Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Game Thread: 2018 MLB All-Star Game

And just like that it is game time here inside Nationals Park between the American League All-Stars and the National League All-Stars. Congratulations to all players, managers, and coaches involved with a special bit of congratulations to the players representing the New York Yankees; Gleyber Torres, Luis Severino, Aroldis Chapman and Aaron Judge.

Enjoy the game and get out healthy. Go American League and go Yankees!!

Imaging a Healthy Yankees Lineup w/ Manny Machado

The longer this goes on the more and more I find it likely that the New York Yankees will acquire All-Star starting shortstop Manny Machado from the Baltimore Orioles. The All-Star Game is tonight, but other than that baseball will shift its entire focus to the hot stove before games resume at the end of the week. Let’s take this time to have some fun and just play around with a hypothetical lineup or two. Let’s take a moment to assume that New York proves me wrong and does in fact acquire Machado from the Orioles, what would a healthy Yankees lineup with the right-hander in it look like? Scary, that’s what it would look like, but in a good way for the Yanks.

Brett Gardner – LF
Aaron Judge – RF
Manny Machado – 3B (deal with it)
Didi Gregorius – SS
Giancarlo Stanton – DH
Gary Sanchez – C
Aaron Hicks – CF
Greg Bird – 1B
Gleyber Torres – 2B

If Machado wants a ring and wants a trade to the Yankees he is going to have to accept the third base position, hence the “deal with it” comment above. If he doesn’t, enjoy Philadelphia. This lineup doesn’t really have a hole in it from top to bottom, the ultimate “Get Greedy” lineup. I know the Yankees don’t need Machado, but damn it would look good if they had him. What are your thoughts?

Yankees Statistical Leaders Through the First Half

The Yankees Offense

At Bats:

Giancarlo Stanton – 371


Giancarlo Stanton – 94


Giancarlo Stanton – 103


Miguel Andujar - 27

Home Runs:

Aaron Judge - 25


Aaron Judge - 60

Batting Average:

Gleyber Torres - .294
Miguel Andujar - .279
Giancarlo Stanton - .278
Aaron Judge - .276

The Yankees Pitching


Luis Severino – 14


Sonny Gray – 7


Starters:  Luis Severino - 2.31 ERA
Bullpen:  Aroldis Chapman - 1.35 ERA


Starters: Luis Severino – 144 K’s
Bullpen: Dellin Betances – 72 K’s


Aroldis Chapman – 26


Luis Severino – 1

All stats courtesy of Baseball Reference

Another Day of “Trading Manny” Speculation…

Machado prepares to say goodbye to his O’s uniform…

It’s the All-Star Break and Manny Machado is still a Baltimore Oriole. A few more days anyway. If you believe the reports, the Philadelphia Phillies would seem to be the frontrunner, closely followed by the Los Angeles Dodgers and Milwaukee Brewers. I’ve seen one (most likely fictitious) report that has the Phillies sending third baseman Maikel Franco, shortstop J.P. Crawford, and top pitching prospect Adonis Medina to Baltimore. If that’s the level of talent on the table for Manny, I don’t see why the Yankees can’t beat it. I don’t think they will, but any way you look at it, Manny would make any team’s offense and defense better. For the Yankees, it only works if he is willing to move back to third base, but I’d gladly take the legitimate superstar over the young rookie at third (with no offense to Miguel Andujar who has done a fine job).

It is exciting to think about Manny Machado as a Yankee. The images of him wearing Pinstripes have been tremendous and then there was yesterday’s Instagram pic posted by Aroldis Chapman showing Manny sitting among Chappy, Luis Severino and Gleyber Torres. 

I continue to believe that the Orioles will not trade with the Yankees (even though we routinely seem give them quality arms with guys like Richard Bleier and Yefry Ramirez). But for all the excitement about Machado, it will be a letdown if the July trading deadline passes and we end up with only a pedestrian rental like J.A. Happ or Cole Hamels. 

