Monday, May 16, 2016

Game Thread: New York Yankees @ Arizona Diamondbacks 5/16

The New York Yankees and the Arizona Diamondbacks will face off head-to-head tonight for the first of their three  game set to start the week inside Chase Field. In a rematch of the 2001 World Series, with Arizona not being real relevant since, the Yankees will send Chad Green to the mound to pitch and hit against the Diamondbacks starter Robbie Ray. The game will be played at 8:40 pm ET and can be seen on the YES Network and MLB TV.

The Yankees head out west this week for series with these Diamondbacks and the Oakland Athletics before returning home next week to face off with the Toronto Blue Jays in the Bronx. Get your Yankees and Blue Jays tickets now by clicking the Yankees tickets link at the top of the blog. Until then head over to Twitter and give @GreedyStripes a follow to interact with us and live tweet each and every Yankees game this season.

Grab your pitchers mitt and grab your bat, it's National League baseball time. Go Yankees!

ICYMI: The Yankees, Contrary to Popular Belief & Friday the 13th

Today is Friday the 13th and for many than means bad omens, curses and generally just some bad luck throughout the day. I’m not a huge believer in coincidences, although I am a firm believer in karma, and I believe Friday the 13th to just be another day on the calendar that was dramatized by a Hollywood movie. It’s hard to deny though that some freaky things have happened on this day in history and some of the most superstitious people in America being baseball players really step up their games on this day. Let’s focus on a few of the more superstitious players in MLB history and some of the “contrary to popular belief” facts that come along with this day.

Contrary to popular belief a black cat can walk across your path and you’ll probably be okay. Unless you’re the Chicago Cubs or the Boston Red Sox. Then I may be worried. 

Contrary to popular belief on Friday the 13th it is NOT okay to refuse to change your underwear during a Tigers winning streak in 2011 like Jim Leyland did. 

Contrary to popular belief on Friday the 13th it IS okay to sleep with your bat while on a hot streak. Ask Richie Ashburn. 

Contrary to popular belief on Friday the 13th you HAVE to make right-handed turns. Kevin Rhomberg refused to make right-handed turns on a baseball field and he also had this weird obsession that if you touched him he had to touch you back. I’m serious, his nickname was “Touch Me, Touch Me.” If you don’t believe there is a story of Rick Sutcliffe once reaching under a bathroom stall to touch Rhomberg on the toe. Rhomberg didn’t know who touched him so he proceeded to go around the clubhouse and touch and each every player, coach and manager. 

Contrary to popular belief on Friday the 13th you CAN ask for a new ball after every hit. Mark Fidrych did it and this, along with his “Bird” routine on the mound, and no one really seemed to mind. They have plenty of baseball and Fidrych didn’t give up that many hits anyway. The mistrust of the ball probably stems back to him talking to the ball before the pitch, quite vividly sometimes, as a bond or friendship was obviously formed before being broken when hit for a single. 

Contrary to popular belief you can have WHATEVER you want to eat before and after a MLB game. Justin Verlander eats tacos before every start, Wade Boggs ate fried chicken and half of the Boston Red Sox pitching staff ate chicken and drank beer in the late 2000’s and early 2010’s. It’s baseball and we’re all adults. 

Contrary to popular belief the Yankees can beat Chris Sale on Friday the 13th… Let’s make it happen. 

Most Popular Article of the Week: The Call for Ryan Braun I’ve Only Been Making for Three Years Now

The New York Yankees, up until about a week ago anyway, were offensively deficient and up until about three or four years ago the Milwaukee Brewers were good. Now the Brewers are terrible and in the midst of a rebuilding phase while the Yankees still have a huge check book and a gaping hole in the middle of their offense. In years past I have made the comment and written the blog posts that the Yankees should bring a talent and a personality like Ryan Braun to the Bronx and every year it was largely dismissed. The steroid issues, the injury issues and the declining numbers never helped my cause much but Braun is seemingly clean, healthy and back to being effective in 2016 and now Ken Rosenthal floated this original idea on his site. He suggested that the Yankees buy low on Braun eating his contract and giving up lesser prospects. Hmmmm. 

I’ve been saying this since October 8, 2013: And again I said it on December 6, 2013: And I’ve said the same exact thing many, MANY times since. But when Ken Rosenthal says it now everyone is on board. How frustrating. 

But let’s say I agree with Rosenthal and his original idea of trading for Braun, does it still make sense? Sure it does in my opinion. With a soon-to-be 41-year old DH the thought of having five outfielders doesn’t bother me in the slightest. Alex can DH or have the night off while Beltran DH’s giving Braun and Aaron Hicks ample playing time. The playing time and the rotation is not something I’m worried about. Joe Girardi does a great job rotating players in and out and injuries can and most certainly will happen here in the Bronx. What I’m worried about is the money and how having him and Alex Rodriguez on the same team would be. 

Not to quote myself again but HERE we discussed Braun’s name being leaked to the league by Rodriguez. Sure it was however many years ago but look at David Ortiz, people can hold grudges, and you have to wonder if that will mess with the team chemistry. Also you have to wonder if Hal Steinbrenner would be willing to take on the six years and $111 million he’s owed including his $15 million mutual option in his final year. My gut tells me no but that amount of money and baggage also tells me that the likes of Gary Sanchez, James Kaprielian and Domingo Acevedo may be safe from being included in the trade. 

