Monday, April 27, 2015

KEEPING UP WITH THE YANKEE PROSPECTS!


Throughout the preseason and over the course of the year, BYB takes an in depth look at some of the young kids making their mark within the organization. A few weeks into the season, some of them are off to a hot start while others are struggling, as can be expected with young kids. Here's a quick recap of some of the Yankees top prospects.


Over his first two starts, Yankees top prospect Luis Severino is 1-0 with a 0.90 ERA for Double-A Trenton. He has struck out 12 in 10 innings while allowing just four hits and walking four. All four walks came in his last start in which he didn't have his best stuff but managed to battle through five one-run innings. Thunder pitching coach Jose Rosado called him a bulldog who has never been intimidated. Severino is on his way up to The Show and should be a staple there for years to come.


The monster 6' 7" OF Aaron Judge is off to a nice start in Trenton as well batting .302 over his first 15 games played. Judge has blasted two homers, including a walk off moon shot last week to propel the Thunder to victory. He has added a double, a triple, six RBI and five runs scored so far on the young season. Scouts have compared him to Giancarlo Stanton (nice!) and he should be hitting in the heart of the Yankees lineup before too long.


First Base prospect, Greg Bird, is off to s slower start down in Trenton batting just .226 with a home run and an RBI over 15 games and 53 at-bats. He has scored 10 runs and drawn 9 walks to just 8 strikeouts. On Tuesday night, Bird went 2-for-3 with a double, RBI and a run as he, Judge and Eric Jagielo powered the Thunder to victory. Bird opened eyes this spring and many within the organization are excited for his potential.


Second baseman, Rob Refsnyder, has had a tough start defensively committing five errors over the Triple-A Scranton's first 11 games. He is batting .217 with a 3 doubles and 6 RBI. Originally an OF prospect, Refsnyder moved to second in 2013 with the hopes of being fast tracked to the Big Leagues. The Yankees could throw him back out into the outfield but he doesn't really possess the power to be a right fielder and the Yankees have a solid group of outfield prospects he would likely have to overcome. The experiment at second is still underway and with some much improved defense, he could be a good second baseman for the Yankees.


22 year-old Gary Sanchez is off to a slow start offensively batting just .195 with a home run, a double and three RBI over his first 11 games for Double-A Trenton. Sanchez is seen by many as the catcher of the future but still has work to do. Sanchez has belted 18, 15 and 13 home runs over several levels over the past three seasons and has some serious upside. He is still a year or two away from the Bronx but he should be seen in pinstripes someday soon.


2014 top draft pick, relief pitcher Jacob Lindgren, has started the season at Triple-A Scranton and many believe he will be in the Bronx sometime this summer. He has a 94 MPH fastball and lights out slider in his arsenal. He has appeared in five games so far going 0-1 with a 2.25 ERA over 8.0 innings. Lindgren has struck out nine to just three walks in his first action above Double-A ball. The Yankees seem to want him to gain a little more professional experience before he joins an already solid bullpen.

While we are only a couple weeks in, there are some solid signs of life down in the minors for the Yankees. A few guys are turning heads while others have work to do and plenty of time to do it. We at BYB will surely be giving you updates on some of the stars of the future over the course of the season. Have a great day Yankee faithful!


  
Dan Lucia
BYB Writer
Twitter: @DManLucia




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Sunday, April 26, 2015

THE BEAST WITHIN


The Yankees made a statement tonight and it was this:  The Mets are just another team.  That's it.  There is no superior team over there in Queens. Nope! They were knocked back to reality tonight.  Mets fans everywhere, I'm not a hater, but I will say this... stop the idiotic superior nose to the air bullshit. On April 26th, there really isn't a reason to be gloating, and losing 2 out of 3 to us, just proves that.  Teams need to keep playing ball right now.  Come September... we'll talk. For now, it's just baseball, that's it.


The Yankees won tonight, winning 2 out of 3 from the Mets.  Nathan Eovaldi started for the Yanks going only 4.1 innings and giving up 4 runs on 7 hits.  Not his greatest start since becoming a Yankee, but the Yankee pen did something nice... they held the Mets long enough where we could chip away.  In the end, the win tonight went to Chasen Shreve and the save, of course, went to Andrew Miller.

The run scoring went like this:


In the 1st inning, Alex Rodriguez hit a solo homer. At that point the game was 2-1 Mets.


Then, in the second, Gregorio Petit doubled home John Ryan Murphy. Then Gardy doubled home Petit.  After that, Chris Young singled knocking in Gardy.  Then ARod doubled, and another run scored.

In the 5th, ARod grounded out, but in the process, a run scored.  Those are your 6 Yankee runs and that's the end of the Subway Series.  Mets fans are quiet again.

Final: Yankees 6 - Mets 4


Go Yanks!