If he does not come to the Bronx, I’d like to see Machado end up with the Dodgers. Play him at short this year to free up Chris Taylor to roam positions again. The Dodgers would have a great chance to re-sign Manny if he likes LA. He can hang out with LeBron. Next year, if they are successful in signing him, the Dodgers could move him to third when Corey Seager returns, push Justin Turner to first base, play Max Muncy at second, and keep Cody Bellinger in the outfield.  I certainly feel the Dodgers would have a much better chance at signing Manny to a long-term deal than either the Phillies or the Brewers. I’d still rather see Manny with the Yankees, but having him on the Dodgers would be a nice consolation prize (for me anyway). Sorry, it’s not about you, it’s all about me. Kidding…

The Boston Red Sox may hold a 4 ½ game advantage on the Yankees, but the Yankees have the farm system to make significantly greater moves than the Red Sox can make. Boston has the much weaker farm system and as baseball’s top spender, they are maxed out on salary unless they want to encroach into the highest tax penalty category. If we do nothing, it will be a lost opportunity.  Same if we come away with an arm that has difficulty keeping runners off home plate. We already have one of those with Sonny Gray.  We don’t need to add to our collection. 

Probably the only moves that would be more meaningful to me than Manny Machado would be a frontline starter like Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Blake Snell, or Madison Bumgarner. Unfortunately, I think the chances of landing one of those guys is about as good as Peter Angelos warming up to the Yankees. 

So, this leaves me with the opinion that I am going be disappointed come July 31st. Whether it will be a lot or just a little, I don’t know but I sense that disappointment is headed my way. If there was ever a time for GM Brian Cashman to deliver one of his golden stealth moves, now is the time. 

The Yankees have played 95 games so there are only 67 games left. I am excited about the impending returns of both Gary Sanchez and Gleyber Torres which provide immediate upgrades, especially if El Gary can start hitting like we know he can. He has homered the last couple of games for the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders so hopefully his timing is coming around quickly. 

The next couple of weeks will be very crucial for the Yankees as they attempt to chase down the Red Sox. They don’t have to be in first place by August 1st but they need to make the necessary moves now to ensure that they are properly positioned for the impending sprint to the finish line.  Don’t let us down, Cash. This is your time.

Congratulations to Bryce Harper for the hometown Home Run Derby championship over Kyle Schwarber at Nationals Park last evening, but I must admit that I didn’t watch. There was just no drama or intrigue for me with this year’s participants.  I admire Rhys Hoskins and I think Mad Max Muncy is a great story but something was missing without Pinstripes.  I don’t blame Aaron Judge for passing on it, but without any Yankees, there was simply no motivation for me to watch.  I don’t really expect Harper to sign with the Yankees in the off-season so I didn’t have the urge to watch him take swings. Maybe if Manny Machado had been a participant, it would have carried a little more significance. Or even the great Mike Trout. Oh well, next year. 

It’s been great to see the pics of Gleyber Torres at the All-Star Game festivities. I’ve missed that guy. I look forward to having his energy back in the Yankees lineup very soon. 

Don’t look now, but LHP Nestor Cortes, who spent spring training with the Orioles, is a man on fire. In yesterday’s 5-0 win by the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders over the Toledo Mud Hens, Cortes (4-3, 3.11 ERA) threw a one-hitter over six innings while striking out ten. Over his last 38 1/3 innings, Cortes has only allowed three earned runs. This is how I wish Chance Adams was pitching but sadly it is not. 

Here’s another shameless plug for Kurt Sutter’s new TV show Mayans MC which makes its premiere on Tuesday, September 4th. The first season (set in a post-Jax Teller/Sons of Anarchy world) will feature ten episodes and tells the story of young Ezekiel “EZ” Reyes, played by JD Pardo. Reyes is fresh out of prison and a prospect in the Santo Padre charter of the Mayans MC, located on the Cali/Mexi border. According to the storyline, EZ must carve out his new identity in a town where he was once the golden boy with the American Dream in his grasp. The show also stars Clayton Cardenas, Edward James Olmos, Sarah Bolger, Michael Irby, Carla Baratta, Antonio Jaramillo, Raoul Max Trujillo, Richard Cabral and Danny Pino. Sons of Anarchy star Emilio Rivera returns as Marcus Alvarez, El Padrino of the Mayans MC.  I am looking forward to the ride.

We are still a few days away from the next Yankees game (Friday night at Yankee Stadium against the cross-town Mets) but at least we’ll get to see Luis Severino and Aaron Judge in action tonight (and maybe some shots of Aroldis Chapman and Gleyber Torres as spectators). 

As always, Go Yankees!

Game Preview: 2018 MLB All Star Game

Tonight inside Nationals Park, home of the Washington Nationals, the 2018 MLB All-Star Game will take place between the American League and the National League. With nothing but bragging rights and a few extra dollars added to the paycheck for the winner on the line tonight I don’t expect the same flare and drama that we have seen in years past, and I am totally okay with that. Here are the complete rosters for both squads, let’s get to it, weather permitting, here in Washington!

