Thursday, July 7, 2016

Yanks Touch Up Bauer For Five, Win Series Opener In Cleveland, 5-4

On a rare beautiful night in Cleveland(not in New York for those who read last night's blog, my apologies), the Yankees took on the AL Central leading Cleveland Indians in the first game of the four-game series. Taking the ball for the Yankees, looking to shut down the white-hot Indians, was right-hander Ivan Nova. Nova is coming off of his best start of the season in San Diego, where he went six scoreless but walked away with the no decision. The biggest strength for the Cleven Indians this season has been their starting pitching and tonight's starter Trevor Bauer is not only one of the best on the team but also one of the best in all of baseball the last several weeks. Bauer is coming off of a string of seven consecutive quality starts. But, the Yankee offense  was clearly ticked off over their shut out performance last night and took out their collective frustrations on Bauer tonight.

The Indians were first to hit the scoreboard tonight, coming in the bottom of the third. Rookie sensation Tyler Naquin ripped a line drive solo shot off of Nova to dead center to lead off the frame that put the Indians up by one. Then, two batters later, Jason Kipnis also smashed a solo homerun to right-centerfield that extended the Indians lead to two.

The Bomber bats, however, would come back in a big way, beginning in the top of the fifth. With one out, the red-hot Didi Gregorius took a Trevor Bauer fastball and lined it over the right-field fence, making it a 2-1 ballgame. After giving up back to back singles to the next two batters Headley and Refsnyder, Bauer served up a two-out single to Brett Gardner that scored Headley from second, tying the game at two.

New York would knock Trevor Bauer out of the game in the top of the sixth. After allowing consecutive one out singles to Castro and Gregorius, Chase Headley lined a single into left field that caused a play at the plate. Though Castro was originally called out, a four minute review overturn the call and Castro was called safe, which gave the Yankees the lead for the first time in the game at 3-2. Then, Refsnyder hit a sacrifice fly that scored Gregorius and forced Bauer from the game. In relief of the righty, T.J. House came on and immediately served up another single to Jacoby Ellsbury that scored Headley and gave the Yankees a 5-2 lead.

Ivan Nova's night would come to an end in the bottom of the sixth. Nova allowed a leadoff double to Carlos Santana, who advanced to third when the next batter Jason Kipnis hit another double that ricocheted off of right fielder Refsnyder's glove that was retrieved by Ellsbury, holding Santana at third. Nova then threw a wild pitch to the next batter Francisco Lindor that moved Kipnis to third and scored Santana from third, making it a 5-3 ballgame.  Nova would be pulled after getting Lindor to ground out, departing with a final line of 5.1 innings pitched, allowing four runs on five hits with no walks and six strikeouts.

The first member of No Runs DMC Delin Betances came on in relief of Nova as the Yankees tried to hold on to a game one win. The 6'8" righty immediately got Mike Napoli to ground out, scoring Kipnis from third and pulling the Indians to within one at 5-4. Betances and Miller would keep the game at 5-4 as they combined to allow just one hit and struck out three. Chapman's night, on the other hand, did not come so drama-free as he allowed the first Yankee walk of the game to Mike Napoli to lead off the ninth. Jose Ramirez struck out and then pinch hitter Juan Uribe lined a single off of the closer, advancing Napoli to second. After getting Rajai Davis to line out to left, more replay review was necessary as the speedy Naquin smoked a ball to first that hit off of Teixeira's glove in the direction of Starlin Castro who tossed it over to Chapman covering first base. The call on the field was "safe", but after another lengthy review the call was overturned and the Yankees won the game.

 Once again the Yankees pulled two within a game of .500 and will try to get back to it tomorrow night in game two, with first pitch scheduled for 7:05 PM ET.

Game Thread: New York Yankees @ Cleveland Indians 7/7

The New York Yankees and the Cleveland Indians both have to be lying if they tell you that they aren’t looking ahead a bit past this series to the All-Star break. Who wouldn’t want a few extra days off with their friends, families and loved ones and who wouldn’t just want a few days to chill? So let’s get on with this one, the first of three, with Ivan Nova taking the bump for the Yankees and Trevor Bauer taking the ball for the Indians. The game will be played at 7:10 pm ET inside Progressive Field and can be seen on the YES Network and MLB TV.

