Saturday, April 14, 2018

A Yankees Day in the Life: Bernie Williams

One last time for the crowd, one last Yankees Day in the Life showcasing a dynasty Yankees member. One last time for the one that never got enough credit for his contributions throughout his career. One last time, Mr. Bernie Williams.

A Yankees Day in the Life: Scott Brosius

Yes, I am still feeling nostalgic. Yes, I wondered what in the world the Yankees were doing when they acquired Scott Brosius to man third base for them during the dynasty year. Yes, I was wrong. No introduction needed, a Yankees Day in the Life: Scott Brosius Edition.

Game Thread: New York Yankees @ Detroit Tigers 4/14

Saturday afternoon baseball has arrived as the New York Yankees made the trip to Detroit and Comerica Park to take on the Detroit Tigers. In the start this afternoon the Yankees will send Luis Cessa to the mound to face off with Francisco Liriano for the Tigers. The game will be played at 1:10 pm ET inside Comerica Park and can be seen on the YES Network and MLB Network. You can also follow along on MLB TV, with the MLB At-Bat app and by tuning into the Yankees radio broadcast on WFAN with the legendary John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman.

Follow us on Twitter, @GreedyStripes, and “Like” us on Facebook to keep up with us and the Baby Bombers all season long. Enjoy the game, spank Liriano, and go Yankees!

Saturday's Yankees-Tigers Game Rained Out...

Photo Credit: USA TODAY Sports (Raj Mehta)
Today's game between the New York Yankees and the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park in Detroit, Michigan has been postponed due to rain.

The game is tentatively scheduled to be made up tomorrow in a day/night doubleheader.  However, rain is expected to continue in Detroit throughout the weekend so it's no sure thing that one or both games will be played on Sunday.

I guess the Rain Gods decided that we should be spared from a Luis Cessa start.  Hopefully they'll get the games in tomorrow since the Yankees do not have any remaining trips to Detroit scheduled this season.  Any makeups would require detours of other nearby road trips, with loss of days off.  

If the Yankees are able to get Sunday's game in, the first game will start at 2:10 pm ET and the second game would start at 7:10 pm ET.  The Yankees then have to be back in New York for a 6:35 pm ET game on Monday night against the Miami Marlins.  Sleep, how needs friggin' sleep?...  

Making Easy Things Hard...

Photo Credit: New York Post (Corey Sipkin)
Yankees Able to Overcome Betances…

The Yankees won their game on Friday night but it was not without unnecessary drama. The Yankees thoroughly dominated the Detroit Tigers in all phases of the game, yet the Tigers had the go-ahead run at the plate in the bottom of the eighth, thanks to a mess created by Dellin Betances. Although he was able to get two outs in the inning, it was not before the Tigers had gotten five hits and three runs off him. Mercifully, Chad Green came in to get the final out against his former team, leaving two runners stranded, to help propel the Yankees to the 8-6 victory. 

After the game, Manager Aaron Boone was very supportive of Betances. Betances felt he was throwing good pitches but the Tigers were hitting everything. Betances made the comment that if he picked up the rosin bag and threw it, it was going to be hit. If the delivery is correct and both the fastball and breaking pitches are working, we can only hope good results are right around the corner. We’ll see. It’s troublesome to watch the All-Star reliever struggle in key spots. Fortunately, it didn’t cost the Yankees a game last night, but Boone had to burn Chad Green on a night he didn’t want to.  

Nice job by Aroldis Chapman who struck out the side in the bottom of the ninth to earn his second save of the season.  

The game was a much stronger outing for starter Jordan Montgomery. He pitched better than his final line, 6 innings, 5 hits, 3 runs, no walks and 4 strikeouts, in picking up his first victory of the season.  

Photo Credit: USA TODAY Sports (Raj Mehta)
The star of the game was Aaron Hicks. It was so fun to watch his inside-the-park home run in the second inning off Tigers starter and former Astro Mike Fiers. The ball hit by Hicks to right-center looked like it had the distance to go yard, but it careened off the wall and away from the Tigers outfielders. Gary Sanchez, who had doubled in the preceding at-bat, scored on the play, while Hicks came around and slid headfirst into home plate ahead of the throw with a huge grin on his face.  

Photo Credit: Getty Images (Gregory Shamus)
Hicks added a traditional home run in the sixth inning to become the fifth Yankee hitter with a multi-home run game this year. This is an incredible accomplishment considering only fourteen games have been played. Plus, Aaron Judge has yet to join the multi-HR parade and you know it is only a matter of time. The way this season is going, Ronald Torreyes will probably be the next hitter to have a two home run game.  

