Friday, April 6, 2018

Game Thread: New York Yankees vs. Baltimore Orioles 4/6

Good evening, and welcome back to baseball inside Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, New York. What is better than the start of the weekend and Yankees baseball in the house that George Steinbrenner built? Nothing, that’s what, and tonight is no different as tonight the Yankees welcome the Baltimore Orioles back to town for the second game of their four-game weekend set. Tonight the Yankees will send CC Sabathia to the mound to make his 2018 Yankee Stadium debut while the Orioles will counter with Kevin Gausman who looks to spoil the party 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 Network. You can also keep up and follow along with the game with MLB TV, the MLB At-Bat app and by tuning into the Yankees radio broadcast on WFAN.

Follow us on Twitter, @GreedyStripes, and “Like” us on Facebook, The Greedy Pinstripes, to keep up with us and the New York Yankees all season long. Enjoy the game, smash the Birds, and Go Yankees!!

ORIGINS: Clint Frazier

Get well soon, Clint!!

ORIGINS: Tyler Wade

Who is Yankees prospect Tyler Wade and where did he come from? Learn that and more with this latest installment of ORIGINS: The Tyler Wade story. If you enjoy these, which the views on the first one, Tyler Austin, indicate that you do, then let me know in the comments below and we can make it a regular thing here on the blog. It is something fun and it is something different, so I thoroughly enjoy bringing stuff like this to you guys and girls, so let me know. Thank you in advance.

Meet a Prospect: Cody Asche

The New York Yankees felt like they needed a little more insurance and depth in the middle infield after the injury bug has hit the team hard thus far here in 2018, and with that mindset Yankees GM Brian Cashman gave the Kansas City Royals a call. The Royals agreed to trade infielder Cody Asche to the New York Yankees for a player to be named later or cash considerations. The Yankees promptly assigned Asche to their Triple-A affiliate, the Scranton/Wilkes Barre RailRiders so let’s meet the latest member of the Yankees organization. This is Meet a Prospect: The Cody Asche Edition.

Cody James Asche was born on June 30, 1990 in St. Charles, Missouri to Todd and Julie Asche. Cody also has a brother, Tyler, who he can remember playing baseball with in his backyard as early as the age of five. Cody also played football as a child but quit playing during his freshman year of high school at Fort Zumwalt West High School in O’Fallon, Missouri. Asche did play baseball for his high school team though which earned him a scholarship to play for the University of Nebraska. Asche had a breakout year while with the Cornhuskers in 2011 hitting .327 with 12 home runs and 56 RBI as a junior. Asche was named a second-team All-American all while maintaining a 3.407 GPA and a spot on the Honor Roll while at Nebraska. Asche’s brains and ability to handle himself with the bat caught the attention of the Philadelphia Phillies who selected Asche in the fourth round, 151st overall, in the 2011 MLB First Year Players Draft.

The Phillies moved Asche to second base for his professional debut with the Class-A Williamsport Crosscutters, but he struggled there and was ultimately moved back to third base for the 2012 season. Asche excelled in 2012 back at the hot corner which earned him many honors within the Phillies organization that season including a trip to the All-Star Game and a trip to the Arizona Fall League with the Peoria Javelinas. After the 2012 season Asche was named the Phillies seventh-best prospect according to Baseball America. Asche made his debut at Triple-A in 2013 and made a return trip to the All-Star Game after batting .295 with 15 home runs and 68 RBI. Asche was promoted to the Major Leagues on July 30, 2013 amidst some controversy as many wondered why the team didn’t call up a bigger power option at third base in Maikel Franco.

Asche was the Phillies Opening Day starter at third base in 2014 and Philadelphia fans thought they had their third baseman of the future in the former Cornhuskers star. Asche struggled out of the gate in 2014 before being placed on the disabled list on May 25 due to a strained left hamstring. Asche continued to struggle after his return from the DL finishing with a disappointing 2014 campaign overall. Asche was back at third base on Opening Day in 2015 but the team had plans of working him in as an outfielder to make room for Franco at third base, a plan that came to fruition in 2016. Asche struggled for much of the 2016 season, some of which was due to the fact that he fought through an oblique injury that sidelined him until June of 2016, , and found himself back in the minor leagues until rosters expanded as a part of September call ups.

