Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Live Game Updates: Yankees at Rockies - 6/14

8:50 p.m., Mid 1st: Ellsbury and Gardner reach base to start the first, but the Yankees find a way not to score. They are now just 2-for-16 with RISP since Saturday.

8:58 p.m., End 1st: Coming off back-to-back rough starts, Eovaldi makes a good first impression in the opening frame. He sits down the Rockies 1-2-3, striking out one on 13 pitches.

9:04 p.m., Mid 2nd: Yankees put two men on again in the second, but again fail to get them in. They've already left three men on base tonight against the struggling Jorge De La Rosa.

9:18 p.m., End 2nd: Mark Reynolds puts the Rockies on top with an RBI double. The Yankees trail 1-0 heading into the third.

9:36 p.m., Mid 3rd: De La Rosa puts up another zero in the third, but it comes at a price. LF Gerrado Parra is injured after a collision, resulting in him being carted off the field. Ryan Raburn has taken over for him in the six spot of the batting order.

10:05 p.m., End 4th: Eovaldi collapses in the fourth. Trevor Story and Ryan Raburn knock him for back-to-back home runs, as the Rockies increase their lead to 4-0.

10:40 p.m., End 5th: Colorado adds two more against Eovaldi in the fifth, ending his outing. Looks like it will be a long night for the bullpen.

10:55 p.m., Mid 6th: Didi gets the Yankees on the board with three-run shot in the sixth. The comeback is on (?).

11:20 p.m., End 6th: After the Yankees finally show some life on offense, Kirby Yates and Richard Bleier give it all right back. It's 9-3 Rockies through six.

12:23 p.m., Mid 9th: Down 12-3 after seven, the Yankees rally for seven runs in the eighth inning, only to eventually lose 13-10. That's three straight losses, but at least their bats were hot in this one.

Game Thread: New York Yankees @ Colorado Rockies 6/14

The New York Yankees are making a quick two-game stop in Colorado to take on the Colorado Rockies this week with the first game coming tonight inside Coors Field. The Yankees are coming off an impressive home stand despite losing their last two games over the weekend and head into the game tonight fresh off their first off day in far too long. In the contest the Yankees will send Nathan Eovaldi to the mound to face off against the struggling Jorge De La Rosa. The game will be played at 8:40 pm ET inside Coors Field and can be seen on the YES Network and MLB TV.

New York has one more in Colorado tomorrow before heading back to an American League park to face off with the Minnesota Twins. Follow along during these games and every game this season and interact with us by following us on Twitter, @GreedyStripes, or by liking us on Facebook by searching for The Greedy Pinstripes.

Let’s show these NL guys how it’s done. Go Yankees!

USA Today’s Weekly MLB Power Rankings

The New York Yankees came out of the gates this week like a team possessed. New York rode the waves of good karma and even better baseball to start the week out on a 5-0 stretch including a sweep of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim only to fall short in their final two games of the week against the Detroit Tigers. Would the Yankees fall again in the rankings or would a sweep of Mike Trout and Albert Pujols be enough to propel the team closer to the Promised Land? Keep reading and find out.

New York did not fall this week and in fact they rose two spots from the #19 position to the #17 position after a strong week. You have to think that pulling out either the Saturday night or Sunday afternoon game against the Tigers would have helped propel them another slot or so higher but I guess we’ll never know. Speaking of series victories, sweeps and rising in the standings a weekend series between the St. Louis Cardinals and the Pittsburgh Pirates had a large bearing on this week’s rankings as well. The Cardinals swept the Pirates over the weekend giving St. Louis the biggest rise of the week while Pittsburgh had the biggest fall of the week. St. Louis rose five spots to the #9 position while Pittsburgh finished down four spots at the #13 position.

The Top Five teams according to the rankings were the Chicago Cubs, Washington Nationals, Texas Rangers, San Francisco Giants and Boston Red Sox in that order. Meanwhile the five worst teams according to the rankings were the #26 San Diego Padres, the Oakland Athletics, the Cincinnati Reds, the Minnesota Twins and the #30 Atlanta Braves.

The American League East boasts three teams in the Top 10 with Boston claiming the fifth spot, Baltimore the sixth and Toronto the 10th spot on the list. New York, as we stated earlier, was 17th while the Tampa Bay Rays are bringing up the rear in the division with the #20 ranking overall.

Teams have already begun buying and selling off players with much more either being discussed or to come so expect a shakeup of these rankings pretty soon. The more the Yankees rise in these rankings the less likely they will be to sell but if they slip into the 20’s again we may see the first selling off period in the Bronx since 1989. Oakland thanks you for Rickey Henderson once again by the way. Stay tuned every week as we figure this thing out and watch to see if New York can climb and claw their way back into this thing.

