Monday, May 9, 2016

Chapman Returns, Yanks Slug Five HRs In 6-3 Victory

      There was definitely a buzz around Yankee Stadium tonight and it was not just because the Yankees were beginning their three-game series against the defending World Series Champion Kansas City Royals. It was because everyone was hoping for their chance at seeing Aroldis Chapman, activated today from his 30-game suspension. The other story line of note was that Ivan Nova was making his first start of the year due to C.C. Sabathia being placed on the DL late last week. The tall order, literally, for the Yankees came in the form of Kansas City's 6'11" Chris Young. The big right-hander was sporting a 5.67 ERA at the start of the game, which would definitely be going up at night's end. With one starting pitcher coming out of the bullpen to make a spot start and the other not doing such a great job of pitching when his number was called, there would be plenty of offensive action in this one.
      The balls were flying all over the ballpark tonight, beginning in the bottom of the first when Brian McCann launched a solo homerun, just barely clearing the right-field wall, giving the Yankees a 1-0 lead. But, Kansas City would quickly respond as Alex Gordon took Nova deep to center, tying the game at one. Then, in the bottom of the second, Carlos Beltran took Young deep to right, puting the Yankees back on top, 2-1. The Bombers did not stop there. In the bottom of the third, Young served up back-to-back homeruns to Brett Gardner and Aaron Hicks, pushing the Yankee lead to three. After getting the next two batters out, Carlos Beltran struck again, Launching his second  solo blast of the game and forcing Chris Young to the showers. It was Young's worst outing of the season, as he allowed five homeruns, over a quarter of the total number of homeruns(16) he gave up all of last season.
      Neither starting pitcher would make it out of the fifth inning. With a pitch count of just 75, Ivan nova pitched well in his first start of the season but would ultimately not factor in the decision. He was pulled after recording two outs in the fifth, leaving runners on the corners, for an old familiar Yankee face, Phil Coke, who hasn't pitched for the Yankees cents game five of the 2009 World Series. Coke would put away Eric Hosmer, thusly crediting him as the winning pitcher of record as he recorded the last out of the fifth inning. Dillon Gee, The relief pitcher who was tasked with cleaning up the mess left by Chris Young, pitched very well until the bottom of the seventh inning. Gee allowed back-to-back singles to Chase Headley and Ronald Torreyes to lead off the frame. After Brett Gardner moved both runners up a base on the ground out, Aaron Hicks drove in the Yankees sixth run of the game on a sacrifice fly to right field. The Royals, however would get one back in the top of the eighth when Eric Hosmer launched the seventh homerun of the game, a solo job off of newly inserted Yankee left-hander Chasen Shreve, 6-2 Yanks.
     Everyone in the ballpark got exactly what they came to see, as even though it was not a save situation, the Yankees deployed their new toy, flame throwing Aroldis Chapman to finish off the Royals in the ninth. The Cuban Missile was a little shaky in his first outing of 2016, striking out the first two batters he faced and then allowing consecutive hits to Pablo Orlando and Alcedes Escobar, with the second hit driving in Orlando, 6-3. He would go on to record the final out of the game, topping out at 101 mph. Another big thing to take away from tonight's game is that Aaron Hicks is starting to really heat up at the plate, driving in two more runs tonight. If the Yankees are going to turn the season around, they are going to need the young outfielder to start making a difference with his bat.
      In game two tomorrow, Mossa hero Tanaka will try to keep the Yankee momentum going. The game begins at 7:05 PM ET.

Game Thread: New York Yankees @ Kansas City Royals 5/9

The New York Yankees welcome the defend World Series champions to the Bronx and the Yankee Stadium for the first time this season with the first of a four-game set. The Yankees have traditionally done well against the Royals during their recent string of success so that's encouraging for New York tonight. In the contest tonight the Yankees will send Ivan Nova to the mound replacing CC Sabathia while the Royals counter with Chris Young. The game will be played at 7:05 pm ET and can be seen on the YES Network and MLB TV.

To see any of these four games live between the Yankees and the Royals click the Yankees Tickets link at the top of the blog and head over to our friends over at Ticket Monster. There you can pick up a pair of tickets without those bulky fees or annoying shipping costs associated with your purchase price. If you can't make it live or if you're a Yankees fan from afar like myself then you can follow along on Twitter by giving @GreedyStripes a follow.