After the 2016 season Asche hit the free agent market for the first time in his career. Asche struggled to find a major league deal before the 2017 season and ultimately settled for a minor league pact with the Chicago White Sox. Asche spent the 2017 season in Triple-A with the White Sox before signing another minor league offer with the Kansas City Royals before the 2018 season. Now Asche finds himself a member of the most well-known and historical organizations in all of Major League Baseball, the New York Yankees.

Welcome to the organization Cody, and more importantly welcome to the family.

How Do You Spell Relief?...

Photo Credit: Getty Images (Jim McIsaac)
For one night, the answer is not G-R-E-E-N…

Well, so much for the thought (my thought anyway) that Chad Green is the lone bright spot in the Yankees bullpen. I know, that’s not fair to Aroldis Chapman, who has had very limited opportunities, or Dellin Betances, who actually was the best reliever last night. The Yankees held the lead in the game until the seventh inning when Masahiro Tanaka started to tire and gave up a two-run blast to Adam Jones. Tanaka stayed in the game, retiring Chris Davis on a grounder to third, but Tim Beckham ended his night with a single to right. If the Yankees bullpen could have held it from there, the Yankees might have been able to dig out of the one-run hole.

Alas, it was not meant to be. I guess you can chalk it up to ‘one of those nights’. Manager Aaron Boone brought in the usually reliable Chad Green. He did strike out two batters to get out of the inning but not before the Orioles hit a single, run-scoring double and two-run single to push three more runs across the plate. 

Photo Credit: Associated Press (Julie Jacobson)

The Yankees had their chances but could not erase the large deficit. They picked up a run in the bottom of the seventh on a run-scoring single by Neil Walker after Didi Gregorius had doubled, but Miguel Andujar popped out with two men on and two outs to end the threat. The next inning, the Yankees had the bases juiced with two outs for Neil Walker, thanks to a walk and two batters hit by pitches. Unfortunately, Walker grounded out to the pitcher to eliminate the last serious threat.  Sadly, the Yankees dropped the contest, 5-2, to fall to 4-3 and two games behind the Boston Red Sox in the AL East standings.

I was pleased to see the strong work by Dellin Betances in the top of the ninth inning when he struck out three batters despite allowing a meaningless walk.

Photo Credit: New York Post (Charles Wenzelberg)

Love or hate Buck Showalter, but he schooled Aaron Boone on the fine art of managing. I know, you can’t blame Boone for this loss but Showalter is the wise grandmaster in terms of the depth of managerial experience. You’ll never beat Showalter by out-managing him.

I always enjoy the work of Mike Axisa over at River Ave Blues. He had great perspective this morning. He said “Every team is going to win 50 games and lose 50 games each year. It’s what they do in the other 62 games that determines their fate. This is one of those 50 losses.”  I agree with his assessment (as usual) but it is tough to take a loss on a night when the Boston Red Sox win. 

Boston kills me. They have such a ‘cream puff’ schedule to start the year. They won their home opener yesterday against the Tampa Bay Rays, tying the game in the bottom of the ninth inning with two runs and then scoring the game winner in the bottom of the 12th. The Rays featured a starting pitcher that I’ve never heard of, Yonny Chirinos. He did a decent job, along with the subsequent relievers until closer Alex Colome took the bump. The Rays almost lost the game in regulation when second baseman Daniel Robertson took a grounder with a runner on first, bypassing the obvious and easy force out at second, to barely beat the runner to first. The play was challenged but the throw beat the runner by a split-second, sending the game into extra innings before the Rays ultimately lost. The takeaway for me is that other teams like to hand gifts to the Red Sox.

Photo Credit: Boston Herald (Christopher Evans)

Right now, Boston wins the games when they do not play well and the Yankees do not. I fully expect the Yankees to gel as a team but seven games into the season, we’re not there yet. I am not going to panic. There are still 155 games to play. Nobody is handing the Red Sox the AL East championship in April. 

The Yankees look to rebound tonight when CC Sabathia takes the mound. He’ll face Greg Bird’s Colorado high school buddy, Kevin Gausman. Last year, CC was the man following a Yankees loss so hopefully the trend continues. 

