Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Game Thread: New York Yankees @ Toronto Blue Jays 5/31

On this final day of May and the day after the United States celebrated their own on Memorial Day the New York Yankees and the Toronto Blue Jays face off head-to-head in the middle game of their three game set inside the great land of Canada. Inside the Rogers Centre the Yankees will send CC Sabathia to the mound looking to continue his amazing comeback campaign while the Blue Jays will counter with JA Happ for their squad. The game will be played at 7:07 pm ET and can be seen on the YES Network locally and MLB TV anywhere!

The Yankees are getting closer and closer to coming home to Yankee Stadium, HOPE Week and Old Timers Day so to get your tickets now for any of those big events I suggest clicking the Yankees Tickets link at the top of the blog now rather than later. By clicking you can snag your tickets for these big events without paying any sort of fees or shipping fees on your purchase. Until then follow along on Twitter and interact with us during the game by giving @GreedyStripes a follow.

Go get em big CC. Go Yankees!

Dustin Ackley to Miss 2016 Season w/ Shoulder Surgery

Now what? Is it finally Robert Refsnyder time? Stay tuned.

Dairon Blanco: The Latest Cuban to Defect That New York Won't Sign

The New York Yankees have been reluctant to sign big named and high cost talent out of the Cuban market for whatever reason despite the recent successes of multiple defectors in the Major Leagues of late. For this reason you can't really blame me for my pessimism every time a "can't miss" Cuban star defects from their native island country with the hopes of reaching the United States and the Major Leagues. The latest can't miss guy to leave the Castro regime is outfielder Dairon Blanco.

Blanco is just 23-years old so he will fall within the international signing rules and restrictions set forth by the league whenever they deem him to be eligible to sign as a free agent. Blanco is a speed demon, Ben Badler of Baseball America gave him an 80-grade on his speed recently, that played center field in the Serie Nacional and could also do so in the Major Leagues with some work. Obviously, like most Cuban stars, Blanco comes as a work in progress that needs a little work, especially on the defensive side of the ball.

His bat seems to hold it's own which may be evident by his Serie Nacional career .303/.369/.409 triple slash with 52 steals in four seasons. Blanco doesn't strike out a ton and is a high average hitter with speed which almost every team can find a spot for on their roster that isn't in dire need of power as well.

Obviously Blanco won't be approved to be signed before the international signing period ends on July 2nd but he could absolutely be in play for the next round of signings. The Yankees are under spending restrictions for one more signing period after this one meaning unless Blanco wants to sign for $300K or less he won't be coming to the Bronx unfortunately. Shocker there.

The Cubs Reportedly Interested in Nathan Eovaldi

The MLB trading deadline has been pushed back from July 31st to August 1st which on paper means very little but in the general aspect of the game a day could make all the difference. It could mean all the difference not to a team like the Chicago Cubs whose ticket may already be unofficially punched to the postseason in 2016 but it may make a huge difference for a fringe team like the New York Yankees. Just one day, and we've seen ti in years past with other teams, could make the difference between buying at the August 1st trade deadline and selling and if the Yankees are doing the latter the Chicago Cubs may be listening. According to Julie DiCaro who is a writer and anchor for the Cubs in various media outlets and forms the Chicago Cubs have already begun calling around looking for pitching and especially have their eye on Yankees stud Nathan Eovaldi.

Now while I usually ignore "sources" tweets unless it's from someone like a Jon Heyman or a Buster Olney I figured the blue check on Julie's Twitter account counted enough to post this. While I post this it does not mean I believe that the rumors are true, I know no more than you, so I leave it with you with a grain of salt. Believe it or don't believe it, I'm not doing that I am merely reporting the news.

I don't know the state of the Cubs farm system or their strengths and needs but everyone needs more pitching, especially pitching that is young and under team control for one more season. Would the Cubs give up a lot for Eovaldi? Would New York receive any Major League caliber talent like Jorge Soler, which yes I understand does not help the team but could preface another trade like one involving Carlos Beltran or Brett Gardner, in return for Soler? I honestly don't know.

I'm not even sure if the Yankees and Cubs will hook up with a deal or whether the rumor is true or not. I'm trying to be responsible and I'm simply reporting the news. What say you? Leave your thoughts below in the comments section.

