I have a Bachelor's degree in journalism from William Paterson University in New Jersey. I am an aspiring sports journalist who has had a huge passion for the Yankees since birth. Contact or follow me on Twitter at @RAYROBERT9.

Author Archives: Matt Bove

Stephen Drew Playing His Way Into 2016 Plans?

Courtesy: Anthony Gruppuso USA Today

I know mostly everyone reading already vomited after glancing at the title, but if Stephen Drew has a strong September, the possibility exists of him returning again in 2016 if he agrees to another 1-year contract.

Drew has been a huge target of hate from Yankees fans, but the reality is he has put together a quality second half of the season thus far and there are worse things in the world than a No. 9 hitter who hits 20 home runs and plays solid defense.

This is not just about Drew’s insanely hot recent stretch.  He has actually been a quality player since June 1st, hitting .251/.323/.483 with 12 home runs and a 120 wRC+ since thene. Over the last two weeks, Drew’s slash line is an incredible .351/.429/.568. If Drew has a good September that would be four consecutive months of good baseball from him, which after his first two months and 2014 season nobody would have ever thought possible.  …

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Deja Vu in Atlanta?

Baseball is such a funny game with all its twists and turns, which is what makes the 162 game grind so exhausting on one hand, but so rewarding on the other hand if it ends up going your way.

The Yankees looked like an old, fragile and broken down baseball team heading into the deep south. It certainly seemed like things were just not headed in the right direction after losing five of seven games against Cleveland and Houston at home, which is a place they had been previously dominant all season long.

The Yankees were dominated by some great pitchers like Dallas Keuchel and Carlos Carrasco, but also could not hit against mediocre to poor ones like Josh Tomlin, Trevor Bauer and Scott Feldman. So even though the Braves are a bad baseball team, it wasn’t exactly reassuring. Jacoby Ellsbury and Mark Teixeira had injuries and Alex Rodriguez was being replaced in the lineup by a pitcher (the wisdom of NL baseball at its finest).…

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Was This The End For CC Sabathia?

CC Sabathia future in doubt as Yankees fall out of 1st

Courtesy: Bill Kostroun, NY Post

I was in attendance for Andy Pettitte day yesterday at Yankee Stadium, and it was a huge day of mixed emotions. It certainly started off with a bang with the Pettitte ceremony. It was awesome, even if the crowd again gave a bigger applause to Derek Jeter just like they did on Saturday to Jorge Posada, which was annoying. To see your whole childhood out there on that field really makes you remember why you fell in love with this game and franchise. I even learned some things I didn’t know, like how Pettitte used to throw a knuckle ball. It was very cool stuff.

Then the game happened and it was a train wreck. Sure, a 4-3 game doesn’t seem so bad, yet it was the most excruciating Yankees game I’ve ever been to. There were 16 combined walks and the Yankees struck out 11 times. The umpiring seemed crazy inconsistent from what I could tell in my seats in right field.…

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What Will Michael Pineda’s Return Mean?

Two very significant pitching developments happened for the New York Yankees yesterday with Luis Severino looking like an absolute stud and Michael Pineda returning to make a rehab start for Double-A Trenton. Pineda, who threw 42 pitches, allowed two runs over three innings in the start, but as we know the results of...

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Carlos Beltran Not Dead Yet

Courtesy: Paul J. Bereswilly/ NY Post

Courtesy: Paul J. Bereswilly/ NY Post

Carlos Beltran was written off by pretty much everybody early in the season (myself included) after his struggles at the plate were so bad that he just looked cooked. It felt like another Alfonso Soriano situation where the Yankees were going to have no choice but to cut bait if it continued into the summer. A little quietly (as he does just about everything), Beltran has completely turned his season around and has been a consistent offensive performer for the Yankees since May.

For the season, Beltran is hitting .265/.327.450 with a .336 wOBA and a 114 wRC+. Since April, Beltran has had an OPS over .800 in each month, with a .816 OPS in May, .865 in June, .830 in July and a blistering 1.053 in August. His second half slash line is .283/.394/.533/.928 with a .400 wOBA and a 159 wRC+. Basically, Beltran has been a well over league average hitter since April and has not gotten much credit for his turnaround.…

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Brett Gardner Is Starting Another Second Half Swoon

Jose Molina, Brett Gardner

With the New York Yankees getting shutout in back to back games for the first time since 1999 there are plenty of culprits who are not hitting. Team slumps happen and this one happened to come at the worst possible time for the Yankees. You would definitely figure a team that has been consistently awesome offensively all year will get back going soon. For that to happen it will start with Jacoby Ellsbury and Brett Gardner making things happen at the top of the lineup.

Ellsbury has taken most of the criticism for his poor play since coming off the disabled list. He has hit under .200 and has not stolen a base since coming back from injury. Other than a couple of home runs he has been nothing short of awful and his performance definitely makes you wonder just how healthy he is.

Ellsbury takes most of the blame because he is paid a large amount of money and is not a homegrown player, so Gardner has kind of gotten a pass for his recent slump.…

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The Rise of Sir Didi Gregorius

Courtesy: Getty Images

Didi Gregorius has been one of the best stories for the Yankees in a season where you have so many good ones to choose from. Gregorius looked like he wasn’t long for New York and that the pressure from the many angry fans were going to run him out of the Bronx.

Many fans didn’t seem willing to give him much of a break despite the fact that the pressure of replacing Derek Jeter would be hard for even the most mentally tough players. It certainly didn’t help that Shane Greene, whom Gregorius was traded for, was lighting the world on fire in Detroit. At the same time Gregorius just did not look like a MLB caliber player. He hit .206/.261/.238/.449 with an 36 wRC+ and his much hyped defensive ability wasn’t there either. His many mental lapses both in the field and on the base paths were hard to watch. However, baseball is such a crazy game, and Gregorius kept battling and improving just a little bit every month until finally it all clicked this past July.…

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Is Craig Kimbrel the Answer to the Pitching Questions?

Yesterday was certainly a less than ideal day for the Yankees with their biggest competitor in the division getting an ace pitcher, the Yankees losing one of their best ones and losing a tough game on a walk-off hit. The Blue Jays are certainly a threat to the Yankees in the division with the additions of David Price and Troy Tulowitzki. However, with the six game lead the Yankees have in the AL East if they can take care of their own business it doesn’t matter who Toronto picks up. People are forgetting that the Blue Jays running down the Yankees would not just mean the Blue Jays getting hot, but the Yankees cooling off considerably as well. Both have to happen.

Michael Pineda‘s forearm injury turned the starting pitching need into an even greater one. If Pineda starts throwing in 7-10 days like he says he is supposed to then a month seems about reasonable for his return.…

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Chase Headley Quietly Heating Up

Courtesy: Noah K Murray-USA Today Sports

Courtesy: Noah K Murray-USA Today Sports

With all the attention Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira are getting — rightfully so of course — Chase Headley has started to resemble the player the Yankees thought they were getting when they signed him over the winter. Headley started off horribly both in the field and at the plate, but has seemed to turn it around on both ends in July.

Headley came through big yesterday going 2-for-4 with a home run, three RBI and two runs scored. He also contributed in Saturday’s big rally with a sac fly in the seventh inning and a single in the ninth. Headley has hit .333/.371/.421 in July with a .346 wOBA and a 120 wRC+. He has always been a second half player in his career, as he has a .279/.362/.442/.804 slash line in his career in second halves. Maybe, he’s just one of those guys who just takes awhile to get going.

Whatever weird throwing issue Headley had going has mostly gone away recently.…

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