Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Game Thread: New York Yankees vs. Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 6/21

Attention All Yankees Fans! It is game time between the New York Yankees and the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. In the second game of this three-game set between these two clubs the Yankees will send Jordan Montgomery to the mound to square off with Ricky Nolasco for the halos. 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 Mr. and Mrs. Baseball on the WFAN Network.

Follow us on Twitter by following @GreedyStripes and enjoy the game. Go Yankees!

July 31st Trade Deadline Countdown: Third Base

Chase Headley sucks, Gleyber Torres is injured for the remainder of the 2017 season and the New York Yankees may or may not need a third baseman going forward. The good news for the Bronx Bombers is that the July 31st trade deadline is looming and the countdown, at least here on the blog, has begun. The bad news is that the market for the position looks to be a bit top heavy (aka expensive) and underwhelming (low risk, high reward). Let’s explore what the Yankees could possibly do now that Torres will miss the remainder of the season with Tommy John surgery assuming that Headley continues to struggle at the hot corner.

The names that immediately come to mind in no particular order when thinking about potential trade targets for the Yankees are the Angels’ Yunel Escobar, the White Sox’s Todd Frazier, the Royals’ Mike Moustakas, the Giants’ Eduardo Nunez, the Pirates’ David Freese, the Marlins’ Martin Prado, the Reds’ Eugenio Suarez and the Padres’ Yangervis Solarte. A lot of these guys, coincidentally, are former Yankees.

The main thing to keep in mind is that the team does not want to block Torres in or beyond the 2018 season, yes I realize that Headley is under contract for next season but could be moved to the bench, moved to first base, traded or designated for assignment, so with that in mind the Yankees would likely not be as interested in Freese, Solarte, Suarez or Prado as much as the rest of the bunch since they are not free agents at the end of the 2017 season.

If the Yankees decide to look internally for a replacement the team could always call up Tyler Wade as well who has played in 11 minor-league games at the position. It isn’t ideal by any means but Wade would be the third baseman in theory, the team could always have Ronald Torreyes play there with Wade on the bench or have Starlin Castro play there with either Torreyes or Wade, who is a natural shortstop, man the second base position. Wade would at least give the Yankees options in the field, although he may struggle with the bat a bit.

There’s plenty of options out there both internally and via the trade market. Some options will likely cost the Yankees a lot in terms of prospects (Moustakas for example) while some could be had for minimal expenditures (Prado would be the ultimate salary dump for a struggling Marlins squad). What the Yankees will do when the dust settles remains to be seen though so I guess you’re all going to have to stay tuned. 

USA Today’s Weekly MLB Power Rankings

The New York Yankees took an airplane out west and they came back home to the East Coast bruised, battered and beaten. The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and the Oakland Athletics absolutely laid the smack down on the Bronx Bombers last week and the USA Today rubbed some salt into their wounds with their weekly release of MLB Power Rankings. The Yankees fell and fell hard.

The Yankees were a season-high second overall on the list last week but the team fell all the way out of the Top 5 this week falling four spots to the #6 position overall. Entering their series with the Angels yesterday the team held just a 0.5 game lead over the Boston Red Sox for first place in the American League East and with the injuries beginning to pile on and mount the team needs to turn it around. Now.

With the Yankees out of the Top 5 the new structure is as follows. The Houston Astros are still first followed by the Colorado Rockies, the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Washington Nationals and the Arizona Diamondbacks.

To round out the rest of the American League East on the rankings you have the Boston Red Sox at the #7 position, the Tampa Bay Rays 11th overall, the Baltimore Orioles 14th and the Toronto Blue Jays smack dab in the middle at #15 overall.

The biggest rise of the week went to the Kansas City Royals who rose a whopping seven spots to the #16 position while the biggest fall of the week went to the Cincinnati Reds who bailed out the Yankees here dropping six spots to the #27 position overall.

The July 31st trade deadline is looming. Expect mass change here on the rankings and around the league.

Game Preview: New York Yankees vs. Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 6/21

The New York Yankees and the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim from Orange County and the Mickey Mouse Club will continue their three-game set this week in the Bronx with the middle game of the series. In tonight’s matchup the Yankees will send their big lefty Jordan Montgomery to the mound looking to pitch better than he did last time out against Oakland while the Angels will counter with Ricky Nolasco. Home run prone Ricky Nolasco against the Yankees offense inside Yankee Stadium may be just what this team needs to get back on track, I’m just saying.

Montgomery battled in his last start against the Oakland Athletics finishing with four runs allowed on seven hits in just 5.2 innings pitched. Montgomery logged five strikeouts and just one walk in the contest against the Athletics as well. That start marked the third time in 12 starts that Montgomery has allowed at least four earned runs in a start but one must remember that Montgomery is a rookie and that these are growing pains. Color me “not worried.”

Nolasco has not won a start since April 27 of this season and that is due in large part to the home run ball. Nolasco, a right-handed starting pitcher, has allowed a whopping 21 home runs already this season which, as we alluded to in previous parts of this article, should not bode well for him or the Angels tonight in the Bronx. Nolasco, meet Aaron Judge.

