Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Game Thread: New York Yankees @ Kansas City Royals 8/31

Here we go again ladies and gentleman as the New York Yankees once again make the trip to Kauffman Stadium to take on the Kansas City Royals in the finale of their three game set. We have had some explosive offensive and some awesome pitching matchups in this series and we should be treated to another tonight as the Yankees send one of their rookie arms in Luis Cessa to the mound to face off with an arm they drafted and brought to the Major Leagues in Ian Kennedy. The game will be played at 8:15 pm ET inside Kauffman Stadium and can be seen on the YES Network and MLB TV.

Follow along during this game and every game left this season by liking our page on Facebook and by giving us a follow on Twitter @GreedyStripes. The Yankees head to Baltimore after this game to take on the Baltimore Orioles, a team they are chasing in both the AL East division race and the 2nd Wild Card race, so be sure to check those games out as well this week and into the weekend.

Cessa vs. Kennedy. Let’s get to it. Go Yankees!

Yankees Send Greg Bird, Others to Arizona Fall League

The New York Yankees have announced who they are sending to the Arizona Fall League this season and boy is the roster exciting. New York announced that they will be sending injured 1B Greg Bird (his shoulder must be fine and will be fine for 2017 as long as he passes this test), 3B Miguel Andujar, SS Tyler Wade, SS Gleyber Torres, RHP Brody Koerner and three roster spots listed as TBA.

It is interesting that Tyler Wade is listed as an outfielder on the roster, three pitchers will be added as the TBA's and one of them is expected to be James Kaprielian assuming his health and Torres is going but not Jorge Mateo.

The Arizona Fall League runs from October 11th through November 17th and once again these Yankees prospects will represent the Scottsdale Scorpions. Joining them will be prospects from the Phillies, Mets, Giants and Angels.

Yankees Also Acquire Eric Young Jr. from Milwaukee

Just minutes after posting that the New York Yankees had traded Ben Gamel to the Seattle Mariners for two teenage pitching arms news broke that Brian Cashman also pulled off a deal with the Milwaukee Brewers. The Yankees will send cash considerations to Milwaukee for outfielder Eric Young Jr. Young will presumably get Gamel's now vacated 40 man roster spot and will likely work as the team's pinch running specialist that they love to employ in September.

In a word.... why? Couldn't Gamel steal bases potentially? Ben Gamel stole 19 bases in Triple-A this season and Young stole 23 in Triple-A. It's just cash and the Yankees got two pitching prospects back in return, I still don't get it though. Brian Cashman has made me look bad for doubting him a ton lately so I'm willing to wait and feel this one out.

Yankees Trade Ben Gamel for Two Prospects

The New York Yankees have traded outfielder Ben Gamel to the Seattle Mariners in a deal that will bring two pitching prospects back to the organization. Right-handed pitchers Jio Orozco and Juan De Paula are coming back from Seattle in the deal.

Gamel fell victim to a numbers game here in the Bronx as the Yankees have far too many outfielders, and far too many talented players that need protecting in the Rule 5 Draft this winter, and not enough opportunities for the best hair in the organization to get a true shot. I'm disappointed in losing the Triple-A Player of the Year in 2016 but at the same time I'm happy to see him get a long and a true shot inside Safeco Field. It's bittersweet for me.

In return the Yankees will get a 19-year old power arm in Orozco (Seattle's 20th best prospect at the time of the trade) and an 18-year old recently signed international free agent out of the Dominican Republic. Both come with a ton of projections and talent but both are too far away to really get too excited about just yet. Orozco shows promise with at least three of his pitches but has only reached Rookie Ball while De Paula has spent his tenure with the Mariners organization in the Dominican Summer League.

I hate to see you go Ben but I wish you well in your travels. Stay well.