The Yankees are still in the cellar and still need every win they can get and who better to beat up on than the defending World Series champs. Go Yankees!

ICYMI: Brian Cashman Refuses to Acknowledge the Problem He Created

For many, many years the biggest gripe among Yankees fans was the constant meddling in the player acquisition and trades aspect of the game. Yankees owner George Steinbrenner was known for “getting his man” at whatever cost and at whatever risk and damage it did to the team in the long term. Just win and just win now. This caused many of the current Brian Cashman supporters to use this notion as a means of defending the GM and for a while it was true. Cashman was held down by bulky contracts he fought against giving and aging veteran players past their primes that he wanted no part in acquiring. That is still the case to an extent these days with current owner Hal Steinbrenner but Cashman has seemingly been given more power than ever over the Yankees and yet the team is still in a pickle, a pickle that Cashman refuses to acknowledge and refuses to fix.

No longer can one say, in my opinion anyway, that this is a Hal Steinbrenner led and assembled team. Sure he has had his hands in acquiring the likes of Ichiro Suzuki and Rafael Soriano and sure the Alex Rodriguez contract that is set to run out was against Cashman’s wishes but for the most part Cashman handed out most of these deals and made most of these trades. This is finally Brian Cashman’s team for better or worse and as a Brian Cashman apologist I find it hard to stick up for the man these days. Especially when he has basically told the team and the media that this is the team we are running with for now until he is “forced to” change and improve the team and that we basically have to deal with it. Say what?

Cashman told the media after the Yankees sweep in Boston this past weekend that he is not willing to bench Chase Headley much like the Red Sox have done with Pablo Sandoval. He’s just not going to do but don’t worry he finished the topic with this little nugget. “If anybody wants to earn opportunities in the future they have to earn it.” So let me get this straight, anyone who wants to replace Headley has to “earn” it but until then we’re going to sit on our hands and watch the guy set a new low in batting average, defense and slugging.

I’m done. I’m done defending Cashman and I’m done defending this team. I’m not giving up on this team, that’s a whole other story and a huge difference, but I am done spraying hope all over the blog and Twitter for better days and for the team to turn things around. Attitude reflects leadership and if Brian Cashman doesn’t care then I don’t either.

Most Popular Article of the Week: Let's Get Some Things Straight

By Bryan Van Dusen SEEN HERE:

After everything I've read on Twitter, Facebook, and in many other Yankees blogs, I feel the need to drop some truths.

"You mean there are people on the internet that are dumb!?!?"

Some of the things below are pretty obvious, but believe me when I tell you that there are people that don't "get it". It's like some people think Major League Baseball is no different than fantasy baseball, meaning a player can be dropped without giving it a second thought. Or that trading a player is simple.

They don't understand that it's more than the numbers a player puts up on Baseball Reference. Honestly, I'm sure there's a heck of a lot more to how a General Manager constructs a team than I'll ever know. But I feel pretty confident in saying the following things...

1. Jacoby Ellsbury is a Yankee, and chances are he's going to be a Yankee for four more years (that's after this season). 

There are only two ways that would change...

The first is by the team cutting him, which is highly unlikely when the guy we're talking about cutting makes over $20 million a season. No team in any sport wants to spend that much money on absolutely nothing, even if they have something great to replace him with.

The second option is by trading him. The only possibility of that happening is in a bad contract for bad contract deal. And while many people may perk up at that idea, I urge you to relax and realize something... the Yankees would not get back anything good in return. The return for Jacoby might make less money, or maybe for a year or two less, but don't expect that new guy to help the team any more than Ellsbury currently is. Or should I have said any more than Ellsbury currently is not?

2. Chase Headley is going to get every opportunity to play. 

That means he's likely to start at third base for the majority of Yankees games. Sure, the team has less money wrapped up in Headley than they do with Ellsbury, but they are going to do their damnedest in order to recoup that investment.

Does that mean the Yankees wouldn't cut him? Not necessarily. Chase is owed $26 million over two years after this season, which by Yankees standards isn't a ton. So I wouldn't be too shocked to see them spend that for nothing. But during a time where the salary threshold is on the minds of the team, I don't see it happening.

What about trading him? I guess there's a chance, albeit a slight one, of this happening. On the surface he'snormally an average hitter with a good to great glove at third base, which seems appealing. However, his home run total being in the lower double-digits is sure to turn off any team even thinking of acquiring a new player at the hot corner, as that position is usually reserved for somebody with power.

