Saturday, May 31, 2014


David Ortiz got plunked by David Price.  David Ortiz is mad... well, suck it up big guy... that's baseball.

This is Major League Baseball's problem, not ours and David Ortiz needs to get off his high horse and realize that it's not about him, it's about the sport.  MLB is the one that made Ortiz the unnamed Ambassador of Baseball, not us, the fans of the sports.

Ortiz can walk around and say the "F" word at a live TV event for the Red Sox, and no one says anything.  David Ortiz can test positive for PEDs, but never has to deal with the consequences like dozens of other players that were on the same list and did the same thing.  Well, David Ortiz should be allowed to take one off the chin every once in a while because, that's the game.  Sometimes pitchers go high and tight.  It's not pleasant, but it is baseball.

If you don't know what I'm talking about, ABC News has the recap:

"Red Sox slugger David Ortiz, outraged that  David Price hit him Friday night with a 94-mile-an-hour fastball on the first pitch the lefty threw to him since Ortiz homered twice off him in Game 2 of the American League division playoffs last October, said he has lost all respect for the  Rays ace.

'It's a war,' Ortiz said after the Red Sox rallied for a 3-2, 10-inning win over Tampa Bay for their fifth straight win and second walkoff in two nights. 'It's on. Next time I see him, he better put his gloves on. I have no respect for him anymore.'

Price, asked after the game whether he'd hit Ortiz intentionally, said: 'I've got to establish my fastball in. I had six lefties in that lineup, that's my favorite side of the plate to go to. Got to establish it in.'"

Oh, so now I guess Ortiz made his statement to the press, his rally cry, and now all the Red Sox minions will follow him and hit the Rays, and establish a "true rivalry".  Ortiz needs to leave it alone.

Look, I like Ortiz, but he's fool with this one. He's also gotta realize it's not about him... it's about baseball. Let it be, you big lost that one. Be embarrassed and move on.

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Over the Memorial Day weekend, I had a great conversation with a good friend of mine from Boston. Now, said friend is one of my closest and is as die-hard a Sox fan as I’ve ever encountered. Still, we get along famously and both hold a deep respect for the greatest rivalry in Sports. We will go back and forth and take well placed shots at one another whenever possible, but at the end of the day we just love to
watch our clubs play baseball.

At this point in the 2014 season neither my friend nor myself have much to brag about. The Yankees swim in the Sea of Mediocrity and the Sox have just nipped a prolonged losing skid in the bud. It’s still early, but both of us know that unless something changes for both clubs, the Sox and Yankees could find themselves on the outside looking in come October. So after a few minutes of commiserating over topics like Kelly Johnson playing first or the limp Boston offense, we ended up discussing what players we’d have like to see wear the opposing team’s uniform. Now I am sure if we were given more time we could have outfitted an entire team, but decided to pick our top 5 of all-time.

I gave my buddy first swing. He rattled off three names instantly, and they were not stretches by any means. Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera and Paul O’Neill were his selections. His reasoning for Mo was delivered as only a Bostonian could. He jabbed, “Gawtah have Rivera. He was the greatest…and helped us win ah first ring, kid.” Wiseass. For O’Neill he was matter of fact. He simply uttered, “Irish, angry and played it win or die. This town would have loved him.

I got to say it was great to hear how the Warrior’s reputation was known far and wide. He then came to the Captain and said, “Jeter. What else can I say?” I absolutely agreed with his first picks…though the shot at Mo stung a bit. He wrapped up his top five with two deeper cuts. Ron Guidry is one of my favorites, but I didn’t think he was going to be picked.

My buddy said he always loved Gator. As a kid he went to Fenway and saw Guidry throw. To quote my friend, “He looked like he weighed 90 pounds and I could hear the catcher’s mitt pop like a balloon every time he let the ball loose. He was just a guy I liked…though I’d never tell my boys in school that.” I knew exactly what he was saying. As a kid you never admitted secretly rooting for a Sox player. Finally he chose a name that surprised me more than Guidry.

