Friday, May 22, 2015

WHAT TO DO WITH THE YANKEES ROTATION?


The Yankees rotation has been effective so far in the first six weeks of the season (although the team has been struggling as of late) but there are changes coming. Ivan Nova is closing in on his return to the Bronx from Tommy John surgery, Masahiro Tanaka is rehabbing and should return soon and Chris Capuano just returned. With only five (or perhaps six occasionally) spots to fill, what do the Yankees do with their starting rotation?


When Tanaka went down, Chase Whitley was thrown into the mix and pitched well but has underwent Tommy John surgery. That really sucks. All of us here at the BYB family are wishing Whitley a speedy recovery. That injury essentially opened up a spot for Chris Capuano to jump in though. And jump in he did... for three whole innings while allowing four runs. Yikes.


Ivan Nova is progressing and should return sometime next month or so, the same with Tanaka. So that leaves CC Sabathia, Michael Pineda, Nathan Eovaldi, Adam Warren, Chris Capuano, Ivan Nova and Masahiro Tanaka vying for spots in the rotation. So how does this play out? Who is in and who is out?


Let's start with the guarantees, assuming there are no other injuries in the near future. Michael Pineda and Masahiro Tanaka are certain to be in the rotation. I'd bet the bank on that. CC Sabathia would probably be next on the list of a guaranteed rotation spot. His history, salary and overall ability to eat innings should solidify that. Ivan Nova is returning and has had some productive years for the Yankees, and at one point was probably their best starter. He will be in the rotation once he returns. He's earned it.


So who is the fifth starter? The top candidate is Nathan Eovaldi who is sporting a 4.73 ERA over 45.2 innings. He's young and has a ton of upside. He has been decent with a lot of room to improve, but the Yankees didn't trade for him to be a relief pitcher. As hard as he throws though, perhaps he could be? I doubt it out of the gate, but you never know. Adam Warren has a 4.26 ERA over eight starts and has not been bad, but he could be a very good candidate to return to the bullpen and take some innings from David Carpenter. Carpenter has struggled and our skipper here at BYB, Mr. Casey, has spoken up about that! Warren could possibly be moved to the minors as well and stay in the rotation down there to keep him stretched out.

So it likely leaves Capuano and Warren as the odd men out of starting rotation jobs. Eovaldi could be transitioned to a reliever, with Warren staying in the rotation, but I doubt they give up on him as a starter after just six or seven weeks. Although I respect Capuano, he is just not deserving at this point. He is a long reliever and spot start option or maybe even just released.


Warren earned his keep in the bullpen and although he is a respectable fifth starter, he could fill a void that the bullpen has. Really it's the bullpens only void! But that does make a bit of a cluster in the pen. Now as it rolls downhill, what happens to the bullpen? Justin Wilson has underperformed and with Chasen Shreve pitching well (2.30 ERA over 15.2 innings), he could be an odd man out. Esmil Rogers has also pitched well over 13 appearances and is sporting a solid 3.12 ERA, but could be expendable if need be. Chris Martin has also performed well over 15 innings and is averaging more than a strikeout per inning and has a 3.55 ERA, but may be another guy that could be moved somehow or another. I don't really want to see any of these guys go, however I would like to see Wilson and Carpenter pitch better though!!

So come the time when Tanaka and Nova return, Joe Girardi is going to have to make some tough decisions. It's better these good problems, in theory, than not having enough pitching! It is no fun when the team overall is succeeding (until the last week) and some pretty drastic changes are going to have to be made though. So what do the our BYB followers and the Yankees Universe think? Let us know @BleednYankeeBlu or me personally at @DManLucia. This could be interesting and fun to debate!!


 
Dan Lucia
BYB Writer
Twitter: @DManLucia

 



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TY HENSLEY & HIS GAME FACE


When we last left Ty Hensley, he was headed for Tommy John Surgery.  We wrote about it in TY HENSLEY: NEVER SAY QUIT. That was in April.



We had just interviewed him a few weeks before with an update on his rehab and recovery after his beating in Oklahoma over the holiday. It was tragic, but he was on his way back and really making progress... then the elbow.  That big recovery intreview was titled THE BOY FROM OKLAHOMA: A TY HENSLEY EXCLUSIVE. In it, the last thing he said to the BYB audience was:

"Thanks for following my journey so far. I promise this next part is gonna be a lot more exciting. I'll make y'all proud!"


And now, after Tommy John surgery... we wait for him to recover again.  But he will and he'll come back stronger, because he's Ty Hensley, the kid who doesn't quit.

Now, we haven't been able to communicate with Ty recently.  Clearly the Hensley's are keeping a low profile and I get that and respect it.  I did want to share his clever tweet with you though, and it just shows you the character and humor this young man has:

Get well soon Ty, and remember, Bleeding Yankee Blue is pulling for you.

