Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Game Thread: New York Yankees vs. Chicago White Sox 4/18

Damn New York, back at it again with those Chicago White Sox. The New York Yankees and the Chicago White Sox will continue their three-game set this week in the Bronx with the middle game of the series in the Bronx. Tonight the Yankees will send Luis Severino to the mound looking to keep the Yankees impressive home record, well, impressive while the White Sox will counter with an old Yankee-killer in Miguel Gonzalez. The game will be played at 7:05 pm ET inside Yankee Stadium and can be seen on the YES Network, MLB Network and MLB TV. You can also follow along on the radio and in your cars by tuning into John Sterling and company on WFAN.

Follow along and interact with us all season long by giving our Twitter account @GreedyStripes a follow. Thanks and enjoy the game. Go Yankees!!

Game Preview: New York Yankees vs. Chicago White Sox 4/18

The New York Yankees and the Chicago White Sox will continue their three-game set this week in the Bronx with the middle game of the series tonight inside Yankee Stadium. The Yankees have been pretty dominant at home this season and the team presumably hopes to keep the good times rolling tonight with a victory over the Sox. The Yankees will send Luis Severino to the mound looking to do just that for New York while the White Sox will counter with an old thorn in the Yankees side from his Baltimore days, Miguel Gonzalez.

Severino had easily his best start of the season last time out when he struck out a career-high 11 Tampa Bay Rays picking up his first victory as a starter since the 2015 season. Severino had a good fastball and slider but his changeups were also keeping batters off-balanced all day long. It is starts like this that make me shake my head when anyone questions whether the Yankees should give him every opportunity to fail as a starter or if they should simply delegate him to bullpen duties for the remainder of his career and tenure here.

Gonzalez as stated above has been a thorn in the Yankees side ever since he broke into the league and this was never more evident than his last start against the club on July 6, 2016. In the start Gonzalez completely shut down the Yankees with seven shutout innings in a 5-0 White Sox victory, although that start came at home and not inside Yankee Stadium where Gonzalez has allowed 8 ER in his last two games against the Yankees.

The game will be played at 7:05 pm ET inside Yankee Stadium and can be seen on television on the YES Network, MLB Network and MLB TV. You can also follow along with John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman in your cars and on the radio with WFAN. As always, Go Yankees!

Trying To Temper The Enthusiasm…

Credit:  Andy Martin/USA TODAY Sports

With the better-than-expected start to the season, it’s easy to get caught up with the thinking that the Yankees could actually win the American League East.  Sadly, I still do not believe that will be the case.  I think the Boston Red Sox remain the heavy favorite to win the division.  While the Yankees may be playing great without Gary Sanchez and Didi Gregorius, the Red Sox are starting to gather some steam even though Jackie Bradley, Jr. and arguably their best player, Mookie Betts, are currently on the DL.  Add Betts to the stellar starting rotation, and the Red Sox will be a very formidable force throughout the summer.  We’ll have some bumps and bruises with the younger starters as time goes by, and there’s no certainty that Michael Pineda has finally turned the corner.  My only reservation with the Red Sox is that they do not seem to have the same heart they did with David Ortiz in the lineup.  Hanley Ramirez is a great baseball player but he's no Big Papi.  

Nevertheless, I do feel the strong start has positioned the Yankees to make a run at a Wild Card spot, especially with the horrific start of the perennial playoff contending Toronto Blue Jays. 

While the Yankees are currently chasing Baltimore, the Orioles lost their lock-down closer Zach Britton for at least ten days with a left sore forearm (his throwing arm).  Britton is obviously an elite closer so this severely weakens the O’s pen.  Although it’s possible that Britton will be back before the O’s get to New York late next week, they do go into a head-to-head showdown with the Red Sox starting Friday night for a three-game set in their weakened state.

It is amazing to think that the Yankees have played this well without Gregorius and Sanchez.  If they can continue to get solid pitching from the starting rotation, the return of Gregorius and Sanchez in a few weeks should be a great lift.  It’ll almost be like getting All-Star caliber players at the trading deadline with the only difference being the Yankees do not have to give up any premier prospects (or any prospects, for that matter, other than the probable DFA of Pete Kozma). 

The Yankees announced they've traded reliever Johnny Barbato to the Pittsburgh Pirates for a player to be named later or cash.  Those types of deals usually turn out to be cash.  Barbato was optioned to AAA by the Pirates.  It's unfortunate that the Yankees didn't get more out of Barbato considering they gave up dependable reliever Shawn Kelley to get him.  The Pirates always seem to get high mileage out of Yankee rejects.  Barbato will probably be their ace closer within a couple of years.  