Follow along this week and all All-Star break long with us on Twitter by giving @GreedyStripes a follow or by liking us on Facebook. You can also get a Jacoby Ellsbury milk carton shirt for stealing home twice this season by clicking the TGP T-shirts link at the top of the blog.

Nova and Bauer, let’s get to it. Go Yankees!

Gary Sanchez Trade Rumors & Jorge Mateo Suspended

Here is a quick post to get you caught up before tonight's opener with the Cleveland Indians.

Reportedly the Chicago White Sox have at least asked for Gary Sanchez in a trade with the New York Yankees. The talks never went far as the Yankees asking price for Sanchez was deemed "far too high" but the discussions were had nonetheless. Chicago needs a catcher and the Yankees don't have to trade Sanchez so it makes sense that the asking price was substantial, because it should be. It's about time other teams get to overpay New York rather than the other way around.

Jorge Mateo has been suspended for two weeks. That suspension is due to a violation of team policy, although nothing specifically has been released, and it will cause the young shortstop/second baseman to miss the XM Futures Game. Mateo has been reportedly frustrated with his lack of a call up from High-A Tampa to Double-A Trenton and who could blame him? He's tore up the affiliate and deserved the promotion. That doesn't mean what he did was right, not at all, but still I am merely saying I can relate to his frustration and I'm sure I'm not the only one.

Twitter Poll: My Take on Buying or Selling

The Twitter Poll went live this morning and in it I asked Yankees fans and readers of The Greedy Pinstripes if they thought the team should buy or sell and I asked why. You guys had your say and now I feel like it’s my turn to have mine and respond a bit. I touched on this a bit in the actual article as I put little responses under some of the comments but I wanted to put all my thoughts down on paper here in one nice and tidy place. Should the Yankees buy or sell at the August 1st trade deadline? Why? Here is my take on the matter for whatever it is worth.

To be completely honest before conducting that Twitter Poll I was one of the fans jumping up and down for a fire sale. I wanted a laundry list of players moved including, but not limited to, Andrew Miller, Aroldis Chapman, Nathan Eovaldi, Michael Pineda, Ivan Nova, CC Sabathia, Mark Teixeira, Carlos Beltran, Brett Gardner, Aaron Hicks and Chase Headley. Out with the old and in with the new but after conducting the poll I may be teetering towards another edge. An edge more towards the middle if that makes any sense. I want the Yankees to not only sell but I want them to buy as well. Confused? Good, keep reading.

This is a terrible comparison and analogy but it is the first one that came to mind. The Texas Rangers bought Cole Hamels at the trading deadline last season not with the hopes of making a run at the World Series in 2015, although they did make the postseason, but with the dreams of pairing him with Yu Darvish in 2017 as well. The Yankees can buy in a similar fashion but not with their eyes on 2016 or even 2017 but with their goals set towards building for 2018 and beyond.

So the Yankees sell some or all of the list above, and FYI I did not include Alex Rodriguez on it because even after his comeback tour in 2015 his contract is still unmovable, and stock up for the future but they could also buy. Again I bring you a bad comparison but this gives you an idea of what I am talking about. In no way, shape or form can I see the Rays trading a player like Matt Moore to the Yankees but he is the kind of the player the Yankees could target in any trade. A cheap, young player they can buy low on due to injuries or whatever that has a real shot at bouncing back. It also doesn’t hurt that Moore is signed pretty cheap through the 2019 season which fits the mold and goes with the plan.

So conceivably, and yes it is easier said than done, the Yankees could both buy and sell at this year’s trading deadline. It won’t be easy and it will have to be all hands on deck to make it worth but it could happen. But will it? Stay tuned. 

USA Today’s Weekly MLB Power Rankings

The 2016 season for the New York Yankees has been a bust. Despite what Randy Levine and Hal Steinbrenner are saying on the outside this team is not making a run at the playoffs, not even as a second Wild Card, and they aren’t going past that round even if they do make it to October-ish. Brian Cashman, the team’s General Manager, asked the team to define themselves in a recent interview so the organization could make up their minds whether to sell or to buy and I think struggling against the San Diego Padres and the Chicago White Sox counts as defining themselves, don’t you? If that’s not enough let’s see what these rankings have to say about it.