Game Preview: New York Yankees @ Toronto Blue Jays 5/31

On this final day of May the New York Yankees find themselves in unfamiliar territory. They seem to be already out of it in the AL East Division race, although a lot can change between now and even August 1st let alone September 1st, but thanks to the addition of a 2nd Wild Card in both leagues the team is still within striking distance of a playoff position. The best advice you can give to the team right now is to take one game at a time and one series at a time and win more times than not. That begins and continues tonight as the Yankees face off with the Toronto Blue Jays in the middle game of their three-game set. New York will send the suddenly revitalized CC Sabathia to the mound to face off with the Jays starter JA Happ.

Sabathia has pitched extremely well this season and thanks to a pair of unearned runs in his last start against the Toronto Blue Jays the Yankees veteran has seen his ERA dip below 3.00. Sabathia scattered two hits and a walk the last time he faced this season while striking out seven and will look for similar results tonight in Toronto. 

Happ has pitched at least seven innings while allowing three hits or less in each of his last two starts including one against the New York Yankees. Happ beat the Yankees last time out inside Yankee Stadium so New York will look to turn the tides tonight in Toronto. 

The game will be played at 7:07 pm ET inside the Rogers Centre and can be seen on the YES Network and MLB TV. Happ is quietly becoming a Yankees killer isn't he? His stats lately against the club have been great if you're a Jays fan so hopefully the Yankees can turn that around a bit tonight while visiting our neighbors from the north. Go Yankees, eh?

Pineda Makes Start on Thursday, Why?

The New York Yankees have an odd way of going about things in my opinion when it comes to roster management and such. The Yankees will seemingly, and this is my opinion as a lifelong fan and as someone who watches almost every single game every single season, call up a young guy and wait on him to fail while they sign a veteran that stinks up the joint and keeps his job. Luis Severino is down and will likely stay down once he's healthy, my speculation as nothing has been confirmed, yet Michael Pineda (who has a minor league option remaining) and his almost 7.00 ERA will make his next scheduled start on Thursday against Toronto. Why?

Pineda has the worst ERA in all of Major League Baseball among qualified starters. The worst. Worse than Luis Severino and much worse than the whipping boy of the rotation heading into the season in Mr. CC Sabathia. The real answer to the question is this though, who would the Yankees call up to replace him?

Sure I realize that any of Luis Cessa, Chad Green, Brady Lail, Severino (who threw three scoreless innings in his first rehab start since a triceps injury), Layne Somsen, Anthony Swarzak or others could go out and post a 7.00 ERA or lower and technically make the Yankees better there are a few saving graces for Mr. Pineda. Pineda is actually striking out 10.0 batters per nine innings and his velocity is sitting right around where it always has been throughout his career. Pineda seems healthy he just needs to get out of his own way.

How does one get out of their own way? Trust Brian McCann and throw what he calls. Something is not right with Pineda. Usually a control freak, literally and figuratively, Pineda is walking 2.5 batters per nine this season while walking just 0.8 and 1.2 batters per nine in his previous two seasons in New York. Limiting base runners makes his 1.9 HR/9 ratio look a little better as well as that ugly 6.92 ERA.

So why won't the Yankees demote Pineda to figure it out in the minor leagues? Because they can't. They should, but they can't.

Weekly Check In: Nick Swisher

Truth be told this may be the last time we check in with Nick Swisher because what's the point? The sole reason the New York Yankees signed Nick Swisher to a minor league deal this winter was to have a fresh body down in Triple-A just in case of an injury to Mark Teixeira. Well guess what, Teixeira has missed games due to neck pains and spasms twice now already this season and yet Swisher is still toiling around in Scranton with the RailRiders.

So if you sign a guy for insurance in case of an injury and you get said injury, twice mind you, and you don't call him up.... what's the point? And I'm not saying his production has warranted the call up, especially lately, but still. Even Dustin Ackley is hurt. Oh well maybe one last time let's check in with the man they call "Swish."

2016 35 AAA 33 137 8 32 4 4 13 0 4 34 .244 .263 .366 .629

This Day in New York Yankees History 5/31: The Curse of the Drilled Bambino

On this day in 2001 the Boston Red Sox finally beat the New York Yankees for the first time since Pedro Martinez laughed off the Curse of the Bambino. On this day yesterday in 2000 Martinez, who was 7-1 with a 1.44 ERA, said that someone should "Wake up the Bambino and let me face him, I'll drill him in the $@#." After the comment the Red Sox lost seven consecutive games against the Yankees.

Also on this day in 1938 Yankees first basemen Lou Gehrig played in his 2000th consecutive game and collected an RBI single. The Yankees would beat the Red Sox 12-5 on this day.