I apologize in advance for going off topic (non-Yankees talk) but I have been very interested in watching Cody Bellinger, a first baseman in the Los Angeles Dodgers organization.  Bellinger, son of former Yankee Clay Bellinger, is the Dodgers top prospect and the heir apparent to Adrian Gonzalez.  On Sunday, Bellinger was responsible for all three runs in Oklahoma City’s 3-2 win over the Memphis Redbirds.  Bellinger scored a run after walking in the fourth; tied the game with a solo homer in the fifth; and singled in the go-ahead run in the seventh.  For the season, the 21-year-old Bellinger is batting .372 (16-for-43) with 4 doubles, 3 homers, and 12 RBI’s.  Meanwhile, for the Big League Dodgers, the 34-year-old Gonzalez is hitting .250 with no homers and 4 RBI’s.  If Bellinger keeps it up, there could soon be a changing of the guard at first base in Dodger Stadium.  Looks like the Dodgers could be back to the days of bringing up an All-Star to the Majors every year.  If Bellinger does not get the call, top pitching prospect Julio Urias most certainly will.  

Credit:  Rob Tringali/Getty Images

Speaking of the Oklahoma City Dodgers (in an attempt to keep this Yankees-oriented), it’s kind of cool that their stadium, Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark, is located at 2 S. Mickey Mantle Drive.  Too bad there was no room to build the stadium across the street and down a little for 7 S. Mickey Mantle Drive.

In other non-Yankees news (or is it?), Bryan Harper stepped to the plate on Sunday in the bottom of the ninth with two outs, with the Washington Nationals trailing the Philadelphia Phillies 4-3 and Philly closer Joaquin Benoit on the mound.  With two runners on base, Harper homered to center to win the game, 6-4.  It was his second home run of the game and it gave him 5 RBI’s for the day.  Preview of coming attractions at Yankee Stadium?  Time will tell, as it often does.  Hal, what’s a half-billion in the grand scheme of things?  It's just money...

Welcome back, Matt Holliday!  After sitting out two games against his former team, the St Louis Cardinals, this past weekend, Matt Holliday returned on Monday to absolutely crush a baseball which allowed the Yankees to jump ahead of the Chicago White Sox with an early 3-0 lead.  The ball traveled 459 feet, with exit velocity of 113.9 MPH, and according to Statcast was the second longest homer of the year (two feet behind a Carlos Gomez blast). 

Aaron Judge also homered in the fourth inning with one on and two outs.

Jordan Montgomery impressed once again.  You gotta love his calm demeanor on the mound (unflappable).  His deceptive arm angle is a thing of beauty with the over the top motion.  Montgomery gave up three runs and seven hits in six innings of work, with two walks and two strikeouts.  The runs didn’t come until the seventh inning when Montgomery was tiring (a three run bomb by Yolmer Sanchez that ended Montgomery’s night).  Regardless of the end, Montgomery was better the second time around (as I thought he would be).  He’s an exciting part of the rotation and is quickly earning his pinstripes for the long haul.  

Credit:  Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

Adam Warren did what he does best.  After Montgomery’s exit, he bridged the gap to the ninth inning.  Although he finally allowed a run, he did his job and turned the game over to Aroldis Chapman with one out and a runner on base.  Although Chapman did allow a single to the first hitter, pushing the lead runner to third, he needed just two pitches to earn his fourth save.  The next batter, Tyler Saladino, hit into a game-ending double play.

The Yankees won 7-4, and have now won eight consecutive games.  

Have a great Tuesday!  Nine would be just fine!  

Who is the Next Jordan Montgomery?

The New York Yankees, if you ask around, have very little in the way of starting pitching depth in their minor league system… or do they? We here at The Greedy Pinstripes were talking about Chance Adams at least a year before he became a household name with the fans and we have also been beating the drum and talking up Jordan Montgomery for at least a year now so who is the next Chance Adams or Jordan Montgomery in the organization? How about Dietrich Enns who was added to the 40 man roster recently as a way of being protected from the Rule 5 Draft? He wasn’t chosen in the draft the year before when left unprotected so it looks like 29 other teams may have made a huge, huge mistake.

