Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Game Thread: New York Yankees vs. Houston Astros 7/26

The New York Yankees and the Houston Astros are just about set to continue their three-game set this week in Houston with the middle game of the series. In tonight’s matchup the Yankees will send their big left-handed veteran CC Sabathia to the mound to face off against the Houston Astros starter Doug Fister. The game will be played at 8:10 pm ET inside Minute Maid Park and can be seen on the YES Network and MLB TV.

Get your Yankees Tickets now for when the team returns back to the Bronx later next month. There may be a few new faces in different places to see firsthand and talk about so click the Yankees Tickets link at the top of the blog and secure your seats now. Also click the TGP T-Shirts link also located at the top of the blog to grab a Jacoby Ellsbury milk carton shirt for stealing home or any other great shirt to look the part while you root at the stadium. I think it’s a safe bet that Ellsbury isn’t going anywhere but home after he steals it a third time this season so it’s also safe to go ahead and buy now.

Following along during the game and all week as we enter crunch time for the trading deadline. You can follow us on Twitter by giving @GreedyStripes a follow or you can also like us on Facebook. We’re always around and we’re always trying to bring you fresh and interesting content. Enjoy and Go Yankees!

Selling Pieces Now Can Help in 2017?

The New York Yankees seem to be in sell mode before this year’s August 1st trading and while we may not be seeing a fire sale by any stretch of the imagination we could see a few key pieces moved before it’s all said and done. This is important not only for the 2016 season with eyes on the 2018 season and beyond but there is one key component that many are missing in regards to the 2017 season as well. The Top 10 picks every season are protected when offering contracts to players who received qualifying offers and if the Yankees fall a bit more they could potentially get one of those protected picks and get a free pass this winter in free agency.

Entering play on Monday 13 teams have records worse than the Yankees record right now and one team, the Seattle Mariners, have an identical record as the Bronx Bombers. The Yankees had the 14th worst record in Major League Baseball with the dominating bullpen of No Runs DMC, a resurgent season from Carlos Beltran and great performances from the likes of CC Sabathia, Ivan Nova, Brett Gardner, Brian McCann and others. If some of these players fall by the wayside and/or get traded this month or next month that record could fall, and fall fast.

Now looking at the potential free agent class for the 2017 season you can see if it’s even worth it to “tank” the season for one of those protected picks. Thanks to MLB Trade Rumors you can see that the cream of the crop as far as the 2017 free agency market goes are Jonathan Lucroy (he has a club option for 2017 that will likely be exercised), Wilson Ramos (like we need another catcher), Edwin Encarnacion, possibly Yoenis Cespedes if he opts out of his contract with the Mets, Ian Desmond (see my above comment about needing a catcher), Jose Bautista (we need guys who can throw punches, not take them), Andrew Cashner and a plethora of relievers you can read about at MLB Trade Rumors. Oh and Stephen Drew. Stephen Drew sucks.

I don’t know about you but that list doesn’t necessarily intrigue me all that much. There are only a handful of players who are under that magical 30-year old mark and only a handful of players that I would actually want on the Yankees going forward. Mark Melancon would be nice and would definitely be worth the second round pick that New York would have to give up presumably if Pittsburgh offers him a qualifying offer but aside from that I’m just not blown away.

So would selling now help not only the 2017 season but also the 2018 season and beyond? No, I don’t think that it would. Right now it looks like there is no helping this 2016 club or the 2017 club either unfortunately and in my opinion. 

Warren Added & Shreve Optioned. Is A Trade In The Works?

To the surprise of many, instead of sending Luis Severino back down to AAA in order to make room for Adam Warren, the Yankees have decided to send Chasen Shreve to Scranton.

Although I lobbied yesterday for Severino to be added back into the rotation, I didn't think it would actually happen tonight. I figured the team would continue to be stubborn, and keep Masahiro Tanaka, Nathan Eovaldi, Michael Pineda, CC Sabathia, and Ivan Nova in the rotation.

Wait... so what is going on?

The Yankees are not going with a six-man rotation. That's been talked about for years, but I just don't see it happening.