Yefrey Ramirez Named FSL Pitcher of the Week

Yefrey Ramirez Named FSL Pitcher of the Week

Tampa, Fla. - The Florida State League named Tampa Yankees RHP Yefrey Ramirez Pitcher of the Week today. This honor was for games played August 22 - 28, 2016. This is the second time Ramirez has been named FSL Pitcher of the Week this season, the first time was for games played June 27 - July 3, 2016.
Ramirez was perfect through six (6) innings on Wednesday, August 24th and totaled eight (8) innings pitched allowing only one (1) hit, while striking out eight (8) batters.
He was selected by the Yankees from Arizona in the first round of the Triple-A phase of the Rule 5 Draft on 12/10/15.
The Tampa Yankees are the Single-A Advanced Affiliate of the New York Yankees. For more information about the Tampa Yankees call (813) 673-3055 or

Press Release: Chris Gittens, Others SAL Postseason Honorees

RiverDogs First Baseman Chris Gittens, Pitching Coach Justin Pope among SAL Postseason All-Star Honorees
Gittens four shy of the Charleston franchise record for home runs, RiverDogs pitching staff has set franchise record for strikeouts under guidance of Pope

CHARLESTON, SC –With less than two weeks remaining in the regular season, the Charleston RiverDogs have already had one of their most memorable seasons to date. Clinching their first playoff berth in 11 seasons with a 42-27 first half, the RiverDogs are gearing up for the South Atlantic League divisional round beginning on Wednesday, September 7. With postseason baseball almost upon the Lowcountry, RiverDogs first baseman/designated hitter Chris Gittens was named to the SAL Postseason All-Star team as the designated hitter while pitching coach Justin Pope also garnered All-Star accolades as announced by the league office on Tuesday.

Gittens becomes the first postseason all-star player for the RiverDogs since IF Rob Lyerly was Charleston’s lone representative in 2010 and Pope becomes the first RiverDogs coach to be selected to a postseason All-Star team in the Riley Park era. It is just the second time since 1997 that the RiverDogs have had two or more of their members selected to the Postseason All-Star team with three RiverDogs players collecting All-Star honors in 2009 (RHP David Phelps, OF Melky Mesa, IF Corban Joseph).

Gittens, 22, has been the heartbeat in the middle of the RiverDogs’ lineup since Opening Day. The Sherman, TX native is currently hitting .253/.359/.478 with 21 homers that ranks second in the South Atlantic League while driving in a team-high 70 runs. With seven games remaining in the regular season, Gittens is four home runs shy of Charleston’s single-season franchise record and three behind the league leader, Jose Pujols, who has 24 long balls for Lakewood. After making a diving stop on Friday night in Hickory and sustaining a lower body injury, the 6’4”, 250 pound slugger was placed on the 7-day disabled list on Saturday.

“You are always looking for a power first baseman and we certainly have one with Gittens,” said RiverDogs manager Luis Dorante. “He’s had his up and downs but he’s one of those guys that keeps his composure and tries to work through it and shows maturity to get through that. The Yankees are definitely thinking about this kid down the road.”

Gittens’ most impressive game came on the road in West Virginia on June 16 when the native Texan smashed three home runs, one of just two hitters in the league to complete the trifecta, while going 3-for-5 with a career-high six RBI. Along with his eye-popping power, the Yankees’ former 12th round pick in 2014 has shown solid plate discipline, reaching base safely in a league-high 33 straight from April 21-June 2 while drawing 56 walks on the season that ranks fifth in the league.

Pope garners All-Star accolades in his first season as the RiverDogs pitching coach and his seventh in the Yankees organization. The former Yankees minor leaguer has led Charleston to a league best 3.06 ERA with RiverDogs hurlers piling up a franchise record 1,183 strikeouts, already 14 more than the 2011 RiveDogs team still with seven games still remaining. Charleston also leads the league with 15 shutout victories this season, needing just one more to surpass another franchise record accomplished twice (1986 Charleston Rainbows & 1980 Charleston Royals) while also leading the SAL in WHIP (1.17), fewest runs (475) and fewest hits allowed (963).

Along with the success that the Charleston staff has had, Pope has also excelled in moving players up the ladder and maintaining success amongst a record level of turnover. Charleston has seen 36 different pitchers suit up for the RiverDogs this year, the most in the franchise’s history, with 14 different pitchers being called up to High-A Tampa this year. Two players who spent time in Charleston this year have made it up as high as Double-A (RHPs Will Carter and Travis Hissong).

