Friday, March 11, 2016

Yankees Spring Training Open Thread 3/11

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

Masahiro Tanaka three three shutout innings allowing just one hit in his second spring start. Very encouraging, maybe the doubters (who are not doctors) can calm down for four days now.

Chasen Shreve faced four batters in the game and retired all four in succession.

Ellsbury had two hits, Gregorius had three hits, Mark Teixeira, Alex Rodriguez, Chris Denorfia and Brian McCann all had a hit each in the victory.

The New York Yankees snapped their own streak, almost a week long streak with their last win coming Saturday, beating the Baltimore Orioles 7-1. Baltimore's win-less streak is now at 12 games as they sport a 0-10-2 record this spring. ouch.

What if Injuries Decimate the Yankees in 2016?

Hey guys and girls, I’m back with another “what if” for the New York Yankees and their 2016 season. Earlier today we took a look at how the season would go, in my eyes anyway, if the Yankees stay relatively healthy in 2016 but what happens if the team gets decimated by injuries once again? What if they lose Mark Teixeira again or worse, what if they lose Masahiro Tanaka or Alex Rodriguez? Has Brian Cashman done enough to weather the storm and has he truly built a team around flexibility and versatility or are the Yankees once again hyping themselves and their prospects up for a trade later on down the road? I’ll try my best to decipher it all here. 

If the Yankees lose Brian McCann for an extended period of time you have to think, at least on paper, that New York would be comfortable with plugging Gary Sanchez into the job. Sanchez would give the Yankees presumably a slight decline in offense, if any, and a slight decline in defense as well. The same can be said for Starlin Castro or Didi Gregorius if they were to go down as Robert Refsnyder would play second base in either scenario while Castro either sits on the DL or plays the shortstop position in place of Gregorius. If Chase Headley goes down though that may be an entirely different story. Playing third base, and playing third base once or twice mind you, in spring training and playing third base in a real life game that actually means something are two totally different things. I’m not saying I don’t think either Castro or Refsnyder couldn’t handle it or won’t handle it because I don’t have a crystal ball but I am not sure I want to bank on it either if I don’t have to. 

In the outfield the options for potential replacements are plentiful with Aaron Judge, Aaron Hicks, Ben Gamel, Mason Williams and Slade Heathcott leading the charge in case one or all of Jacoby Ellsbury, Brett Gardner and Carlos Beltran go down. Speaking of Beltran and the backup outfield brigade the Yankees have right now Beltran or any one of them could potentially play the DH spot a few days a week if Alex Rodriguez were to go down with an injury while Gary Sanchez could also see time there in wake of an injury. 

The pitching staff and potential injuries is what should worry the Yankees though. The bullpen could survive a loss or three in my opinion, notice I said survive and not excel, but the starting rotation and the depth behind it is incredibly thin. Ivan Nova and unproven prospects like Luis Cessa, Chad Green and Bryan Mitchell don’t exactly scream AL East champions to me, although I’ve been wrong before, while the idea of rushing a Brady Lail, Miguel Sulbaran or James Kaprielian to the Major Leagues doesn’t exactly excite me either. 

Ultimately the Yankees could survive an injury or a handful of injuries in my opinion because of the great job of adding depth and warm controllable bodies behind the starters by Yankees GM Brian Cashman. With that said though there are certain positions, third base and starting pitching to be specific, which could hurt New York potentially more so than others. Cashman has done what he could to plug up these holes and hopefully we won’t have to find out but if we do, we being the fans of the team, we may be in for a long and frustrating 2016 season. 

USA Today Predicts the AL East Lineups

The USA Today is a one-stop shop for all things news, entertainment and sports and it is a website that I frequent pretty much every day. Their sports sections is especially entertaining because it offers fantasy baseball advice, news, opinions and so much more…. A lot like we do here at The Greedy Pinstripes. Today we bring you a bit of predictions from the crew over there as they predict the lineups for the American and National Leagues. If you want the full list you can head over there but for the purposes of this post we’ll keep it relevant and including just the American League East.

Baltimore Orioles
LF Hyun Soo Kim
3B Manny Machado
1B Chris Davis
CF Adam Jones
C Matt Wieters
RF Mark Trumbo
DH Pedro Alvarez
2B Jonathan Schoop
SS J.J. Hardy

Boston Red Sox
RF Mookie Betts
2B Dustin Pedroia
SS Xander Bogaerts
DH David Ortiz
1B Hanley Ramirez
3B Pablo Sandoval
LF Rusney Castillo
C Blake Swihart
CF Jackie Bradley Jr.

