Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Game Thread: New York Yankees vs. Boston Red Sox 9/28

Bet he stole that guitar from his High School too.... piece of sh*t

Here we go again ladies and gentleman with the penultimate game in the Red Sox and Yankees rivalry in 2016. Another season of intense matchups between these two historic teams is set to come to a close tomorrow night with the Yankees honoring David Ortiz’s final trip to the Bronx. Tonight though the team honors the great rookies and players they currently have by kicking the heads in of the Red Sox. On the field of course, not literally. In the matchup tonight the New York Yankees will send Bryan Mitchell to the mound looking to remain dominant again after a fantastic start last time out while the Red Sox will counter with who I called earlier “Mr. Steal Yo Laptop” Clay Buchholz. The game will be played at 7:05 pm ET inside Yankee Stadium and can be seen on the WPIX Channel 11 and MLB TV.

Time to spoil David Ortiz’s going away party this week. Go Yankees!

USA Today’s Weekly MLB Power Rankings

It’s hard to believe that this is already the last week of the 2016 regular season in Major League Baseball. The postseason starts next week and these power rankings will soon go from weekly to hibernation unfortunately here on the blog. I enjoy doing them and I think you guys enjoy reading them, the views on the material say that anyway, but it’s just one of those things that happens unfortunately. Baseball comes to an end and we are all left sitting out the window like Lou Gehrig watching winter go by depressingly while we wait for more baseball next spring. Enough with the deep chatter though, let’s see what these rankings look like for the final week of the regular season.

The New York Yankees had another rough week this week but thankfully it did not show much in the standings as the Baby Bombers finished the week 15th overall, exactly where they were last week. That is going to be a common theme throughout these rankings this week, very little to no movement whatsoever.

The Top Five did change though as the Chicago Cubs remained at the top spot followed by this week’s biggest rise the Boston Red Sox who climbed two spots to the #2 position in the rankings. The Washington Nationals are 3rd overall after clinching the National League East Division followed by the #4 Texas Rangers and the #5 Los Angeles Dodgers who knocked the Cleveland Indians to the 6th position and out of the Top 5 for the first time in a long time this season.

The five worst teams in the rankings are the #26 San Diego Padres, the #27 Cincinnati Reds, the #28 Atlanta Braves (not a typo), the #29 Arizona Diamondbacks who were also the biggest fall of the week after dropping two spots and the #30 Minnesota Twins.

To round out the American League East Division the Red Sox finished 2nd overall, the Toronto Blue Jays finished 7th, the Baltimore Orioles finished 8th, the Yankees 15th and the Tampa Bay Rays 25th overall once again.

Playoff baseball. Get ready. 

2016 MiLB Rawlings Gold Glove Award Winners

Unfortunately not a single member of the Yankees won a Gold Glove Award for Minor League Baseball this season but here is the official press release anyway from Enjoy. 

Minor League Baseball Names 2016 Rawlings Gold Glove Award® Winners     
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Minor League Baseball and Rawlings Sporting Goods Company, Inc., today announced Minor League Baseball’s recipients of the 2016 Rawlings Gold Glove Award® for defensive excellence at their positions. The honorees were selected among qualifying players from the 10 domestic-based, full-season Minor Leagues. Each player will receive his own Rawlings Gold Glove Award, modeled after the iconic award given to Major League Baseball’s top defensive players, during the 2017 season. 

“Congratulations to the nine outstanding Minor League Baseball players who deservedly won the 2016 Rawlings Gold Glove Award®,” said Mike Thompson, executive vice president of marketing for St. Louis-based Rawlings. “Minor League Baseball is and will always continue to be a great partner of Rawlings, and we knew the Rawlings Gold Glove Award® would be a popular goal for many young players when we rekindled the Minor League award platform back in 2011.” 

“These nine players were truly the finest in the field this summer and it is my pleasure to honor them with a Rawlings Gold Glove Award®,” said Minor League Baseball President & CEO Pat O’Conner. “These players displayed extraordinary skills at their positions this season, and on behalf of Minor League Baseball, I congratulate them on this outstanding accomplishment.”    

First baseman Matt Skole posted a .999 fielding percentage in 97 games with Syracuse. A sixth-year pro out of Georgia Tech University, Skole made only one error in 874 chances at first base. Skole, 27, was selected by Washington in the fifth round of the 2011 First-Year Player Draft.  