I suppose Girardi could use Severino or Warren as a spot-starter, in order to give Tanaka an extra day of rest every once in a while (Hiro's been pitching much better with extra rest). But is it worth keep two long relievers in the bullpen, on the off chance that one of them is needed when the other makes a start? I don't think so.

That begs the question... is somebody getting traded?

I'm going to guess that it's not CC Sabathia. First of all, who would want to pay him around $12 million for the rest of the season, and then take a huge gamble his vesting option goes through for next season and another $25 million? Secondly, I doubt I'm alone in thinking that his early season success was not what's to be expected from here on out (to be fair, I don't think he's as bad as he's been lately, either).

Although I could see the team being willing to trade away either Michael Pineda or Nathan Eovaldi, I don't see that happening. The team wouldn't hold onto an extra long reliever for five or six days, which is the time between now and their next starts.

But I can see the Yankees holding onto both Warren and Severino for a couple games. It could mean overworking one or both of Andrew Miller and Dellin Betances, but with Adam Warren aboard and pretty well rested this season I don't see a real problem.

Therefore, I think either Masahiro Tanaka or Ivan Nova are on the move.

Honestly, I don't see Tanaka going away, although it wouldn't surprise me that much. The Yankees have an eye on the future, and with 'Hiro's opt-out looming, they could very well be thinking of letting him go. Especially if they get another top pitcher in return.

My guess at this time is Brian Cashman has a deal in place to trade Ivan Nova... Friday's starter. That gives them a couple more days to finalize the deal, so that Nova can start for his new team Friday night.

Meet a Prospect: Gleyber Torres

The New York Yankees have essentially turned little into something and then something into a whole lot in less than a calendar year and it all revolves around left-handed pitcher Aroldis Chapman. The Yankees sent a little, most notably Rookie Davis and Eric Jagielo, into Aroldis Chapman this winter only to turn him around before the August 1st trading deadline for the Chicago Cubs top prospect Gleyber Torres, Adam Warren and two others. The other three will have their day on the blog but Torres is the centerpiece of the deal so let’s meet him Yankees family. This is Meet a Prospect: The Gleyber Torres Edition.

Torres is a 19-year old shortstop prospect that was ranked at the top of the Cubs farm system at the time of the trade. You would have to think that Torres will also rank at the top of the Yankees farm system as well but I am compiling my list now and will likely bring that post-Chapman trade prospects list to you tomorrow. Until then Keith Law had Torres ranked 26th overall on his most recent prospects list while Baseball America had him ranked 41st overall before the season.

Torres has a quick right-handed swing and uses great pitch recognition, patience and maturity to spray the ball all over the field. Torres is still growing into his body and still working on pulling the ball but when he does he could hit 15-20 home runs inside Yankee Stadium. Torres, even with this growth, should still be able to stick at shortstop but could always move to third base due to his strong arm and average speed.

Torres will head to A-Ball with Jorge Mateo and look to improve on his .275 batting average, 19 stolen bases and nine home runs he has put up thus far this season. Torres joins a talented group of shortstops in the Yankees system but he just may tower over them all at this point in their careers. This is an exciting grab from Brian Cashman. I’m very excited to welcome Gleyber Torres to not only the organization but to the Yankees family as well.

More to come as we learn more about our new top prospect. Enjoy. 

Trading Andrew Miller Or Dellin Betances

Dellin Betances and Andrew Miller rank #1 and #2 in strikeout rate among all pitchers in Major League Baseball with at least 30 innings under their belt. And when it comes to fWAR among all relievers, Dellin is #1 while Andrew is #3.

On top of the numbers, both Betances and Miller can pitch in any situation their thrown into. Set-up man? You got it. Closer? Sure thing. Come into the game with men already on base with less than two outs? No problem.

Only a handful of teams in the league wouldn't be interested in acquiring either of these pitchers to add to their bullpens. And most of those teams are all but eliminated from the postseason.

While the Cleveland Indians, Texas Rangers, and Washington Nationals are the more obvious trade partners, that doesn't mean there aren't other teams that could use some bullpen help.