The Yankees came into the week stuck at the #18 position but by week’s end the team had dropped a position to the #19 position. The Baltimore Orioles sit atop the American League East Division and they sit near the top of the rankings as well with the #6 position while the Boston Red Sox have slid back a bit both in the standings and in the rankings lately as they finished 9th overall. The Toronto Blue Jays are right on the heels of the Red Sox in the division and their #10 ranking in these rankings shows Boston that they are not going to go away quietly while the Tampa Bay Rays are the Tampa Bay Rays again finishing with the 26th ranking overall in Major League Baseball.

The biggest rise of the week went to the Detroit Tigers who shot up the list like a firework four spots to the #11 position while the Miami Marlins got wet before the festivities and failed sliding all the way to the #15 position three slots down from last week. The Top 5 teams according to the rankings are the Chicago Cubs, the Texas Rangers, the San Francisco Giants, the Washington Nationals and the Cleveland Indians. The five worst teams according to the rankings are the Tampa Bay Rays, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, the Cincinnati Reds, the Atlanta Braves and the Minnesota Twins.

We’re in July now ladies and gents. These rankings mean something now and they mean the Chicago Cubs are untouchable in the National League, the Rangers may run away with it all when they get Yu Darvish back and healthy and most importantly it means that the Yankees should sell at the August 1st trade deadline. Sell if you know what’s good for you, and FYI Randy Levine does not know what’s good for him or the team either. Sell.

Just Get It Done, Already!

This season is really wearing on me. Watching the games is too difficult, as they leave me completely unfulfilled. On the one hand, if they win, I get upset because that gives the Yankee brass another reason to not trade anybody away. On the other hand, if they lose, I get upset because I absolutely hate losing.

It's a lose-lose situation. I just wish we could get past the trade deadline, that way I can just root for the team to win... no matter what they look like.

That's not to say I won't complain should some of their current players still be around, but at least I can watch a game without getting depressed no matter what the result of it is.

Yes... I'm on Team Sell. This is a team clearly in transition (I know they hate the word "rebuild", so how about "transition"?), and in order to do things correctly they need to let go of anything and everything holding them back.

That means on and off the field. Perhaps I'll get to the "off the field" people later (although some of our commenters love to chime in on that). Right now, I want to think about those "on the field" people that I think should be traded.

Let's start with an obvious one...

Aroldis Chapman

I wouldn't be against trading away Andrew Miller, and bringing back Chapman to be the team's closer for four or so more years. The reason being that Miller would return the better player(s) for the Yankees, due to him being signed for far less than market value for two more seasons. However, it's not like the return for Aroldis would be "so-so". Besides, Miller is simply better. And for less money, the Yankees might as well go the other route.

And it's not as if there are only one or two teams with playoff hopes that would be in on Chapman. The Texas Rangers, San Francisco Giants, Miami Marlins, St. Louis Cardinals, Detroit Tigers, and Washington Nationals could all use a strong closer. Even the Chicago Cubs, who already have a really good closer in Hector Rondon, would surely love to add Aroldis.


Carlos Beltran

I know Carlos has been the Yankees best hitter so far this season (by far), but that can't deter them from getting something for him. They should not even think of re-signing him after this season. Beltran is already 39 years old, which makes it a horrible bet that he'd maintain his current batting numbers. And unless we're talking about David Ortiz, no team should have a full-time designated hitter.

Along with the the effectiveness and position questions surrounding Beltran, there's the fact that the Yankees have a handful of other outfield options. As of right now, Aaron Judge should be looked at as the Yankees' starting right fielder next year. Even if they hold off on that, Rob Refsnyder has more than earned more at bats*.

*I'd like to see the team to play Refsnyder in the infield every once in a while this season, as they could look at dealing away Starlin Castro in the offseason, and start Refsnyder at second base next year.