Yankees Pitchers Have to Hit But Can They?

Thankfully it is just for two games but nonetheless for the next two games, the first coming tonight, the New York Yankees must send their pitchers up to the plate for three or more at bats. Interleague play was nice when it was just for a couple weeks before the All-Star Game but now that it is all season long I am liking it less and less the more I see New York’s pitchers struggle to handle the bat at the plate. This offense is dry enough without adding an automatic out into the mix but I digress.

It is a common conception that the American League pitchers cannot handle the bats but in this era where every stat and almost every action on a baseball diamond is quantifiable we no longer have to give in to common misconceptions. Now we can quantify and check the stats to make up our minds for us and that is what we are doing today as we look at the career batting lines for this series starters Ivan Nova and Nathan Eovaldi.

Nathan Eovaldi:
2015 25 NYY 27 5 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 .000 .000 .000 .000 -100
2016 26 NYY 12 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 .000 .000 .000 .000 -100
6 Yrs 122 155 6 11 0 0 1 0 4 86 .080 .106 .080 .187 -47
162 Game Avg. 162 206 8 15 0 0 1 0 5 114 .080 .106 .080 .187 -47
2011 24 NYY 28 5 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 .000 .000 .000 .000 -100
2012 25 NYY 28 9 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 6 .143 .143 .143 .286 -22
2013 26 NYY 23 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 .000 .000 .000 .000 -100
2014 27 NYY 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2015 28 NYY 17 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2016 29 NYY 13 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
7 Yrs 123 17 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 13 .071 .071 .071 .143 -61
162 Game Avg. 162 22 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 17 .071 .071 .071 .143 -61

And since we’re here and quantifying and all here is what the Rockies group of hitters have done against these same two Yankees pitchers throughout their careers.

All stats courtesy of Baseball Reference and ESPN.com

Yulieski Gourriel Declared A Free Agent

Yulieski Gourriel, an infielder that defected from Cuba this past December, has recently been declared a free agent in MLB.

Gourriel is considered by many to be the best position player in the World. His batting line of .500/.589/.874, to go along with 15 home runs, in just 49 games last season in Cuba was incredible. Yulieski's triple-slash of .305/.349/.536, with 11 home runs, in 62 games while playing 2014 in NPB is pretty darn good, too. 

However, I'd like to see what he could do in MLB before making the claim of him being the best in the World. Something that goes right in line with my thinking about the hits record.

But anyway...

There are some problems with signing Gourriel though.

For starters, he just turned 32 years old. Don't get me wrong, the age alone is not the problem. The problem is he could very well get the largest contract ever by a Cuban player, which would be above the 6 year/$72 million contract agreed to between Rusney Castillo and the Boston Red Sox. That would mean he'd be signed into his upper 30s, and those type of contracts rarely end well.

Secondly, his true positions are second and third base. Sure, he may hit better than either Starlin Castro or Chase Headley, but the fact of the matter is he's not necessary. Chase is signed for two more years, while Starlin is signed for at least three more (his deal includes a club option for 2020).

Yes, the team could try either Gourriel or Headley at first base, but that would likely mean Greg Bird's future with the team is over with. And I'd like to see if he could build off of his great 2015 with the big club, as I'm sure the team would due to him costing a heck of a lot less than Yulieski would.

You might say the Yankees don't have to worry about money, and generally I would agree. But saving $12+ million a year would go a long way in trying to sign possible upcoming free agents like Manny Machado and Bryce Harper.

Basically, the probable cost of Yulieski Gourriel, combined with the fact that his position is not a need for the Yankees, makes me believe the team should pass on him.

However, if he's willing to sign for four years instead of six, I may very well change my tune. 

Pete Rose's Mouth Is In The News Again

I won't sugar coat it... I'm not a fan of Pete Rose. And I don't believe he should be in the Hall of Fame. He didn't break some little, unknown, rule in Major League Baseball. When you walk into every locker room in the league you'll see a big sign telling you that gambling on the game is against the rules. But Pete did it anyway.

Simply put... you break the rules, you deal with the consequences. It doesn't matter if you're a career backup in MLB, or a perennial All Star. Just like if two people commit the same crime, their punishments should be the same, regardless if one person is homeless and the other could be our next President.

Not that I have anybody in particular in mind.

So when I read that Pete Rose doesn't think the hits Ichiro Suzuki accumulated in Japan should count towards the hits record, which Ichiro is one hit from tying, I was ready to lash out at Pete again. But after reading his comments, and thinking about them for a minute, it turns out I agree with him.
"I'm not trying to take anything away from Ichiro, he's had a Hall of Fame career, but the next thing you know, they'll be counting his high school hits." - Rose
Okay, comparing hits from Nippon Professional Baseball and high school is ridiculous, but he has a point.

