Friday, August 4, 2017

Game Thread: New York Yankees @ Cleveland Indians 8/4

Friday night baseball here between the New York Yankees and the Cleveland Indians. Let’s get to it. Tonight the Yankees and Indians will play in the second of their four-game set inside Cleveland’s Progressive Field with another interesting pitching matchup. In the contest tonight the Yankees will send Jaime Garcia to the mound to square off against Trevor Bauer for the Indians. The game will be played at 7:10 pm ET inside Progressive Field and can be seen on the YES Network, MLB Network and MLB TV. You can also follow along in your cars and on the radio by tuning into WFAN.

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

The State of the Yankees Farm System After the Trade Deadline

The New York Yankees acquired Sonny Gray, Jaime Garcia, David Robertson, Todd Frazier and Tommy Kahnle before the July 31st trading deadline and the team did so by giving up just two of the team’s Top 10 prospects. The Yankees likely feel like they won the trade deadline this season and the organization has to feel good about the farm system still being loaded and deep but what does Baseball American think? Well we don’t have to wait long to find out as the publication has released their team farm system rankings for the second half of 2017.

Before the July 31st trading deadline the Yankees had the top farm system in all of Major League Baseball according to Baseball America but after trading away the likes of James Kaprielian, Jorge Mateo, Dustin Fowler and Zack Littell the Yankees system has fallen to 7th best overall. Trading away Blake Rutherford likely didn’t help the Yankees cause either but the team is still primed for a youth movement beyond 2017 while also potentially competing for a postseason spot this season. You can’t argue against that logic in my opinion.

New York still has several prospects in Baseball America’s top 100 prospects list including shortstop Gleyber Torres (3rd overall), outfielder Clint Frazier (49th overall), right-handed starter Chance Adams (56th overall), center fielder Estevan Florial (71st overall) and left-handed starting pitcher Justus Sheffield (73rd overall). But hey, fire Cashman right?

Game Preview: New York Yankees @ Cleveland Indians 8/4

The New York Yankees and the Cleveland Indians continue their four-game set stretching into the weekend with the second head-to-head meeting tonight inside Progressive Field in Cleveland. Another day another shiny new toy for the Yankees as we all watched Sonny Gray make his debut for New York last night against these Indians. Tonight we get to watch Jaime Garcia make his debut for the Bronx Bombers after coming over in a trade with the Minnesota Twins. Opposing Garcia and looking to spoil his Yankees debut is Trevor Bauer for the Indians. I am very excited to see Garcia pitch so my eyes will be glued to this start, no doubt about it.

Garcia, like Sonny Gray yesterday, will be making his Yankees debut after being acquired from the Minnesota Twins before the July 31st trading deadline. Garcia made one start for the Twins after being acquired from the Atlanta Braves and picked up a win in the start allowing three runs and eight hits in 6.2 innings pitched against the Oakland Athletics.

Bauer was strong in his last start against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim allowing just one run in eight innings of work. Bauer throughout his career has not been strong against the Yankees though allowing 11 runs in 7.2 innings which cover a three game sample size. More of that tonight please.

The game will be played at 7:10 pm ET inside Progressive Field in Cleveland and can be seen on the YES Network, MLB Network and MLB TV. You can also follow along in your cars and on the radio by tuning into WFAN with John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman. Enjoy the game and as always, Go Yankees!!!

Gray's "Errorable" Yankees Debut...

Credit:  David Dermer-AP
Indians 5, Yankees 1...

Actually, Sonny Gray pitched very well.  Sadly, he had no support from Yankees team offense or defense.  Todd Frazier made his Yankee Stadium debut by hitting into a triple play, but Gray topped him, admittedly through no fault of his own, as three first inning defensive errors led to an early 2-0 Indians lead as the Tribe sailed to the easy victory.  

Credit:  Getty Images
Facing one of the AL's best pitchers in Corey Kluber, there was no margin for error.  Unfortunately, the first inning looked like Keystone Cops.  Bradley Zimmer hit a grounder to first that should have been the first out, but Chase Headley was unable to field it cleanly which allowed Zimmer to reach base.  Francisco Lindor grounded out with Zimmer moving to second.  Michael Brantley hit a grounder to Tyler Wade that should have been the second out, but the ball got away from Wade and Brantley was safe at first.  Zimmer to third.  Jose Ramirez hit a liner to right that Clint Frazier stopped cleanly but then he must have been throwing to the fans in the first or second row of the third base stands as the threw sailed over the head of third baseman Ronald Torreyes into the camera well for the third error, which allowed both Zimmer and Brantley to score.