Birmingham second baseman Joey DeMichele is the only repeat winner from 2015, as he registered a .990 fielding percentage in 122 games for the Barons in 2016. The fifth-year pro out of Arizona State University recorded 579 total chances and was a part of 88 double plays. DeMichele, 25, was selected by the White Sox in the third round of the 2012 First-Year Player Draft.   

Pensacola shortstop Zach Vincej recorded a .991 fielding percentage in 105 games for the Blue Wahoos. Vincej, 25, who had 423 total chances and turned 54 double plays, was the only shortstop with a fielding percentage north of .985. Vincej was selected by Cincinnati in the 37th round of the 2012 First-Year Player Draft out of Pepperdine University.   

Reno third baseman Carlos Rivero posted a .987 fielding percentage in 110 games at the hot corner for the Aces. Rivero made just two fielding errors in 234 chances. Rivero, 28, was originally signed by the Cleveland Indians as an international free agent on May 30, 2005 out of Barquisimeto, Venezuela. 

Myrtle Beach left fielder Charcer Burks recorded a .991 fielding percentage in 104 games for the Pelicans. The fourth-year pro had 214 chances and recorded seven assists. Burks, 21, was a ninth round pick of the Cubs in the 2013 First-Year Player draft out of William B. Travis High School in Richmond, Texas. 

Akron RubberDucks center fielder Greg Allen recorded a .994 fielding percentage in 128 games as he made two errors in 332 chances. Allen, who split the season between Class-A Lynchburg and Double-A Akron, also posted a career-high 15 outfield assists. Allen, 23, was selected by Cleveland in the sixth round of the 2014 First-Year Player Draft out of San Diego State University. 

Right fielder Mike Gerber split the season between Class-A Lakeland and Double-A Erie, but was perfect in 118 games in the field, recording 251 chances and six assists without committing an error. Gerber, 24, was selected by Detroit in the 15th round of the 2014 First-Year Player Draft out of Creighton University. 

High Desert backstop Jose Trevino posted a .998 fielding percentage in 100 games behind the plate for the California League champion Mavericks. Trevino posted 102 assists and a whopping 950 total chances (no other catcher in the top 25 in fielding percentage had more than 780 total chances) and threw out 47 of 98 potential base stealers. Trevino, 23, was selected by Texas in the sixth round of the 2014 First-Year Player Draft out of Oral Roberts University. 

Pitcher James Naile posted a perfect fielding percentage on 48 chances over 156.2 innings pitched in his 28 games (26 starts) for Class-A Beloit, Class-A Stockton, Double-A Midland and Triple-A Nashville. Naile, a second-year pro out of the University of Alabama-Birmingham, was Oakland’s 20th round choice in the 2015 First-Year Player Draft. 

To be eligible to receive the Rawlings Gold Glove Award, players must have participated in one of the 10 domestic-based, fullseason leagues, and shown outstanding defensive skills. The Rawlings Gold Glove Award® was re-introduced to Minor League Baseball in 2011 after an almost 50-year hiatus.  

Game Preview: New York Yankees vs. Boston Red Sox 9/28

The New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox will continue their three-game set tonight in the Bronx with Game Two of the series. Rivalry renewed, I just wish it meant more for the Yankees in the grand scheme of things. Oh well, I’m not getting down about it and I’m still rooting for my squad through all 162 games regardless of whether the standings tell me to or not. In tonight’s matchup the Yankees will send Bryan Mitchell to the mound who will look to build on a great start last time out while the Red Sox counter with “Mr. Steal Yo Laptop” Clay Buchholz. Enjoy.

Mitchell will make his fifth start of the season tonight and while the previous four have been a mixed bag of results his last start against the Toronto Blue Jays was masterful. Mitchell allowed three runs, although only one of them were earned, in six innings of work. That one run though, thanks to the Yankees offense, was just enough to take the loss unfortunately.

Buchholz also is coming into this start fresh off a great start, maybe the best start of his season, against the Baltimore Orioles where he gave up just one run in seven innings. The Red Sox have taken the victory in each of the last four games Buchholz has pitched in and have also won seven of his last eight starts down the stretch. Clutch. Just not tonight clutch.