The San Francisco Giants are unlikely to make a big splash at the deadline, but they could use something better on the mound at the end of games. The Chicago White Sox are another team with a struggling bullpen. And don't count out the St. Louis Cardinals, especially after their division rival Cubs landed Aroldis Chapman yesterday.

The question is, how high are they willing to pay for Dellin or Andrew? Because if you think Chapman got the Yankees a nice return, Betances and Miller should absolutely get more.

Before I go over some of the guys that pique my interest, I must say that I'm actually against trading either of those two.

This isn't like with Aroldis Chapman, where he was set to be a free agent at the end of the year. Hell, both members of DnA are under team control through the 2018 season (unlike Andrew, Dellin isn't actually eligible for free agency until 2020). As I've argued, I think this team could contend as soon as next season, but in order to do that they can't afford to weaken their bullpen that much.

But at the same time, it's going to take another big move or two from Brian Cashman to make the 2017 Yankees into true contenders. And in order to do that, moving one of the team's remaining elite relievers may be necessary.

"Would somebody just tell me what to do?"

So we're stuck in a bit of a conundrum.

I say a "bit" because if the Yankees can get back one of the following players then I wouldn't be too upset. After all, the Yankees are known to be able to find/develop closers almost at will.

All but one of the players listed below are starters, and that's on purpose. Sure, there are other players that would be enticing, but I believe the Yankees need to concentrate on what they need for next season. That would be starting pitching, and perhaps a third baseman.

SP Luis Giolito (Nationals)
-Like with so many young pitchers, Giolito is having issues with walking hitters. But talk about a good base of talent to work with!

SP Alex Reyes (Cardinals) 
-Reyes is also struggling with control this season. However, he still misses a ton of bats and is ready to join MLB next season.

3B/OF Joey Gallo (Rangers) 
-Joey strikes out quite a bit, and has a low batting average, but that can be overlooked while he's hitting 30+ HRs a season and getting on base over 35% of the time.

Those three players are probably more pipe dreams than realities, due to them being so valuable to their current organizations.  But when you're talking about trading away guys like Betances or Miller, then I truly believe that's what it should take.

With that said, the following players would be nice gets, but other pieces would be necessary for me to approve dealing Dellin or Andrew for them. I'm thinking players that are under team control in MLB, or prospects not far removed from the top 100.

SP Reynaldo Lopez (Nationals) 
-Reynaldo's not as big a prospect as Giolito, but the Nats may be more willing to deal him. His strikeout rate is still quite nice, and he's ready to open next season in MLB.

SP Mike Clevinger (Indians) 
-Yet another young starter with control issues, but he misses plenty of bats and his MLB-ready.

SP Adalberto Mejia (Giants) 
-A decent walk rate and nice strikeout rate, along with being MLB-ready makes him attractive.

While some of you will like this list, I'm sure there are other players you'd be willing to deal away Betances or Miller for. Actually, I wouldn't be surprised if some of you simply said "no" to dealing away Dellin or Andrew for anyone.

So go ahead and hit me with whatever you got.

Game Preview: New York Yankees vs. Houston Astros 7/26

The New York Yankees and the Houston Astros will continue their three-game set this week inside Minute Maid Park with a game that the Yankees have a real shot at winning on paper. Any time the Yankees face Dallas Keuchel you can almost always pencil in an “L” in the loss column, that guy is just really good. No disrespect to the Yankees, just extra respect to Keuchel. The beautiful thing about baseball though is it is a new day and a new game with a new set of lineups and pitching matchups including tonight’s pitching matchup that will showcase CC Sabathia for the Yankees and Doug Fister for the Astros.

Sabathia is quickly becoming yet another example of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde in the Yankees rotation this season. No one knows what to expect from Sabathia and others from start to start this season so no one knows what to expect tonight from the big lefty in Houston. If he limits his home runs then Sabathia has a real shot at winning but if he doesn’t then it may be another loss for CC and the Yanks.

