Sunday, December 13, 2009

ALL POSTING WILL NOW BE DONE AT NEW WEBSITE

We have a new website. We feel the techinical difficulties of this blog are becoming too much to handle so we have swtiched to wordpress.

Here is the link, PLEASE continue to read, bookmark, and follow us: http://nyypinstriper.wordpress.com
THANK YOU!

Wang Becomes Free Agent

The Chien-Ming Wang era in New York has finally ended (*mixed boos and cheers*). The Yankees decided on not tendering Wangs contract before the 11:59pm deadline Saturday. New York opted to tender contracts to outfielder Melky Cabrera and pitchers Chad Gaudin and Sergio Mitre. The decision basically came down to starters/trade bait. Cabrera is the current left fielder (and trade bait), and Gaudin and Mitre are current candidates for the back of the rotation. Had the Yankees tendered his contract, arbitration would have given him 20% less than his $5 mil. contract for this season.

photo by AP/Franklin II

In 104 career starts as a Yankee, he went 55-26 with a 4.16 ERA in 5 seasons as a Yankee. Of course, his two 19-win seasons were considered his best, and his accuracy was pin-point. He started 2008 8-2 and everyone remembers that one June day in 2008 in Houston when he tore a muscle in his foot and sprained his ankle rounding third base causing him to be out until September. Then this past season came, and he got knocked around and had a record of 1-6 with a 9.64 ERA before he was shut down for the season due to shoulder surgery.
Wang and his agent expect to get offers from other teams very soon, and if it would be from the Yanks it would be for much less money.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Better Player of the Decade for the Yankees: #1 Derek Jeter or #3 Alex Rodriguez?

Mariano Rivera defeated Alfonso Soriano 18-1 in the last matchup.

Question for my blog readers: Which site do you think looks better? This or This? I am in the process of considering a new blog outline/template.

Song of the Day: Eminence Front by The Who

Due to technical difficulties all sidebar options of the blog are at the bottom of the page.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Better Player of the Decade for the Yankees: #1 Mariano Rivera or #4 Alfonso Soriano

Andy Pettitte defeated Enrique Wilson 18-0 in the last matchup.

Song of the Day: Shake it Out by Manchester Orchestra

Very sorry, but due to technical difficulties the polls are at the bottom of the screen, not the right side. Very sorry.

Keeping Your Eye on the Ball? Not Possible.


(Photo by Chris Edwards)

Every once in a while we here at the Pinstriper like to talk amongst ourselves about the myths of baseball. So we decided why not share what we have discussed with our lovely readers?

Baseball Myths: Keep Your Eyes on the Ball

Aynone who played baseball, or any other sport involving a ball, as a child always heard the same advice over and over and over. Keep your eye on the ball. Keep your eye on the ball. You were supposed to keep your eye on the ball while you were hitting, fielding, and running. Heck, you had to watch that ball while you were on the bench. It was beaten into your brain like multiplication tables. But is it even possible? At the major league level, scientists say no.

A study by Ken Fold who is a visual psychophysicist who works at the University of New Hampshire concluded that it was physically impossible for hitters to keep their eyes on the ball. When the ball is traveling at major league speeds between 90 and 100 mph
players can only see the ball 5 to 6 feet in front of the plate at best. So the next time you see Johnny Damon's head fly around in the box and his eyes start drifting towards the right field fence, don't get so upset, he can't do much better.

On a side note, how great would it be to have Fold's job title at Holiday parties or around the family table? So Bobby, what do you do now? Oh I am a publicist for a small chain of grocery stores. Thats nice, what about you Ken? Visual psychophysicist. No contest.

We will be back soon with more baseball myths. Thanks for reading!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Better Player of the Decade for the Yankees: #1 Jorge Posada or #6 Enrique Wilson

Andy Pettitte got the shutout 19-0 in the last matchup.

Song of the Day: Keep em' Separated by The Offspring

Rule 5 Draft Selections


The New York Yankees made a very surprising choice with the first pick of the Rule 5 Draft.

They chose Jamie Hoffmann of the Los Angeles Dodgers. Hoffmann, a former 8th round pick of the NHL's Carolina Hurricanes, could make the club as a fourth outfielder. Hoffmann seemed to hit about 9-11 homeruns a year, with a solid batting average of .275+ and is known to have pretty good speed. He could steal up to 20 bases a year. Hoffmann is also known as a solid hitter against lefties and a great fielder.

Personally, I would have taken Kroenke now that Coke is gone, but I am not too upset with the selection.

YANKEES CHOSEN:

Zach Kroenke was taken by the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Kanekoa Texeira was taken by the Seattle Mariners.


Analysis: I find it very impressive that Yankees keep getting chosen in the draft. It says something about their minor-league system.

Predictions:

Jamie Hoffmann sticks with the Yankees and makes their regular season roster. He is returned in June when the Yankees trade for a veteran version of him.

Zach Kroenke does not make the Arizona Diamondbacks and is returned. He does have a clause where he can become a free agent, but he chooses to go back to the Yankees, as they promise him a spot on the 40-man roster.