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 with the game on the radio and in your cars by tuning into the WFAN broadcast with John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman. Enjoy the game and as always… Go Yankees!

The Land of the Lost...

Angels 8, Yankees 3...

It is difficult to remember when the Yankees last walked off a field with a victory.  It seems so very long ago.  The losing streak continues as the Yankees dropped their seventh consecutive game to the Los Angeles Angels on Tuesday night.

A little more than a week ago, we were very excited about the team and its surprising performance so far this season.  But over the last week, the wheels have come off and the team is looking more and more like the .500 team it was projected to be at the beginning of the year.  They'll turn this around and start playing better but it doesn't make the current losing funk feel any better.  

I thought the return of Aroldis Chapman to push Tyler Clippard back to the 7th inning would help the latter to restore some of his effectiveness.  I was wrong.  After the Yankees had clawed their way back to a 3-3 tie, Clippard came into the game in the 7th and proceeded to hand the Angels the win.  Retiring only one batter, he allowed a solo home run by Cameron Maybin (who is not exactly known for his ability to hit balls out of the park), a double and a run-scoring triple.  He was just a single shy of a cycle, but Manager Joe Girardi ended the agony by pulling Clippard and replacing him with Jonathan Holder.  Holder gave up the missing single to score the runner on third, charging a total of 3 runs to Clippard (1-4) for one out of work.  

Credit:  Frank Franklin II-Associated Press
Michael Pineda, who had normally pitched much better at home than on the road, was missing his primary pitch.  He gutted it out but it was clearly not one of his better nights. The Angels grabbed the early lead with a run-scoring single by Albert Pujols in the first inning and they scored two runs in the second when Danny Espinosa drove in a run with a double and Kole Calhoun singled to score Espinosa.  

Angels pitcher Parker Bridwell (who?) and their bullpen kept the Yankee bats silent for the most part.  The Yankees were finally able to push across their first run in the fourth when Chase Headley hit a sacrifice fly to score Starlin Castro.  

The Yankees then used solo home runs to tie the game.  Aaron Judge blasted his 24th home run of the year in the fifth and Gary Sanchez went yard in the sixth with his 12th.

Credit:  John Munson-NJ Advance Media for
There was excitement in the Bronx once again.  Enter Tyler Clippard.  The optimistic feelings were quickly extinguished as the Angels had taken the 6-3 lead by the time the seventh inning was over.  The Angels tacked on a couple of insurance runs in the eighth and ninth innings as the Yankees just couldn't get untracked offensively despite the earlier homers by Judge and Sanchez.  

I knew we were in trouble when first baseman Chris Carter blew a routine fielding play that allowed Eric Young Jr to reach second base at the top of the second inning.  It felt like it was going to be one of those games.  It also reinforced that we are stuck with Carter for better or worse (my money is on the latter).  Carter finished 0-for-3 with a strikeout.  Just a typical day at the office for him.

Credit:  Getty Images
It's tough to win when you can only scratch out four hits against hittable pitchers.  

The Yankees (38-30) were overtaken by the Boston Red Sox in the AL East Standings.  The Red Sox beat the Kansas City Royals 8-3 and now lead the division by a half game.  I guess this was inevitable. It's kind of hard to maintain a lead when you can't put W's on the board.

Odds & Ends...

The Tommy John surgery for Gleyber Torres is scheduled for today.  Dr David W Altchek will be performing the procedure.  Dr Altchek is an Attending Orthopedic Surgeon and Co-Chief Emeritus in the Sports Medicine & Shoulder Service at Hospital for Special Surgery in New York.  He is also medical director for the New York Mets and a medical consultant for the NBA.  All the best to Gleyber for his surgery and post-op recovery.

The Sauer Project has begun.  The Yankees have signed second round draft pick RHP Matt Sauer, pending a physical, to an undisclosed deal.  The allocation for the 54th pick is $1,236,000 but it's speculated the Yankees went over allocation to convince Sauer to forego  his commitment to the University of Arizona.  The 18-year-old has signs of significant upside for his fastball and slider.  The Yankees' minor league pitching instructors will be tasked with helping Sauer develop a third pitch to help his eventual ascension to the top of a Major League rotation.  Welcome to the Yankees, Matt!  Here's wishing you much better health and success than current top pitching prospect James Kaprielian!

Credit:  Santa Maria Times
With the July 7th signing deadline for MLB draft picks just a couple of weeks away, the Yankees are making progress with their signings.  Of the players chosen through the 22nd round, only RHP Clarke Schmidt (1st) and RHP Garrett Whitlock (18th) are unsigned.  But with the deal in place for Sauer (and potentially for double the allocation), you have to believe the framework of a deal is in place for Schmidt which will free the dollars needed for Sauer.  I was the happiest when I saw that 22nd pick RHP Janson Junk had signed.  Damn, I love that name.  The Yankees have also signed their 27th pick, RHP Alex Mauricio and they inked undrafted free agent 2B Cody Brown.  I keep hoping the Yankees find a way to sign 29th pick Tristan Beck but I knew going in that was an incredible longshot.  Beck won't sign for allocation and the other signings diminish the available dollars so it's a virtual certainty that Beck goes back to Stanford.  Bummer...