The game will be played at 7:05 pm ET inside Yankee Stadium and can be seen on WPIX Channel 11 and MLB TV. It’s really a shame that both teams couldn’t be more involved in the postseason this year. How I long for the years in the early and mid-2000’s where these two teams were both powerhouses at the same time and met year after year in the ALCS. As much as I hated it back then, especially in and after 2004, I think I miss it again. There’s always next year Cubs Yankees fans. Go Yankees!

Final Review on 2016 Yankees Draft

The 2016 Minor League Baseball season is officially over. The championships have been won, the games have been played and the rookies that were drafted this June can now be evaluated. When the 2016 MLB First Year Players Draft was all said and done I thought the Yankees had initially done well with their picks of Blake Rutherford, Nick Solak and others but now with half a season under their belts will I change my mind? Not likely but let’s find out.

Blake Rutherford, and call me bias if you want to, was the biggest steal of the MLB Draft. Rutherford was once thought of as first overall talent and he did nothing to make anyone believe any different in 2016. Rutherford fell because of signability concerns and the Yankees got him signed. It’s as simple as that. Rutherford is already considered to be a Top 50 prospect in all of baseball by many lists published online including Minor League Ball’s John Sickels and for good reason.

I also really like the Nick Solak pick although some didn’t. Some thought he was simply signed and drafted because the Yankees could save money on their slot recommendation with him to give to Rutherford. While that is true that doesn’t mean Solak was an empty pick either by any means. Solak proved that in his pro debut in Staten Island posting a .321/.421/.421 with a 155 wRC+ and eight stolen bases, 30 walks and just 39 strikeouts. I also like the Dom Thompson-Williams pick because many experts had the outfielder going in the third round. The Yankees stole him in the fifth round and the Brett Gardner comparisons began almost immediately.

The one thing the Yankees needed more than anything though was pitching and they drafted a few key arms to look out for including closer/reliever Brooks Kriske. Kriske may be moved from closer to starter a la Chance Adams but either way his arm is strong and the talent is there. Taylor Widener is another arm I see a lot of potential in after reading up on him from his years at South Carolina. Widener finished the season with a 3-0 record, 0.47 ERA, 1.50 FIP and an insane 13.9 K/9 strikeout ratio in 38.1 innings in his professional debut. Widener, another reliever, will get his chance to showcase his 97 MPH fastball, slider and secondary pitches in the rotation once again a la Chance Adams in 2017 and could turn out to be a special arm for the Yankees in the future.

All this without mentioning High School pick Nolan Martinez. New York did well for themselves this draft and the final stat lines this season prove that. Now’s the hard part, development. 

Scoreboard Watching for September 28th

AL East Race:

Boston Red Sox @ New York Yankees
Baltimore Orioles @ Toronto Blue Jays
Toronto Blue Jays vs. Baltimore Orioles

AL Wild Card Race: 

Detroit Tigers vs. Cleveland Indians
Seattle Mariners @ Houston Astros
Houston Astros vs. Seattle Mariners
New York Yankees vs. Boston Red Sox
Kansas City Royals  vs. Minnesota Twins

National League Wild Card: 

New York Mets @ Miami Marlins
San Francisco Giants vs. Colorado Rockies
St. Louis Cardinals vs. Cincinnati Reds
Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Chicago Cubs

This Day In New York Yankees History 9/28: Moose FINALLY Wins #20

Mike Mussina had pitched many stellar seasons both in Baltimore with the Orioles and in New York with the Yankees but never won 20 games in a single season, until this day in 2008. On the last day of the 2008 season Mussina would improve his record to 20-9 becoming the oldest player in major league history to win 20 games for the first time. It took Mussina 18 seasons to win 20 games when he threw six shutout innings against the Red Sox in Fenway Park in a Yankees 6-2 victory.

Also on this day in 2005 Alex Rodriguez broke the Yankees All-Time record for home runs in a single season by a right handed batter when he slugged his 47th home run of the season. DiMaggio hit 46 home runs in 1937 and Alex passed him as the Yankees beat the Orioles 2-1.

Also on this day in 1955 Elston Howard, in his first World Series at bat, hit a two run home run off the Dodgers right hander Don Newcombe. This marks the first time that a black batter hit a home run off a black pitcher in the history of the World Series.

Finally on this day in 1947 the Yankees held their first Old Timers Day on the final day of the season. General Manager Larry MacPhail came up with the idea along with public relations director Red Paterson as an idea to honor the ailing Yankees legend Babe Ruth.