Willie Randolph came in at number five. His reasoning was similar to the way he selected Gator, Willie was just a guy he liked. He’d always felt the former Yankee second baseman to be a class act and even wanted him to be the Red Sox skipper when they had canned Grady Little years back. Not  a bad list at all. It was then my turn.

I have said many times that there are just some players you can’t help but like. The tough thing for me is that a handful played in the shadow of the Green Monstah for a good part of their careers. So I thought for a few seconds and then listed all five of my picks in a row. Jason Varitek, Trot Nixon, Tim Wakefield, Jim Rice and Dustin Pedroia. Yep, they are all guilty of giving the Yankee faithful ulcers and headaches, but they are also players that would have fit right in in the Bronx.

The Red Sox Captain is first on my list. If ever there was a player who had Munson-like qualities it’s Tek. He was all heart. He earned that Captain’s C on his uniform and much like a Paul O’Neill, he lead by playing the game “Win or die”. Jason is just one of the players I wished had worn Pinstripes and that is in no way a slight on Jorgie. Posada was every bit the competitor and leader.

Trot Nixon also was a no brainer for me. I loved his hustle, but what made him a lock for me was when I heard he got in Manny’s face for loafing in the field and down the first base line. That is what you want from a player. If somebody, especially one of the team’s talented super stars, doesn’t pull his own weight, you need a guy that will take him to the woodshed and set him straight. Nixon was that guy. I would have loved to have him in Pinstripes…wearing a different number of course.

Tim Wakefield is and always was a class act. The thing that sealed his selection to my top five was the way he handled the 2003 ALCS. He gave up the walk off to Aaron Boone, something that would have ended many a career, and still found a way to take responsibility and come back stronger. That was amazing to me. He would not allow himself to be a Buckner story. Wakefield tipped his cap, regrouped and returned. He is a player the City of Boston can forever be proud of.

Jim Rice also makes my list. Much like my friend I saw Rice play at Yankee stadium as a kid. After a game I went looking for Yankee autographs with my game day program. Jim Rice was one of the first to emerge from the clubhouse exit. I called over to him just to see if he would say anything. He walked up and I handed him my pen and program, apologizing that my club had beat his 6-2 that day. Rice smiled and signed over his picture. He said, “Hey, we’ll be back. Take it easy, my man.” Not only was he an outstanding player, but Jim Rice was a good guy. He didn’t have to sign an autograph for a 9 year old Yankee fan, but he did all the same.

Finally there is Dustin “Pedy” Pedroia. This guy was hard to pick for me. Not because I wouldn’t love to see him suit up for the Bronx Bombers, but because he really makes me crazy. I hate watching him play against the Yanks. He is clutch. He hustles on every play. He is fiery and passionate and is the epitome of “Gamer”. I have said many times that Cano could have learned a great deal from Pedroia, but that ship has sailed off to the Pacific Northwest…never to be heard from again. Pedy is the reason I lose sleep sometimes, but there is no denying that I love the way the guy plays the game. He is truly a player that will go down as one of Boston’s favorite sons.

Hopefully the Yankees will shake off this up and down mediocre funk and grab number 28 this year. I’d wish the same for Boston, but let’s not get crazy. I like some of their players and respect the rivalry, but I’m not going much further than that…and my friend wouldn’t either. We ended our conversation with some well wishes and a few more well placed digs at the Sox and the Bronx Bombers. It’s the rivalry and it NEVER gets old.

** Here is one by some good Boston guys for my buddy up in Beantown. I won’t wish your boys luck, but I will say NOBODY can touch our rivalry. THE BATTLE RAGES ON!**

--Mike O'Hara, MLB Fan Cave Host, Season 1
   Twitter: @mikeyoh21

"Paulie was always my favorite player."

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It's amazing how the Yankees can have such a talented lineup and then face a guy like Ricky Nolasco, a mediocre pitcher, and suddenly, they can't score off him.  I mean sure, they had 7 hits, but none really transpired. 

The Yankees only scored 1 run off of Nolasco and the Twins pen.  I was surprised by that.  As John Sterling would say... "That's baseball Suzyn"... and it never can predict it.