Notice I didn’t say Jorge Mateo though. If the Yankees can pull off a trade for a power threat and big name like Ryan Braun and include a top prospect who is being pulled from games for lack of hustle and who is being caught stealing almost as often as he’s stealing bases while just in A-Ball I don’t see how you can say no at this point. The trade, like I said in my original articles stated above and I will say it again today, is unlikely and unrealistic but if it would happen that would incredibly change the dynamic of this Yankees team and this Yankees offense for the better. 

Game Preview: New York Yankees @ Arizona Diamondbacks 5/16

The New York Yankees have traveled out west and for the first time this season the team will play in an Interleague game inside of a National League park. This time around the Yankees will travel to the desert to take on the Arizona Diamondbacks inside of Chase Field. In the first interleague matchup of the year and in a rematch of the 2001 World Series the New York Yankees will send Chad Green to the mound to face off against the Diamondbacks starter Robbie Ray.

Green will be making his MLB debut tonight in Arizona as the Yankees shake up their rotation a bit. This spot was normally that of Michael Pineda but since Luis Severino went down with an injury Green will take his spot and his turn tonight instead of Wednesday. Green has pitched well in 2016 posting a 1.22 ERA in seven Triple-A starts this season. 

Ray is coming into this start against the red-hot Yankees offense fresh off a not-so-great start last time out against the Colorado Rockies. In that start Ray had allowed five runs, three of them earned, on nine hits in 4.2 innings. In the no-decision Ray struck out nine and allowed three walks for the Diamondbacks. 

The game will be played at 8:40 pm ET inside of Chase Field and can be seen on the YES Network and MLB TV. The three pitchers the Yankees will send to the mound, and to the plate, this week are Michael Pineda, Nathan Eovaldi and Chad Green while the Diamondbacks will send Robbie Ray, Zack Greinke and Shelby Miller. Of course they would send three of their best pitchers to the mound. Of course they would. Oh well, New York has done well against top competition here lately so maybe that's just what they need for another series win.

Go Yankees!

Meet a Prospect: J.R. Graham

The New York Yankees need all arms on deck this season if they are going to make a comeback in the AL East Division race and playoff push after losing a few arms to the disabled list already this season. CC Sabathia may be back on Friday in Oakland and there is no definitive timetable for the return of Luis Severino while a slew of the Scranton Shuttle are done for the year with Tommy John surgery leaving a big hole in the Yankees pitching depth. With that in mind the Yankees made a trade this week with the Minnesota Twins to bring some of that depth back when the organization acquired J.R. Graham for a player to be named later or cash considerations. Let's meet him. This is Meet a Prospect: The J.R. Graham Edition.

J.R. Graham was a Rule 5 pick of the Twins from the Minnesota Twins last season and the right-hander was able to stick in the Twins bullpen all season. Graham posted 65.1 innings with Minnesota while posting a 5.10 ERA and 4.63 FIP. Graham sports a mid-90 MPH fastball and a mid-80 MPH slider that is considered to be his out pitch. Graham also throws a changeup but as with many relief pitchers it is considered raw and mediocre at best at this point in his career. Graham was designated for assignment a few days ago by Minnesota and will now look to latch on with New York for the remainder of the season.

Graham was immediately assigned to Double-A Trenton with the Trenton Thunder but was given a 40 man roster spot showing that he is a quick DFA candidate and/or Scranton Shuttle rider in the near future.

Here is what Graham has brought the Twins and Triple-A Rochester this season:

2016 AAA 0 2 10.80 8 7 3 8.1 11 10 10 1 7 7 2.160 11.9 1.1 7.6 7.6
2016 AL 0 0 10.80 1 0 0 1.2 3 2 2 0 1 2 46 2.48 2.400 16.2 0.0 5.4 10.8
Provided by View Original Table
Generated 5/15/2016.

Weekly Prospects Check In: Chad Green

The New York Yankees need pitching and they need pitching in the worst way. Luis Severino is hurt and when he was healthy he wasn't great. CC Sabathia is hurt and when he was healthy he wasn't great. James Kaprielian is hurt and so is Domingo Acevedo and when they were pitching they were great which makes losing them all the more bad. This is all water under the bridge now and can be chalked up to the 162-game grind but all the weight of the world is on tonight's starter tonight, Chad Green.

Green was acquired along with Luis Cessa in an offseason trade for Justin Wilson this winter and tonight Green makes his MLB debut against the Arizona Diamondbacks. General Manager Brian Cashman traded Wilson with the hopes of stockpiling some starting pitching talent in Triple-A just in case of a rainy day and it's been raining cats and dogs lately.

Tonight Green doesn't only have to pitch but he has to hit as well so this should be interesting for the young right-hander. Let's see what got him here to the show, his Triple-A stats:


This Day in New York Yankees History 5/16: Yankees Come Back from 9-0 to Win

On this day in 2006 the New York Yankees overcame a nine run deficit for the fourth time in their history defeating the Rangers 14-13. The Yankees were down 9-0 after an inning and a half before Jorge Posada hit a two out, two run walk off home run to win the game.

Also on this day in 1932 Lefty Gomez throws a five hit shutout giving the Yankees their fourth consecutive shutout. Gomez joins Johnny Allen, George Pipgras, and Red Ruffing in the streak. The Yankees would beat Cleveland 8-0 on this night.