New York Yankees
CF Jacoby Ellsbury
LF Brett Gardner
RF Carlos Beltran
1B Mark Teixeira
DH Alex Rodriguez
C Brian McCann
3B Chase Headley
SS Didi Gregorius
2B Starlin Castro

Tampa Bay Rays
CF Kevin Kiermaier
2B Logan Forsythe
3B Evan Longoria
RF Corey Dickerson
LF Desmond Jennings
1B James Loney
DH Logan Morrison
C Hank Conger
SS Brad Miller

Toronto Blue Jays
CF Kevin Pillar
3B Josh Donaldson
RF Jose Bautista
DH Edwin Encarnacion
SS Troy Tulowitzki
1B Chris Colabello
C Russell Martin
LF Michael Saunders

2B Ryan Goins

Yankees ST: Baltimore Orioles @ New York Yankees 3/11

The New York Yankees will continue their Grapefruit League schedule and spring training camp this afternoon with a trip back home to George M. Steinbrenner Field. The Bronx Bombers will play host to their AL East rivals in the Baltimore Orioles this afternoon with Masahiro Tanaka going to the mound for New York against Mike Wright for Baltimore.

The game will be played at 1:05 pm ET and can be seen on the YES Network. Enjoy and Go Yankees!

What if the Yankees Go Injury Free in 2016?

Welcome to spring training, the foreplay of the Major League Baseball season. It’s where the games don’t count and where the players with roster spots take it easy. It’s one of the few times where everyone is in first place and the sky is the limit in the hope department. There are a lot of “what if’s” in spring training though that need to get figured out before the season, for example what if Robert Refsnyder can play third base? Does he still begin the season in Triple-A with the RailRiders? I like the short-sighted speculation like that but at the same time I prefer to play devil’s advocate, analyze and look at everything from both sides and throw a “what if” out there that cannot be answered for quite some time like what would happen to the New York Yankees and how far would they go if the team went relatively injury free in 2016?

Could we expect a 40 home run season and 150 games played from Mark Teixeira? Another 30+ home run season from Alex Rodriguez and seeing him pass Babe Ruth on the all-time home run list? Another 30 starts and a whole lot of myths and rumors squashed about his and five doctors decision to skip Tommy John surgery and rest and rehab the ligament instead? Jacoby Ellsbury finally living up to the hype of being a $150 million man? Yes, yes, yes and yes.

While there are plenty of upsides to having a generally healthy season there will always be a con to every pro. We won’t get to see much, if any, of Aaron Judge since Carlos Beltran will play the bulk of right field and Aaron Hicks will fill in when needed at the position. We won’t get to see much Robert Refsnyder either if the Yankees stay healthy all season as Starlin Castro and Chase Headley get the bulk of the playing time at second and third base respectively. We’ll still get to see Gary Sanchez, Brian McCann and A Rod will need days off throughout the season to keep them healthy and fresh, but not enough for my liking as a self-professed prospect humper.

While we squabble over playing time and the lifelong debate of veteran or prospect if the Yankees stay healthy you will see them back in the postseason regardless. This team is littered with youth and littered with talent and if they can put it together collectively as a group and stay healthy you may see 90-92 wins in 2016. I truly believe that. Health and staying fresh means the offense somewhat resembles the 2nd highest scoring offense they were in 2015, the pitching of Tanaka, Michael Pineda, Luis Severino and others stay in the rotation rather than Chris Capuano, Esmil Rogers and others who struggled in the rotation last season, and it means a dominant back end of the bullpen. All these components equal victories and a damn good season for not only the players and the fans but for the city of the Bronx as well. Go Yankees, stay healthy!

Quick Hit: MLB & Their First Openly Gay Player

Major League Baseball to any and all gay members of the league; “No rush to come out but no worries if you do.”

Major League Baseball insists they are not trying to push anyone or rush anyone but the league feels like it’s prepared and ready for their first openly gay player. MLB already has had players admit to being gay, Billy Bean and Glenn Burke the most notable, but neither of them admitted it until after their playing careers were over while minor league outfielder David Denson came out last year revealing his sexual preference. While Denson was the first he has yet to pass Class A-Ball with the Brewers and may never reach the Major Leagues.

Bean kind of broke the barrier for gay people in 1999 when he came out openly as a member of the front office in Oakland. Bean would later tell stories of how his partner of three years passes away as a player but he did not tell a soul because he was worried about how he would be perceived by his teammates in the clubhouse. Bean retired prematurely because he was miserable with his life and his playing career because of the fear that his lifestyle choices would make him different and hopes that no other player “is as miserable” as he was.

This is not going to be Jackie Robinson breaking the color barrier and it’s not going to be Hank Aaron passing Babe Ruth on the all-time home runs list but it’s going to be historical for Major League Baseball when the first gay ballplayer comes out openly. It will be a milestone and MLB is ready for it, are you?