I was sad to see Trayce Thompson’s time with the Yankees was so short. I really like the guy even if he hasn’t put up the numbers to earn such support. Thompson was out of options when the Yankees claimed him on waivers earlier this week but they tipped their hand when Aaron Boone said that he’d start out in the minors. Thompson couldn’t go to the minors without clearing waivers and the Oakland A’s jumped at the chance to bring the brother of Klay Thompson, a star with Oakland’s Golden State Warriors to the Bay Area. Nice attempt by the Yankees to try to slide him through waivers but it failed like it did for the Dodgers. It’s nice for Klay who picks up a roommate to help pay bills (like he really needs the help). I wish Trayce the very best for success in Oakland, however, I think we’ll see him again soon on the waiver wire. For his sake, I hope not. I’d like to see him succeed.

The Yankees also made a depth move this week to acquire third baseman Cody Asche from the Kansas City Royals for a player to be named later or cash considerations. 

Photo Credit: Getty Images (Jennifer Stewart)

Asche will take over third base for the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders while Miguel Andujar toils in the Bronx. I really wanted the Yankees to acquire Asche several years ago. I am always on the lookout for the next Paul O’Neill (I guess I can modify it to say the next Didi Gregorius). I thought Asche had potential when he was with the Philadelphia Phillies as a young third baseman. Asche, 27, is a career .234 hitter in 390 MLB games so he clearly has not become the player I thought he would be. There’s no chance he’ll ever leap-frog over Andujar or Brandon Drury so for now he becomes a Triple A performer waiting to help in the event of injuries at the position for the big league club. No offense, Cody, but I hope we never see you in the Bronx. It’s not because we don’t like you…we simply prefer good health for Andujar and Drury. 

Lastly, I am going to borrow the words of TGP’s Bryan Van Dusen: In summary, the 2018 New York Yankees are still a World Series contender. If you want to jump off the Yankees' bandwagon, be my guest. There are still plenty more on board.

Go Yankees!

Game Preview: New York Yankees vs. Baltimore Orioles 4/6

Good morning everyone. Another day and another game here in the Bronx between the New York Yankees and the Baltimore Orioles. It is always fun to beat up on division rivals, but it is especially fun when those rivals are the Baltimore Orioles, at least as long as Buck Showalter is managing the team anyway. That guy just seems to have a raging hard on for the team that fired him a year before the dynasty began and can’t seem to let it go. DRAMA. GRUDGES. Let it go, Buck. Let it go. Tonight the Yankees will send CC Sabathia to the mound to make his first home start of the season while the Orioles will counter with Kevin Gausman. Should be a fun one, enjoy the game.

Sabathia was typical Sabathia in his first start of the young 2018 season allowing two runs, one earned, and five hits in five innings of work in Toronto against the Blue Jays. Sabathia had success against Toronto in the start and pitched well enough to win, something he could not say much against the Orioles during the 2017 season. Sabathia pitched to a 7.41 ERA against Baltimore in 2017 allowing 14 earned runs and 23 hits in just 17 innings pitched.

Gausman wasn’t great in his first start of the season against the Minnesota Twins allowing three home runs in just four innings of work. In the start Gausman allowed six runs in a loss for the Orioles. Gausman has not pitched well against the Yankees or inside Yankee Stadium either last season allowing 12 runs in just two starts last season.

The game will be played at 7:05 pm ET inside Yankee Stadium in the Bronx and can be seen on the YES Network and MLB Network. You can also follow along with the game on MLB TV, the MLB At-Bat app and by tuning into the Yankees radio broadcast on WFAN with the legendary duo of John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman.

Enjoy the game, smash some O’s, and Go Yankees!!

Hello… and TGIF

Good morning everyone and TGIF to you all. It is Friday, we made it. By the time you are all reading this I will be hopefully enjoying a nice and pleasant breakfast with my wonderful girlfriend Kari, a Friday tradition I think we should try and keep as much as we can. Life gets so difficult sometimes, life tends to get busy, and life tends to get in the way, but it is important to remember and prioritize what it is important in your life. She and my children are the most important things in my life right now, followed closely by this blog and everyone reading it of course.  😊

Remember what is important, prioritize, and get things done YOUR way. That is my advice to you this morning and for the weekend. I hope everyone has a wonderful Friday and an even better weekend. I love you all, and I appreciate you all greatly. Especially you. Thank you for being you, and hey you. I love you Kari. Always have, always will.

This Day in New York Yankees History 4/6: Ron Blomberg

In 1973 the Yankees Ron Blomberg became the first designated hitter in major league history. In his first plate appearance the DH drew a walk off of Luis Tiant in a 15-5 loss at the hands of the bitter rival Boston
Red Sox.