Kanekoa Texeira makes the Seattle Mariners and sticks with them for the entire 2009 season.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Free Agent Spotlight: Mike Cameron

We move from the topic of pitchers on to outfielders, which believe it or not, is still a team need. Mike Cameron, 36, is one of the best available outfielders not named Bay or Holliday.
You might be wondering why the Yanks need another outfielder even though they just got Curtis Granderson. Well, with Granderson, we now have four outfielders; Brett Gardner, Melky Cabrera, Nick Swisher and Granderson. Many people are anticipating the resigning of Johnny Damon. And with this, many people anticipate the trading of Nick Swisher. Which leaves us with a very good centerfielder, a decent corner outfielder in Cabrera, a fast outfielder who needs to improve his hitting, and an aging corner outfielder with no arm. Our minor league outfielders could be drafted away from us, as Shelley Duncan and John Rodriguez are expected to be drafted in the Rule 5. So we’re left with Colin Curtis, and newly signed Jon Weber and Eladio Moronta as our backups in case of injury/other needs.

photo from Sports Illustrated

Cameron has always hit for a low average and many strikeouts, but he is a perfect middle-bottom of the order hitter because of his power and speed. He hit just .250 last year but hit 25 home runs and 70 RBIs (and his home was Miller Park, typically a pitchers park). Though his speed has been decreasing over the years, he can still cover the outfield and still has a great arm, which would make his transition to a corner spot (most likely left because of said speed, and Melkys cannon for RF) much easier. He has 3 gold gloves under his belt, most recently in 2006.
Cameron would be a great fit in New York for several reasons. We know he can handle the New York media, as he spent 2004-05 with the Mets without any controversy (many remember him for his nasty collision with Carlos Beltran, breaking several bones in his face and causing him to miss the rest of the season). Second, he hits well against AL East teams for the most part in his career; 10 HR 26 RBI vs Boston, 3 HR 23 RBI vs Baltimore, 6 HR 27 RBI vs Toronto, and 5 HR 22 RBI vs Tampa Bay. Remember, his six full seasons in the AL were with Seattle and Chicago, who would face these teams a max of 10 times a year.

Scenarios with Cameron:
- Damon signed, Swisher traded for starter/reliever/minor leaguer. Cameron takes 6 or 7 spot in order and takes over RF/LF
- Damon not signed, Swisher stays- Cameron bats in front of Swisher because of speed and better clutch hitting; Swisher becomes everyday DH with ability to start in the OF when needed.
- Damon signed, Swisher kept- Cameron becomes everyday outfielder, Swisher and Damon must fight for DH job, one of the two rot on the bench, until Swisher/Cabrera traded before deadline

If the Yankees sign him, look for a 2-year, $17 MM deal.
Cameron has said that he wants to play for a team with a chance at the postseason, let’s see if the Yankees make a run at him.

The Night Before: Rule 5 Rumor Roundup

Here are the various rumors about the Rule 5 Draft (tomorrow in Indianapolis at the Winter Meetings)

-Fact-The Yankees have the first pick

-Jonathan Mayo says that the Yankees may have the Nationals (who techinically own the pick but will draft a player of the Yankees choosing) draft Zach Kroenke. This is to protect Kroenke from being drafted by other teams. The Nationals would then return Kroenke to the Yankees immediately.

-Chad Jennings predicts that the Yankees will draft either Chad Tracy (the minor-league son of Jim Tracy, not the former Diamondback), or Matt McBride.

-Steve Henson reports that the Yankees will likely draft Arquimedes Caminero.

-Frankie Piliere hears that the Yankees will draft John Raynor, though he does not know where they would put him if they drafted him.

Better Player of the Decade for the Yankees: #1 Andy Pettitte or #6 Orlando Hernandez?

Roger Clemens defeated Chuck Knoblauch 16-1 in the last matchup.

Song of the Day: Layla by Derek & the Dominos

Lots of Movement at the Winter Meetings

Latest from the Winter Meetings:

- The Rangers traded RHP Kevin Millwood to the Orioles for reliever Chris Ray
- LHP Randy Wolf and RHP Latroy Hawkins both signed with the Milwaukee Brewers
- The Atlanta Braves GM officially stated that Rafael Soriano will be traded
- The Cardinals officially signed RHP Brad Penny
- The Marlins sent RHP Matt Lindstrom to the Astros for 2 minor leaguers and a Rule 5 pick
- 2004 Rookie of the Year SS Bobby Crosby signed with the Pirates
- The Phillies signed PH/1B Ross Gload

Interview with Chad Jennings


Chad Jennings is a former beat writer for the AAA Scranton Yankees. He took over as a Yankees beat writer in October and has agreed to do a quick interview with The Pinstriper. We thank him for the interview. Enjoy and don't forget to check out his work here!

1. Thoughts on the Curtis Granderson trade? Who got the best of it?

I think every team got what it wanted. Granderson is a great fit for the Yankees. They gave up some real talent to get him, but that's what it was going to take for an impact player like that. I think some people are getting a bit too caught up in his splits. They're bad, and they're a factor in judging him as a hitter, but at the end of the day he's consistently hit 20+ home runs with 70+ RBIs while playing good defense in center field. He's also young and signed to a good contract.