20% Off Derek Jeter Memorabilia at Steiner Sports, code SPORTS20










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Thursday, May 21, 2015

TANAKA WAS A SUCCESS AT SCRANTON


Note about Masahiro Tanaka who pitching in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre tonight.  Things went well.

According to Hardball Talk, "Masahiro Tanaka took his first step toward rejoining the Yankees rotation tonight by tossing three scoreless innings in a minor league rehab start with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre."


According to David Lennon on Newsday:
OK Then.  Great freaking news.  I can't wait to see this guy back in the Bronx! I say 2 more rehab starts... what do you think?

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MEET THE BYB FAMILY: INTERVIEW WITH ROBERT CASEY

Yup, we're here.

This is the end of our series, MEET THE BYB FAMILY, and to be honest, I wasn't going to do this, but one of our readers emailed me to simply ask, "So, when are we gonna learn about you, Casey?" So, I decided to do this, even though, as you all know, I've built this site so my writers can become truly great and well read and we could express different and fun opinions. It's not so much about me. I know, I know, I built it, but I'm not "that" guy.

Anyway... I was convinced to do this interview and so here I am.   I asked all the BYB writers to ask me questions and we put them all together in this interview.  The questions were terrific and courteous to my privacy. I love them like family. Our writers are amazing individuals and I am actually glad I went through this exercise.  It was fun. 

Oh yeah, and if you haven't checked them out yet, be sure to read about all of our terrific writers here at Bleeding Yankee Blue:
And now... here's me... be gentle.

BYB: What does the Casey family like to do together for fun?

Robert Casey: Well, our life is surrounded by sports.  So, depending on the day, that's what we will do.  My wife and I actually love watching our kids compete, but usually I'm the one coaching.  We like to take trips, to theme parks or just "adventures" as we call them. But the best time ever may be when my wife and I can sit on our patio in the summer, grill up some eats, have a few glasses of wine and let the kids run around barefoot with their water guns. We will chill and listen to some music.  A couple hours of that a few times a week in the summer is just perfect for me.


BYB: We know from past stories that you aren't a big Tex fan. He's doing well so far. Have your opinions changed at all?

Robert Casey: Mark Teixeira to me personally is like the dude you see on the train every day, but you never talk to the guy.  He's there, he's filler in your life and then he eventually goes away.  I am not a hater, I just don't feel like Mark Teixeira is a true blue New York Yankee.  I want him to contribute, I will root for him, I always have and I'm happy he is doing well now, but that's it.  I know, Mike O'Hara and I should be brothers.

BYB: Why do you like Ron Guidry?



Robert Casey: Ah, now that's a guy I love! I remember being a little kid watching Gator strike out 18 on TV.   I admired his stride, his balls on the mound and thought, "Wait, I'm a lefty, he's a lefty."  I was so taken by the way he handled himself, that was that moment that sucked me in.  I had longish hair like Gator, and I threw into a crate in my back yard for hours.  I wanted to be Ron Guidry.

BYB: What is your Yankee Dream Team of all time?

Robert Casey:

1B- Lou Gehrig
2B-Robinson Cano
SS- Derek Jeter
3B-Graig Nettles
Outfield: Joe DiMaggio, Rickey Henderson, Mickey Mantle
C-Yogi Berra
DH- Babe Ruth



Bench:
Don Mattingly
Thurman Munson
Alex Rodriguez
Tony Lazzeri
Dave Winfield
Jorge Posada


Pitching:
1. Whitey Ford
2. Ron Guidry
3. Red Ruffing
4. Andy Pettitte
5. Lefty Gomez
6. CC Sabathia 


Relief:
Ryne Duren
Sparky Lyle
Rich Gossage
Mariano Rivera

The truth is, no one has a "wrong" all time list, it's personal and unique to the individual.

BYB: What is your favorite baseball movie of all time?


Robert Casey: Bad News Bears. The 1976 version. It's the all-time greatest baseball movie. As a coach, as a kid that's played on baseball teams in the 70's, as a guy that's seen the disgusting politics of youth sports first hand, it's the most realistic film, minus the drunk Buttermaker. 


It teaches you lessons and allows you to see a transition of "not so talented" to downright confident.  It's that stuff that brings a dude like me to tears of joy, and that's a good thing.

BYB: How did you build BYB into such a popular baseball blog?

Robert Casey: Hard work.  When I was a kid, my parents taught important values to my brother and I. If you don't work for what you want, you don't get there. It's that simple.  No one hands you the keys... you need to earn them.   I always wanted to write, but never had the outlet. When I discovered I could whip together a blog, I did and I figured it would just be between me and a few friends.  It quickly became something more and I began to teach myself little tricks, unique writing skills and I found writers with the same dreams and drive as me.  We started making clothes and started really interacting with our readers. 