The Yankees sole run was scored when, in the 3rd, Jacoby Ellsbury doubled knocking in Brett Gardner. That's it ladies and gentlemen.  The Yankees left 9 runners on base.  Those runners are called "Ducks on the Pond" and it's been a problem for the Yanks for a while.  We need to figure out a way with our lineup to keep the line moving and get those runners home.  

Vidal Nuno, another rotation fill-in, went 6.2 innings giving up 7 hits and 4 runs. He also gave up 3 home runs which... is kind of not acceptable. Look, at the time he gave up 4 runs...that's not terrible, but the Yankees didn't help him out either. Plus, as a pitcher, giving up homers will definitely get in your head. But look, once again, the Yankees hitting and pitching are NOT on the same page... for a Yankee fan, it's slightly frustrating... isn't it?

Final: Twins 6 - Yankees 1

We need to win the next 2, no question about it.

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Friday, May 30, 2014


When he played for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (near the 5 Freeway, close to Disneyland, of Orange Country, about 50 minutes from San Diego) I referred to him as “Kendrys Bad Company”. It seemed he would always make a fruit smoothie out of any hanging fruit an unfortunate Yankee pitcher might toss over the dish.  I hated seeing him step to the plate in the Bronx because I knew he was always a dangerous hitter. He has serious pop. He can spray the ball to all fields and he has a fairly good eye…or he did anyway. Since moving to Seattle I have to be honest, I haven’t heard much about Kendrys Morales. By the way that’s also a heads up to Robinson Cano.

Robbie, your new home is also where the Federal Government puts most of those who are in the Witness Protection Program. Good luck with that, sport. By I digress…

The recent question for the New York Yankees is should they sign the once up and coming DH/1st baseman. My answer is an ABSOLUTE Yes! Look, I am, to date, wrong about Tex being an absolute bust, but he does still have a wrist that may be held together by spit and tape. He has been putting up good power numbers, but has also needed time on the DL.

As of this minute Tex is in limbo wondering if the recent soreness in his surgically repaired wrist will subside. That question CANNOT be answered with “We’ll go ahead and pencil Kelly Johnson in at 1st.” No, no you won’t. I feel bad for Johnson. He gives it all he has, but he is a true 2nd baseman and has not cut the mustard playing 3rd or 1st. The Yankees need a true backup plan and Morales could be it.

Now if the Yankees sign him prior to the draft they would sacrifice the 55th pick. I am also certain that Morales won’t come cheap, as other clubs may get involved to drive up the price on the free agent. Hey, it’s supply and demand and Kendrys’s people are holding the cards. I wish the Bombers would have held on to Mark Reynolds or Lyle Overbay (both in Milwaukee now) but they didn’t. But the bottom line is that Morales is better than both of those former Yankees…by a great deal offensively. Why wait? Get the young man signed and let him start punishing pills over the fence. The guy is a switch hitter. He can ACTUALLY play 1st and the Yankees need some more pop…ASAP.

I never want to be one of those fans that just look to throw money at a problem. I wish to hell we could bring up a Big League ready prospect to do what Kendrys can. But the sad fact is we can’t at this point. The Yankee Farm system is filled with not yet ripe players. It's time to pull the trigger. If we lose Tex again or Beltran is done for the year the Bombers will be nearly out of Bombers. This deal makes sense and Morales is still fairly young. Yes, we could keep putting Murphy behind the plate and enact the McCann to 1st base plan early, but why? Let Mac catch, let Murph learn and develop and go get Kendrys now! This way he can be “Bad Company” to the rest of the league and not in the Bronx.

** This one is for Mr. Morales. Dial the phone, Cashman…before someone else does.”

--Mike O'Hara, MLB Fan Cave Host, Season 1
   Twitter: @mikeyoh21

"Paulie was always my favorite player."