2. Can you profile Austin Jackson and Ian Kennedy for us?

Jackson is going to be an everyday center fielder, but his lack of power suggests he'll be more of a bottom-of-the-order hitter. He could develop more power and become more of an impact bat -- wouldn't surprise me, actually -- but right now he's a guy with a little bit of speed who hits for a high average despite striking out a lot. He's also a good defensive player in center field. Kennedy started throwing a two-seam fastball during the Arizona Fall League and his curveball has improved since his bad 2008 stint in New York. It's easy to overlooked that he's been absolutely dominant in the minor leagues and that he pitched very well in the big leagues when he was first called up in late 2007. He throws strikes -- quality strikes -- and that makes him a good pitcher.

3. Any idea who the Yankees might want in the Rule 5 Draft? What position?

Can't figure it out, to be honest. Infield makes no sense because the 40-man is already packed with utility candidates, I can't imagine the Rule 5 providing a better backup catcher than Francisco Cervelli, and if the Yankees wanted a power arm, why not protect Grant Duff or Kevin Whelan? There are a few right-handed hitters available who can play the outfield and also have experience at catcher. I wonder if that might work for the Yankees, giving them a little bit more outfield depth -- which they need -- as well as a spare catcher for days when Cervelli is behind the plate and Jorge Posada is the DH.


4. Any idea of any players that might be taken from the Yankees?

I think Zach Kroenke will be taken, I think Kevin Whelan should be taken and I think Colin Curtis might be taken. There are other candidates -- Jason Hirsh, George Kontos, Grant Duff, Alan Horne -- but I tend to think Kroenke, Whelan and Curtis are the guys most at risk of being taken.

5. Do you think the Yankees need to improve the bullpen at all or they are good as it is?

I don't think they have to make a bullpen move, partially because I think they'll sign Andy Pettitte plus one more starting pitcher. That could leave either Phil Hughes or Joba Chamberlain to return to the eighth inning (I still think they should both be starters, but that's a whole other issue). David Robertson and Mark Melancon are also legitimate options for high-leverage bullpen roles. And you never know what young starter they might convert to the pen. If they were willing to move Hughes, they're willing to move anyone, and guys like Ivan Nova and Zach McAllister might work well in that role. You never know.

6. Is Zach Kroenke an MLB option at this point? Was he part of the reason they were willing to trade Coke?

I think Mike Dunn was the reason the Yankees were willing to trade Coke. After last year, it's hard to believe the Yankees see Kroenke playing a role in the big leagues. Kroenke was terrific in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre last year. When he didn't get a shot then, and when he wasn't added to the 40-man this winter, it became obvious that the Yankees don't view him as much of a major league option. I hope he's taken in the Rule 5 because he deserves a shot.

7. If you had to predict the rotation for next year what would it be?

Sabathia, Burnett, Pettitte, Hughes, Chamberlain

I think they'll bring someone else in to compete, but unless that person is Ben Sheets or Rich Harden, I think it's entirely possible that Hughes and Chamberlain will outpitch the new competition and win the job.

8. The outfield? What could Melky Cabrera net in a trade and are the Yankees definitely more willing to trade him rather than Brett Gardner?

The short answer is, I have no idea. Cabrera is an enigma on the trade market. He's still cheap and he's coming off a nice year, but is his trade value that of a starting center fielder or a fourth outfielder? Everyone seems split on the way they ultimately view him. As for which one I would trade, it's no secret that I really like Gardner, but I'm not sure it makes sense to have two left-handed center fielders.

*Interview conducted by Brandon of The Pinstriper and Chad Jennings of the Lohud Yankees Blog*

Andys Back in Pinstripes!

Photo by Getty Images

Brian Cashman was a busy man yesterday acquiring Curtis Granderson, and today he finalized a deal to bring Andy Pettitte back to the Bronx. The contract is rumored to be a one year deal worth $11.75MM. We are all glad to see you back Andy!

UPDATE: 1:38 PM: Brandon here. I like the move for both sides. Pettite gets a ton of money to return to the Bronx and the Yankees get a solid #3 or #4 starter. I was sort of hoping that he would give the Yankees some kind of a discount....but no.

Prediction: Pettite goes 12-8 with a 4.35 ERA. He does not go on the DL at all.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Better Player of the Decade for the Yankees: #2 Roger Clemens or #5 Chuck Knoblauch

Wonder who will win....

Paul O'Neill defeated Hideki Matsui 22-6 in the last matchup.

Song of the Day: Empire State of Mind by Jay-Z and Alicia Keys

Curtis Granderson Will Be A Hit In Pinstripes


I love that the Yankees have picked up the lefty centerfielder Curtis Granderson. He seems to be a class act, a good fielder, and a good hitter (though he is terrible against lefty pitching) with speed whose power will be augmented by Yankee Stadium.

Of all the players the Yankees were rumored to be looking at outside of their own club this off season, I thought Granderson would be the best buy. The Yankees gave away a good prospect in Austin Jackson, sending him and lefty Phil Coke to the Tigers. They also shipped off Ian Kennedy to the Diamondbacks to secure the 28 year old Granderson who is a combination of speed, power, and youth that will do some damage in pinstripes. While this was more than I had anticipated the Yankees were going to need to give away, it is not unreasonable and I am fairly confident that Granderson will make it a worthwhile deal.