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NOT PAYING AROD FOR HIS MILESTONE LOOKS BAD FOR THE YANKEES


When the Yankees and Alex Rodriguez made their deal a while back and there were marketing incentives for milestones added into ARod's contract, you as a fan would be foolish to think that the Yankees were not aware of Alex Rodriguez and his controversy. Back then, many had it in the back of their minds... the Yankees certainly did.  Did we think PEDs was part of it? I know people that believe Alex was always a juicer.  For me personally, I just don't know.  I do know what I know right now. and it's disappointing, but I also believe that the Yankees had to have some inkling into Alex's dabbling when the milestone part of that contract went down.


Now though, years later and after the confessions and lawsuits and 1 year suspension Alex Rodriguez is back and playing for the Yankees again.  He hasn't run his mouth off this year. He's focused on his job, hitting the ball and knocking in runs.  For many of us fans, we love that.  Even the haters have been silent. That's because the Yankees are winning.

But now we've reached a potential powder keg.  660 home runs is right around the corner and if Alex Rodriguez hits it, he'll reach a marketing milestone, and that is when the Yankees are supposed to pay him $6 million.  Here's the catch though; because the Yankees feel as though PEDs were apart of his home run chase... they claim to not be willing to pay Alex Rodriguez.  They'll claim it wasn't legit or something.  Sure... I see their point, but Craig Calcaterra of Hardball Talk makes a great point:
"I noted in the past that this marketing agreement is not a part of A-Rod’s player contract. It can’t be because player contracts are not allowed to contain statistical incentives outside of games played or finished. This is a separate agreement and, as such, it may not have the same sorts of guarantees that normal contracts have. Put differently, depending on the language and mechanics of the marketing agreement, the Yankees could have some defensible basis for withholding the money...they have 30 days to make the designation and then pay out to A-Rod. If they don’t, A-Rod files a grievance and it’s heard by baseball’s arbitrator. "

What's worse, if you've been following the ARod saga all these years, you know how tricky it's been to be Alex in the Bronx.  Now, with this new incentive bonus... it could get really nasty.   You know the media... they will jump on this harder than anything they ever have. There will be attacks against Alex Rodriguez. They'll batter the Yankees as for agreeing to the deal and then trying to change their mind and of course, there will be microphones in their faces and that just opens up a pure hell of  "attacks" and nasty soundbites between each party.  It's bound to be a worst circus than it's ever has been.  All I have to say is it sucks if you're a Yankee fan.  Why? Well, quite simply because for the first time since 2004, ARod is doing his damn job. So far, it's been quiet, and it's been great.  The controversies for now are over and we're actually playing ball.  It's wonderful actually.


But if the Yankees withhold payment it goes down hill.  If that happens, and I'm Alex Rodriguez, I demand that money.  Why? Because I've learned my lesson and I'm a millionaire and I've done much in my career, but now I'd go public;  "The Yankees are withholding $6 million on an agreement we've made that I wanted to give to charity."  That's right, I went there.  If the Yankees are going to withhold my money, I'm taking it further if I'm Alex Rodriguez.  I would be simply 'outraged' that the Yankees wouldn't allow me to take my reward and give it all away to an inner city charity of even to a school in Miami to build a baseball field for under-privileged kids. I'd make it hard on the Yankees, because the Yanks shouldn't be withholding anything.


The Yankees have an important role, just as Alex Rodriguez has, they need to pay the man.  They also need to acknowledge that if ARod hits 660 home runs, tying Willie Mays is kind of a big deal, juice or no juice.  We're in too deep at this point. You can't just withhold payment on something you agreed on and no doubt knew about before all of this actually happened.  Think about it; PEDs and Alex have been under suspicion since Texas.  I am convinced the Yankees knew what they were getting with ARod and it's disappointing now that they're trying to save $6 million on principal, meanwhile they pay Carlos Beltran how much money for 3 years? And he's not even that good anymore. I mean... pick your battles Yanks... you were at the meeting. You know who you were making a deal with. Now get ready to pay the man.


Let me also give you all alittle extra.  I am not an ARod fan. I am a Yankee fan.  Sure, that makes no sense after reading what you just read, but the point is clear, the parties involved had 1 thing in mind back when they made this marketing milestone deal with Alex Rodriguez.  Yankee brass wanted the All-Time Home Run record back in New York. That is why they signed Alex when they did.  They weren't banking on ARod to be revealed as a big fraud.  They were eyeing big profits down the road.

Now they're stuck with a tainted player and a guy who has shown up to work in 2015, after his suspension, ready to knock in runs.  Alex appears to be a new man, and he's still a New York Yankee. Unless Alex murders someone before he hits 660 home runs, I find it hard to believe that the Yankees feel as though they have a truly valid reason for NOT paying Alex. And I'm telling you this, if Alex was smart, he should get ahead of this right now, and suggest the money he receives would go to a charity because "he's a new man."  If the Yankees don't pay then... well... they'll look pretty dumb.

Hey, this is just my take.  I'm sure you have yours.


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CELEBRATE. THE IRON GIANT HAS A BIRTHDAY TODAY!


I don't normally do this because all it does it forces me to wish happy birthday to every New York Yankee that's ever walked to earth.  But today, I want to wish a very happy birthday to a Yankee prospect that many of us have a good feeling about.  It's Aaron Judge, and he's 23 today.