  1. Major League Baseball draws from the best players around the World, while Nippon Professional Baseball has limits to the number of foreign players that are even allowed on any team's active roster (the last I saw it was four).
  2. Many players that couldn't cut it in MLB went to NPB, such as Tuffy Rhodes. Tuffy hit 67 home runs between the Majors and Minors across 10 seasons (6.7 HR/yr), but hit 464 homers in 13 seasons in Japan (35.69 HR/yr).
  3. While position players such as Hideki Matsui and Ichiro Suzuki have had excellent MLB careers after coming from Japan, there are many more Japanese hitters that have done little to nothing in the States. Look at the MLB careers of Kenji Johjima, Tadahito Iguchi, Kazuo Matsui, Akinori Iwamura, Kosuki Fukudome, and So Taguchi... to name only a few.

Over the years I've heard from many people that Nippon Professional Baseball is a step above Triple-A, but a step below MLB. Some would say NPB is the equivalent of Quadruple-A baseball.

With all that in mind, and although I'm not a fan of the guy, Pete Rose will continue to be the hit king.

Game Preview: New York Yankees @ Colorado Rockies 6/14

Another HOPE Week is in the books and so is another Yankees home stand in the Bronx and now the team finds themselves out west where the air is thin and rarified, where pitchers have to hit and where kids aren’t scared of the boogie man, they are scared of Nolan Arenado. The New York Yankees face off this week with the Colorado Rockies in a two-game set inside Coors Field with the first coming tonight in Denver. The Yankees will send Nathan Eovaldi to the mound tonight looking to turn around a recent string of troubling starts while the Rockies will counter with Jorge De La Rosa.

Eovaldi was possibly and arguably the best pitcher in all of baseball during the month of May but as the calendar turns to June and the temperatures begin to rise Eovaldi may be taking a step back a bit. Thus far in June Evo has allowed 18 hits and 10 earned runs in 10.2 innings as he watched his ERA rise and his confidence fall. Turn it around in Colorado kid.

De La Rosa returns to the Rockies starting rotation after a brief stint in the team’s bullpen that lasted all of three appearances. The last time De La Rosa started a game he won throwing four perfect innings while striking out five. De La Rosa is sporting an 11.41 ERA this season and a 2.28 WHIP in six starts this season so you can understand why the team thought the pen may be better suited for him.

The game will be played at 8:40 pm ET, 6:40 pm local time in Colorado, and can be seen on the YES Network and MLB TV. Nathan Eovaldi is one of the few Yankees with some actual Major League at bats so I feel as confident with him at the plate as I do anyone on this staff aside from maybe CC Sabathia. I also feel pretty confident in his right arm despite struggles in each of his last two outings but it’s a long season and he can turn it around at any point. Preferably tonight though. Go Yankees!

Meet a Prospect: Ike Davis

The New York Yankees are currently weathering the storm that we will call the “First Base Curse” after losing Mark Teixeira, Chris Parmelee, Greg Bird and Dustin Ackley to injuries already this season. New York has flushed Robert Refsnyder into the position and while his bat has been surprisingly quiet his defense has been more than adequate for a man just learning the position in my opinion. Despite this and despite naming Refsnyder as the everyday first baseman the Yankees couldn’t help themselves when they saw an outcast veteran on the free agent market and they signed Ike Davis to a deal over the weekend. Let’s meet him.

This is Meet a Prospect: The Ike Davis Edition. Isaac Benjamin “Ike” Davis was born on March 22, 1987 and has spent time on the major league roster with the New York Mets, the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Oakland Athletics before being signed by the New York Yankees. Davis was born in Edina, Minnesota to Millie and Ron Davis and was born with baseball in his blood. Ike’s father, Ron, pitched 481 games in his 11-year Major Leaguer career as a power relief pitcher and even had a 1981 All-Star Game appearance under his belt with the New York Yankees. Davis, senior and junior, have the fighters instincts in their blood as one of Ike’s great aunts on his mother’s side was a Holocaust survivor while Davis’ grandfather on his father’s side was a paratrooper for the United States army and was one of the brave souls who stormed the beach in Normandy on D-Day in 1944.

