Friday, May 24, 2019

CLINT FRAZIER STRIKES & LEADS THE MLB ROUNDUP THIS WEEK!


Source: Newsday

Another great week to be a Yankee fan as they completely humiliate the Orioles in another series.
Clint Frazier, has been on a roll. Smacking two out of the park on Tuesday night improving his line from .259/.293/.463 to .268/.300/.518. Gleyber Torres joined in the fun Monday night with his fourth multi-homer game of the year.  Red Thunder and Gleyber Day stole the show this week for sure!

ALERT! Fun Factoid: Frazier’s home runs helped the Orioles yield their 100th home run in their 48th game. The previous record held by 2000 Royals, achieving this in 57 games. It really doesn’t mean anything, except that it is embarrassing, and our team helped them get there.


Source: NYDailyNews

Some bad news for the Yankee round up is that our veteran lefty CC Sabathia was placed on the 10-day IL even though he earned the win against the Orioles Wednesday night. The injury does not seem very severe, so a short stay on the IL seems likely at the moment.


The Mets in proper fashion are plagued with injuries. Most interestingly, Yoenis Cespedes, allegedly falling into a hole on his St. Lucie ranch, fractured his ankle. Yea. Remember that guy? I don’t. Guess we won’t be seeing him ever.

Mets have also lost Jeff McNeil, Robinson Cano, Michael Conforto, and Brandon Nimmo. The IL is becoming a little too full for my liking.


Source: CBS Sports

In better news, Rajai Davis has a call-up story he will never forget. Hopping into his Uber from Pennsylvania to Queens, Davis bonded with his driver for the next two hours. Six innings after arriving at Citi Field, Davis hit a three-run homer in his first Mets appearance.

“I’m just really grateful and thankful for the opportunity that the front office gave me,” Davis said. “I appreciate it. I’m trying to make an impact right away, and I was fortunate enough to be put in that position to make something happen,” reported MLB.com.


Source: CBS Sports

Zack Greinke, former Dodger and current Diamondback, still not a favorite of Suzie Pintstripe and me, has joined the 2,500 strikeout club. Greinke is the 37th pitcher to reach 2,500 strikeouts and the fifth active. Others include CC Sabathia (now at 3020), Justin Verlander, Max Scherzer, and Felix Hernandez.

“I think we all need to sit back and appreciate what that means and who we have throwing for us every fifth day,” D-backs manager Torey Lovullo said. “He’s a very special, special pitcher,” reported MLB.com.


Source: NBC Sports

The White Sox had a very rare feat in their game on Wednesday, getting a triple-play and grand slam in one game. The triple-play was performed by Yoan Moncada, Yolmer Sanchez, and Jose Abreu.

“There's a lot of things that have to go well for that to occur,” manager Rick Renteria said. “You have to be well within range of that bag and be able to release it. They got it out of their gloves, getting it in and out quickly. Marisnick's fleet of foot. Everything had to be perfect.”

 
Source: The Chicago Tribune

Charlie Tilson is responsible for the grand slam, which also counted as his first big league home run. The White Sox are only the fourth team in the last 40 years to have hit a grand slam and turned a triple play in the same game.
Another week in the books! Cannot wait to sit with a glass of wine by the beach this weekend and watch our teams get some wins.  Happy Memorial Day Weekend!!





--Missy O'Rourke
BYB Contributor
Twitter: @missy_orourke




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Thursday, May 23, 2019

A 19-YEAR OLD JUST OUTSMARTED THE MLB DRAFT, CHANGING THE GAME AS WE KNOW IT


Baseball is in a period of change. MLB commissioner Rob Manfred has been on a quest to make improvements and appeal to a younger generation.....but 19-year old Carter Stewart just threw him a curveball that Manfred surely wasn't expecting.

We talked about baseball's challenges earlier this month in MLB IS FAILING ALL THANKS TO ITS FAILING LEADER and one of the common themes we have seen in the past two seasons is how free agency is for the birds. It's not what it used to be and teams are not spending big money to go after quality guys like Craig Kimbrel and Dallas Keuchel, who are STILL unemployed (though not for long). Carter Stewart has chosen a much different path.


Multiple sources have the scoop, but Jeff Passan at ESPN has a good story on it HERE. We won't see Stewart in a MLB uniform for a while. Instead, Stewart has SHUNNED the draft and according to sources he will sign with the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks of the Japanese Pacific League by the end of the month. His deal will be a six-year contract worth $7 million plus incentives and it will be a groundbreaking deal that could have long-term consequences for Major League Baseball's amateur and professional affiliates.


Stewart could have signed a deal last year with the Atlanta Braves and gone the traditional route.
"Stewart, who was chosen by the Atlanta Braves with the eighth pick in the 2018 draft out of a Florida high school but did not sign after they reduced their signing-bonus offer due to an alleged injury, was expected to be chosen in the early second round of this June's draft. By signing with Fukuoka, which has won four of the past five Japan Series, Stewart would guarantee himself significantly more money than he would have made with a major league organization -- and could theoretically join the major leagues as a 25-year-old free agent."