Jacoby Ellsbury

I don't expect the Yankees to get much in return for Ellsbury. It's not because he hasn't been a very good hitter, either. On the contrary, I think Jacoby has been pretty good. His .280 batting average is good, his on-base percentage of .348 isn't too shabby, and he's seventh in MLB in stolen bases this season.

The problem with Ellsbury is that damn contract. After this year, there will still be four years and over $84 million remaining on his deal. Nobody in their right mind would pay Jacoby $21 million a season. But if the Yankees pay part of that remaining salary, say $5 million a year, then I think there would be some interested parties.

The combination of saving around $16 million a year, along with making room to give another player such as Ben Gamel a shot in the big leagues, makes this a trade well worth looking into.

The biggest hurdle I see here for the Yankees is Ellsbury's no trade protection. Would Jacoby be willing to play for the Washington Nationals or San Francisco Giants, two teams that are in the playoff hunt year after year, and both of whom could use help at the top of the lineup and in center field? The Yankees gotta try.


Brian McCann

When thinking of players the Yankees could trade away, chances are Brian's name isn't one of the first people think of. However, I think the Yankees have to give serious thought to dealing away their starting catcher.

The Cleveland Indians, Houston Astros, Pittsburgh Pirates, St. Louis Cardinals, and Los Angeles Dodgers all have a couple of things in common. One, they are all within 3 games of a playoff spot. Two, they have issues at the catching position.

Meanwhile, Brian McCann is tied with Wilson Ramos and Evan Gattis in home runs by catchers (to be fair, six of Gattis' home runs have come as the Astros' designated hitter). Furthermore, McCann actually ranks 8th in fWAR among the 20 catchers with at least 200 plate appearances this season.

Like Ellsbury, the Yankees would have to get McCann to waive the no trade protection in his contract. But playing for the Cardinals or Dodgers would certainly appeal to many baseball players.

This guy's not the only one that wants to play for a winner.


For a moment I thought of including Masahiro Tanaka on this list. My initial thought was that he'd likely opt-out of his contract after next season, and there's a decent chance the Yankees will let him walk. In that case, why not see what they can get for the guy now?

But where would that leave the rotation? I'll give you a hint... it's not a pretty place. Other than CC Sabathia, the Yankees have no starting pitcher that they can rely on. And to be honest, every time he steps on the mound, I hold my breath waiting for reality to knock him back to 2013-2015 CC Sabathia.

This leads me to my next point, which very likely takes care of the dumbfounded looks from some of you due to their exclusion from the above list of players.

Do not trade either Michael Pineda or Nathan Eovaldi.

I can't remember for sure, and I'm way too lazy to go back and look, but there's a good chance I've lobbied for the Yankees to do the opposite with those two. But at least for now, the Yankees should hold onto anybody that could possibly fill a rotation spot in the future .

Let's look at some current Yankees starters...
  • As I mentioned earlier, Masahiro Tanaka can opt out of his deal after next season, and while I've said the Yankees should bring him back, letting him walk is certainly an option. 
  • CC Sabathia has turned a page, but I just can't see him pitching well enough that he's re-signed when his contract is up after next season.
  • Luis Severino is doing well in AAA, but not so well that I'm convinced he can re-enter the Yankees' rotation next year and be counted on every five days. 
  • James Kaprielian looked like a shoe-in for the big league rotation as soon as next season, but elbow injuries are always concerning.
  • Ivan Nova is a free agent after this season, and he's given us no reason to believe the Yankees would want to bring him back. 
So trading away two under-30 pitchers, both of whom have the raw talent to be good to great starters, is a bad idea. It's true that they've both had plenty of time for that raw talent to turn into something tangible, but unless one a trade is made for at least one more future starter, what else can they do?

Contrary to what some people around here believe, I'm not naive. Yes, I'm well aware that there are 17 teams within three games of a playoff berth (18 if you count the Seattle Mariners, who are only 3.5 games out). That means that even a decent starting pitcher would attract some level of trade interest.

But keep in mind that the Yankees would not get back a prospect of the same caliber Jesus Montero was when he was traded away, nor would they get a Major Leaguer as good as Martin Prado was. Trading Pineda or Eovaldi would likely get the Yankees an "okay" prospect or two, and the fact is those pitchers are simply more valuable to the team wearing pinstripes.