Meanwhile, the Yankees could barely touch Kluber, mustering just three hits off the Indians' ace.  Clint Frazier picked up the Yankees first hit in the fourth inning with a double to right.  He made it to third on a subsequent fly out, but like any Yankee on third base these days, he was left stranded.

The Indians picked up a couple of insurance runs in the sixth.  With two outs, Carlos Santana walked on four straight balls.  Brandon Guyer lined a single to right, moving Santana to second.  Yan Gomes doubled off the left field wall, scoring both Santana and Guyer.  It was 4-0 Indians.  Gray got the final out of the 6th, but it was the end of his debut.  His final line was 6.0 IP, 4 H, 4 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 6 SO.  If he continues to pitch like that, he'll pick up his share of wins for the Yankees.  

Credit:  Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports
The Yankees finally scored their one and only run in the top of the 7th when Gary Sanchez blasted a home run to center.  Unfortunately, it would be the last hit off Kluber who went the distance.  With Chasen Shreve pitching in the bottom of the 7th, Francisco Lindor answered El Gary's home run with a shot of his own over the left field wall.  From there, the Yankees went quietly.  Kluber picked up his ninth victory of the season.  He struck out 11 Yankees, the 9th time in his last 10 games he has struck out 10 or more batters.  Gray (6-6) took the loss.  The only other Yankee to get a hit, besides Clint Frazier and Gary Sanchez, was Ronald Torreyes who singled in the 5th inning. 

Credit:  Chuck Crow-The Plain Dealer
The Yankees (57-50) fell two games behind the Boston Red Sox in the AL East.  Boston beat the Chicago White Sox, 9-5.  The Tampa Bay Rays moved 1 1/2 games behind the Yankees with a 5-3 victory over the Houston Astros.  The Detroit Tigers stopped the Baltimore Orioles' winning streak, 7-5, so the O's remain 4 1/2 games behind the Yankees.

Brett Gardner was hitless in four at-bats to snap his 14-game hitting streak.  It had been the longest current streak in MLB.  He also struck out twice.

Manager Joe Girardi took heat for benching Aaron Judge, Todd Frazier and Matt Holliday but I had no issue with the rest days for those guys.  They haven't been hitting and it was unlikely they would have had any better results against Kluber.  Hopefully, the rest day helps them today when they return to the lineup.  Jaime Garcia could use the run support (and defense) that Sonny Gray failed to get.  On the bright side, the Yankees won't see Kluber again this series. 

Credit:  Chuck Crow-The Plain Dealer
Odds & Ends...

According to, OF Dustin Fowler ranks as the Oakland A's third best top prospect, while SS/OF Jorge Mateo is #5 and RHP James Kaprielian is #11.  Fowler will be given every opportunity to break camp next Spring with the A's as their starting center fielder. I guess we are going to be "Ben Gameled" quite often in the future.  

Credit:  John Shea
Speaking of top prospects, 2B Nick Solak is now in the Top 10 for the Yankees (according to and seems to be shooting through the system.  He was called up to the Double A Trenton Thunder a couple of days ago from the High A Tampa Yankees.  For Tampa, the 22 year old Solak hit .301/.397/.460 with 10 HR's and 44 RBI's.  He also had 17 doubles and 13 steals.  Solak was the Yankees' 2nd round pick in the 2016 MLB Draft.   

Credit:  Mark LoMoglio
The Yankees should be getting some help soon.  Aaron Hicks is currently on rehab assignment at Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.  He is 2-for-6 in two games, with an extra base hit and a run scored.  Greg Bird is traveling with the team and slowly beginning baseball activities.  There's hope that he can return by early September.  Starlin Castro will soon begin a running program as he recovers from the hamstring strain that landed him on the DL.

Have a great Friday!  Here's hoping for better results with Jaime Garcia's Yankees debut.  Go Yankees!

Why the Yankees Traded For So Much International Spending Pool Money

I have to admit that when I saw that the New York Yankees traded Double-A pitcher Yefrey Ramirez for just some international spending pool money I was a tad bit upset. I was willing and able to rant when I read it. Then I read that New York also acquired some additional money, $1.5 million to be exact, in the Sonny Gray deal with the Oakland Athletics that sent Jorge Mateo, Dustin Fowler and James Kaprielian out west which got me thinking. Why are the Yankees suddenly so caught up in acquiring international spending pool money when the team is no longer under spending restrictions in the IFA market and can spend as much as they want in 2017? So then I started doing some research and here is what I came up with so far.