Even first round drafted baseball prospects rely mostly on their big signing bonuses before working through the minor leagues on very low salaries. Once they get to the majors, players still don't make much until they become arbitration eligible or sign an extension like Luis Severino and Aaron Hicks did this off season. So really a players long-term future is a gamble. An early-career injury (like one the Braves were concerned about with Stewart) could prevent even the most talented players from getting more money. Stewart no longer has to worry about this.

So it's no wonder why Stewart's agent Scott Boras wanted to avoid all of this. For years he has manipulated baseball. You've probably heard someone somewhere say he is "bad for baseball" but he's helped players score deals in MLB and has tried to use the lure of taking a player to an independent league in hopes to gain leverage. It's never really worked until now.


So who knows what happens next in Stewart's journey. At 25 he could choose to come back to MLB based on the posting system or we may not ever hear about him again. For now, we wait and see what happens to Stewart. Does he succeed in Japan? Does he regress or is he just a bust?

Time will tell. Baseball is changing, and Manfred doesn't have an answer for this yet. Good thing  Japanese teams are only allowed to have four foreign players on their rosters, so it's unlikely that Stewart started a big trend but he certainly could be the example.

Stewart has a much bigger deal than Major League Baseball was going to offer. Looks like he outsmarted everyone.






--Jeana Bellezza-Ochoa
BYB Managing Editor
Twitter: @nyprincessj

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

IT'S CLOBBERING TIME IN BALTIMORE!

Source: AP

Sure the Yankees refuse to lose.  We have seen this incredible work over the last few weeks.  In particular, however, the Yankees have amped up the way they have been winning over the last couple of games in Baltimore.  As the Baltimore Oriole fan community so eloquently posted in their very own SBNation blog, "Orioles get clobbered into submission by Yankees in 11-4 loss," the Yankees are on a serious tear and there seems to be no stopping them.

Source: NJ.com

According to CBS sports, "Clint Frazier entered the night with six home runs and a 98 OPS+ on the season. Both those figures are going up after a big-time performance against the Orioles on Tuesday." He contributed to the Baltimore beat down with two home runs and five runs batted in, carrying the Yankees to victory. Frazier has contributed tremendous to his value, which could increase his trade appeal, should the Yankees decide to deal him prior to the trade deadline.

Source: The NY Times

To see the Yankees swinging the bat the way they are, despite their challenges is in a word: incredible.  Behind this incredible game play has been a real commitment from players with a fighter's attitude and punch.  They get knocked down, but when they get up, they come up swinging.

Source: The NY Times

"Sanchez crushed his home run in the first inning, setting the stage for the Yankees to go up 9-0 through five innings. It was Sanchez’s 14th blast of the season. Sanchez has six homers in 19 at-bats at Camden Yards this season. He’s tied for the second-most home runs in the AL," reported NJ.com. Coupled a key hit from Gio Urshela and stellar pitching from Domingo German, the Yankees are dominating the AL East, growing their first place lead with this win.

Source: SNY

The Yankees play in an early evening start in Camden Yards tonight followed by the series ending game on Thursday.  Although sweeping is not necessary to keep their dominance, it sure would be nice to see them take the broom out against the Birds.  It's clobbering time in Baltimore and hopefully this momentum continues throughout the Memorial Day Weekend.




--Suzie Pinstripe
BYB Managing Editor
Twitter: @suzieprof





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Tuesday, May 21, 2019

THE YANKEES REFUSE TO LOSE!


You can't hold this team down!  Homer happy? Sure... last night they were! But how about scrappy?!

That's the best way to describe this young team.  Also, let's keep in mind that when one guy may struggle, another guy comes back to help them out and pick them up.  That's the true definition of TEAM.  This team is unstoppable, relentless... hungry.


Last night JA Happ struggled early. It looked like he just didn't have it allowing 6 runs to the Orioles quickly.  But the Yankees just kept digging out. And then... this...

USA Today writes:


"Gary Sánchez hit a three-run homer in the ninth inning to cap a New York rally fueled by Baltimore gaffes, and the Yankees pulled out a 10-7 victory Monday night. Gleyber Torres homered twice for the Yankees, who trailed 6-1 after four innings and 7-3 after six."

And Chapman with the save and the rest is history, folks. Yanks win again.  Can't hold this team down!


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Monday, May 20, 2019

IF THE NATS HAVE A FIRE SALE, THE YANKS SHOULD GO SHOPPING


It's only May, so to hear talk of a potential fire sale seems premature. There's a lot of baseball left but I guess if the Washington Nationals continue to struggle it could happen. If they don;t rebound Joe Sherman seems to think it could possibly happen, read more HERE.