 We started to get to know the players, their lovely wives, the people over at YES Network and it was merely because we were friendly people with a passion for our team and for family.  If you told me 6 years ago that this was going to happen, believe it or not, I would have told you I knew it.  It sounds arrogant, but it's not, it's common sense.  I gained a good work ethic from my parents... they taught me I could do literally anything I wanted if I believed I could.  So here we are. Thanks, mom and dad.


BYB: You have allowed your writers to express opinions that aren't always popular, and you've supported them strongly. How do you approach it when they express an opinion you disagree with? Do you find it hard? 

Robert Casey: Disagreeing is a human trait, but if you find yourself aggressively disagreeing, it becomes worrisome.  I try not to take all this stuff too seriously, it's just baseball.  There are US Soldiers in the combat zone, families sometimes not able to make ends meet, sick children dying of cancer. Those are real problems... whether or not Stephen Drew sucks or not isn't that important to me.  If my writers bring perspective and uniqueness to their thoughts, agree or disagree, I will always champion that. They work too hard for me not to. I will always have my writers' backs.

BYB: When did you start writing? 

Robert Casey: As a kid, I always drew cartoons and wrote stories or poetry.  High School was filled with me being a part of the school paper or being part of creative writing classes.  I was once told by my creative writing teacher... "Oh, you're a lefty. You must be a child of the devil." This is true. She was trying to break me, though I didn't realize it at the time.  She then gave us an assignment; to write about anger.  I was so bent out of shape by her comment that my paper got me an A.  She later let me in on that secret... she got to me and I used that anger and expressed myself pretty good that day.  When I hit college, I took more creative writing courses and at one point I was the only male in the class.  It was great to pick up chicks, but that wasn't the goal.  The goal was to expand my mind.  I never thought of myself as the best writer, but I love expressing myself and I find the medium to be truly wonderful in so many ways.

BYB: BYB has done a lot of interviews with some pretty famous people in Yankees Universe, as well as folks that are just inspirational. Which one was the most exciting, the biggest score?

Robert Casey: I once said this to Greedy Stripes who was nice enough to interview me a while back. We here at BYB take these interviews seriously. It's an interview as much as it is a courting. We want to get to know these people. We want the audience to fall in love. I can't give you a specific name other than to say the people we have interviewed, the players that have given us time... that's very special and I appreciate them all very much. Put it this way, there are hundreds of other things they could be doing instead... but they interviewed with us. That speaks volumes of their character. 


On a personal level, I have really grown fond of the Hensley Family and we speak a lot.  Marci is a great mom and Ty and Jake are products of terrific parenting in she and Mike.  I can't say enough good things about them.


BYB: Who is the one person you haven't gotten that you wish you could interview? 

Robert Casey: We want Brian Cashman. That's the one I want.

BYB: What does the future of BYB look like? 

Robert Casey: First off... I can't believe we're 4 years in. We're almost to 5.  I didn't expect anyone to read year 1.  Remember, this was a gag that turned into something big.  The future? Look, like Derek Jeter would say, "One day at a time."  I have many family obligations that trump my BYB family and I know the audience knows and respects that.  Over time we'll find new ways to provide our information, but remember, I'm a suburban dad with no idea what I've gotten into here.  I'm just enjoying the ride, aren't you?


BYB: If you had to root for another team, which one would it be and why?

Robert Casey: My first "favorite" player was Pete Rose and so I would say the Cincinnati Reds.  For a short time in my young life I lived in Lexington, Kentucky.  While I was just a little kid and barely a baseball fan, I remember going to Kings Island on family vacations and seeing Pete Rose or Big Red Machine shirts and Reds hats everywhere.  Remember it was right around that big run for the Reds, 1975, 1976.  If I had to root for a team and never saw the Yankees, I would have been a Reds fan based on the popularity alone. There you have it.

BYB: What is the one thing you hope your kids learn from playing baseball?

Robert Casey: Respect.  You have to respect the game or it will eat you alive.  You have to respect your teammates or you get no support. Respect your coach or you'll be shown the bench. You have to respect your opponent and their skill or arrogance and selfishness will destroy you.  Respect the umpires or you're gonna have a real hard time out there. Respect the fans that see you play and remember why you're there... it's not for yourself, it's for your team and it's for those fans who come to see you win for them.  Respect takes you through life... lose it, forget it, disrespect others and you will be nothing.  Bottom line.  


BYB: Derek Jeter recently founded The Player’s Tribune.  If you could select 2 players to be guest staffers for BYB who would get the nod and why?

