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.