It's been an odd start this season. We saw the Mets come strong out the gate and now they are struggling. No, maybe tripping and faltering miserably is more like it. They did just get swept by Derek Jeter's Marlins. The Marlin's for crying out loud! It's rumored Mickey Callaway's job may be in jeopardy.

Then you have teams like the Red Sox who crashed and burned also until recently. The Rays have been overachieving all season thus far and the Yankees have been winning despite all of the injuries. Oh and the Twins look crazy strong while the Cleveland Indians look deflated. It's been a weird season so far.


So here are the Yankees, winning despite all of their own challenges. If the Yankees continue to stay within AL East contention could Brian Cashman look at a team like the Nationals to reinforce the team? Maybe.

The Nationals may be in fourth place in the NL East, but they are only 7.5 games out of first place, which is nothing to worry about right now. But if they don't work their way up names like Anthony Rendon and Max Scherzer could become available. Could....maybe.....big maybe.


The Nationals had their best chances for a championship with both Stephen Strasburg and Bryce Harper years ago. Now they are trying to change their identity. The Nats have talked to Rendon about an extension but if they doesn't work out maybe they would trade him.

Rendon would be a nice pickup for a team but Scherzer would be harder to trade. He's been everything that the Nats had hoped for even though they have never won a championship with him. He's finished in the top five for Cy Young in the last four seasons. The Nats love them as much as I do.


If the Yankees cold get Scherzer that would be a dream. A very expensive dream though. Sherman's article quoted an NL scout saying "If you ever took him to market, you would get an unholy haul for him." The prospects demand would be crazy and so would the cash that the Yankees would have to take on. The Yankees would pick up the remainder of his salary this year of about $14 million plus whatever portion of the $84.3M that is owed and can negotiate down through 2028. High dollars and prospects....that's an expensive firesale.

It's just a rumor, but a fascinating rumor. Who doesn't at least dream about Scherzer? It may only just be a dream, but if the Nats continue to under perform it's worth a call....even if it is a very short one.



--Jeana Bellezza-Ochoa
BYB Managing Editor
Twitter: @nyprincessj






Sunday, May 19, 2019

THE YANKEES ARE REWRITING THE BASEBALL NARRATIVE

Source: Frank Franklin II | AP Photo

Last year the new normal for teams like the Oakland A's and the Tampa Bay Rays was the "opener" strategy where a bull pen pitcher started the game because the team did not have enough true starters in the rotation to fit the bill.  Earlier than teams instituted the shift, which has become very controversial among baseball analysts and fans alike.  Now the Yankees have defined a new normal for teams who experience more than their share of injured list, better know as the IL. They win.

Source: Newsday

"Calling the Yankees baseball's best story would normally qualify as big-market pandering. This year's group is different, however. The Yankees have found their way to the catbird seat despite losing nearly 100 more days to injury than any other team -- a predicament that has forced them to replace multiple headliners in their lineup with afterthoughts," reported CBS Sports.

Source: AP

These afterthoughts include guys like Gio Urshela who contributed to the walk off on Friday night and is currently batting .353 with two home runs and 16 RBIs.  "Urshela stopped being a surprisingly-effective fill-in, and became the Yankees’ starting third baseman on the spot. Many wondered if he could keep his start up, or if the team would eventually need to look for a more sustainable option in a pennant race. It looks like an answer has arrived," reported NJ.com.

And even though Urshela has earned respect with his performance defensively and offensively, fans still can't believe that these kind of performances have longevity.  Even on Twitter after his game-winning RBI on Friday night, baseball fans were skeptical as tempered by this tweet.


Another guy who seemingly was off the radar and unexpectedly has risen to the top of major league starters is Domingo German, the stand-in for Yankee ace Luis Severino.  He's risen to the top of the Yankee rotation with a 7-1 record with a 2.70 ERA.  "He’s shown the ability to throw all of those for strikes in any count and he has the confidence that he can go out and deliver that. And that’s what we’ve seen from him, the ability to pitch with all three pitches,” said Yankee skipper Aaron Boone via NJ.com.

Source: AP

Guys like signed free agent DJ LeMahieu, Luke Voit, Cameron Maybin, as well as Clint Frazier and Thairo Estrada have more than stepped in as fill-ins.  They have carried this team to the top of the American League East.  Despite dropping yesterday's game in a 2-1 heart breaker, the Yankees have remained strong, persistent and keep winning even without the big bats and arms.


Will this last? As a Yankee fan, you root for your team no matter what. And with roles reversed as the Yankees shift from the role of Goliath to that of David, you have to be excited about what this team is doing, despite the odds. Would I like to see Aaron Judge back in the lineup, absolutely.  Am I thinking about getting a Gio Urshela shirzy, absolutely.  The 2019 New York Yankees may not resemble the team expected at the end of spring training, but nonetheless, they are winning and somehow are rewriting the formula for winning with their team of afterthoughts leading the way.




--Suzie Pinstripe
BYB Managing Editor
Twitter: @suzieprof