“It’s well deserved,” said Dorante of Pope. “The numbers speak for themselves with the pitching staff that we have that has impressed at this level with guys coming in and going out and it’s not easy to deal with that and Popey has done a tremendous job with that to get guys to fill in, throw strikes and have success. It’s one of the keys to us being in the playoffs.”

Pope comes to the Lowcountry by the way of the Appalachian League where the West Palm Beach, FL native lead the rookie ball Pulaski Yankees to a league best 3.08 staff ERA in 2015. Pope served as the manager of the Short-Season Single-A Staten Island Yankees in the

New York-Penn League from 2012-13 with the Baby Bombers compiling a 64-86 record under his tenure. He previously worked on the Double-A Trenton Thunder staff as the pitching coach in 2011 after beginning his coaching career with Staten Island as the pitching coach in 2010.

Originally selected as the 28th overall pick by the St. Louis Cardinals in the 1st round of the 2001 First-Year Player Draft, Pope accrued a 38-34 record with a 3.34 ERA over eight minor league seasons with the Cardinals (2001-03), Yankees (2003-07), and Phillies (2008) reaching as high as Triple-A. Prior to his professional career, the 6’0” righty attended the University of Central Florida where he was named an All-American after his junior season in 2001. Pope still stands as the Knights’ all-time leader in career wins (32) and strikeouts (335) and was inducted into the University of Central Florida Athletic Hall of Fame in 2013.

The Annual All-Star Team was also highlighted by the selections for Most Outstanding Pitcher, Most Outstanding Major League Prospect and Most Valuable Player. Mitch Keller of the West Virginia Power (Pittsburgh Pirates) was selected as the Most Outstanding Pitcher. Keller has an 8-5 record and an ERA of 2.46 in 23 games. Brendan Rodgers from the Asheville Tourists (Colaorado Rockies) was named the Most Outstanding Major League Prospect. Brian Mundell of the Asheville Tourists was chosen as the Most Valuable Player. Mundell is leading the league in hits (164), extra base hits (72), total bases (265) and runs scored (90) in 129 games, including a SAL and Minor League Baseball record 57 doubles.

Without their All-Star slugger, the RiverDogs wrap up their final homestand of the regular season in a three-game series in a potential SAL Championship preview with the Hagerstown Suns, the Class A affiliate of the Washington Nationals, from August 30-September 1 at The Joe. The RiverDogs will send RHP Daris Vargas (10-6, 2.66) in the opener with Hagerstown starter to be announced. The RiverDogs await their first round playoff opponent with the Rome Braves and Augusta GreenJackets separated by just a half game in the second half standings.

Ticket information for the homestand can be secured by contacting the box office at (843) 577-DOGS (3647) or online at Tickets for Game 2 of the SAL Divisional Series on Friday, September, 9 at 7:05pm are also available. Those that can’t make it to the park can follow every pitch on WTMA 1250 AM and streaming online at

2016 South Atlantic League All-Star Team

Patrick Anderson
Justin Pope
RH Pitcher
Mitch Keller
West Virginia
LH Pitcher
Brian Gonzalez
Relief Pitcher
CJ Robinson
Yermin Mercedes
First Baseman
Brian Mundell
Second Baseman
Josh Tobias
Brendan Rodgers
Third Baseman
Kelvin Gutierrez
Utility Infielder
Ian Sagdal
Yonathan Daza
Tate Matheny
Jose Pujols
Utility Outfielder
Luis Alexander Basabe
Designated Hitter
Chris Gittens

Most Outstanding Pitcher
Mitch Keller
West Virginia
Most Outstanding MLB Prospect
Brendan Rodgers
Most Valuable Player
Brian Mundell

Game Preview: New York Yankees @ Kansas City Royals 8/31

One last time here inside Kauffman Stadium, let’s go. Today the New York Yankees and the Kansas City Royals finish off their three-game set in what should be another great pitching matchup and another great contest. On the pitching side of things the Yankees are set to send their rookie starter Luis Cessa to the mound as he looks to continue to impress as a starter in the Bronx this season while the Royals will counter with Ian Kennedy. Should be interesting, let’s get to it.