My prediction is that he hits around .270 with 30 homeruns and 70 RBI's with 25 steals. I know it is a lofty prediction but it is certainly attainable and expectations are always high in the Yankee Universe.

Check the post below for more analysis of the Granderson trade.


UPDATE: 5:40 PM: Brandon, here! Had my friend edit some pictures and get the traded players in their new teams caps. Little obvious that it was edited, but still, I find them interesting.

Yankees Acquire Curtis Granderson

The New York Yankees have acquired Curtis Granderson from the Detroit Tigers in a three-team trade.

Here's the trade:

Yankees Receive: Curtis Granderson (Tigers)

Arizona Diamondbacks Receive: Edwin Jackson (Tigers) and Ian Kennedy (Yankees)

Tigers Receive: Max Scherzer and Daniel Schlereth from the Diamondbacks, and Phil Coke and Austin Jackson from the Yankees

Analysis: Love the move for the Yankees. The Yankees are essentially getting a better version of Jackson and giving up Ian Kennedy, who has been often injured but still has a bright future, and Phil Coke. Coke is not a necessary piece for the Yankees, of whom have Damaso Marte, Mike Dunn and Zach Kroenke.

OTHER NEWS:

-Jack Curry has left the NY Times.
-Peter Gammons has left ESPN.
-Ivan Rodriguez has signed with the Washington Nationals.
-The Mariners are "unlikely to get involved" in the Jason Bay sweepstakes.



UPDATE: 3:30 PM: Looks like each team got a fair amount in the trade. Jackson will most likely have a solid MLB career, as long as he can get some of his power back. Kennedy will likely be a 4th starter or 5th starter in the MLB if he can heal from his injuries. Coke will make a good lefty specialist for the Tigers.

As for Granderson, with the short porch in right field, he could hit up to 35 HR. Add about 20-25 SB and 70-80 RBIs, I'll take it. If Jackson can hit better against lefties (.183 Batting Average, .239 Slugging, .245 On-Base) he can prove to be a nice acquisition.

Don't forget Granderson hit .302 as recently as '07 and hit .280 in '08.

Prediction: Granderson hits .268 with 32 HR and 75 RBI in '10.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Better Player of the Decade for the Yankees: #2 Paul O'Neill or #4 Hideki Matsui?

Tino Martinez defeated Johnny Damon 26-1 in the last matchup.

Song of the Day: Iron Man by Black Sabbath

Brian Bruney Traded


Brian Bruney has been traded to the Washington nationals for a player to be named later. Updates to come.

UPDATE: 4:50 PM: Sorry for the late update, I was working when I heard the news. If Mark Feinsand's report is true, and the Yankees get the first pick overall in the Rule 5 Draft, that is one heck of a deal. Getting rid of an arbitration pitcher that would have rotted in the back of the bullpen for a potential MLB ready prospect...nice deal in my opinion even if it is just a player to be named later and NOT the rule 5 pick.

UPDATE: 5:25 PM: Mark Feinsand confirms it. Great pickup considering the Yankees could have just let Bruney become a free agent.

Photo Courtesy of the Boston Globe. (Left to Right: Nick Swisher, Brian Bruney)

Free Agent Spotlight: Jason Marquis

Let the Winter Meetings begin ! And since we’re on the free agent topic of starting pitchers, let’s stick with Jason Marquis.
Marquis was drafted in 1996 by the Atlanta Braves. His debut was in 2000, and he spent the following 3 years in the ATL. These years were rough for Marquis, as he never really showed improvement stats wise, going 14-15 with a 4.45 ERA. He lost his starting job for nearly all of 2003. In 2004, the St. Louis Cardinals took the risk of signing Marquis and naming him a starter. That year, Marquis broke out with a 15-7 record and a 3.71 ERA in 200+ innings. In his 3 seasons in St. Louis, he gave up 26, 29, and 35 home runs, which is a ridiculous amount. Marquis’ worst year in STL was in 2006, in which he went 14-16 with an awful 6.02 ERA, as the Cards went on to win the World Series. He spent the next two seasons in Chicago with positive records, and this past season in Colorado, where he was 15-13 with a 4.04 ERA; people thought he was the mid-season MVP before his ERA shot up.

Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

Now, the question: should the Yanks sign him? While his career record is 94-83, his ERA is 4.48, which is very high for a longtime starter. His home runs allowed have gone down dramatically since his 3 years in STL. Marquis could be a good fit as the Yankees fourth or fifth starter, definitely not third. His inconsistency can be scary, and you know Yankee fans would jump on him if he does poorly as the 3rd starter. He isn’t a strikeout machine, but he does have accuracy. Another concern would be expecting him to jump into the AL, considering his entire career has been in the NL. He’s 31 years old and has good stuff. Look for a 4 year, $41 MM deal (around $10.2 mil/year) if he should get one.
Marquis grew up in Manhasset, NY, on Long Island. He went to the Little League World Series in 1991, where he pitched two no-hitters in the quarterfinals and 3rd Place game. He grew up a huge Yankee fan, and a Don Mattingly fan. This could effect his decision to play in pinstripes if the Yankees pursue…

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Payroll and the Doc

The Yankees are cutting payroll?! What an unbelievable thought. Except, in reality, if the Yankees are going to go out and get a free agent starter then the amount they cut from the payroll will not really be significant at all. Just thought I would mention that.