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My seven year old son loves sports. On Saturdays, he wakes up extra early to make it to the local rec center. There he runs drills all morning, and plays games all afternoon. Right now it's hockey. During the summer, they will play baseball. Sports has really become his passion. I love it! I love that he enjoys, and understand sports as well as he does. I love that he is getting the benefit of playing on a team. He's making tons of friends, staying active, and learning valuable lessons he will take into adulthood.

Recently he came home and penned a letter to his Coaches. It reminded me of how important a coach is in the life of a young child. 

Dear Coach,

Thank you! Every Saturday I am up at 6am. I eat my food, get dressed, and head to the Rec Center. I run drills, and hang out with my friends, and play. And every Saturday you are there to welcome me. 

You never get frustrated when I am too short to make a basket. You told me to keep trying. You believed in me, until I believed in me. And when I finally made a basket, you cheered louder than anyone. Well, I think my daddy, and mommy were a little louder, but you were a close second. You picked me to be the goalie on our hockey team. I'm the smallest kid! I told you I thought one of the bigger kids should do it, but you put the helmet on my head and told me to focus. It was cool! I stop 4 out of 6 goals last week! I could be a NY Ranger if I wanted to.

Next, we're going to play baseball. That's mommy's favorite sport, so she might be a crazy bleacher mom. But don't be afraid, she means well. I want to play center field, like Curtis Granderson. Or any outfield position. I don't have a great arm, but I know you can teach.

Coach, what I'm trying to say is, you're awesome! You are patient with me, and you even let my little brother play. He is still too little to get it, but he feels like he is part of the team, and it makes him happy. You remind me of what my mom always says... it's important to learn, but more important to have fun. And we always have fun. Some of the other coaches that have come are mean, and their teams always look sad. We might not always win, but at least we enjoy ourselves. So thanks, for being awesome! Mom says you are teaching us a valuable lesson, and I appreciate it! 

-RJ Morales 

From every mom and dad, to every awesome coach out there... the ones that take time out of their day to motivate these kids, to teach them, while making sure they have fun, we thank you! Childhood is so short, and fragile. Knowing that people like you exist in the lives of our kids means the world to us. 

Thank you!

--Erica Morales BYB Senior Writer 
Twitter: @e_morales1804


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Thursday, May 29, 2014


No, I object.  No, I respectfully disagree.  No, you are not correct in your assertion.  David Phelps belongs in the rotation, Casey!  I wish I could just say “the end,” but instead I am compelled to defend David Phelps as a versatile member of our starting pitching staff.  In typical Girardi form, let me play the statistics for you.

Stat 1: Stellar ERA- With CC Sabathia at a 5.28, Hiroki Kuroda at 4.55, Ivan Nova at 8.27 (albeit out with Tommy John surgery), and Vidal Nuno 5.49, I say the numbers don’t lie.  David Phelps has a 3.38 ERA and consistently gets the job done when the rest of the team pulls their weight. 

This point bring me to Stat 2: Here are the problems in the Yankee loss on Tuesday night: Kelly Johnson, Brian Roberts, the shift and no offense.  Kelly Johnson does not belong at first base, EVER.  Frankly, I would like to say that he should not be playing, at least not here in the major leagues.  He has three errors already on the season. Send him out on the first bus to Trenton.  Two errors just this week and they were little league errors.  Then, Brian Roberts lets one fly through his legs at second.  Really?  He has six errors on the season.  Yet ironically, he defends his teammate Phelps after the ugly loss in St. Louis. “Phelps was great, we just didn’t help him out much, Roberts said.  He’s been throwing the ball tremendous, and he’s a great competitor, and I know that was hard for him to be out there and feel like he was throwing the ball well and not get any help.  We certainly as a defense take the blame for that one,” according to

So, that means Phelps gave up three earned runs and he got no run support for his five strikeouts and eight hits across six innings.  That’s a big problem.  And I am not a fan of the shift because it only adds confusion to an already strained defense.  Had they not done the shift in the third inning, Derek Jeter would have been in his proper position to make the play.

Stat 3: Phil Hughes is not even worthy of a discussion point in this conversation.  Hughes had more chances to redeem himself than any Yankee I can remember.  He had excuse after excuse for why he could not pitch to his potential in the Bronx.  He had a dead arm at one point.  Never heard of such a thing until Hughes came along.

