Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Game Thread: New York Yankees vs. Toronto Blue Jays 9/6

Here we go ladies and gentleman as the New York Yankees and the Toronto Blue Jays continue what could be a huge series here in the Bronx. In the middle game of the three-game set this week the Yankees will send one of their young guns to the mound in Luis Cessa while the Blue Jays will counter with a young guy working under workload concerns in Aaron Sanchez. The latest biggest game of the season will be played at 7:05 pm ET inside Yankee Stadium and can be seen on the YES Network and MLB TV.

To see tomorrow's finale live in the Bronx or any game left this season including a potential playoffs game for New York click the Yankees Tickets link at the top of the blog. Time is running out, don't wait and do it now. If you can't make it live then simply follow along with us by either liking our page on Facebook or by giving our Twitter handle @GreedyStripes a follow. We're always around and we try to acknowledge and respond to every single mention we get, as hard as that can be some nights.

Cessa vs. Sanchez. Need a win, get a win. Go Yankees!

ICYMI: 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.

Most Popular Article of the Week: Don’t Look Now but Jonathan Holder is Coming

Edit: Yes I know he has arrived. This was written two days before he was called up and went live before it was confirmed he was getting a call up... so I kind of called it. You're welcome.

Don’t look now but the Yankees youth movement is in full effect, the future is now and many prospects including Jonathan Holder are coming. We’ve done one of these posts before as I showcased Jordan Montgomery and his stellar season as he inches towards the Major Leagues and I felt like I couldn’t praise Montgomery for his season without also giving a little love to Holder as well. Holder was drafted in the same draft as Jacob Lindgren, he was Lindgren’s teammate at Mississippi State in fact, but has since been stretched out and moved in and out of the starting rotation where he has absolutely flourished in both roles. Now he gets to showcase his talents as the RailRiders closer in the International League’s playoffs.

Holder was on the mound when the Scranton/Wilkes Barre RailRiders clinched their playoff spot earlier in the week and he made a statement in doing so. In the contest Holder faced 13 hitters and struck out 12 of them including 11 batters in a row in four innings of relief. That capped off a season in which he had 42 appearances, a 2.50 ERA, a 1.02 WHIP, 225 strikeouts in 219.2 innings and all with just 45 walks. That’s dominance not only in one level but across many levels in the Yankees farm system.

If Holder can pitch like that, given the Yankees current state of affairs in the bullpen department, he may be up for the team when the playoffs end down in Triple-A. The Yankees don’t need to give him a 40 man roster spot and don’t need to protect him from the Rule 5 Draft just yet either but some players simply push the issue and force the hand of the organization and you have to think Holder has done that this season.

Imagine this in 2017 and beyond. Dellin Betances in the 9th, Jonathan Holder in the 8th, Tyler Clippard in the 7th, Adam Warren in the 6th and whoever else can make the bullpen. That’s getting close to being dominant again and that has to be the ultimate game plan in the Bronx.

Game Preview: New York Yankees vs. Toronto Blue Jays 9/6

The New York Yankees and the Toronto Blue Jays will continue their three-game set this evening in the Bronx with the middle game of their series. We all watched afternoon Labor Day baseball yesterday afternoon with Masahiro Tanaka and RA Dickey going head-to-head yesterday and tonight we get another great pitching matchup. The Yankees will send one of their young guns to the mound in Luis Cessa while the Toronto Blue Jays will counter with Aaron Sanchez. Sanchez is always pesky against the Yankees so this could be a frustrating night for the Yankees and their fans alike, especially if Cessa doesn't pitch well.

Cessa will make his fourth career MLB start tonight against Toronto after facing the defending World Series champions last time out. Cessa had a no-decision against the Royals in his last start despite allowing four runs, three of them earned, in six innings. As a starter this season Cessa is 2-0 with a 3.00 ERA.

Sanchez is dealing with workload concerns this season which has left Toronto making tough decisions on when and how much the right-hander throws this season. Last time out Sanchez made his first start in 10 days against the Orioles and looked good allowing just one unearned run in over six innings of work. He will be on normal rest tonight in the Bronx.