Enns is kind of like Jordan Montgomery in a way, he isn’t a flashy prospect or a blue chip prospect by any means but at 25-years old Enns has been one of the most consistent and unhittable pitchers in all of the Yankees system. New York drafted Enns in the 19th round of the 2012 MLB First Year Players Draft as a relief pitcher from Central Michigan and all the 6’1” left-hander has done is dominate since. The Yankees converted him into a starting pitcher when he reached High-A with the Tampa Yankees and his career has seemingly taken off.

Now before you mention the fact that he is 25-years old and still yet to make his Major league debut I will remind you, or inform you in some cases, that Enns missed the majority of the 2014 and campaigns with Tommy John surgery. Enns was fully back and fully healthy in 2016 and he took Double-A by storm with the Trenton Thunder leading New York to promote him to Triple-A by the end of May. Enns finished 2016 with a combined 14-4 record (7-2 at both Double-A and Triple-A) with a 1.73 ERA and 1.17 WHIP with 124 strikeouts in 134 innings. Somehow Enns seemingly got stronger and better the closer he got to the Majors which led the Yankees to the tough decision they faced this winter, to protect the lefty starter or to leave him out there in the Rule 5 Draft again.

Enns walks are still a little higher than you would like, and that could be just the thorn in the side of his game or it could be directly related to still working his way back from Tommy John surgery, but either way the lefty always seems to find a way to get hitters out and with great consistency. Enns won’t blow you away with his fastball, changeup, curve and slider repertoire but he mixes up his pitches enough and commands his pitches well enough to be extremely deceptive and consistent in the strike zone. Enns has his flaws but he is a starter with a 40 man roster spot so if we see an injury or three this season we may see Enns pulling a “Jordan Montgomery” as the next Yankees pitching prospect to ride the Scranton Shuttle all the way to the Major Leagues. Stay tuned and good luck to Dietrich. 

So it Seems Didi Gregorius is Ready for a Rehab Assignment

Good morning everyone, hope your morning is going well. Just a quick shout out to all the absolutely lovely people who work in the tax and accounting business. I never really gave it much thought before but recently someone who works in that field came into my life and I am learning more and more every day that this is a tough job, especially right around this time of the year. The reason I bring this up this morning is because today is “D Day” in that business, tax deadline day. Enjoy your well-earned days off tomorrow and congratulations on getting your weekends back. Hey you.

Didi Gregorius, the injures Yankees shortstop, could begin playing in rehab games this week as he works his way back from a strained shoulder. Gregorius suffered the injury playing for Team Netherlands in the World Baseball Classic and was expected to miss at least six weeks with the injury, the first month of the season and the final two weeks of spring training. It seems like Didi is right on line to meet that when the dust settles.

Ronald Torreyes has been filling in for Gregorius in his absence and has done well leading the team with 10 RBI heading into this week but in the end he’s no Didi Gregorius. Get well soon Didi because when you and Gary Sanchez get back the Yankees offense gets really, really scary again.

#BabyBombers #HeyYou

This Day in New York Yankees History 4/18: Jackson Tricks Tippy

On this day in 1978 Reggie Jackson deceived Indians pitcher Tippy Martinez when Reggie pretended to get angered by getting a sign from third base coach Dick Howser. It was well known that Reggie had the green light in 3-0 counts but pretended to be forced to take a pitch. Martinez threw a fastball right down the middle and Reggie slugged the ball into the bleachers and gave the Yankees a 4-3 walk off victory.

Also on this day in 1972 for the first time in the Yankees storied franchise they played a night game on Opening Day in Yankee Stadium. The Yankees beat the Brewers 3-0 behind a gem by Steve Kline.

Also on this day in 1929 the Yankees became the second team to wear numbers on their uniforms when their Opening Day game was postponed due to rain. The Indians became the first team to wear numbers on their jerseys thanks to Mother Nature. New York assigned their numbers by where you hit in the lineup. Earle Combs wore #1, Mark Koenig #2, Babe Ruth #3, Lou Gehrig #4, Bob Meusel #5, Tony Lazzeri #6, Leo Durocher #7, Johnny Grabowski #8, Benny Bengough #9, and Bill Dickey #10.

Finally on this day in 1923 the Yankees new $2.5 million ballpark was opened in style as Babe Ruth hit the first home run of the parks history. This is where the term "The House That Ruth Built" first started when referring to the original Yankees Stadium. This was the first ballpark to have three decks which sold over 72,000 Yankees tickets on this day. The Yankees beat the Boston Red Sox 4-1 beating the Sox hurler Howard Ehmke.