National League Starters                                                              American League Starters

Wilson Contreras – C – CHC                                                         Wilson Ramos – C - TB   
Freddie Freeman – 1B – ATL                                                        Jose Abreu – 1B - CHW
Javier Baez – 2B – CHC                                                                   Jose Altuve – 2B - HOU
Brandon Crawford – SS – SFG                                                      Manny Machado – SS - BAL
Nolan Arenado – 3B – COL                                                            Jose Ramirez – 3B - CLE
Nick Markakis – RF – ATL                                                               Aaron Judge – RF – NYY
Matt Kemp – LF – LAD                                                                    Mookie Betts – LF - BOS
Bryce Harper – CF – WAS                                                              Mike Trout – CF – LAA
DH – TBA                                                                                             J.D. Martinez – DH - BOS

National League Reserves                                                            American League Reserves

Buster Posey – C – SFG                                                                  Salvador Perez – C - KC
J.T. Realmuto – C – MIA                                                                 Mitch Moreland – 1B - BOS
Joey Votto – 1B – CIN                                                                     Gleyber Torres – 2B - NYY
Paul Goldschmidt – 1B – ARI                                                        Francisco Lindor – SS - CLE
Scooter Gennett – 2B – CIN                                                         Alex Bregman – 3B- HOU
Ozzie Albies – 2B – ATL                                                                  Michael Brantley – OF - CLE
Trevor Story – SS – COL                                                                  George Springer – OF - HOU
Eugenio Suarez – 3B – CIN                                                            Mitch Haniger – OF - SEA
Lorenzo Cain – OF – MIL                                                                Shin-Soo Choo – DH - TEX
Christian Yelich – OF – MIL                                                           Nelson Cruz – DH - SEA
Charlie Blackmon – OF – COL                                                       Jedd Lowrie – 2B - OAK
Yadier Molina – C – STL                                                                  Jean Segura – SS - SEA
Jesus Aguilar – 1B – MIL                                                                Yan Gomes – C - CLE

National League Pitchers                                                             American League Pitchers

Max Scherzer – SP – WAS                                                             Justin Verlander – SP - HOU
Jacob deGrom – SP – NYM                                                           Corey Kluber – SP - CLE
Jon Lester – SP – CHC                                                                      Chris Sale – SP - BOS
Aaron Nola – SP – PHI                                                                     Luis Severino – SP - NYY
Patrick Corbin – SP – ARI                                                               Gerrit Cole – SP - HOU
Mike Foltynewicz – SP – ATL                                                        Jose Berrios – SP - MIN
Miles Mikolas – SP – STL                                                                JA Happ – SP - TOR
Josh Hader – RP – MIL                                                                    Trevor Bauer – SP - CLE
Kenley Jansen – RP – LAD                                                              Edwin Diaz – RP - SEA
Sean Doolittle – RP – WAS                                                            Aroldis Chapman – RP – NYY
Brad Hand – RP – SD                                                                       Joe Jimenez – RP - DET
Felipe Vazquez – RP – PIT                                                             Craig Kimbrel – RP - BOS
Zack Greinke – SP – ARI                                                                 Blake Treinen – RP - OAK
Jeremy Jeffress – RP – MIL                                                            Charlie Morton – SP - HOU
Ross Stripling – RP – LAD                                                               Blake Snell – SP - TB

Both leagues will employ the designated hitter, even in the National League park, enjoy the game.

Hello… All-Star Break

Good morning everyone and welcome to the All-Star Break. Last night we watched the American League and the National League go head-to-head in the 2018 Home Run Derby, and tonight we watch as these two league’s face off in the 2018 MLB All-Star Game. With nothing but bragging rights and a few thousand dollars at stake let’s see how the game unfolds tonight inside Washington’s Nationals Park. Enjoy the game!

And to you my baby, I love you and you are an absolute All-Star in my books. You always have been, and you always will be.

This Day in New York Yankees History 7/17: The Streak Snapped at 56 & The Bronx is Burning

Reggie Jackson and Billy Martin was the epitome of the Bronx is Burning era and on this day in 1978 the feud only got worse as Jackson was suspended for five games by the New York Yankees. In a Yankees loss the future Hall of Fame outfielder was told to swing away by Martin and instead struck out while attempting to bunt.

And finally on this day in 1941 Joe DiMaggio's record streak of hitting in 56 straight games ended as the Indians third baseman Ken Keltner robbed DiMaggio more than once. DiMaggio batted .408 during the streak and would start another 17 game streak after this game hitting in 73 of his last 74 games.