I call Judge the Iron Giant. He's just a huge version of a human being. Strong. Determined. Strapping and many of us Yankee fans are looking forward to seeing this guy make it to the major leagues.


In short, Judge, or, the Iron Giant as I call him, is the future.


He's the future like guys like Derek Jeter and Jorge Posada were the future.  I see him, Greg Bird, Ty Hensley coming up together one day making Yankeeland feel as though we did it again... we kept the prospects, we've groomed them and now hopefully we'll see a new run of greatness with these guys.


Judge, Bird... they are a sign of hope... the winds of change if you will.

Anyway... I'm rambling.  Happy Birthday Judge... we're all pulling for ya big guy!

You can wish Judge a Happy Birthday too.  His Twitter handle is  @TheJudge44.



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Saturday, April 25, 2015

2 TOUGH LOSSES JUST MEANS I STAND TALLER TOMORROW


I've been on a baseball field since 8:15 this morning. Miss me? When you run a league and coach and need to check on schedules, deal with kids and make sure the parents are happy and organize the field schedules, etc... well... your weekend becomes busy as hell.  When things get organized you pretty much need your teams to deliver you wins.  By teams, I mean my Little League club, as well as my New York Yankees.  Today, neither happened, and it was a heartbreak all around. I still feel the sting. 

I take a Yankee loss hard.  I take my Little League losses harder. That's because I'm my team's manager and  I have a bunch of kids that have so much potential and so much heart, it kills me when things don't go their way.  We fought hard today, we kept fighting back until the game was tied. In the 6th, we were down by one and threatening with the heart of the line up at bat. With 2 outs, #3 came up to the plate. There was a kid on second and the way we fought all morning, there was no way in hell we'd lose this.


I don't know why, but for a split second I thought about what Babe Ruth would do. That's because #3 was at the plate, staring right at me as I stood on the 1st base line.  It was clear, a hit up the middle, the run scores and the game is tied.  With 2 strikes though, that wasn't the case. It was instead a hard dribbler, and then the hustle. But the pitcher snagged it and threw to first, and just like that... it was over.

I kicked the dirt. The team was quiet. "No meeting gentlemen.  Go enjoy the day." It was silent in the dugout.  It was silent like it's silent after your parents scream at you for letting your wet, muddy dog walk on the white carpet.  They were defeated... so was I.  The End. I almost wish it was 31-2. It would have been easier.

After the field hand-off, it was off to my other kids game and that was one of those tee-ball fiestas where everyone wins and there's a tie and all the kids are happy and it's sunshine and rainbows.  It was a brief distraction, but that first game killed me and I just remember seeing my kids faces as they each seemed distraught as they walked out of the dugout to head home.  It was cemented in my mind.


I got home and turned the TV on for what was the Yankees / Mets match up that needed to happen to make me smile again. But there was more disappointment. I must have pissed off someone, because I just couldn't get a break.  As much as I love CC Sabathia, he just didn't have it today. It was one of those outings where I literally looked at the TV and said "Are you freaking kidding me?" 


Matt Harvey was on the mound for the Mets.  Sabathia, who is now 0-4 to Harvey's 4-0, gave up 7 runs, 9 hits in 5 innings.  Esmil Rogers gave up the other run, and the Mets scored 8 runs to the Yankees 2.  You wanna know how the Yanks scored?  Not exactly epic... but here it goes...

In the bottom of the 3rd, Jacoby Ellsbury grounded into a double play.  In the process, Stephen Drew scored.


In the 7th, Mark Teixeira hit a solo shot... his 8th of the season.  Those are the Yankees runs against a dominant Matt Harvey, and those are 2 losses that literally killed my day of baseball.

Bottom line, I've been going like crazy with baseball for 2 days straight, and there's more games tomorrow too.  Sure, I could have organized my writers or pre-wrote something epic for all of you to read this morning when you woke up, but the bottom line is, I'm knee deep in life and just couldn't do it.  As I've stated since the birth of Bleeding Yankee Blue; my family, my life come first before all of you wonderful readers.  99% of you get that, and I appreciate it very much.  Sometimes when it comes to family, to coaching, I need to walk away and do what I need to do. I would have loved to have been able to report big wins today, not only for the Yanks, but for my kid's team.  But as much as we fought and clawed... we fell short.


As I told my kids today, and as I'm reminding myself right now, this is just baseball.  This is NOT life or death.  But, as much as the sting hurts, I need to remember something... you learn from mistakes.  You learn from losses. I learned today as a coach, and my kids did too.  The Yankees did as well, and now, we go to sleep and we come back tomorrow ready to win.  It's what champions do!  It's what we need to do.

Thanks for listening to my story.  Today was a tough one, but I will forget today now and come back tomorrow with a hungry baseball team ready to win.  That's what human beings do.  They are not meant to be quitters.  They are meant to be champions.... time to go dream about it and then execute tomorrow. Not only me, but you... and the Yankees too.

Good night.

Final: Mets 8 - Yankees 2

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