Jon Heyman of Sports Illustrated twittered that the Red Sox have the best chance to land Halladay. He also notes that the Blue Jays would want a combination Phil Hughes, Joba Chamberlain, Austin Jackson, and Jesus Montero from the Yankees. Combine that with the 20 million a year that Halladay will command for 4-5 years and unless the Blue Jays are willing to make a different deal it appears that the Yankees will not go that far to get the Doc.

After all who can blame them? You are talking about two of their best young pitchers who have both proven to be shutdown relievers and have, though Hughes more than Joba, potential to be great starters in the majors. Then you have two of the Yankees best prospects who are considered by many scouts to have MLB-ready bats. I ask, is giving up three of these players too much, even for a pitcher as dominant as Halladay?

Better Player of the Decade for the Yankees: #2 Tino Martinez or #3 Johnny Damon?

Alex Rodriguez defeated Bernie Williams 131-78 in the last matchup

Song of the Day: Hand of Blood by Bullet for my Valentine

Impact of the Marco Scutaro Signing

Photo by AP

♫ The Rooters showed up at the grounds one day
They found their seats had all been sold
McGreevey led the charge into the park
Stormed the gates and put the game on hold
The Rooters gave the other team a dreadful fright
Boston's tenth man could not be wrong
Up from "Third Base" to Huntington
They'd sing another victory song ♫
--Dropkick Murphys

On Thursday the Red Sox agreed to a 2 year $12.5MM deal with middle infielder Marco Scutaro, who spent the last two seasons with Toronto. When analyzing exactly how much will Scutaro impact Boston's upcoming season one major aspect has to be looked at. Since Nomar left Boston after the '03 season Boston has had 5 different starters at SS over the last 6 seasons (Pokey Reese, Edgar Renteria, Julio Lugo, Alex Gonzalez, and Nick Green + Jed Lowrie spliting time with Lugo in '08 makes it 7). Scutaro gives them a reliable SS who now at 34 years old is actually seemingly improving, last season he had the most ABs of his career and put up the best stats. Scutaro's power is not overwhelming but his 12 HR equal the HRs put up by Lugo, Green, and Gonzalez last season combined. Scutaro may be able to use the wall to his advantage and put up another double digit HR season which would be the first by a Boston SS since Nomars 28 HRs in 2003. Scutaro can also fit into many spots in the lineup and actually started in 5 different spots in the lineup during his time with the Blue Jays (led off all of '09). He is also a very polished defender who rarely makes costly mistakes in the field. Overall I consider this a very intelligent pick up by Theo Epstein and this could even wind up being a major steal.

20,000 Readers


The title speaks for itself. Wow.

Thanks for reading everyone and if you ever have any questions about the site or interviews or anything feel free to email me, if not, keep reading and bookmark the site!

The picture included is out of complete and total boredom by myself....I had someone edit Yankees caps onto certain players. Enjoy!

From left to right it is:

Free Agent SP-Justin Duchscherer
Free Agent LF-Jason Bay
Free Agent SP-Joel Piniero
Trade Candidate SP-Roy Halladay
Free Agent SP-Jason Marquis
Free Agent SP-Rich Harden
Free Agent LF-Matt Holliday

The Pinstriper Features

If you are new to The Pinstriper there are some things you may want to know about.

-Look at the right side for our features.

-We are currently doing a Best Yankee of the Decade Tournament

-We have been mentioned on MLBTradeRumors various times.

-Comments are ALWAYS replied to.

-You can vote on polls, follow us on twitter, and email us at the links provided on the right sidebar.

Yanks Sign 2 to Minor League Contracts

The Yankees have signed Eladio Moronta, a Dominican outfielder, and outfielder Jon Weber.

Moronta, who is just 20 years old, was suspended from baseball for a full season for misrepresenting his age as 17. He has been compared to Raul Mondesi with a better arm and blinding speed.

Weber, 31, spent the last 3 seasons with the Tampa Bay Rays' AAA club Durham Bulls. The Bulls defeated the SWB Yankees in the Governors' Cup (IL Championship). Weber won the Bulls team MVP, hitting .302 with 14 HR 69 RBI and 60 extra-base hits.

These additions likely officially mark the end of the Shelley Duncan era, as you can expect Weber to take his place both in the lineup and in the field.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Better Player of the Decade for the Yankees: #2 Bernie Williams or #3 Alex Rodriguez?

Derek Jeter defeated Robinson Cano 12-1 in the last matchup.

Song of the Day: Boom by Nelly

Pray for a Friend

Fernando Arencibia is taking an indefinite leave of absence from The Pinstriper for personal reasons. I ask that you pray for him, as the circumstances are not very good and the leave is based on very serious issues that I cannot disclose at this time.

Please pray for him and understand while he is not physically hurt, he is likely being mentally tortured.

