So, last night I had the pleasure of being a guest on the Mets Musings podcast with Gary Mack. Yes, Stacey, the lady who writes for two New York Yankee blogs was on another New York Mets podcast. I had been a guest on another pro-Met podcast a couple of months ago as well.
Gary and I discussed everything from the unbelievable performance of the 2013 Yankees (I use that word to describe what they’ve been doing so far this year about 15 times in span of 37 seconds) to the 1980′s Mets and Yankees with some 2013 All-Star game comments and stories about old Yankee Stadium and Shea thrown into the mix. We also discussed this year’s upcoming, abbreviated Subway Series. You can hear what I have to say about the Yankees only having to face the Mets four times this season instead of six. I’ll give you a hint, I’m very happy about that.
It was a fun time and Gary is a great guy.
You can listen here. I join in the fun about 23 minutes into the podcast.
You never know what you will find when scouring through obscure Yankee statistics. Most of what I find and tell you about is at least in somewhat recent history. But what I bring to you today is from the way-back machine. I found a pitcher named, Elmer Bliss, who holds a record of sorts. That obscure record is the most innings pitched in his one and only game outing without giving up an earned run. Bliss made one relief pitching appearance in his career and pitched seven full innings without yielding an earned run. He also won the game. In those seven innings, he gave up just four hits, did not walk anybody and struck out three. The date was September 28, 1903.
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Scranton/Wilkes-Barre lost to Durham 8-5:
The Bulls jumped out to an early lead in the first. Rich Thompson grounded an infield single and stole second. Brandon Guyer was hit by a pitch and Vince Beinome tripled them both in. A two-run homer by Shelley Duncan put the Bulls in front 4-0. Durham doubled their score in the top of the fourth. Rich Thompson grounded out, but allowed Cole Figueroa to score and Wil Myers hit a three-run shot for an 8-0 advantage. Scranton finally got on the board in the bottom of the fourth. Brennan Boesch singled to center, scoring on a double by Josh Bell. Thomas Neal lined a RBI double to right for the RailRiders’ second run of the day. Mustelier started the sixth with a double, moving to third on a wild pitch. Bell hit a sac fly to center, bringing Mustelier home. Down 8-3 in the ninth, Scranton had a lot of room to make up. Melky Mesa jump started the offense with a triple to center. Alberto Gonzalez doubled him in and – with two outs – Boesch doubled in Gonzalez. Unfortunately, that was as close as the RailRiders would get, taking an 8-5 loss.
Boesch went 3-5 with a run scored, a double and a RBI. Mustelier went 1-3 with a double, a run scored and a walk. Bell went 1-3 with a run scored, a double and two RBIs. Neal was 2-3 with a double, a RBI and a walk. Mesa and Gonzalez both went 1-4 with a run scored, as the former picked up a triple and the latter a double. Brett Marshall took the loss, giving up eight runs on eight hits, two walks and two Ks in four innings. Kelvin Perez allowed just two hits and one walk over three innings, while Josh Spence struck out three in his two innings of work.
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This went a bit under the radar here this week and frankly, I’m not sure why. Daniel Marcus was lucky enough to sit down with MLBPA head honcho Michael Weiner recently and broke down the conversation into four key parts. I think these segments are must-read items for all baseball fans.
The Evolution of A Game: Michael Weiner, Part I: The seemingly dramatic change in terms of the labor relations dynamics among the players and the owners…
The Evolution of A Game: Michael Weiner, Part II: PED use, baseball’s testing policy, and what good “Steroids in Baseball talk” would be complete without HGH…
The Evolution of A Game: Michael Weiner, Part III: Our beloved New York Yankees and some of the impending issues facing the organization as they creep ever-closer to an era of transition…
The Evolution of A Game: Michael Weiner, Part IV: How the Yankees business model has effected baseball at large…
And when you’re done, a hearty congrats to Daniel for some great work is an order.
(Syndicated from An A-Blog for A-Rod. Stats are as of Wednesday)
The Yankees entered this season with what appeared to be very good prospect depth in the outfield. At best, 4 of their top 10 organizational prospects were outfielders, with 3 of them showing up in almost every respectable top 5 list. Anticipation and expectations were high for this group based on what they did in 2012, and it was starting to look like the outfield was going to be one spot where the team would have good options for the future if they were planning on committing to a reduced payroll. Almost 2 months into the MiL season, it appears as though the first potholes in this group’s development have been hit.
Mason Williams- .229/.328/.331, .311 wOBA in 184 PA
Tyler Austin- .248/.365/.348, .340 wOBA in 192 PA
Slade Heathcott- .236/.292/.343, .293 wOBA in 155 PA
Ramon Flores- .244/.332/.318, .308 wOBA in 206 PA
That’s as sobering a collection of slash lines as you’ll see from top hitting prospects. The biggest point of emphasis is the major drop in power that they’ve all experienced. For projected gap hitters like Williams and Flores, it’s not as big a deal and they still bring tools to the table with respect to speed, defense, patience, and contact. For someone like Austin, however, the dip in power could seriously impact his ceiling as a Major Leaguer. He’s a guy who’s going to rise and play on the strength of his bat, and whose role (starter vs. bench player) is likely going to be determined by how much power he offers.
There’s also the non-statistical red flags that have popped up this year, namely Williams’ DUI and continued negative reports on his body language and effort from scouts and Heathcott’s health. Slade has been banged up again, something that he can’t afford as a Double-A player behind the learning curve. His early poor numbers are easier to swallow because of that, and he’s shown signs of life at the plate in the last week or two, but he needs to show he can stay on the field to maximize his 5-tool potential.