3. It's perfectly fine to hope that Mark Teixeira and/or Alex Rodriguez get traded, but you better not expect it.

Since the start of the 2014 season, Teixeira has hit .233. That number is bad. But we all know Mark is no longer a high batting average hitter, he's more about power. Okay. Well, last season Tex averaged .28 home runs per game, and this season that average has been cut in half to .13 homers a game. The truth is probably somewhere in the middle, but even that isn't great as we're talking about a guy hitting around 23 long balls a season. You know how many MLBers hit 23 or more home runs last season? 42. And he's hardly a cheap rental for a team, seeing as how he'll be owed about $11 million come the trade deadline.

Alex Rodriguez is another name I've seen as somebody that could get dealt before this season's deadline, thus giving me another reason to roll my eyes. While he's unlikely to finish this season with a sub-.200 batting average, nobody should expect it to get much further north of that mark. He seems to be hitting better as of late, but when I see a 40 year-old with a slow bat it's hard to be very optimistic. Sure, a 25 home run season is a fine bet, but expecting another 33 home run total is probably a bit naive. And keep in mind that he's not a half-year rental like Tex would be, as the acquiring team would owe Alex around $30 million through next season.

"Who needs to buy Cuban cigars when you can just buy Cuba?"

4. Didi Gregorius is not going anywhere.

Although the majority of Yankees fans like the guy, there are a few that have wanted to see the Yankees rid themselves of Sir Didi. They look at his poor hitting this season, combined with his average bat in 2015, and see a totally replaceable player. But what these people tend to forget, or simply don't understand, is that defense at shortstop (or simply up-the-middle defense) is very important.

I can't tell you how many times since last season I've watched Gregorius complete a play and thought "Jeter hasn't been able to make a play like that since the early 2000s". For so long Yankees fans have seen decent to downright poor defense from the shortstop position, and I believe that has caused them to dismiss good to great defense at that spot as important.

I suppose the Yankees could trade Didi away, move Castro back to short, and call up Refsnyder to play second base again. But would the Yankees be better off? I'm not so sure. The Gregorius-Castro combo in the middle of the infield has been tremendous, and going from that to Castro-Refsnyder would absolutely be noticeable (and not in a good way). That wouldn't be helped by a struggling pitching staff, either. Besides, the offense might get better thanks to Ref possibly being a better hitter than Didi, but would it be that much better. I have my doubts.

5. Don't count on the team trading Brett Gardner.

Brett is one of the best trade pieces the Yankees could offer another team. He's a good to great defender, and not just in left field, where he's spent most of his time since Jacoby Ellsbury joined the team. Many teams would love to have his glove in centerfield for them.

He's also been an average to good hitter in each of the past 4+ years. That's not to say his batting average, which may not get above .260, is anything to write home about. But he can hit 15+ home runs, and couple that bit of power with the ability to steal well over 20 bases a season. Heck, in the right situation, I think 30 stolen bases is more than possible.

The most intriguing thing about acquiring Gardner would be his pay. He's making just $13 million this season, $12 million next year, $11 million in 2018, and his club will have an option for 2019 at just $12.5 million. Yes... "just". You know how much money he was worth from 2013 through 2015, according to Fangraphs? Over $70 million!

But the money thing is exactly why I don't see the Yankees trading Brett away. Unlike so many others on the team, here we have a guy that's not only out-playing his salary. but said salary isn't so high that it keeps the team from being able to spend elsewhere... should it want to actually do that again.

6. There's a good chance Starlin Castro is a Yankee for many years to come.

Nobody, whether they work in the Yankees organization or simply root for them, would confuse Castro for Robinson Cano. However, you have to remember that while Starlin will make $46 million through the 2020 season (assuming the Yanks exercise their club option for him), Cano will make $96 million during the same time period. Oh, and then another $72 million in the three years after that. Which is a round-about way of saying Castro is fairly cheap.

Don't get me wrong, I believe Starlin is hitting over his head right now. In fact, if his batting average is .300 at the end of the season, I'll eat the shorts I'm currently wearing*. But he should at least be able to average .280 this year, and for the foreseeable future. And while a double-digit home run total is totally doable, I don't think he'll flirt with a total of 20 homers by year's end.