As one fan commented to me yesterday, “I don’t understand why the Yankee bats don’t come out for David Phelps.”  And you know, I can’t argue with that statement because it is exactly how I feel.  I would also add that right side of the infield left their gloves in the dugout.

Let’s cut David Phelps some slack until he has enough games for which to judge him as a starting pitcher in the rotation.  He seems to always be the go to guy but why does he have to be the scapegoat to all of the Yankee woes?

--Suzie Pinstripe, BYB Opinion Columnist
Twitter: @suzieprof



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Everyone once in a while we here at Bleeding Yankee Blue will be showing you some great video shots that are floating around in baseball.  It can be highlights of funny videos from baseball fans or whatever.  And we will do it from time to time just because it may seem silly to write an entire post about one video.

So we start today... check these out:

First up, here's a fan at a Chicago White Sox game grabbing a thrown baseball bat into the stands... It's a damn nice grab!

Next up,the old Home Run Derby show. This episode is the entire show. It was Mickey Mantle vs. Jackie Jensen. I remember when I was a kid, they played these for a short time on TV. That was in the 80's and the reruns didn't last long, but it was cool if you were a baseball fan like me. Check it out:

The next one is Jacoby Ellsbury's 10th inning homer against the Chicago White Sox last week. I loved this hit... I thought John Sterling's call was ridiculous though...

This next video is someone called Duck Bannister. I think guy is hilarious and over 300 people do too. He's witty, and he's fast. He's also gonna be something. Whatever this is... I like it and I want more of it.

The last video in my first post of Video Patrol is a video I made in college. Yup, it's a highlight video I edited in 1993 when I was pretty obsessed with the Yankees. Bob Wickman. Bernie Williams. Steve Farr. Don Mattingly. Dion James. I hope you enjoy it:

I hope you like this installment of the BYB Video Patrol.  Tell us what you think. Based on popularity, we may do it more often.

Go Yanks!

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"You're not always going to have your 'A' game every single night. In this game you sometimes have to be able to forget about it, learn from it and rebound the next game." 
--Jacoby Ellsbury

I like that quote above and I should remember that more when writing about the pros. Truth be told, I preach it to my little leaguers all the time. Yet, yesterday I was pretty harsh toward David Phelps.  The truth is, it's one game at a time and I need to remember that the pros are not going to be 100% great every game.  Even I forget that. Sorry ladies and gentlemen. 

The Yankees won last night in St. Louis and did everything right when the day before, they couldn't score a run.  I'm glad... they needed to rebound.

Jacoby Ellsbury was 3-5 and also robbed a possible Allen Craig hit with a sliding catch.

But there were plenty of other stars. Brian McCann, Brian Roberts, Kelly Johnson and Brendan Ryan all had 2 hits each. John Ryan Murphy had 2 RBIs. Even Brian McCann played first base, a first for him.  Gotta love when guys step up and do whatever it takes to help the team.

Hiroki Kuroda only gave up 3 runs in  5.2 innings.  The pen looked good, the hitting looked good, the defense looked good...and there were no home runs... there was just good, old fashioned small ball baseball and that's what the result was.

The Yankees played this game correctly, team effort all the way... and we won another. Go Yanks.

Final: Yankees 7 - Cardinals 4

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Wednesday, May 28, 2014


Remember when Suzie Pinstripe wrote SAMARDZIJA: WASTED TALENT IN THE WINDY CITY? In it, she wrote that she basically coveted Jeff Samardzija and wanted him in the Bronx writing:

" The Yankees lead the list of 10 possible suitors.  They would have to give up a slew of prospects that could include Manny Banuelos and Ian Clarkin, but it may be just worth it with two-three guys out of the rotation. I like his youth and I like what he could bring to the team."