Figgins Signs with the Mariners

Getty Images

"Hello Seattle, I am a mountaineer
In the hills and highlands
I fall asleep in hospital parking lots"
--Owl City

I don't know if Chone Figgins falls asleep in parking lots but I do know Mr. Figgins is now a member of the Seattle Mariners. Figgins has signed a 4 year $36MM preliminary deal with Seattle. Not a huge change of scenery for Figgins, a new town, a new jersey, and a lesser club, but he will be playing the same opponents he always face with the Angels (except now he gets to verse his old club). In his career Figgins has hit over .290 and averages 48 SB per year and is a sparkplug to the Seattle lineup behind the biggest sparkplug in baseball, Ichiro. Figgins will be replacing Adrain Beltre, who posted five decent seasons in a Mariner uniform. Seattle is the 3rd organization Figgins will play for after spending about five years in the Rockies System, and all his time with the Angels. Im sure Angel fans will miss him greatly and he will get an overwhelming reception when he returns to Angel Stadium this coming season.

Plea to the Yankees: Don't Sign John Lackey

Many teams have been linked to top free-agent pitcher John Lackey. Among those are the Mets, Red Sox, Angels, Dodgers, and, of course, the Yankees.



Last year I pleaded to the Yankees that they should NOT sign A.J. Burnett. I was wrong so far and I will admit that.

What Yankees fans should be afraid of is that the Yankees could be paying their third starter equally or more than their second starter. While the rotation would be great for the upcoming years and the Yankees do have the money, why not spend the money on various holes, rather than one?

John Lackey was 11-8 with a 3.83 ERA last year. His career ERA is 3.81. Those are some average numbers for someone commanding $82M or more. Meanwhile, Lackey is also an injury risk having pitched in less than 30 games each of the last two seasons.

The Yankees can use that $82M over the next five seasons ($16.4M per year) and sign either a top outfielder (Jason Bay or Matt Holliday) OR one pitcher (Rich Harden, Jason Marquis, Erik Bedard, Justin Duchscherer) AND one outfielder (Johnny Damon, Hideki Matsui, Marlon Byrd, Jermaine Dye)

Don't you think you would rather have the latter of the two? Thoughts? Send em' along in the comments.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Free Agent Spotlight: Erik Bedard

With Justin Duchscherer being reviewed with his mental problems, we turn to another high-risk, high-reward type pitcher in Erik Bedard. Yes, we all remember him as the guy who was traded from Baltimore to Seattle for soon-to-be All-Star Adam Jones and reliever George Sherrill, but obviously the trade didn’t go so well for the Mariners. Why you ask? Bedard started just 15 games in each of his two seasons in Seattle, going a combined 11-7 with a 3.24 ERA. In 2008, his season ended in June after tearing his labrum, an injury many doctors say a pitcher will never be able to return to true form from. The labrum is the joint that basically connects the arm to the shoulder and allows movement, so you can only imagine the pain. He had surgery in September and returned for Spring Training. In 2009, he left in June again after inflammation in the very same shoulder, and he missed the rest of the year. Note: He has been on the DL 6 times in the last 3 seasons.
photo from Getty Images

So, let us look back to the good old days when he was a strikeout machine. For the Orioles from 2004-2007 (and .2 innings in 2002) he went 40-34 (remember how below average the O’s have been this decade). A 3.94 ERA over that span; 658 innings, 639 strikeouts, including a team record 221 in 2007 (10.93 KPG) and walking just 254 [just over a 2.5-1 K-BB ratio]. He is a career 5-4 vs. Boston, 11-3 vs. Tampa Bay, but only 1-3 at Yankee Stadium as an opponent.

Now, seeing this, do we take the risk and go after the lefty? There’s a chance he could be a stud again, and there’s a chance he could get hurt again. Let’s face it..we need a starter for next year (more like two or three or four). Personally, I would rather go after someone like a Duchscherer, with Bedard next in line. Harden and Sheets (more Harden to me) are too great of risks to take, unless they remain free agents until late in the off-season. But if we want him, we better hurry, his drafter Baltimore is looking to sign him for some good money…

Free Agent Spotlight: Justin Duchscherer


In the first installment of Free Agent Spotlight we will examine the value of SP/RP Justin Duchscherer who last pitched in 2008 with the Oakland Athletics, but sat out all of last season battling Clinical Depression. Clinical Depression and other anxiety disorders has become a common occurence in the MLB with recent battlers being Dontrelle Willis and Zack Greinke. When looking at Willis and Greinke you see exact opposites one who has only ad 14 starts the last 2 seasons with an ERA of about 8.00 and the other the 2009 AL Cy Young winner. So where exactly to you put Duchscherer? Willis had a few good seasons but his actually skill had been doubted, and Greinke has been seen for years as a talent who was just waiting to blossom. Duchscherer's career numbers look great and all of it has been done in the AL which has become important when lookin at performances by a pitcher (for instance Willis was great in the NL, but crumbled in the AL). I can also give Duchscherer a little break when diagnosing how worrysome his depression is on the fact his anxiety/depression was in large part because he did not want to be away from his son.

