Friday, September 22, 2017

MAKING BILLY MCKINNEY RELEVANT

(Photo by Mike Janes)
I like what the Yankees are doing with their young players.  They are using them, playing them in the Bigs, and then you got plenty of youngsters down in the minor leagues that are getting a lot of bats, a lot of training and becoming important factors in their future.  Gleyber Torres is by far the most special player I've seen in a long time and he headlines the MLB.com's top 100 list.  That's right... he's number 1.  Read HERE.

I found this nugget pretty cool, and it has to do with prospect Billy McKinney.  McKinney came over to the Yankees last season from the Cubs when they sent Aroldis Chapman there.  Yanks also got Torres in that deal.  But McKinney is someone the Yankees have high hopes for.  This New York Post article shares more:

"One of the Yankees’ top prospects, Billy McKinney, will play first base for the first time during instructional league, as the Yankees look to increase his value.

The 23-year-old McKinney also will continue to play both corner-outfield spots.


Charles Wenzelberg/New York Post
McKinney, who bats and throws lefty, excelled at the plate after being promoted to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre during the season. In 209 plate appearances, he had an OPS of .877."

Now while that doesn't seem like much, it is.  What happens is his value can be increased for a future trade, or his talent will be something that the Yankees will want in the Bigs when the time is right.  Whatever the case, this is a win, win for everyone, and it's extra special because McKinney was just an extra piece back when that trade with the Cubs was made.  But now, he and the Yankees have an opportunity to make him more relevant, more important in the future of the franchise and for him personally as a player.

I don't know, I just found it interesting. Carry on...


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RAUL MONDESI IS HEADED TO THE SLAMMER

Photo: New York Daily News
I hate to hear about these stories, but they are newsworthy and important to talk about.  Plus, often we wonder where our former Yankees have gone. Raul Mondesi was a New York Yankee for 1 season back in 2002.  Well... now Raul Mondesi is headed to prison.

The Bergen Record has that story:

"Former Los Angeles Dodgers star Raul Mondesi, who also played for the Yankees, has been sentenced to eight years in prison after being convicted of embezzlement during his term as mayor of his hometown in the Dominican Republic.

The district court of San Cristobal, a town west of the capital Santo Domingo, also ordered this week that Mondesi pay a $1.3 million fine.

The Attorney General's office charged Mondesi of embezzling $6.3 million while he was mayor of San Cristobal from 2010-16, according to the court."


(Photo: BERNIE NUNEZ, AP)
Jeez! And did you even know this dude was a major? Unreal.

Well, there you go. Happy Friday. Well.. for you maybe...not for Mondesi.






Thursday, September 21, 2017

THIS GUY COULD BE THE NEXT YANKEE PITCHER

Photo: Getty Images
I can't believe it is September already, and soon we will be writing about signings and rumors, not games. I am going to milk what is left of this last bit of baseball but rumors are already out there. The Yankees will have to address the starting rotation during the off-season and we will need at least one if not two more starters and they are wasting no time.

(Sept. 18, 2017 - Source: Adam Hunger/Getty Images North America)     
If we assume that CC Sabathia does not sign a new deal with the Yankees and Masahiro Tanaka opts out of his contract and plays elsewhere and Michael Pineda is likely done in a Yankees uniform too. The Yankees have some serious holes to fill. As always the Yankees will be tied to the big free agent pitchers in the off-season like Yu Darvish and Jake Arrieta but I don't think the Yankees will sign either one of those guys. I see the Yankees going after a more affordable option to help solidify the back of the rotation.

(Sept. 9, 2017 - Source: Adam Glanzman/Getty Images North America)     
Enter familiar AL East opponent Alex Cobb. We have seen Cobb many times in a Rays uniform but he may trade uniforms and stay in the AL East. The Yankees are rumored to be interested in him and on paper he makes sense. He could be a great back end starter and he is battle tested in our division. At first, I was not sold on the idea of Cobb in a Yankee uniform, but now I think I am surprisingly.

Just like anyone else, Cobb would come with some concern. This was his first season back after Tommy John surgery, but he hasn't missed a start. His ground ball rate was good before surgery and now it has dropped but it's still respectable. When hitters make contact they seem to be hitting him harder and that is proven by his career high 21 home runs allowed this year but, with more work now that he is healthy and some good coaching the Yankees could really make him a reliable back end guy.

I like the idea of Cobb for a few reasons.

Photo: Getty Images
1) He's consistent and has the experience. He has a 3.63 ERA this season and a career 3.49 ERA and he is an innings eater. Despite this is his first year back from surgery he has still pitched 173 innings and has a winning record. He hasn't missed a start all season long and he knows how to pitch in the AL East.

2) By some of his numbers you can argue this is a down season for him. If an 11-10 season with a 3.63 ERA is a down season then he is doing pretty damn well and there is room for improvement. Based on what he has done this season I think he will only get better as he gets further away from his surgery and maybe going to a competitive team in the AL East will light that fire under him to win more games.

Photo: Getty Images
3) Cobb is still pretty young. He's about to turn 30 years old. He still fits in with the Yankees vision of getting younger. He still has a few years left of peak or close to peak performance. As long as the Yankees don't overwork him and he stays healthy Cobb could continue to be an innings eater.

4) He fits the Yankees spending plans. The Yankees are still determined to get under that luxury tax. He will still cost a nice chunk of change, but the Yankees would be able to afford him and not break the bank unlike with the other big names.


I think Cobb comes with some risk, but also some potential high reward. There are certainly other targets out there like Shohei Otani but they don't have the affordable price tag. Pretty soon Cobb is going to be one of the most popular free agents this season and many teams will be trying to sign him. It will be interesting to see if the Yankees decide to make a serious offer, or just drive up the price.

