columbian-born player to reach the Major Leagues and he singled in his first career at-bat. His brother Jhonatan, also with the Marlins, became the 13th Columbian-born player to make his MLB debut in that same magical 2012 season.

Some highlights from Solano’s 2012 campaign included a 2-4 night against the San Francisco Giants in his first career MLB start on May 26. This was also the season that Hanley Ramirez was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers in July giving Solano, Murphy and Greg Dobbs ample playing time at third base for the fish. Solano finished his rookie campaign with a .295 average in 285 at-bats with a pair of home runs, 11 doubles, three triples, 28 RBI, 21 walks and seven stolen bases. Solano followed up his rookie campaign with three more average seasons with Miami before becoming a free agent this winter.

The Yankees scooped up Solano and will give him a shot to win the last bench spot for the team in 2016. If he doesn’t win the spot, and the odds are not forever in his favor here in my opinion, he will presumably begin the season in Triple-A with the Scranton/Wilkes Barre RailRiders. Either way he’s part of the Yankees organization and the Yankees family so Donovan, welcome! Enjoy your stay.

Pedro Alvarez & the Return of Too Many Damn Home Runs

When the New York Yankees announced that they would be without backup first baseman Greg Bird for the entire 2016 season many fans lost their minds, and for good reason in my opinion. Sure Bird was slated to begin the season at Triple-A while he waited out Mark Teixeira’s contract to expire this winter but he was still going to play a big part on this team this season, call it a hunch. At this point in his career the question is not if Teixeira will get injured it’s more when and Bird is the only natural MLB ready first baseman the Yankees have as a backup. The team also plans to use the last bench spot as a revolving door much like they used the last bullpen slot last season to mix and match pitchers on almost a daily basis and Bird would surely be in that fold in some capacity. Now Bird is gone for the season and the Yankees are left scrambling for possible replacements and answers. Could one of those answers be Pedro Alvarez?

In a word, no. That’s just my opinion, I’m far from an insider truth be told, but I can’t see it happening. Brian Cashman stated immediately following the injury that the Yankees would not sign a major league first baseman to replace Bird this season but of course left the possibility of a minor league deal being signed somewhere. While I agree that there aren’t too many teams presumably beating down the doors of Alvarez’s house right now there is one major factor that a lot of people aren’t talking about when suggesting that Alvarez sign with the Yankees, the fact that he’s a Scott Boras client. Boras wants a multi-year deal for Alvarez, a multi-year Major League deal, after his client hit 27 home runs and knocked in 77 RBI last season with Pittsburgh. That looks great on paper but that doesn’t help the Yankees in one key facet of the game, the too many damn home runs facet, as the Pirates first baseman only hit .243 in 2015.

The announcements by Cashman and Boras could all be posturing and it could happen that Alvarez signs a minor league deal this winter or spring, with the Yankees or not, but as it looks right now the hopes of adding Alvarez’s home run or nothing swing and marginal defense, if that, are slim to none.

This Day In New York Yankees History 2/8: Johnny Damon Stops Being an Idiot

On this day in 2006 Johnny Damon stopped being an idiot and signed a free agent deal with the New York Yankees, leaving the Boston Red Sox. Johnny took out a full page ad in the Boston Globe thanking the fans for their support and their loyalty.