Spectacular New Show Visits “The Joe” September 2 During North American Tour

Tickets On Sale Friday, March 4 at 10am
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CHARLESTON, SC – March 3, 2016 – Direct from sell out shows across the globe, Travis Pastrana’s Nitro Circus Live will visit Charleston for the first time in history when it returns to North America for a 40-city tour starting in April. Fans now have the chance to see the death-defying stunts and mind-blowing tricks that have captivated sold out audiences worldwide when Nitro Circus Live, the most explosive live event to ever visit Charleston, takes over “The Joe” -- Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Park -- on Friday, September 2. Tickets are on sale March 4 at 10am at and

Nitro Circus’ daredevils, the greatest action sports stars on the planet, will perform the most incredible choreographed riding routines in freestyle motocross (FMX), BMX, skate and more for a theatrical spectacular area fans have never experienced before. Highlights include the explosive “Nitro Bomb” featuring all riders simultaneously flipping through the air. During FMX trains, riders slice and dice, wheel-to-wheel mere inches apart before descending to earth for a smooth landing. The (in)famous 40-foot Giganta ramp is the centerpiece of the action and launches brave Nitro Circus riders high above the crowds while attempting another flurry of jaw-dropping tricks on ridiculous contraptions like trikes, a recliner, a bathtub and much more.

Nitro Circus Live has sold out legendary arenas such as Madison Square Garden in New York and the O2 in London. More than 35,000 people packed Johannesburg’s FNB Stadium, site of the 2010 soccer World Cup final, for a massive 2014 show; 45,000 filled Melbourne’s Rod Laver Arena, the second highest attendance of any touring act at that venue. Now, Charleston fans do not want to miss their chance to see Nitro Circus Live.

Check out show highlights here.

Tickets go on sale to the general public Friday, March 4.

Fans looking for the ultimate Nitro Circus experience will want to get their hands on the all-new Nitro Club VIP package. Starting at just $79 each, plus applicable service fees, these exclusive passes include the best seats in the house, watching the final 20 minutes of rider rehearsals, as well as a chance to get up close and personal with the stars of Nitro Circus during an exclusive Q & A. Nitro Club pass holders will also receive a souvenir lanyard and electronically signed Nitro Circus poster, as well as a chance to win cool Nitro Circus swag.

The positive economic impact the tour will generate also means Charleston businesses can anticipate receiving a major boost with the show’s arrival drawing thousands of people to their cities.

“Hotels, restaurants, bars and practically every other business in Charleston will benefit from having Nitro Circus Live in town,” says Porra. “Through audience research we’ve seen that fans are blown away, saying it’s the most exciting show they’ve ever seen. We’re thrilled to bring an event that has sold out huge stadiums across the globe to these new cities.”

For Nitro Circus news, tour updates, full rider lineup, exclusive behind-the-scenes content, and more, go to Follow Nitro Circus on Twitter: @nitrocircus and Facebook: Athletes subject to change.

About Nitro Circus

Named by Forbes magazine in 2015 as one of America’s Most Promising Companies, Nitro Circus continues to position itself as the world’s leading youth action sports & entertainment brand. From humble beginnings in 2003 – with Jeremy Rawle, Gregg Godfrey and extreme sports superstar Travis Pastrana producing DVDs from a Utah garage -- to a smash TV series which has aired in over 60 countries, Nitro Circus has exploded to global popularity. In 2012, Nitro Circus: The Movie 3D, featuring cast members from the hit television series, was released in cinemas worldwide. In 2015, Nitro Circus announced a partnership with NBC Sports Ventures. The multi-year strategic alliance will feature TV specials and series programming airing nationally in the U.S. on NBC and NBCSN as well as streamed on NBC Sports Live Extra.

The TV show was transformed by current CEO and action sports industry guru Michael Porra into a must-see live event in 2010, creating the global touring phenomenon that is Nitro Circus Live. Since its inaugural Australian trek five years ago, the show has travelled the globe, obliterating box office records and cultivating a legion of diehard fans. Nitro Circus has now rolled across five continents, blown away over two million fans and sold-out shows in the United States, Canada, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, China, Japan, the Middle East and South Africa. After close to 100 shows globally in 2015 and a packed 2016 touring schedule visiting even more cities coming up, Nitro Circus is the world’s most successful action sports touring brand.

This Day in New York Yankees History 3/11: Yankees Lose Nick Johnson

On this day in 2006 the New York Yankees lost out on an opportunity with their own free agent when first basemen and designated hitter Nick Johnson signed a three year contract extension worth $16.5 million with the Washington Nationals. The 27 year old first basemen signed a $3.2 million one year deal in January with the Nationals after spending his first five seasons with the Yankees.