This weekend’s games against the Tigers are looking very questionable right now. The weather forecast calls for rain on both Saturday and Sunday. The Yankees do not make any further trips to Detroit this season so if either one of the next two games are postponed, it will create a schedule challenge for the makeup. Hopefully it doesn’t lead to a double-header tomorrow before the Yankees head for home. 

I am not excited about the anticipated start today (weather-permitting) by Luis Cessa. I really prefer to see Cessa in limited relief appearances.  But I guess the hand-writing was on the wall that he’d be the spot starter in place of the injured CC Sabathia when Domingo German pitched three innings in relief of Sonny Gray (very effectively, I might add) on Thursday. Hopefully, if they get the game in, Cessa will pitch much better than I expect.  I’d love to see him prove me wrong. Sadly, he never seems to but today is a new day.

I hate to dwell on what could have been, but reading this morning’s sports page shows that Todd Frazier hit two home runs last night to help the New York Mets improve their record to 11-1 and Gerrit Cole of the Houston Astros struck out 14 batters for his third consecutive game with 10+ strikeouts. Cole would look really good in the Yankees rotation right now but it was not meant to be. I remain hopeful that GM Brian Cashman will deliver us something better by the trading deadline but the early results do not look good.  

Photo Credit: Houston Chronicle (Karen Warren)
If the Yankees decide to promote top prospect Gleyber Torres next Thursday, they have very difficult roster decisions to make. The obvious move is to option Tyler Wade to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. At the start of the season, I thought that Ronald Torreyes was the most vulnerable potential roster casualty but the guy simply performs every time he is called upon. His versatility and ability to come into games with effective results after sitting on the bench for days makes him too valuable to lose. The only way I can see Torres and Wade on the active roster together would be through a trade of an active roster member (but who?). As I’ve said before, I’ll gladly take Torres over Wade any day of the week. It’s not that I don’t think Wade will be a good player, I just feel Gleyber will be a star. Not right away, but I am ready for the maturation process in the Majors for the young superstar-in-waiting.

Photo Credit: Associated Press (John Raoux)
It’s not my money but I’d cut bait with Jacoby Ellsbury. I know, that’s a lot of money down the drain but Ellsbury’s presence, when he comes back from the DL, is a hindrance. I know that he’s still a good player but I’d prefer to see him play elsewhere. Let him go back to Boston, even if we are paying the freight. I don’t really care at this point. I am done with Ellsbury.

Jace Peterson cleared waivers yesterday and was sent outright to the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders so we may not have seen the last of the former Padre/Brave second baseman.

Another former Yankee made his return to the Yankees organization when Rule 5 draftee Nestor Cortes, Jr was offered back to the Yankees by the Baltimore Orioles. The return of Cortes means that none of the players drafted from the Yankees in the Major League phase of last December’s Rule 5 Draft stuck with their new teams. I saw a story a few days ago that blamed misuse of Cortes by Orioles manager Buck Showalter for putting the young left-hander in a no-win situation. Cortes had yielded two grand slams within a week. Showalter said “If we could have gotten a little deeper into our games with starting pitching, I think I could have protected him more. But, we were forced into some things. I still think he’s got a chance to be a good pitcher.” When Baltimore had selected Cortes, they had high hopes that he’d make the starting rotation and felt that they had “stolen one” from the Yankees. It didn’t work out but we’re glad to see Cortes back in the Yankees family. Cortes will be assigned to Double-A Trenton where he’ll join the other Orioles Rule 5 returnee Jose Mesa, Jr.  

Tyler Austin has appealed his five-game suspension. The appeal will most likely be heard early next week but the downside is that once Austin begins serving his suspension, he can’t be replaced on the roster so the Yankees will be a man down.  Neil Walker would be the full-time starter at first, backed by Austin Romine. That’s dangerously thin for the Yankees, particuarly considering the team will soon embark on a very difficult stretch on the schedule. 

Miami Marlins CEO Derek Jeter will not be coming to Yankee Stadium for the two game series between the Yankees and the Miami Marlins which starts on Monday. Jeter will make the trip to New York, but won’t travel to the Bronx to see the games in person at Yankee Stadium.  Jeter told ESPN, “I went to a spring training game when we played New York, but it would be an awkward situation for me to actually go to Yankee Stadium. I’m just being honest with you guys, so that’s why I’m not going.” I saw a great twitter line yesterday that said Jeter decided to send Giancarlo Stanton to the Yankees as his representative. Works for me.

Photo Credit: Getty Images (Michael Reaves)
Well, let’s hope the Rain Gods allow us to get in today’s game. Never a better time for a win than today.  

Go Yankees!