Would you take a chance on Cobb?



--Jeana Bellezza
BYB Managing Editor 
Follow me on Twitter: @NYPrincess
J





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Wednesday, September 20, 2017

EITHER CATCH THE SOX OR THE SEASON ENDS IN 3 ½ HOURS

Source: Paul J. Bereswill

The YES Network said it very bluntly, "Either catch the Red Sox and win the Division, or the season will be settled in 3 1/2 hours."  That's about all the Wild Card Game is and that could be catastrophic for the Yankees who lose close games by one run.

Source: Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images North America

I am not being a naysayer, I am being a realist.  I think we have a chance to catch the Red Sox despite their late inning, coming from behind antics as of late.  I think they are a mediocre team who is holding onto the top spot because the Yankees have suffered more than their share of injuries.

Source: Steven Ryan/Getty Images North America

But here we are, despite the injuries, inching closer and closer to the Red Sox.  According to the NY Post on Tuesday evening, "The manager bumped Luis Severino up a game in the rotation, allowing the right-hander to start three more times in the regular season — beginning with Wednesday’s series finale — if needed as the Yankees chase the Red Sox for an AL East crown. “Our goal is still to win the division,” Girardi said. “We have clinched nothing at this point. We still have a lot of work to do in front of us. It gives us the ability to start him three more times.’’




I personally could taste the defeat of the Red Sox on the last day of season like the October 2, 1978 tie-breaker in Fenway Park.  "Deep to left..." and over the Green Monster went Bucky Dent's home run lifting the Bombers to victory and eventually a World Series Title.


And although Severino would not be available for the one game Wild Card given the schedule Girardi is proposing, he would be available for something very nostalgic.

Source: Abbie Parr/Getty Images North America

"If the Yankees enter the final day of the regular season with a shot at winning the AL East, Severino would be available to toe the rubber. He also could be in line to start a one-game playoff with the Red Sox to determine the AL East champ if they finished the regular season tied — a game that would be held in The Bronx courtesy of the Yankees’ 11-8 record against the Sox this season."

I have goose bumps just thinking of it.  We either catch the Red Sox or leave the season up to 3 1/2 hours.  I choose the catch of a lifetime.

How about you?




--Suzie Pinstripe
BYB Managing Editor
Follow me on Twitter: @suzieprof




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Tuesday, September 19, 2017

YANKEE PLAYOFF THOUGHTS

Sept. 14, 2017 - Source: Abbie Parr/Getty Images North America) 
Boston has played an unbelievable 17 extra inning games this year.  They have gone 14-3 in those games, including winning 6 in a row since July 29th. They are very, very good.  That being said, I have not yet given up on the New York Yankees winning the AL East!

But look, I think realistically, it is time to start thinking about the Wild Card.  At least the Yanks will be going back to the playoffs! Right? I mean, come on, many did not expect that, so it is exciting when you think about it.

(Photo: Getty Images)
It's my opinion looking forward that the Yankees will lose the 1 Game wild card playoff to the Twins or Angels based on an 8th inning blown 1-run lead by Dellin Betances (all on walks/hit batters/wild pitches). In fact, I fear that. But if the Yankees make it through that wild card game, I think things get interesting in the ALDS vs. Cleveland. 

Photo: Getty Images
I assume the Yanks will set things up to have Severino pitch the 1 game wild card playoff. After all, he is scheduled for Wednesday night, tomorrow, which sets him up for one more start next week vs. Tampa.  If they are still alive for the Division, Sevy could start last game of the season on October 1st. Otherwise he will start the wild card game on October 3rd.  This means that if the Yankees win the wild card, they need to decide who (aside from Severino) will start Game 1 vs. Corey Kluber.  Honestly, the choice is between Tanaka or Gray.

(Photo: Getty Images
Now, I assume the Yankees will use Tanaka and Gray in Game 1 and Game 2, although it will be interesting to see who they use in Game 1.  The Game 1 starter is lined up to also start Game 5.  I think I would go with Tanaka over Gray in G1, but it’s a close, close call.  Oh yeah, and Severino will come back to start Game 3 on regular rest.

Photo: Getty Images
Game 4 could be crucial.  The Yanks will either be facing elimination at home or will be trying to close out the Indians and avoiding a trip back to Cleveland.  Would the Yanks use the Game 1 starter on 3 days rest?  Or will they use CC Sabathia? Or how about Jaime Garcia

I would expect CC to start Game 4, but not impossible for the Yanks go in a different direction. Please, there are other things to think about. Would the Indians use Kluber on 3-days rest in this game?  What did they do last year?  


(Sept. 16, 2017 - Source: Ron Schwane/Getty Images North America)     
The Yankees probably need to win this series in 4 games if they want to win it, as I do not like their chances in Game 5 in Cleveland against Kluber.

Also... side note as we appear to be heading to the playoffs in some capacity. It will be interesting to see how the Yankees deal with some of the guys coming back from injury.  
Photo: Getty Images
When Aaron Hicks and Clint Frazier both got hurt, it put Ellsbury back into the starting lineup and he's actually played well.  Now, Frazier is back and I hear Hicks should be back by next week.  I wonder who starts in the OF and who DH's in the playoffs. 

Photo: Getty Images
Also, with Todd Frazier playing third, it appears Chase Headley is now in a platoon with Greg Bird at 1B.  Headley could also play DH instead of Holliday, so, the bottom line, the Yanks have options.

Whatever the case, I hope my ramble put some stuff into perspective as we inch closer.  This season has gone far better than many expected.  I just hope the Yanks can hold on and do something great in October!