I agreed with that and then on the Illinois Center for Broadcasting's Fahey and Chivari show, I was asked about if I thought the Yanks were interested in Jeff.  I said this:

"I think he's someone that they are very interested in but I don't know how in depth it is...Now, as we saw the guy perform, he's obviously talented, he probably needs some more runs support and if he comes to New York, he probably gets that run support most likely. Yeah it would be a great idea..."

(In Photo: Chase Whitley)

Look, it still is a good idea.  I'm not too big on David Phelps, I hate the idea of Vidal Nuno starting these days, and who knows how long the Chase Whitley run will last. In other words, we could use him.

Now though, it's being reported that the Orioles may be in the "lead" for Jeff Samardzija. According to Bruce Levine as CBS Local, "...Orioles appear to be the leading team of interest in the sweepstakes for Cubs right-hander Jeff Samardzija, as sources confirmed the two teams are mutually interested...The Orioles have premium young pitching that the Cubs will insist on if they are going to move their ace. Right-handed pitchers Dylan Bundy, Kevin Gausman, Hunter Harvey and left-handed pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez top the list of young arms the Cubs are scouting."

I wonder what will happen. I'm putting the money on the Yanks... because Suzie was all over it early. We shall see... stay tuned...

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I don't hate on Johnny Damon, but I definitely see him going wherever he's wanted... or wherever he will be seen.

The Red Sox had their 2004 team reunion tonight against the Braves at Fenway Park, and Manny Ramirez threw out the first pitch.  Trying to be funny, Damon ran out and "cut off" Manny's throw much like Manny did the Damon back on that night when the Sox played the Orioles and Manny was suddenly "being Manny". Video is below...

Again, I don't hate Damon, I'm just onto him.

He appears to be an attention monger... or is it just me?

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A fun nugget and alittle jazz...

I don't mean music jazz, although, it could be fun right around now. I mean poking fun at the Yankees and Brian Cashman.  I was reading an old New York Post article this morning about when Brian McCann came to New York.  We were all very happy. I know I was thrilled, this was an All-Star catcher.

Something happened though... the Yankees overshot.  As they say at an old school Boy's Club, "they blew their load too early."  The phrase would be followed up with an "OOHH", and then a few laughs... and then they'd continue playing darts like no big deal... but I'm side tracked...

The fact of the matter is, you never tout a guy as a champion if he wasn't one yet.  Sure, Brian McCann is great, and he still can be great in pinstripes, but Brian McCann needs a rhythm to get him there and while he's been terrific defensively and with out pitching, we need his production at the plate desperately.

Back in December, Brian Cashman said this:

'We are hoping he clearly continues the type of production on the offensive and defensive side he provided in Atlanta. If he continues to do that, we are talking about a potential Hall of Famer...We are buying someone with that type of reputation. We have a lot of needs, and this fills one of them.’

Now, Cashman didn't say McCann was going to the Hall of Fame... he merely said he hopes he continues on his production path to get there.  But where is McCann right now? .218, 7 homers and 22 RBIs. His OPS is .645.  Hardly a Hall of Famer.

Now, let me state for the record. I love Brian McCann. He's a gamer with animal instincts.  He could be something great in New York, but where is that production we were hoping for? Where? We expected bombs over the right field fence. We expected run production. I know it's May... but we need it now.  Bring it on, Brian!

You can read more about BYB's thoughts on McCann in:




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You know what? We were rolling with 3 in a row.  We needed to win a 4th.  Sometimes it's not fair.  But it is baseball. One day you look like superstars and the next, you're lost. We couldn't even score and we could barely pitch... that sucks.

David Phelps started.  He went 6 giving up 8 hits and 5 runs.  He was no way near great, and I know it sounds harsh, but while the guy is filling in in the starting role and doing the best he can, he continually gives me more reasons to just say, "cut the guy loose."  David Phelps is, and will forever be a middle relief guy.  I am not jumping on the bandwagon of "Phelps can be a starter."  That ship has sailed for me.

He's not a starter, but he is a very good reliever who can handle 3 innings... maybe 4 on a good day.  That's not supposed to be mean, it's supposed to be honest.  We lost the game because of David Phelps last night. Now, sure, we should have scored runs, we are the mighty Yankees, but the Yankee bats went silent too.  That doesn't help.