If he has truely gotten himself in a good place mentally he can be a huge FA steal along with Ben Sheets and Rich Harden if they stay healthy. Duchscherer has even more value because of the fact he had three very successful seasons as a reliever and then was a shut down starter in 2008 with the Athletics. In fact Justin Duchscherer may just fit perfectly into the Yankees plans. They could most likely get away with paying him much under his value and he is a slot guy who can pitch in relief or start depending on what happens with Hughes and Chamberlain. Overall I think Duchscherer will come away with about a 6MM contract filled with incentives that could make his deal worth up to about double whatever the contract ends up being for (if 6MM then 12MM). Duchscherer will be 32 at the start of the 2010 season and definitely has the potential to be the Zack Greinke of 2010. After all he has gone through I wish him much luck, unless he signs with Boston of course.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Best Yankee of the Decade: Round Two Coming Friday

Hideki Matsui defeated Miguel Cairo 9-2 last round.

I'll be in Washington D.C. for the next few days so the next poll will be Friday.

Song of the Day: Tonight's Gonna be a Good Night by the Black Eyed Peas (sorry YouTube isn't working for me again, so no link)

Look Back - Alex Rodriguez's 2007 Resiging


Photo Courtesy of Bleacher Report

There are a couple ways I wanted to go with this particular look back. I wanted to go back to when the Yankees signed Alex Rodriguez initially but then there would be too many possibilities. But, I found that it was a lot more feasible to discuss what might have occurred if the Yankees had chosen not to resign him in 2007.

After all it was perfectly reasonable that the Yankees would not resign A-Rod. Scott Boras operated in such a way that it was certainly possible the Yankees had had enough of dealing with Alex Rodriguez’s massive contract. They had offered him $230 million dollars and had previously said that they would not play around with A-Rod if he opted out.

So the Yankees do not sign Rodriguez which leaves 3rd base open. Here are a few possibilities:

RED SOX SIGN ALEX RODRIGUEZ

Despite the idea that Boston would never want to sign A-Rod because they dislike Boras or did not believe that A-Rod was a “Boston” guy, in reality it would make complete sense for them to sign him. With Mike Lowell’s contract up, they could sign Rodriguez to a huge contract and generate even more publicity for their campaign to defend their World Series title.

YANKEES SIGN MIKE LOWELL

In need of a 3rd basemen, the Yankees sign Mike Lowell away from Boston. This has the added benefit of slighting the Red Sox while gaining Lowell, who at the time, was regarded as a very potent third basemen. There was serious interest in Lowell on the part of the Yankees so do not mistake this as just a rumor. They might have even signed him even if they brought A-Rod back.

YANKEES SIGN MARK TEXEIRA

Pretty easy to see that this signing would still have occurred.

YANKEES MOVE ROBINSON CANO to third base and sign (gulp) LUIS CASTILLO

Of all the other free agent second basemen available, Castillo makes the most sense for the Yankees. His career average was around .300 and he was a fairly good defensive second basemen who might have have been able to replace Cano’s production at 2nd base.

Recap of the Yankees Starting lineup:

WITH LOWELL AND TEIXEIRA

1. Jeter SS
2. Damon LF
3. Teixeira 1B
4. Matsui DH
5. Posada C
6. Cano 2B
7. Lowell 3B
8. Swisher RF
9. Cabrera CF


WITH CASTILLO AND TEIXEIRA AND CANO AT 3RD

1. Jeter SS
2. Damon LF
3. Teixeira 1B
4. Matsui DH
5. Posada C
6. Cano 3B
7. Swisher RF
8. Castillo 2B
9. Cabrera CF

I have to say, even if one were to take into account the extra money that could be freed up to buy a pitcher, it would have been a very bad move to put Cano at 3rd and sign Castillo, or really any other 2nd basemen because the 2007 class was not stellar at that position. With Lowell and Teixeira in the lineup it looks infinitely better but, upon comparison to the lineup the Yankees have today with Rodriguez both of these lineups simply do not compare.

Jeter wins Sports Illustrated's Sportsman of the Year

*Photo Courtesy of SI*


Derek Jeter was named the SI Sportsman of the Year today. Jeter is the first Yankee in the awards 56 years to win.

Derek batted was third in the AL with a .334 avg, second with 212 hits, and led the league with reaching base 289 times. He also won his 4th Gold Golve, Silver Slugger, Hank Aaron Award, Roberto Clemente Award, and of course passed Lou Gehrig as the Yankees all-time hits leader. Congratulations Derek!

Ross Ohlendorf: Yankee, Pirate, and...Government Intern?

Photo by AP/J. Scott Applewhite

Thats right Ross Ohlendorf is interning with the U.S. Government at the Agriculture Department. Some stories even if completely and utterly useless just have to be posted, and this is one of them.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Better Player of the Decade for the Yankees: #4 Hideki Matsui or #5 Miguel Cairo?

Paul O'Neill defeated Gary Sheffield 9-2 in the last matchup.

No song of the day, sorry! YouTube is malfunctioning so there will be no song of the day. If interested in finding it yourself, today's would have been Sweet Child O' Mine by the Guns N' Roses

LIVE CHAT: Tonight 8:30 EST

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Friday, November 27, 2009

Better Player of the Decade for the Yankees: #1 Jorge Posada or #8 Shane Spencer

Last matchup Andy Pettitte beat Luis Sojo 15-0.