Fister is coming into this start fresh off a great start against the Oakland Athletics where he threw seven shutout innings in a 7-0 Houston victory. Fister lowered his ERA to the second best on the team in that start and has recorded a victory in each of his last two starts after suffering from a three-game losing streak earlier in the month.

The game will be played at 8:10 pm ET inside Minute Maid Park and can be seen on the YES Network and MLB TV. I know I should probably turn in my MLB fan card for admitting this out loud but somehow I totally forgot that the Astros signed Fister for whatever reason this offseason. Out of sight, out of mind I guess. I don’t know. Either way I had hoped the Yankees would sign him because he could have been a huge help for this ailing team right about now. The past is the past though and that’s where it needs to stay. Only looking forward. Go Yankees!

Trade Deadline: Click Baiting & What Happened to Actually Reporting on News?

What the hell happened to actually reporting on the news? I’m sorry to start your Tuesday morning off with a rant but I feel like there is a lot of things I have to get off my chest right now and this is the best place for me to do so because I don’t want to be blocked by half of twitter or hated on by half my friends. What happened to actual journalism and why is click baiting so damn “necessary” in an era where news is always up to the minute and people are going to be reading anyway? It’s sickening and it’s why I got into blogging, not to change the world but to show people that it can be done the “right” way. 

On Sunday night I went on a bit of a sarcastic rampage because anyone and everyone was reporting what they “knew” about the potential Aroldis Chapman trade to the Chicago Cubs. Now I was on twitter when people like Chris Cotillo were still essentially “nobodies” in the grand scheme of things so I’m not knocking on people because they just own a blog or don’t have millions of followers but I saw people “breaking news” that had 36 and 46 followers citing “sources.” To complicate matters you then had real and true insiders citing these same “sources” with the vaguest titles or the most click baiting titles I have ever seen in my life. 

Andrew Marchand of ESPN “reported” that the Yankees “may” trade Chapman to the Chicago Cubs a good three-or-four hours into the whole debacle where names were being leaked and the trade was reportedly close. And of course they “may” trade him, they may not trade him as well. What’s your point? And where did the journalism in all these things go? Are there anymore journalists left in the world or are we as fans subject to the same recycled crap with a few words changed around for the rest of our reading lives? 

Twelve hours prior to the Yankees being “close” to trading Chapman to the Cubs these same “sources” and insiders had him going to the Washington Nationals. Six hours later they had him going to the Cleveland Indians. Then the Cubs. Do you guys actually believe anything that you write or is being first, whether it’s accurate or not, or does being first mean THAT much to you? What happened to integrity first? Come on guys you are better than this. I know it because I’m old enough to have seen it. Believe it or not you may get more clicks and more views, which I understand is what pays your bills, for being real than being a d-bag. Ask Robert Casey and his Bleeding Yankee Blue site who probably get more clicks per day than you do. Why? Because they are awesome and better yet they are ACCOUNTABLE. 

Oh and Cubs fans. You ought to be ashamed of yourself talking to Julie DiCario the way that you do. Shame the hell on you and I hope I’m around when karma comes back to bite you in the ass. Sad and pathetic little people. Rant over!

Weekly Prospects Check In: Gary Sanchez

With the trade deadline looming you always have to wonder about certain prospects and whether they are going to make it through the storm in New York. While Yankees GM Brian Cashman has shown some reluctance to trade away top prospects in recent years there is always that deal that is too good to pass up or too good to believe and any such deal could potentially involve today’s check in showcase Gary Sanchez.

Sanchez has survived a lot of these trading deadlines with New York and truth be told he’ll likely survive this one as well but you always kind of hold your breath a little bit until the deadline is over. At least I always do. Here is what the Yankees could potentially be trading away this week, not that I have any inside information or anything. Just pure speculation and “what if’s” being tossed around just like everyone else. 