There has been a change in how the international signing period works and the changes which came from the Collective Bargaining Agreement that runs from 2017-2021 begin with the 2017-2018 international signing period. I am not going to go into the very complicated and detailed reports of the entire agreement but here is the Readers Digest version of it. The new rules allows teams to trade for up to 75% of the pool that the league allots them every single signing period. This year the league gave the Yankees a bonus pool of $4.75 million to spend on international free agents so if you multiple that by 75% and carry the one the Yankees could conceivably acquire $3,562,500 from other teams giving the team a total of 8,212,500 to work with on the international market.

Now it is worth keeping in mind that the Yankees have already signed Venezuelan outfielder Everson Pereira to a $1.5 million deal while also signing Venezuelan shortstop Robert Chirinos for $900,000. The Yankees have made a few other deals as well and according to Jesse Sanchez of the Yankees have already spent $4.28 million of their IFA spending pool this signing period. That leaves the Yankees $470,000 before what the team acquired in the Gray deal, the Yefrey Ramirez deal and the Matt Wotherspoon deal with the Orioles from earlier last month. If the Yankees were to conceivably acquire the entire 75% in bonus pool money that the CBA allows the Yankees would have $3,982,500 in spending money left but who would the team spend it on?

Well at the time of this writing the #6 top rated international prospect Raimfer Salinas is available as well as #8 prospect Antonio Cabello. The Yankees could be gearing up to make a run at one or both of these top prospects to add to the pool that already includes Chirinos and Pereira. Make it happen Cashman, add all the blue chip potential prospects and talent that the league allows you to add, even if losing a player like Yefrey Ramirez did anger me a bit. There’s a plan in place, a plan that I am personally not privy to, and that plan is in action which truly just excites the hell out of me. 

So it Seems… And Here’s To Hoping This is the Last Weekend

Good morning everyone and Happy Friday! This is an especially Happy Friday for myself because my oldest son, Evan, begins school today. Ladies and gentleman I have a second grader on my hands! So that should be fun walking him into school and into his classroom for the first time today as he continues his journey in life. Speaking of journeys in life I am on one heck of one myself and while things have not always gone to plan, been a little hectic and maybe even a little discouraging it has all been just falling in line with what has to happen for the ultimate goal. Happiness.

Everyone needs to strive for happiness and everyone needs to do anything and everything they can to achieve this happiness. Life is short ladies and gentleman and tomorrow isn’t promised. You have to, and I mean you HAVE to, make every second count and live like there is no tomorrow so that when it is your time you can go wherever it is you go after this world without regrets or second guesses of your decision making. Live for you and live for happiness. Everything else will fall into place.

So this weekend will hopefully be the last in my current situation so the rest of my life can begin, continue and happen. I’m excited and I am excited to bring everyone along for the ride with me. Especially you. HEY YOU. I love you. 

This Day in New York Yankees History 8/4: A-Bomb x500 and A-Bomb x600

At one point in his career everyone thought that Alex Rodriguez would be the man to finally break Hank Aaron's and then Barry Bonds all-time home run mark. Alex hit two home runs on this day on his way to the record books. It all started in 2007 when Alex became the 22nd and the youngest player (32 years and 8 days) to hit 500 home runs. Alex only took 14 seasons to reach the mark when he hit the three run home run off Royals starter Kyle Davies. Alex joined Mickey Mantle as the only other player to hit his 500th home run inside Yankee Stadium.

A mere three years later on this day in 2010 Alex was in the news again for hitting a home run, this time his 600th home run of his career. Alex would pass Babe Ruth to become the youngest player in the history of baseball to reach the 600 home run plateau. A Rod's first inning two run home run would make him the seventh player in baseball history to reach 600 home runs.

Also on this day in 1985 the Yankees honored Phil Rizzuto by retiring his #10 jersey before the game. Rizzuto was a former Yankees player and a play by play color broadcaster that was best known for his "Holy Cow" expressions. The Yankees honored Rizzuto by a gift from the team of a cow wearing a halo.

Also on this day in 1985 Tom Seaver becomes the 17th player in major league history to win his 300th game. Seaver ruins Phil Rizzuto Day at Yankee Stadium by beating the Yankees 4-1 allowing only six singles to reach the milestone.

Finally on this day in 1968 the Yankees held their second of three days honoring the great Mickey Mantle. Prior to the game over 2000 fans paid tribute to the future Hall of Famer in the Bronx.