Song of the Day: Won't Get Fooled Again by The Who (my favorite song of all-time)

Price for Doc Halladay Remains Too High




Photo Courtesy of Getty Images

The Yankees would have to part with quite a bit if, as Peter Gammons reports (MLB Trade Rumors), the Red Sox would have to part with both Casey Kelley and Clay Buchholz. I can only imagine that the Yankees would have to give up Austin Jackson, Ian Kennedy, and maybe one other prospect to get Doc and then an additional $20 million a year to keep him. That is a really hefty price to pay and while I do love the idea of having Doc in our rotation losing three top prospects is not easy to stomach. Add onto that the fact that the Yankees made three blockbuster deals last year and it seems a little unreasonable that they would need to sign Doc. The rotation is far from set but resigning Pettitte while tinkering with Hughes and Chamberlain as well as with a healthier Chien-Ming Wang sounds like a perfectly reasonable option. After all, the Yankees won the world series doing just that.

Would I love to have Doc? Absolutely. But is he worth giving up three top prospects and 20 million a year? If that is the case, Doc might not be the Yankees huckleberry, even if he wants to be.

Talk About Something All Yankee Fans Appreciate...

PHOTO BY JACOBSON/NEWS

Sources are saying that the Yankees longtime PA announcer Bob Sheppard has officially called it quits and is retiring. Sheppard took the helm as Yankees PA guy in 1951, and is known as "The Voice of God" amoung the Yankee Universe. Yankee stadium hasn't been the same without him in the recent seasons, and it would've been nice to have heard him at the new Yankee Stadium. Mr. Sheppard is one of the greatest Yankees who ever lived and even at 99 years young we wish him another long 100 years. We have held at hope he'd come back but now reality has set in and a new era will have to begin.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

What do you Appreciate?

As I thought of what to do for the blogs first real ThanksGiving...I realized: I shouldn't do anything!

This blog is for the readers and only the readers (and the occassional forum for me to vent my baseball opinions)

So heres what I want you, the readers, to do:

Tomorrow there will be NO POSTING here at The Pinstriper.

INSTEAD this will be an open forum for you to comment anything that you appreciate in life.

I will be checking in every hour to see the comments and reply and I will also post my own things that I appreciate.

PLEASE COMMENT ANYTHING THAT YOU APPRECIATE...anything...can be your family, your sports team, ANYTHING!

Thank you so much and one thing I definitely appreciate are you, the readers!

Better Player of the Decade for the Yankees: #1 Andy Pettite or #8 Luis Sojo

Roger Clemens defeated Jason Giambi 11-2 in the last matchup.

Song of the Day: Joker and the Thief by Wolfmother

**Since there will be no posting tomorrow, please excuse the 2 days of voting for this better Yankee of the Decade post.**

Montero and McAllister named Top Organizational Players

RHP Zach McAllister and C Jesus Montero were named the Yankees' top organizational players of the year. Montero had an outstanding year at FSL Florida and Double-A Trenton, hitting .317 with 17 HR and 70 RBI, along with a .562 SLG and .951 OPS. McAllister went 7-5 in 22 starts at Trenton, and had an organization-best 2.23 ERA. In 121 innings, he allowed just 98 hits, 33 walks and 4 home runs. McAllister was called up to the Triple-A SWB Yankees for their playoffs. Both players were named EAS All-Stars this year.

photo from MiLB.com

Also a quick congrats: Class A Charleston RiverDogs manager Mike Williams was named South Atlantic League Manager of the Year.

Shelley Duncan Becomes a Free Agent

Reported by MLBTradeRumors.com: MLB.com's Bryan Hoch posted on his twitter account that NY Yankees utility man Shelley Duncan has elected free agency after being outrighted to the minors the other day. Shelley a fan favorite during his few stints with the Yankees will likely not return to the club and we hope he finds success wherever he may land!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Better Player of the Decade for the Yankees: #2 Roger Clemens or #7 Jason Giambi?

#6 Orlando Hernandez upset #3 Scott Brosius 9-8 in the last matchup.

Song of the Day: Smoke on the Water by Deep Purple

Monday, November 23, 2009

Better Player of the Decade for the Yankees: #3 Scott Brosius or #6 Orlando Hernandez

Chuck Knoblauch upset Ruben Sierra 13-8 in the last matchup.

Song of the Day: Crazy Train by Ozzy Osbourne

MY MVP Voting

Photo courtesy of SI

Here is how I would have voted for the MVP:

1. Joe Mauer C- Minnesota Twins

2. Derek Jeter SS- New York Yankees

3. Mark Teixeira 1B- New York Yankees

4. Kendry Morales 1B- Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

5. Kevin Youkillis 1B- Boston Red Sox

6. Ben Zobrist SS- Tampa Bay Rays

7. Alex Rodriguez 3B- New York Yankees

8. Michael Young SS- Texas Rangers

9. Aaron Hill 2B- Toronto Blue Jays

10. Ichiro CF- Seattle Mariners

Big question: Why no Miguel Cabrera?

You may have heard that he had a fight with his wife the night before one of the last games of the season. He was busy getting drunk while the rest of the teammates were working hard to make the playoffs. I don't care about stats, that is the poorest excuse of a teammate I have ever seen and that shows no respect for your teammates or your team. No value in that at all.