Cessa has made two starts in the Major Leagues in his career and has won both of them after shutting down the Baltimore Orioles and the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Cessa did give up a pair of Manny Machado home runs in his last start but for the most part he kept the ball on the ground and had an easy six innings of work en route to a victory.

Kennedy continued to struggle with the long ball in his last start giving up two runs in 5.1 innings of work. Kennedy had five straight quality starts before that last start and a 1.14 ERA in his last six starts though so this may be a tough one for his former club tonight.

The game will be played at 8:15 pm ET inside beautiful Kauffman Stadium and can be seen on the YES Network and MLB TV. Every time the Yankees look dead in the water this season they bounce right back stronger than ever and I expect nothing less from the boys today. Get it done and get out of town with a victory and let’s keep this thing moving right along. Go Yankees!

You Have to Think the Yankees Playoffs Hopes Died in This Series

The title of this post is pretty self-explanatory, you have to think the Yankees playoffs hopes in 2016 kind of died in this series. Don’t you? I mean I don’t want to start the day out with doom and gloom and all that and I am far from giving up on this team this series but it’s no longer getting late pretty early, it’s late and it’s getting later. Winning series is one thing but with so many teams in front of them in both the AL Wild Card chase and the AL East Division race you get to a point where winning series is no longer enough. At some point you have to start sweeping series and sending a message to the other teams in the race and I think that time is now. Like right now.

The Yankees had a great opportunity to send such a message in this series against one of the hottest teams in the American League but the team came out flat on Friday with Michael Pineda on the mound. Losing hurts but losing to one of the teams in front of you head-to-head hurts even more. It’s almost like losing two games, at least that’s how it feels, and with the season officially switching from a marathon to a spring tomorrow the Yankees need to start sweeping almost everyone. In a game where failing seven times out of ten attempts and in a game where losing 62 times a season is considered great and monumental I just can’t see the mathematics of it all working out.

Again, I’m far from giving up on the team and I couldn’t care less about mathematics. I’m just venting because I’m a fan, I’m passionate and I’m just a little discouraged right now is all. A few wins and I’ll be right back, I just wish those wins could have come against this Royals team in the way of a three-game sweep. Win today and worry about tomorrow, tomorrow. That’s all you can do.

This is not a dagger in the heart of the Yankees this season, maybe we can use this as a rallying call. Here’s a call to arms. Bring us your young, your youthful, you’re talented that don’t know they are supposed to be nervous and cautious to make a mistake in a pennant race and a playoff chase. Bring us your prospects, your key players and bring us to the Promised Land once again in 2016. Please?

Weekly Prospects Check In: Justus Sheffield

The Yankees trade with the Cleveland Indians for Andrew Miller will take years to sort out a true “winner” but right now you have to think this deal is looking good for both clubs. The Yankees got a key reliever that has already made his MLB debut in Ben Heller, a new top prospect in Clint Frazier and today’s weekly check in showcase LHP Justus Sheffield. Heller has toiled around in the majors while Frazier has struggled a bit to transition to his new team but there has been no such struggles with Sheffield. This guy is dominating down in Tampa with the Tampa Yankees.

Sheffield has all the talent and the makings of being something special and I can’t wait to see how he grows in the organization. Here is what Sheffield has been up to this week and what he has been up to this season with Cleveland and with the Yankees: 


This Day In New York Yankees History 8/31: Indians 22 Yankees 0

The New York Yankees have had a very storied history including a ton of blowouts on both sides of the ball but none bigger than the whooping the Cleveland Indians put on the New York Yankees on this day in 2004. This actually tied the largest shutout margin in the history of Major League Baseball, but set the record in Yankees history, when the Indians beat the Yankees 22-0 in Yankee Stadium. The Pittsburgh Pirates beat the Chicago Cubs by the same margin way back in 1975 at Wrigley Field to set the original record.

Also on this day in Yankees getting clobbered history Omar Vizquel had six hits in that same 2004 game. Vizquel would become the first player in the 81 year history of Yankee Stadium to get six hits in one game.

Finally on this day in 1997 Don Mattingly Day was held at Yankee Stadium where his #23 jersey was retired in Monument Park. Mattingly was the Yankees captain from 1991 to 1995 and becomes the first Yankee to have his uniform number retired without reaching the World Series.