A Yankees Day in the Life: Tino Martinez

Good morning Yankees family. I woke up this morning feeling a little nostalgic this morning for whatever reason so I wanted to do things a little bit differently today, just because. I have been watching a lot of old games lately (well, clips from old games and not the entire game admittedly) as well as going through the TGP archives... I may or may not be looking to draw inspirations and ideas for a future, much larger, post here on the blog. Stay tuned for that, but until then let us take a look at what it is like to walk in the shoes of the man who, much like Didi Gregorius, replaced a Yankees legend. Like Didi replaced Derek Jeter, Tino Martinez replaced some guy named Don Mattingly back in 1996.

I have to admit Tino became my favorite Yankee immediately and stayed in the top spot for his entire tenure in the Bronx, so I am just as excited as you are to watch this documentary and video. Enjoy!!

Game Preview: New York Yankees @ Detroit Tigers 4/14

The New York Yankees and the Detroit Tigers will continue their three-game set this weekend with the middle game of the series this afternoon in Detroit. The Yankees called up a pair of pitchers after losing CC Sabathia to a hip injury, Luis Cessa and Domingo German, and Aaron Boone had those two to decide from when deciding who would make this afternoon’s start. Boone ultimately decided that Luis Cessa would make the start this afternoon facing off with Francisco Liriano for the Tigers. Let’s get to it.

Cessa will make the start this afternoon over German, likely his only start with Sabathia expected back on Tuesday. Cessa has posted a 4.54 ERA in 73.3 innings as a Major League starter since coming over to the Yankees from the Detroit Tigers in December of 2015. 

Liriano did not get a full spring training here in 2018, but he hasn’t show any affects of it thus far this season. Liriano had made two good starts for Detroit thus far in 2018 including his last start where he took a no-hitter into the fifth inning against the Cleveland Indians in an eventual 2-0 loss.

The game will be played at 1:10 pm ET inside Comerica Park in Detroit and can be seen on the YES Network and MLB Network. You can also follow along with the game on MLB TV, with the MLB At-Bat app or by tuning into the Yankees radio broadcast with John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman on WFAN.

Enjoy the game, even if it doesn’t mean we are going to be seeing Luis Cessa on the mound once again and go Yankees!!

Hello… Glenn Otto

Good morning everyone and Happy Saturday the 14th to all you lucky and fortunate souls that made it through the evil, bad Friday the 13th. Man, starting the weekend off with some sarcasm. Who would have thought?

Anyway, I wanted to touch on a young Yankees pitching prospect quickly that I think could be the next Chance Adams. The next college arm that the Yankees drafted as a relief pitcher and successfully transitioned into a starting pitcher because they saw something in the young man. His name is Glenn Otto and he was drafted by the New York Yankees out of Rice University. Otto was the Yankees fifth round pick, 152nd overall, in the 2017 MLB First Year Players Draft.

The thought of Otto being a starter isn’t really a new idea, he was a starter for the Santa Barbara Foresters of the California Collegiate League in the summer after his freshman year and he also made two spot starts during his junior year at Rice, but it is a new idea for Otto as a professional. Otto has a starting pitcher’s build standing at 6-foot-4 and weighing in at 225 lbs. while possessing a mid-90s fastball that can touch 98-99 MPH. Otto also employs a hard knucklecurve that he throws in the low-80s as well as a developing changeup that New York sees as a viable third pitch.

Keep an eye out for Otto going forward as I truly believe he could be on the fast track to the Major Leagues as a starting pitcher. He could be the next Chance Adams, or he could be the next Jonathan Holder as well. Stay tuned.

Oh, and good morning my beautiful Kari Ann. I love you, enjoy your last Saturday of tax season and your much-deserved break when it is all over.

This Day in New York Yankees History 4/14: Elston Howard Makes JFK Cry

On this day in 1967 21 year old left handed starting pitcher Billy Rohr is one out from pitching a no hitter in his Major League debut when Elston Howard singles on a 3-2 pitch to ruin the no hit bid. The Red Sox would win the game 3-0 but will be forever remembered as the game that John F. Kennedy Jr. was caught crying by the dugout and being consoled by his mother, Jackie Kennedy, because the shot at immortality was lost.

On this day in 1955 Elston Howard, who would later be named the American League MVP in 1963, became the first black player to play for the Yankees. Howard was a nine time All Star and played in 54 World Series games compiling a career batting average of .274.

On this day in 1911 a fire broke out and destroyed much of the Polo Grounds, the home of the New York Giants. The New York Highlanders, now known as the Yankees, offered the Giants a place to play for six weeks. Temporary stands were made at the Polo Grounds and the Giants soon returned.