And don't forget what I talked about with Didi earlier, as these two could anchor the middle of the Yankees' infield for a while. And I don't think any of us should be upset with that.

*Just kidding, I'm naked while I 'm writing this

7. Brian McCann is about as close to non-tradeable as you can get.

I'm not saying Brian McCann is a bad player. He's a good hitter, who actually had the most home runs among all catchers in the Majors last season. And Brian is among the better defensive catchers in the game, thanks to his ability to frame pitches and throw out attempted base stealers at a rate better than league average.

The problem with McCann is his contract. He's due to make $34 million through 2018, which is the third most among his catching peers. And note that one of the guys making more than him behind the plate, Buster Posey, is one of the better hitters in the league... regardless of position.

Even if the Yankees were able to find a taker for McCann, which likely means they'd have to eat a good chunk of his remaining salary, the problem they'd run into is the ability to replace him.

It's a little sad that McCann has pretty much carried the Yankee offense this season, having the 2nd highest OPS+  on the team. Yeah, Castro's OPS+ is higher, but I believe McCann's spot in the lineup makes his slightly lower OPS+ have a bigger effect on the offense. And anybody that would replace his at bats is going to bring with him a weaker bat.

Austin Romine has little experience in MLB, and his .251 batting average in AAA does nothing to help me get over that. Meanwhile, Gary Sanchez is only hitting .238 for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre to go along with an OBP of .299... ouch.

8. Masahiro Tanaka's back has got to be killing him.

No, the health of his back is just fine. That thing about his back is my way of saying he's carried the Yankees rotation moreso than any other pitcher in the Majors. He not only has an ERA below 3.00, while every other starter has an ERA above 5.00 (two of them are actually above 6.00), but he's the only starter who is giving up less than ten hits for every nine innings he pitches.

Heck, every other starter has a won-loss record below .500.

I don't care how much or little the guy is making, because the Yankees would be a lost cause without Tanaka right now. Then again, I don't know of anyone that wants the Yankees to trade 'Hiro away, but just in case let me simply say "uh-uh".

And I didn't even get into his role on future Yankees' teams.

9. Luis Severino is still a big part of the team's future, so he's not going anywhere.

Luis is hardly the first pitcher to struggle early on in his MLB career. I've already pointed out how pitchers like Felix Hernandez had a rough early going before turning into a dominant pitcher. Not that I would put those type of expectations on anybody, but we're still talking about a guy that not long ago was seen as the future ace of the team.

Which is exciting when you see a guy like James Kaprielian throw like he has in the minors, and could be a part of a killer one-two punch for the Bombers for many years to come. then you can put them with the aforementioned Tanaka, to create a top 3 in the rotation that could rival some of the best in the game.

Unfortunately, a team needs at least five starters, meaning the starting rotation is not an area the Yankees should even think about subtracting from.

10. Ivan Nova is probably going to be in the Bronx at season's end.

There was a time I thought that Nova would make a good trade chip. He had started over a hundred games in MLB, and was at least serviceable in that role. You've all heard the old adage "a team never has enough pitching", so I don't think it would be hard for Brian Cashman to find a taker for Ivan.

But that thought all but vanished before the season even started, thanks to the injury to Bryan Mitchell, which will cost Bryan the vast majority of the season. I suppose the team could call on Luis Cessa to take Nova's place as the multi-inning reliever in the team's bullpen, but Ivan's history of starting makes me believe the team would rather hold onto him.

Keep in mind that Nova's return would be "okay" at best, so it's not like the Yankees would miss out on something big by holding onto him. I suppose he could be part of a nice package of players, which would get the Yankees an attractive return, but I could see the Yankees balking at adding him to said package. Besides, I don't think the other team would back out of such a deal just because Ivan wasn't included in it.

11. The Yankees are stuck with CC Sabathia.

Do I really need to expand on this? The combination of his salary, his ineffectiveness, and his poor health history, make him as unmovable as Pablo Sandoval at an all-you-can-eat buffet.

Will any of us ever forget this moment?

12. Now for a real trade possibility.

While Carlos Beltran is certainly not the player he was between 2006 and 2011, he's still somebody that could contribute to many teams.

That's not to say he's going to come into a situation and turn a bad offense into a good one, but Carlos will put up respectable numbers across the board. And when you combine that solid bat with his ability to at least fake it in the outfield, along with his vast experience in the postseason, you have a guy that plenty of teams should find valuable by trade deadline time.