July 25th Recap: Chapman Traded, Yanks Take Astros In Series Opener, 2-1

The 25th of July, 2016 will forever be remembered as an extremely busy day for the New York Yankees. The day began with the announcement of the inevitable but still blockbuster of a trade that saw the Yankees send fireballer closer-extraordinaire Aroldis Chapman to the Chicago Cubs in exchange for four players. The centerpiece of the deal is 19-year-old shortstop Gleyber Torres, who, leaving from my hometown High-A Myrtle Beach Pelicans, was the Cubs number one overall prospect(41st overall in MLB, According to Baseball America). The other three players include former Yankee reliever Adam Warren and two Minor League outfielders. I knew the day was coming, but, it didn't make it sting any less to witness the greatest bullpen of all time dismantled. And yes, New York made out like bandits in the deal and could even possibly re-sign Chapman over the off-season, but, that sure was a fun 21 games stretch and I am going to miss it.

The memorable 25th continued as another rumored trade piece Michael Pineda toss seven phenomenal innings of one-run ball as he led the bombers to a game one when against the Houston Astro's in Minute Maid Park. It was far and away Pineda's best outing of the year, allowing just five hits, striking out eight while lowering his ERA to 5.00 in route to his fifth victory of the season. Taking the ball and the loss for Houston was 2015 Cy Young Award winner Dallas Keuchel, who also happened to be the guy who knocked the Yankees out of the playoffs a season ago. I have to imagine this one felt good for the boys in pinstripes.

Michael Pineda's first pitch of the ball game was promptly deposited into the right field seats off the bat of George Springer, giving the Astros a quick one run lead. But, that would be The first and last time that anyone in an Astros uniform touched home.

Chase Headley was the offensive hero of the day for New York, as the third baseman was involved in both of the Yankees runs in the ball game tonight. With two outs in the the top of fifth, Headley hit a soft single to center that scored Gregorius, who had doubled a batter earlier, tying the game at one. And then in the top of the eighth, Headley led off the frame with a single to right field and was chased home when the next batter Austin Romine smacked a double into centerfield, pushing New York ahead permanently, 2-1.

Now that Chapman is gone, No Runs DMC is no more.  And even though the back end of the bullpen needs a new nickname, the dynamic duo of Delin Betances and Andrew Miller, or as I like to call them "A-B-See You Later"(tweet me @@Benny Tomko to let me know what you think of the nickname), combined to allow just one hit while striking out for as they locked down the victory for Pineda and the Yankees in tonight's series opener.

Put on your seatbelts Yankees fans, I'm sure there's going to be in INSANE amount of trades come in the next six days.  But, as they say in the Big Apple, "the show must go on," and it will tomorrow night as the Yanks Play game number 100 tomorrow, game two of the Houston series, With first pitch scheduled for 8:10 PM ET.

This Day In New York Yankees History 7/26: Yankees Acquire Alfonso Soriano

Saying that the New York Yankees offense struggled last season is probably the understatement of the year so New York needed a savior. On this day they got one when they acquired Alfonso Soriano from the Chicago Cubs for minor league relief pitcher Corey Black. The 37 year old came back to New York with come cash from Cubs after making his major league debut with the Yankees way back in 1999. The Yankees ultimately traded him to the Texas Rangers before the 2004 season for Alex Rodriguez. Soriano would go on a tear and almost brought the Yankees all the way back to the postseason before falling just short in late September.

Also on this day in 1961 the Yankees made some history with the home run ball but it had nothing to do with Roger Maris surprisingly. Instead it was the Yankees Johnny Blanchard as he hit his fourth consecutive home run over three games to set a new major league record. The backup catcher of the Yankees hit two home runs on this day to help New York beat the White Sox 5-2.

Also on this day in 1939 the Bronx Bombers earned their names by scoring in every inning to beat the St. Louis Browns 14-1. This is only the second time in franchise history that the Yankees have achieved this feat.

Finally on this day in 1933 Joe DiMaggio showed the Yankees brass that he was made for long hitting streaks. As a minor league player Joe D saw his 61 game hitting streak come to an end in a PCL game against the Oakland Oaks. DiMaggio played for the San Francisco Seals as a 19 year old when he set a new minor league record destroying the mark of 49 consecutive games with a hit set by Jack Ness in 1914.