So sure, blame them too, but there was too much hype surrounding David Phelps and his homecoming, and the part that was glossed over was the part that suggests that he's not a true starter.  Again, no one hates Phelps, we just need the guy to perform in the correct role. It's like Phil Hughes all over again... anyway...

The Yankees had only 5 hits.  They also had 2 errors.  Talk about a sloppy night. There honestly isn't anything left to say about this game other than you put it behind you and come back stronger today.  We played bad... that's it.

Final: Cardinals 6 - Yankees 0

Come on Yanks... snap out of it!

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Tuesday, May 27, 2014


At BYB we like to keep an eye on the future when it comes to our Yankees, so in our continued effort to do that, we present updates on five more “Baby Bombers”.

(Photo Credit: Charleston Riverdogs)
Aaron Judge, OF – Originally selected by the Oakland Athletics out of high school in the 2010 MLB draft, the outfielder/DH elected to instead attend college at Fresno State; a decision that would benefit both himself and the Yankees.  In 2013 he was selected in the first round by the Bombers, but had to wait until 2014 to make his debut as he tore his quadricep in a base running drill. 

To date, Judge has not disappointed.  Batting in the heart of the Charleston RiverDogs (Low-A) lineup, the right-handed slugger is hitting .327 with 5 home runs and 24 RBI through 46 games.

Pressure doesn’t seem to affect the 22-year-old – he’s hitting .295 with runners in scoring position and the only area of improvement would be in bettering his walk/strikeout ratio (he currently has just 26 walks and 37 strikeouts in 147 AB).  With a little more seasoning, one would expect the youngster’s plate discipline to only get better.

Expect a promotion soon for the sixth ranked prospect (Baseball America) in the organization.

(Photo Credit: Charleston Riverdogs)
Ian Clarkin, LHP – Like Judge, Clarkin was selected by the Yankees in the 2013 MLB Draft.  Unlike Judge, Clarkin was right out of high school.  The left-handed hurler was sent to the Gulf Coast Yankees and in three starts posted a less-than-sparkling 10.80 ERA and 1.80 WHIP (Walks + Hits per inning pitched). 

In spite of those numbers, Clarkin was assigned to Charleston for 2014 and seems to be holding his own.  Through four starts he holds a very respectable 3.66 ERA and 1.17 WHIP.  Even more impressive is that he has struck out 20 in a little over 19 innings of work while walking just 4 (he walked 4 in just 5 innings during 2013).

With that rate of improvement, the 19-year-old pitcher could find himself moving quickly through the organization chain.

Clarkin, the seventh ranked Yankees’ prospect, still has some work to do.  In looking at his splits this season, it is evident that he has issues on the road.  While his ERA at home is a miniscule 0.82, in visitors’ parks it sky-rockets to 7.27.  The numbers also suggest that the youngster needs work out of the stretch, as his ERA with runners in scoring position is 8.10 (it’s 1.46 with the bases empty). 

Those things being said, other splits show just how valuable this southpaw could be to the Yankees.  Most lefties hold distinct advantages over left-handed hitters and try to limit damage caused by right-handers. 

Clarkin is an exception to that rule. 

Most of the hitters he has faced have been right-handed, and they are hitting just .236 against him.  That kind of split shows great potential for our young pinstriper. 

Look for continued improvement with experience and don’t be surprised if this hurler one day occupies one of the top three spots of the Yankees rotation.

(Photo Credit: Charleston Riverdogs)
Greg Bird, 1B – The left-handed hitting Bird was drafted as a catcher out of high school in the fifth round of the 2011 MLB Amateur Draft by the Yankees.  He quickly transitioned to first base, and as we’ve seen with many of our “Lil Bombers”, his progression through the system has been steady. 

In 2012, his first “full” season in the organization, Bird experienced a back injury that limited him to just 28 games, yet hit .337 with two home runs and 13 RBI between the Gulf Coast Yankees (Rookie League) and Staten Island (low A).  Last season he was moved up to Charleston (A) and promptly flashed his power; hitting 20 home runs and driving in 84 over 130 games (including 107 walks).