Robert Casey: CC SabathiaThe guy has a huge heart. I love what he and Amber do for inner city and helping poorer communities and I know their values as a family are important to not only their kids, but for others.  He's just a terrific human being, a good person and a valuable part of the Yankees. If he's not there in 2009, we don't win the World Series.  People tend to forget that. He's a perfect candidate to be on staff at BYB.

If I had to pick a second, it would be Alex Rodriguez.  I am not a big fan of the guy, but I'd be lying if I said I wasn't fascinated by him.  I want this guy to open up and really express himself.  I think that's all this guy needs! Stop hiding behind ARod.. be Alex! I know it's in there, bro!

BYB: There have been some great moments over the years, but as a fan, what is your personal favorite/most exciting Yankees moment?


Robert Casey: For a while there, there was only one that was my truly favorite and that was when Jorge Posada hit a bloop double off of Pedro Martinez to tie up Game 7 in the 2003 ALCS... the Yankees verses the Red Sox.  I'm a huge Posada fan and that was big.  


That's my moment and was my ONLY favorite moment until last year when Derek Jeter had his walk off in his last game ever at Yankee Stadium.  Anytime the hair stands up on my arms, you have me.  

BYB: Walk-up songs have become such a part of the Major League culture. If they called your name at the Stadium, what tune would you chose and why?



Robert Casey: Right this second? "Centuries" by Fall out Boy.  I made that song the theme for my little league team and on home games, they run out of the dugout to that song when they take the field.  It's become a part of my routine with these kids.  They don't win all the time, but this group of kids have heart... and that songs a pick me up and inspiring and hey, I don't even like Fall out Boy. 

I'm an AC/DC guy. I listen to Bobby Darin, Frank Sinatra, Volbeat, Beastie Boys, Rush.  80's rock, Jazz, Metal, Opera.  My library is ridiculous. My life is surrounded by music. I'm digging Overlake right now.  If you don't know them, listen, they are terrific.


If I don't have my iPod, I'm lost. Anyway... now I'm rambling.

BYB: You've done so much so quickly with BYB and it sounds like your life is the same way. Where do you get your drive?

Robert Casey: I don't like to sit still and so, I work. I try to create. I've always done it since I was a kid.  I drew pictures or I'd make something.  I still do stuff like that to this day.  It's kind of how BYB was created.  But when people like it, I'm more driven. That's where the readers come in. You guys help me along alot.  All of you. I also get it from great parents.  You need to know your audience but you need to be grounded too.  I know both, and for that I'm grateful.  

This whole ride has been incredible.  Thanks for joining me.


Ladies and gentlemen.  Thanks for reading our entire MEET THE BYB FAMILY series.  We hope you enjoyed it.

Be Read. Get Known.


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HAL STEINBRENNER HAS SOMETHING TO SAY ABOUT AROD


Well... seems Alex Rodriguez has earned the approval of Hal Steinbrenner himself.

With ARod having served his suspension in 2014, no one really knew what to expect when he returned. For the most part, we just wanted him to keep his head down, his nose clean, and maybe drive in some runs.

I'll say it, ARod has been phenomenal. Even if you are adamantly against the guy, you cannot deny his contribution to the line-up this season. Even Hal has noticed! "All I know is he's been great. Been great in the clubhouse, he's been good with the young kids, and he's performed," Hal praised him during a MLB owner's meeting (HERE). Which is all anyone really asked for. 

The time during ARod's suspension and this off season was really touchy between the Yankees owners and the suspended slugger. Casey even wrote "FOR ALEX RODRIGUEZ, PAYBACK IS A BITCH" after the signing of Chase Headley, emphasizing on the fact that the organization was over the drama and ARod. So this admission from Hal that ARod is in fact a welcomed productive member of the team is... pleasant? 


I don't want to read too much into it, I suppose. When it comes to ARod, even when he is good, he's bad. At least for some people. But he is producing for us this season. Hitting 10 home runs, with a .248 batting average, he's proved himself a valuable member of the team. 

The whole thing is honestly a welcomed changed. It's nice to see the fans at the stadium cheering for him for a change. Though I know that tide can turn quickly, for now, it's enjoyable. Look, he's made some bad choices, and I will never rationalize them. He messed up. But bad choices doesn't mean he is a bad person. Maybe... MAYBE there can be real forgiveness for him? 

Or maybe we'll cheer so long as he keeps up the hits and runs. Something tells me it's the latter. 


--Erica Morales BYB Senior Writer 
Twitter: @e_morales1804


  



You've made BYB the fastest growing Yankees fan site in history. Now shop at the Bleeding Yankee Blue store!  Follow me on Twitter @BleednYankeeBlu and LIKE Bleeding Yankee Blue on Facebook!  Also, don't forget to check out the BYB Hub!