The good part of this situation is that it gives us, and everybody else, a chance to see how each of these players adjusts and evolves their game to improve their production. It’s great to see Austin raking in A-ball or Heathcott tearing up the AZFL, but the true test of a prospect’s worth is what he does when he gets to the upper levels. 3 of these guys are getting a taste of that this season, with Williams likely to follow later in the summer. The ability to still work walks and get on base is a good sign. How they react to this challenge and play over the next few months will be just as good an indicator of their future ceilings as any of their tools.
(Photo courtesy of Beverly Schaefer)
At the beginning of every season, we bloggers tend to have some fun with bold predictions. Not to toot my own horn, but I did pretty well in 2012. I had Zack Greinke being traded and headlining the free agent market for starters in the fall over Cole Hamels, then I had Jesus Montero, Michael Pineda, and Hector Noesi struggling with Jose Campos being the most impressive piece of last year’s trade, and then I had the Nationals’ starting rotation beating out the Phillies’. This season I predicted that the Yankees would have a Rookie of the Year contender.
When I made this prediction, I was purposely vague, as I honestly had no idea who it would be. The Yankees have an above average farm system, but most of the top prospects are at least a year away from the major leagues. I made this prediction based on injury concerns, and knowing that players in Triple-A would get a chance at some point. It could have been Vidal Nuno, Adam Warren, Ronnier Mustelier, Thomas Neal, Zoilo Almonte or a number of other potential replacements that we watched in Spring Training. There has been some truth to it, as it’s only May and we’ve already seen a ton of rookies get a chance to play with the Yankees, yet none of them have succeeded enough to start considering them for RoY contention.
SMALL SAMPLE SIZE WARNING: David Adams has only had a handful of at bats, but he’s certainly received the most hype. Through 27 plate appearances , the infielder has already hit 2 doubles and 2 home runs while playing a very impressive third base. 7 games isn’t enough to judge any player, but his early showing has been extremely positive, and fans have already started talking about what the team should do when Kevin Youkilis returns.
Personally, I don’t buy the glove. I’ve seen him make some terrific plays, but with just 60 minor league games played at the hot corner, and a less than positive reputation by scouts, it’s hard to believe that Adams could continue to play a flawless third base. Regardless, Adams knows that he’ll live and die by his bat, and the only way he’ll stay with the major league team is to keep hitting the ball. The question remains, is his bat for real?
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In case you missed it, there’s a picture of Derek Jeter making the rounds which shows him leaving a local Starbucks with a cup that has the name Philip written on it.
This is how boring off-days are here in New York. Derek Jeter walking out of a Starbucks with the wrong name on a cup of something – because who knows if it’s coffee or some sort of tea – is big news.
And I know coffee snobs will be horrified that Jeter goes to Starbucks but I can tell you from second hand stories that he has frequented the coffee chain for a long time. My friend lived in the upper East Side years ago and literally bumped into him as he leaving one somewhere in the 70′s, maybe 72nd street? I can’t remember the exact location of the place and there seem to Starbucks on every corner of Manhattan these days so your guess is as good as mine.
Anyway, the story in the Post goes on to mention that Jeter has used other aliases in the past. Apparently, he checked into a hotel in Seattle in 2007 as Johnny Drama, the name of a character from the HBO show Entourage. Jorge Posada used Ricky Ricardo at that same hotel.
Personally, I think the idea of using an alias is fun and I have a word document saved with about three pages of them on my laptop. In the film Notting Hill, Julia Roberts played a movie star – I know, what a stretch! – and the character mentioned a whole bunch of cartoon names she used as aliases when checking into hotels.
Now, if you’re a regular Starbucks customer, you know that they sometimes spell names wrong. But to be fair, Philip sounds nothing like Derek so either he took someone else’s drink or the cashier has extremely bad hearing and doesn’t watch baseball.
As a joke, a former coworker of mine convinced me tell the cashiers at the Starbucks in the Rockefeller Center concourse that my name was B.T. which stood for Big, um, well, I’m a female so you can figure that second initial out all on your own. I did it a couple of times before I decided to go back to my real name. They were giving me weird looks every time I ordered because I was always laughing.
So, if you were famous or just in a goofy mood like I was when I was working at NBC, what would you Starbucks name be? Feel free to leave them in the comments.
Oh and to go one step further, what do you think Jeter was drinking? Since it’s a cup with a name on it, Starbucks drinkers will know that he didn’t order a regular coffee and that he waited at the bar for his order.
I’m imagining some sort of skinny latte but who knows.
He will have one more start then go on a 30-day rehab assignment after which the Yankees will decide whether or not to bring Pineda up to the big club or to keep him in Triple A.
This comes on the heels of the news that Jesus Montero, the other big name involved in the infamous Friday the 13th trade of January 2012 has been sent down to Triple A by the Mariners.
Just in case you hadn’t heard the news, the Seattle Mariners will be sending Jesus Montero down to their triple-A affiliate in Tacoma.
The Mariners have just finished up a 2-7 road trip – their two wins came here against the Yankees, of course – and along with sending Montero down, they’re recalling catcher Jesus Sucre to replace him. Yes, there are two Jesuses and they’re both catchers.
Or are they?
It seems the Mariners may be finally realizing that they would be better served with Montero at either DH or even first base because he’s just not cutting it at catcher. Hey, the Yankees could have told them that!
So this is an interesting development. With Michael Pineda on his way back from shoulder surgery and eyeing a June return – barring any setbacks, naturally – and Montero back in the Minors for the Mariners, I wonder who will make it back to the big leagues first.
I also wonder if we will finally know after all this time, who actually won that damn trade?