This season, lower back issues forced Bird to miss the first five weeks of the season at Tampa (high A), but upon his return he picked up where he left off; hitting .300 with two home runs and 10 walks through his first 13 games.

Still only 21-years-old, if Baseball America’s eight ranked Yankees prospect can remain healthy he’ll likely move up at least one level during the course of this season.  Given that Mark Teixeira still has another two years on his contract, Bird has the time to fine tune his skills in the minor leagues. 

Don’t be surprised if in 2017 Greg Bird is the opening day first baseman for the New York Yankees; he has all the tools and only needs the experience to become a genuine “diamond in the rough” for the Bombers.

Photo Credit: Charleston Riverdogs)
Luis Severino, RHP – Just 20 years old, the Yankees 9th ranked prospect has only impressed since joining the organization.   Last year while splitting time between the rookie league and Class A Charleston, the right hander posted a 2.45 ERA, 1.07 WHIP, and struck out 53 in 44 innings pitched. 

When he first joined the Yankees his fastball was clocked at 91 mph, last year he hit 97 on the gun.   Yeah, he’s got the stuff.

This year he has started nine games in Charleston holding a 1.76 ERA, 1.098 WHIP, and has struck out 43 while walking just 9 in 41 innings.  If he keeps that up, he won’t be with the RiverDogs for long.
Perhaps the most impressive part of Severino’s game is how he handles pitching to left-handed hitters.  To survive in Yankee Stadium, right-handed hurlers need to keep the ball from clearing the short right field porch.  This season lefty hitters are batting just .194 against him, and their ground ball to fly ball ratio is 2.78 to 1.

His ceiling appears to be limitless, and with the numbers he’s posting it is safe to assume he will move quickly through the ranks of the Yankees’ organization. 

As reported by Andrew Marchand of ESPN New York, Baseball America’s Josh Norris wrote this about Severino:

“Severino intrigues me for a couple of reasons,” Baseball America’s Josh Norris, who has extensively covered the Yankees’ farm system, said in an email. “First and foremost, he's shown very advanced qualities in terms of both stuff and ability at a very young age. He has a fastball that's touched as high as 97 miles per hour, which plays up because he gets good extension. He couples it with a solid-average change up that's hit as high as 90 miles per hour, a big plus for someone his age. He also has a slider that flashes plus at times.  Moreover, after dominating the Gulf Coast League [32 strikeouts and 16 hits over 26 2/3 innings], the Yankees saw fit to skip him over Staten Island and send him straight to Charleston in the South Atlantic League, where he fanned 21 in as many innings and walked just four. He has to prove it over a full season, obviously, and he's a bit on the smaller side, but three excellent pitches and command of the strike zone is an excellent recipe to start”

Keep an eye on this one Yankee fans.  He’s a rocket ready to launch.

Gosuke Katoh, 2B - Yet another prospect (ranked 10th in the organization by Baseball America) drafted right out of high school by the Yankees (2nd round, 2013), Katoh had a strong debut last season in the Rookie League.  In 50 games, the second baseman hit .310 with six home runs and 25 RBI; good numbers for a middle infielder.   In the field he was equally successful; having just four errors in 176 chances.
His success in 2013 led to the Yankees putting Katoh at Single A Charleston this year.   To date, he hasn’t picked up where he left off.  The 19-year-old is struggling at the plate, hitting just .183 through 36 games.  Even more disturbing are the 51 strikeouts and just 20 walks he has in 139 plate appearances.

It is still too early in the season to determine if Katoh has been moved up too quickly, and clearly patience is in order given his youth, but he’ll likely either stay at Charleston or be moved down a level as the Yankees walk the tight rope with his psyche in 2014.

Well, there you have it - another installment of updates on our “Baby Bombers”.   We’ll have another one for you next week, and look for a very special Father’s day article about one of our top prospects.


--Steve Skinner, BYB Writer
Twitter: @oswegos1

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