Have a great Wednesday!  Yankees, feel free to mix in a win!  Go Yankees!

The Chase Headley/Scott Brosius Comparison I Absolutely Love

As many of you may have figured out by now I am an absolute addict and nut when it comes to New York Yankees baseball. I crave information and gratification when it comes to the team and I want to watch them play as often as I can. When I’m not watching I am reading and writing about them and I read an interesting article over on ESPN from Andrew Marchand which was reporting on the Gleyber Torres Tommy John surgery news. In the article Andrew made an interesting comparison that I absolutely love and that I want to expand on a bit since he didn’t. Marchand opines that current Yankees third baseman Chase Headley is “basically the same player” as a former Yankees great Scott Brosius. Let’s compare.

Obviously comparing different eras and different players is difficult but with the advancement of sabermetrics and advanced statistics you can get closer than you ever could before with a simple eye test and backyard discussion. For this discussion we are going to mainly focus on the Yankees tenures (although you will see some career stats and comparisons thrown in as well) of both Brosius and Headley to see if Marchand may have been on to something with his comparison. All stats courtesy of Baseball Reference, big shout out to those guys.

Brosius spent four seasons in the Bronx and posted a career .267/.331/.428/.729 slash line with 65 home runs and 282 RBI. Brosius’ tenure in the Bronx equated to an 8.3 WAR which was more than half of his career 15.7 WAR. Meanwhile Headley is in his fourth year with the Yankees and has posted a .255/.333/.377/.711 slash as of the beginning of this week with 35 home runs and 159 RBI. Headley has posted a Yankees WAR of 6.4 which is far less than the 19.4 WAR he posted while he was a member of the San Diego Padres. The numbers may not be exact but they are certainly comparable. When you mix in the fact that both play a tremendous third base defense and both have the tenacity needed to come through in the clutch I can totally see and agree with Andrew Marchand on this one. Good call, Andrew.

So why do Yankees fans adore and love Brosius yet seem ready to light their torches and man their pitch forks to get Headley out of town? The easy argument can be made for the postseason performances of both men. Brosius was the Yankees third baseman for three of the Yankees World Series championships during their dynasty years and Brosius came up with clutch hit after clutch hit along the way, see the 2001 World Series as an example of that and his postseason career .245/.278/.418 slash with eight home runs and 30 RBI as evidence of that. Meanwhile Headley has been in just one playoff game with the Yankees, the Wild Card Round loss to the Houston Astros in 2015. That’s not Headley’s fault by any means but the Yankees fan base has never been accused of being reasonable, fair or very patient either. Maybe Headley and the Yankees can turn that around in 2017. Stay tuned. 

So it Seems Gleyber Torres is Done for 2017

The New York Yankees top prospect Gleyber Torres learned this week that his 2017 season is over. Torres will see his 2017 season end in Triple-A after learning that he will require Tommy John surgery in his left elbow. This should be a relatively minor surgery, all things considered of course, for Torres as the left elbow is his non-throwing elbow. Not to say that this couldn’t affect his hitting but I feel confident that he should be fine by the start of the 2018 season. Torres was on the short list of possible candidates to bump or replace Chase Headley at third base this season so like Bryan Van Dusen said yesterday, Headley can breathe a little easier now.

Have no fear though Yankees fans. All signs point to Torres being back and better than ever in 2018 and all at the ripe age of 21-years old. There’s a long road ahead of Torres in Yankees pinstripes, this is nothing more than a speed bump.

I hope everyone has a great day, especially you my wife. Hey you. 

This Day In New York Yankees History 6/21: Yankees Club the Rays

On this day in 2005 the Yankees had a week of it at the plate in a 20-11 victory over the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. The Rays led the Yankees 10-2 at one point in the game before the Rays lost the lead. This would make the second time in Rays franchise history that they led by at least eight runs in a game only to lose by at least nine runs. The Rays gave up 13 runs in the bottom of the second inning which was the second time they have given up at least 13 runs in an inning in the same season, a major league record they did not want to be a part of.

Also on this day in 1967 the Yankees and the Boston Red Sox had a benches clearing brawl to keep the fans entertained. Joe Foy was struck in the helmet and in retaliation the Red Sox pitcher Jim Lonborg hit the Yankees pitcher Thad Tillotson to start the fight in the second inning. No ejections were handed out and Reggie Smith is brushed back in the next inning while Dick Howser leave the games in the fifth inning after being hit in the head with a pitch.

Finally on this day in 1941 the New York Yankees team consecutive streak of hitting a home run in 17 straight games is extended with a seventh inning home run by Phil Rizzuto. The home run would tie the major league record originally set by the Detroit Tigers and would come in a 7-2 loss to that same Tigers team in Yankee Stadium. This was only Rizzuto's second career home run.