13. Everybody is on the lookout for starters...

... and the Yankees could very well have two guys that a contender could want going into the second half of the season.

Like Carlos Beltran, neither Michael Pineda nor Nathan Eovaldi would join a team and make them instant favorites to win the World Series. However, both of them have shown the ability to be a good middle of the rotation starter.

Pineda was not only able to finish 2015 with a solid ERA of 4.37, but for a guy with an iffy shoulder making 27 starts was quite nice. And his ability to strikeout around a batter an inning is sure to turn some heads come late July.

Then you have Eovaldi, who has never finished a season with an ERA higher than 4.43, and is a good bet to stay healthy until year's end, so that he could slot into the #3 or #4 spot in a team's postseason rotation.

Before this season I thought one of these two would pitch his way into an extension for the Yankees, seeing as how their rotation beyond Tanaka, Severino and Kaprielian was up in the air for the future. But with all the money coming off the team's books between this and next season, it has to go somewhere, and the starting rotation could very well be it.

I mean, where else will it go?

McCann and Sanchez could lock down the catching spot for a long time, Castro has second base covered, Gregorius and/or Mateo could keep shortstop warm for a while, the team has a plethora of outfielders to choose from up for a long time, Bird could very well be the first baseman of the future. In fact, other than possibly third base, I don't see a spot where the team has to spend any more at all.

So I say trade away one or both of Pineda and Eovaldi.

14. There is one place where the Yankees could really make a splash, and improve their future...

Instead of separating these next three players into their own sections, I figured I'd put them together. After all, the fact that there are three of them actually makes this the one spot where the Yankees could actually do something to make the team better, without hurting themselves much at all.

See, the Yankees have three guys that could be among the better closers in the league. I don't have to get into the numbers on these three guys, heck... I don't even have to say their names.

However, even though there are three of them, I believe only one of them is a true trade candidate.

Aroldis Chapman is going to be a free agent after this season, and his ability to shut an opponent down at the end of the game is utterly meaningless to a team that may not be close to a playoff berth. However, there will be plenty of teams not named the Yankees with playoff aspirations come the end of July, and any one of them would love to have the services of Mr. Chapman.

But why hold onto both Dellin Betances and Andrew Miller? Well, just look at the history of the Yankees. Since the mid-90s the Yankees have had a great one-two punch at the back of the bullpen. You had Rivera-Wetteland, you had Robertson-Rivera, you had Robertson-Soriano, you had Betances-Robertson, and now you have Betances-Miller. And seeing what those combos did over the years makes me believe the Yankees would never want to stray from it.

And look at the money part of it...

The highest paid reliever in baseball, outside the Yankees, is Craig Kimbrel at $11.25 million (Chapman will make $11.35 million this season). Meanwhile, Miller and Betances make less than that combined. And come next season, when Betances will be arbitration eligible, they likely won't make much more than Kimbrel anyway.

That combination of history, effectiveness, and cost make me believe Andrew Miller and Dellin Betances will continue to rack up strikeouts for the team for another couple of years.

15. And then you have the rest.

Aaron Hicks, Ronald Torreyes, Dustin Ackley, Austin Romine, Chasen Shreve, Johnny Barbato, and Kirby Yates are fine players. Heck, some of them could turn into solid regulars on the Yankees or another team. But for the time being, whether the Yankees keep them or trade them, I don't see anything of significance happening with their name connected to it.

So there you have it. It's likely that I missed a good point here or there, but this should give you a good idea of where the Yankees stand when it comes to what they can do this season.

So even if the Yanks can't make up enough ground to turn into contenders this season, you should at least watch some of these guys to see if they can help the team in one way or another this season and for years to come.

"But I want it now!!!"

Game Preview: New York Yankees vs. Kansas City Royals 5/9

The New York Yankees welcome the defending American League and World Series champion Kansas City Royals to the Bronx tonight as they also welcome Aroldis Chapman to the team for the first time this season. It's going to be quite a night for Yankees fans but it won't be for CC Sabathia as he misses his first start of the season after straining his groin muscle. In his place Ivan Nova will make his first start of the season as Chris Young opposes him for the Royals.