I'm sure at least some of you remember this.


So there you go. Are all of those things I listed off going to happen? No. Are most of them going to happen? Probably not. Will any of them happen? I think there's a decent chance. And in about three weeks time we're going to find out. 

Game Preview: New York Yankees @ Cleveland Indians 7/7

Welcome to Cleveland Yankees fans where some of the hottest and best baseball in all of the American League is currently being played. Just in time for the New York Yankees to arrive, how convenient. Where is Nick Swisher when you need him? On a serious note though the Yankees do square off head-to-head with the Indians tonight in the last series before the All-Star Game and the All-Star break. For the Yankees the team will send Ivan Nova to the mound to face off with Trevor Bauer for the Indians.

Nova has struggled lately but he did show signs of snapping out of it last time out against the San Diego Padres. Nova allowed just four hits in 5.1 innings while striking out seven while giving up just one run. Over Nova’s previous seven starts he had posted a 6.92 ERA so this start was a sight for sore eyes.

Bauer last pitched out of the bullpen for Cleveland in the 19-inning marathon with the Toronto Blue Jays on Friday. In the appearance Bauer threw five shutout innings and heads into the month of July after throwing a 3-0 record with a 2.01 ERA up in the month of June.

The game will be played at 7:10 pm ET inside Progressive Field (I liked it better when it was Jacobs Field but whatever) and can be seen on the YES Network and MLB TV. This series is going to hurt. Let’s get it over with. Go Yankees!

Twitter Poll: Should the Yankees Buy or Sell?

The New York Yankees are one of the most confused organizations in all of Major League Baseball right now. One guy, Brian Cashman, is saying he is willing and wanting to sell at this year's trading deadline and has even begun fielding offers for Andrew Miller, Brian McCann, Aroldis Chapman, Michael Pineda, Ivan Nova, Carlos Beltran, CC Sabathia and others. Others in the organization, Randy Levine and Hal Steinbrenner, want to buy and are sipping their own "World Series caliber" team kool-aid. Which side is right and which side do you side with personally? Sounds like a great idea for a Twitter Poll.

This I can actually get behind. Buying low on a player like Matt Moore makes sense since he's signed for cheap through the 2019 season. Selling players like Carlos Beltran, Aroldis Chapman and Ivan Nova also makes sense since they presumably won't help the team in 2016 or beyond.
Call it what you want. Just as long as you bring me young and talented players for aging and expensive veterans.
Easier said than done.

This was not and will never be intended to be a negative post or a sky is falling type blog. We're not about that. We just have an opinion and we're not afraid to share it while we also actually give a crap what you, our readers and friends, have to say. Let's keep that in mind please and keep things respectful. Thanks. To be involved in our next Twitter Poll head over and give @GreedyStripes a follow to be on the lookout for our next Twitter Poll tweet.

Go Yankees, buying or selling you're still my team.

Weekly Prospects Check In: Blake Rutherford

Ladies and gentleman Blake Rutherford is officially a member of the New York Yankees. Yes I know he had signed a contract a few weeks ago and we did a Meet a Prospect on him but now he’s truly a Yankee. No it’s not because he made his debut with the GCL Yankees it’s because we, The Greedy Pinstripes, checked in with him on the blog. Awesome, right? With ultimate power comes ultimate responsibility though so we don’t take the keys to being a Yankee lightly I assure you.

In all seriousness though Rutherford did make his GCL debut and professional debut and since half the Yankees prospects are either called up, assigned to another day or injured I figured what the heck. Let’s check in with Rutherford now. Enjoy. 

This Day in New York Yankees History 7/7: FDR Throws Out First Pitch

Franklin D. Roosevelt was a big baseball fan and even threw out the ceremonial first pitch at the 1937 All Star Game becoming the first United States President to attend and All Star Game. The game was held at Washington's Griffith Stadium and FDR and fans were treated to the American League defeating the National League 8-3. The Yankees Lou Gehrig drove in four runs with a home run and a double in the game.