The game will be played at 7:05 pm ET inside Yankee Stadium and can be seen on the YES Network and MLB TV. The biggest game of the Yankees season thus far happens tonight in the Bronx. Until tomorrow when it happens all over again. All these games are important  but they are only important if you take care of business and actually win more games than you lose. Go Yankees!

The Shohei Ohtani Question I'm Being Asked

One day this week I woke up to a comment on the blog being asked my opinion on likely the latest Japanese import to come to the states in Shohei Ohtani. I touched on my response a bit in the comments but I felt like I held back a little bit so I could make this post for all to read. If you don't read the comments section here I suggest that you do, it's loaded with great minds that don't all think the same and it results in a lot to think about, a lot of discussions and debate and truthfully it leads to a lot of inspiration to write posts for myself. These guys always have me thinking, much like they did on this Ohtani post. The question asked in the comments section was whether I would go after Ohtani and basically how it would affect Masahiro Tanaka on the team. Here is my response.

Ohtani is a pitcher and he's built like a pitcher at 6'4" but he has also been seen acting as a DH on the days he wasn't pitching in Japan. Ohtani offers five pitches that all have a ton of movement including a 100-MPH fastball that may be easily his best pitch in the arsenal. This is all important because we've been hearing about Ohtani for years not but we never had a true time period to expect his arrival in the states, now rumors and reports are saying that he could come to the Major Leagues as soon as the 2017 season. Just in time for the Yankees who need to get younger and may have a couple holes in their rotation. I don't believe in fate, do you?

Last  season Ohtani has posted a 15-5 record with a 2.24 ERA and 196 strikeouts in 160.2 innings pitched while two years ago Ohtani posted a 11-4 record with a 2.61 ERA with 10 home runs and 31 RBI as a 20-year old. Now that he has foregone his decision to jump straight from High School to the Major Leagues and has a few seasons under his belt Ohtani can be posted from November 1st to March 1st any season and this offseason may finally be the time it happens.

If Ohtani is posted this season I expect the Yankees to go all-in on him much like they did with Tanaka. I don't see Tanaka as a reason to get Ohtani, the whole easing the transition to the Majors to have a fellow country-mate on the team, or not a reason to get Ohtani, money, too many pitchers on the staff etc. I just think all 30 MLB teams will want Ohtani and only a select few will be able to meet the $20 million posting fee plus whatever contract it will take to get Ohtani to stop playing both ways and focus as a pitcher or an outfielder only in the states. Players like Ohtani, both in age and in terms of talent, don't hit free agency every day. Or any day anymore. For this reason and for so many other reasons New York needs to go all-in on him and they don't need to make any doubts about it.

Sign him now if you can. I know you can't but that's how much I want the guy. Sign him.

Weekly Prospects Check In: Gleyber Torres

It's Tuesday morning so you know what that means, a Gleyber Torres check in post. Torres has worn a Tampa Yankees hat for his entire Yankees tenure, however short it has been, but he will soon be seen wearing the Scottsdale Scorpions hat in the Arizona Fall League. He may have one more hat to wear before heading down to Arizona though... the hat of a first half division winner in the Florida State League North Division and a playoff team.

Let's see what Torres has done this week and this season for both Cleveland and New York:


This Day In New York Yankees History 9/6: George Fires Gene Michael & Releases The Alou Brothers

George Steinbrenner bought the struggling New York Yankees franchise in 1973 for a meager $10 million and eventually turned the team into a perennial winner. Along the way George went through a lot of players, a ton of personnel, and more than his fair share of managers. On this day in 1981 The Boss made the "most agonizing" decision he ever made during his tenure as the Yankees owner when he fired manager Gene Michael and replaced him with Bob Lemon.

Michael announced in a press conference that he could no longer tolerate Steinbrenner's constant threats of dismissal which angered Steinbrenner. George demanded an apology and when Michael refused he was let go as the manager of the New York Yankees.

Also on this day in 1973 both of the Alou Brothers were released from the Yankees squad. Felipe Alou was sold to the Montreal Expos while Matty Alou was sent to the St. Louis Cardinals.