Davis spent his high school years at Chaparral High School in Scottsdale, Arizona where he won three state titles from 2003-2005. While there Davis set the school record for batting average in a single season hitting .559 as a sophomore beating out Paul Konerko by the slimmest of margins who hit .558 in 1994. Davis also broke Konerko’s single season doubles record with 23 in a season all while doubling as a pitcher as well. In 2003 while still in High School David pitched for the USA Youth National Team who won a gold medal in the International Baseball Federation World Youth Championships in Taiwan. Winning was in Davis’ blood and he took that winning mentality and spirit to Arizona State University where he continued his amateur career.

While with Arizona State Davis played DH, first base and corner outfield while pitching on Friday nights (traditionally the ace of the staff pitches on Friday night) as a freshman and continued that throughout his Junior year. Davis finished his collegiate career with a .353 batting average, 244 hits, 33 home runs, 69 doubles and 202 RBI as a hitter. As a pitcher and the Sun Devils closer Davis totaled a 7-5 record with 4 saves and 78 strikeouts while winning two Pac-10 Championships with a trip to the 2007 College World Series thrown into the mix as well. In the 2008 MLB First Year Players Draft the New York Mets selected Davis with the 18th pick overall and Davis decided to sign rather than return to ASU for his senior season thus beginning his professional career.

Davis was not long for the minor leagues as he spent half a season in 2008 with the club before being invited to spring training before the 2010 season by the Mets. Despite leading the team in hitting with a .480 average and three home runs Davis was optioned back to the minor leagues at the end of spring but by April 19th Davis was back in the Mets set to make his MLB debut despite only 65 games above A-Ball in his career. Davis debuted against the Chicago Cubs and wasted no time hitting a single in his first MLB bat before finishing with a 2-4 night in a Mets victory. Davis had a pair of multi-hit games in his first four games and showcased an underrated and strong glove at first base for New York.

Davis was back for his sophomore season in the majors in 2011 and he picked up right where he left off in 2010 with at least one RBI in nine of his first 10 games of the season. An ankle injury was the only thing that could slow Davis down and one did just that on May 10, 2011 limiting him to just 36 games. Injury and disease was holding Davis back again in 2012 as well as Davis was diagnosed with valley fever, a rare dust-borne fungal infection endemic that was seen mainly in the American southwest. Davis started slow after the diagnosis before waking up in July just in time to become only the 9th Met in their history to his three home runs in a game against a former Yankee and current Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Ian Kennedy. Davis eclipsed the 30 home run plateau in 2012 but one again started slow in 2013 prompting him to be demoted to Triple-A in June of that year.

Davis would come back in July of 2013 but he never again reached the marks he did previous in his career which was highlighted by his benching in 2014. Davis found himself playing in the backup role to Lucas Duda in New York until the Mets traded Davis to the Pittsburgh Pirates on April 18th in exchange for Zack Thornton and a player to be named later. Davis enjoyed a good season in Pittsburgh but he was ultimately designated for assignment by the club in 2014 and traded to the Oakland Athletics in exchange for bonus slots for use in signing international free agents. How far the mighty have fallen.

Davis had a lackluster 2015 campaign with the A’s that ended with a torn hip labrum and another season ending surgery for the former ASU star and another offseason where Davis found himself on the free agent market. This time the Texas Rangers came calling signing him to a minor league deal with an invitation to spring training before releasing him once again on Jun 12, 2015. Now Davis is looking to latch on with the Yankees after signing a Major League deal and looking to harness some of the potential that made him so special for so long. Welcome to the organization Ike and most importantly welcome to the family.

Weekly Prospects Check In: Blake Rutherford

Blake Rutherford was the Yankees first round pick and 18th overall pick in the 2016 MLB First Year Players Draft. This much we know but what a lot of us don’t know is what the kid did while at Chaminade High School in California. High School stats are surprisingly hard to find, even for top draft picks and prospects like Rutherford, so this is what we could find.

It’s easy to see why the Yankees were so high on this kid despite being a tough sign and despite being a high school prospect. Rutherford can flat out hit and he has the tools to stick in center field in the long term making him a talent too special to pass up.

Now all the Yankees have to do is sign him. 

This Day In New York Yankees History 6/14: 1998 Yankees Win

On this day in 1998 the Yankees beat the Cleveland Indians 4-2 to tie a major league record by winning or splitting their 24th consecutive series this season. The Yankees equaled the record shared by the 1912 Red Sox and the 1970 Reds.

Also on this day in 1969 the Yankees traded Tom Tresh to the Detroit Tigers for the 1962 Rookie of the Year Ron Woods. The outfielder, who grew up in Detroit, would retire at the end of the 1969 season.

Finally on this day in 1933 both the Yankees manager Joe McCarthy and their first basemen Lou Gehrig were thrown out of a game. McCarthy was suspended for three games while Gehrig was not keeping his consecutive games streak at 1,249 straight games.