Nova will be making his first start of the season after CC Sabathia was added to the 15 day DL late last week. Nova pitched out of the Yankees bullpen six times this season, going four innings of two of those appearances as the long man, and could go as long as 75 pitches tonight in the Bronx. 

Young has pitched about as well as you would have expected out of the veteran this season. He's not going to give you eight innings very often and he's going to pitch to contact but he still finds ways to win regardless. In his last outing Young gave up five hits and two runs to the Washington Nationals in just 4.2 innings pitched. 

The game will be played at 7:05 pm ET inside of Yankee Stadium and can be seen on the YES Network and MLB TV. The Yankees made a statement last week playing both the Baltimore Orioles and the Boston Red Sox extremely well and the team looks to keep that going this week against a tough Kansas City Royals team. Even the past two seasons where the Royals have made and won the World Series in successive years the Yankees have done well against Kansas City and I see no reason why that can't continue tonight.

Go Yankees!

What Aroldis Chapman's Return Means for New York

Tonight the New York Yankee stay home in the Bronx to play host to the defending World Series champion Kansas City Royals but they also welcome one of their own to Yankee Stadium for the first time, Aroldis Chapman. We all know by now with the invention of wireless internet even under large rocks that Chapman had missed the first 30 games of the season after being suspended by the league after a domestic violence altercation this winter. Chapman has been staying sharp in extended spring training and has been throwing down at the Yankees minor league complex in Tampa simply waiting on this day, his return, so what does it mean for the Yankees?

First and foremost it has been said since his acquisition that he would be the Yankees closer so that means Andrew Miller immediately becomes possibly the best set up man in the Major Leagues currently. That also means that New York can use Dellin Betances the way he was built and made to be used, for multiple innings at a time and as much as possible. With Chapman in the 9th and Miller in the 8th I can absolutely see Betances coming into a ball game for the 6th and 7th innings if he's well rested and if the Yankees have an off day the next day or something like that. Adding in a very useful Chasen Shreve and Johnny Barbato to the mix means that the Yankees mission for the deepest and best bullpen in the league is now complete.

Chapman will have hiccups, extended spring training is not major league competition, and we all need to understand that and be patient with that. The biggest issue I think Chapman brings along with him though will be the media attention and storm that will undoubtedly follow the team. The club is finally getting out of an early season funk and are finally starting to put some wins in the win column just in time for a potential distraction to come back to the club and the clubhouse. The Yankees, and specifically manager Joe Girardi, have traditionally done well reflecting the attention and keeping everything in the clubhouse and away from the media but you never truly know what you're going to get from a new guy like Chapman.

Obviously the way Chapman handled this spring training and has handled everything since the suspension I think he will be fine as far as the media goes. This is still a veteran team and the team is seemingly gelling right now so I don't think it will be an issue but I am still cautiously optimistic, it's in my nature. Chapman on the field is my bigger worry. He will be a little rusty and he may take a week or so worth of games before he is mid-season form, my question is can the Yankees afford a week of shaky outings at this point in the season or is every game getting closer and closer to a must win? I want to say the former but my gut tells me the latter. Stay tuned.

Weekly Prospects Check In: Ian Clarkin

This Monday morning check in post has been reserved for the Yankees top pitching prospect James Kaprielian but since the right-hander went on the 7-day disabled list with inflammation we were left scrambling for a replacement. Why not go with arguably the Yankees second best starting pitching prospect in the system? Some would argue for Brady Lail in this spot or a plethora of other options but if you're using ceiling, stuff and projectability that honor has to go to the left-handed starter the team drafted a few years back, Ian Clarkin.

This is a big year for Clarkin after missing the entire 2015 regular season with an undisclosed elbow injury. Clarkin is back after spending the fall with the Surprise Saguaros in the Arizona Fall League and began the 2016 campaign with the Tampa Yankees. Let's see how he's doing.


This Day in New York Yankees History 5/9: Mariano Rivera & Franchise Records

On this day in 2002 Mariano Rivera notched his 225th save as a member of the New York Yankees setting a new franchise record. The previous record of 224 saves was set by Dave Righetti. The Yankees would win the game 3-1 in Tampa over the Rays.

On this day in 1999 Mike Stanton started his first Major League game after pitching in 552 relief appearances. Gary Lavelle had the record for most appearances without starting a game before Stanton shut out Seattle for four innings giving up two hits in a Yankee's 6-1 victory at Yankee Stadium.