A Month of Fundays

A New York Yankees, Giants, Knicks, Rangers and other stuff blog.

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Saturday, June 24, 2017

This Week on the Blog

What a tumultuous week.  The Yanks sucked, the Knicks almost killed their future, the Rangers parted with beloved players, and all three teams made picks or signed picks.  Let's take a look.

Yankees:  Tyler Clippard equals death, and it is always Joe Girardi's choice to use him, so he must share the boos. Last night they finally cut bait on one Girardi favorite, let's see if they can get rid of another one today. I love Tyler Clippard, and the Yanks were dumb to trade him without trying him in the pen several years ago.  But all good things come to an end.  And we cannot put him out there any more if our intention is to win.  There have been a few postives:  Monty continues to give them chances, Tanaka made an appearance last night and today the Yanks announced the official signings of Clarke Schmidt and Mark Sauer. From the numbers we know it looks like the Yanks have about 400K to dangle at their late picks.  We'll have to see if that goes to one pick, or is split up two,  three or four ways.

Giants: The Giants open camp on 7/28.

Rangers:  The Rangers just finished their draft today, and as we commented, it was a clear slap in the face to the major juniors.  Tomorrow, the Rangers will begin their annual prospect camp, in a quicker turnaround than usual.  So we should have a roster and lots of news from the franchise as they get ready for FA where they are expected to have as much as 23M available if Klein does indeed retire.  I wouldn't be surprised by another trade or two as they seem hell bent on a big rebuild.  And again, the addition of Lindy Ruff, who was a fantastic d coordinator before being a good head coach, is joining the Rangers as DC, but is also a loud and persistent warning shot to AV, that he'd better do better.

Knicks: The Knicks got their man and drafted and signed a couple of other intriguing players, including Canyon Berry, so summer league will be must watch.  What's more, they have about 19M available as of right now, but could have more if they can trade or part with anymore veterans before free agency starts.  Should be a big week.

So, take deep breaths over the Yanks, smile about the Ranger prospect camp, take a break from the Giants, and pray for the Knicks.  Have a great one!

NHL Draft is Over Rangers Added 7

As I mentioned before, the Rangers showed absolute contempt for the the Major Juniors, and for the most part North America in their 2017 Draft.  While this will bother some, it bothers me not at all.  Here's why: years ago Gordie Clark was asked why he was drafting so many American kids, instead of Canadian kids. Gordie said when the Canadian kids start beating the American kids in International Play, he'll start taking them again. Both North American programs are a little down for where they were a few years ago, which is probably normal over the course of time.  The Finns, and Swedes have been on the rise, the so the Rangers took Swedes and a Finn.  They also took two Czechs who had had great individual perfomances in International Comp and Playoffs, if not great team results.  So Gordie pretty much kept with his ideal of taking the kids who are winning.

Now it was a bit suprising that they eshewed the WHL completely, which has been one of their favorite watering holes over the past few drafts, and the only Major Junior kid they took was a 20 year old from the OHL. That is a stark repudiation of the NHL's traditional bloodline, and something to keep an eye on over the next few years.

In all they took four guys who might be able to play in the AHL in Andersson, Crawley, Lakatos and Virta, as well as three high end teens in Chytil, Sjalin and Barron.  The number of AHL possibilities probably foretells more roster changes coming as their  rebuild "on the fly" continues.

Andersson, who they got at #7 is sort of a cross between a high upside teen and AHL ready guy.  We'll see where he ends up.

In any event, I see nothing to be upset over here, and no apparent missed opportunities.

Rangers Take F Patrik Virta at 207

The Rangers have probably finished up with 21 year old Finn Forward Patrik Virta.  He's 6'1" and listed at 168 pounds, and we'd better hope that's an old weight.  If his weight is up, he's probably ticketed for the AHL  Given what I think is their contempt for this draft class, I think the Rangers won't trade back into and are done.  Could be wrong, though.

Rangers Take C Morgan Barron at 174

Okay, the Rangers just took a big Canadian Prep who played HS instead of Major Junior.  He's a been a C but may be a LW as he progresses, he's scheduled to go to Cornell.  I am sure we're going to hear that he knocked out the Combine or some other testing because this is the Canadian version of Chris Kreider.  Beast against other preps at what is considered a lower level.  They commented on his size and speed.  Very Kreider-esque.

Rangers Take Dominik Lakatos at 157

This is a 20 year old Czech, so the Rangers have gotten 2 17 year olds, one 18 year  old and 2 20 year olds so far.  He'll probably be in the AHL this coming year.  Was 50th ranked Euro skater.

Rangers Go Back to Sweden at 145

After taking an overage LHD at 123, the Rangers just took a 17 year old LHD, Calle Sjalin at 145.  This is the second player from Sweden they've taken in this draft, and the second Calle D they've taken over the last several drafts.  Still not finding any RHD's.

Rangers Having a Busy Morning

Instead of trading up to pick in the 2nd or 3rd round, the Rangers traded down, and just picked D Brandon Crawley, a big 20 year old, LHD from New Jersey.  20's sort of an odd age for a pick, so it might be he's been eligible before.  We'll figure it out, but there's a lot happening.

In other news, the Rangers have hired Lindy Ruff to take over their D from Jeff Beukeboom.  Is this an upgrade or blame fixing?  I don't know, but Ruff has been a head coach before, and I do think it means AV is on the hot seat with a replacement is house already.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Carter DFA'd Tyler Austin on the Way

After tonight's thrilling Torreyes walk off, the Yankees finally did what they had to do.  They DFA'd Carter and recalled Tyler Austin.  Tyler's bee crushing AAA and he just deserves to be contributing all of that to the Yanks. It's been a crazy ride for Tyler.  I think when the history of this next dynasty is written, Tyler Austin will be seen as the turning point for the Yankee drafts and farm.  He'll bring the lagging energy back to the club while we await the return of Greg Bird.

Ranger Wrap

The Rangers started the day off by trading their homegrown, popular C Derek Stepan and their popular backup goalie, Antii Rannta to Phoenix for RHD Anthony DeAngelo and the #7 pick in tonight's draft.

A little bit more on DeAngelo.  He's from around Philly, and his mouth has gotten him suspended three times in the OHL and traded twice and he's only 21. We've got to hope that he has broadened his vision of things, or things can get very bad for him in New York, and it's just sort of sad to watch young people who can't get out of their own ways.

So later, after trying to combine their #7 and #21 picks to move up to #3 for target unknown, the Rangers stayed where they were and took two Centers.  And like the Knicks yesterday, they double dipped in Europe.  I don't think that matters much, as both Andersson and Chytil have both played against men, and played in the international competition that the Rangers have always valued so highly.

Turns out identify as C's, and while Andersson wants to be the guy who scores big goals,  Chytil is more of a playmaker.  Interestingly, Chytil grew two inches during his season and could end up a pretty big guy when he's done filling out.

So, basically, what the Rangers did was what they always do, and that's been working out reasonably well, but needed a refresh.

Rangers Take F Filip Chytil at 21

The Rangers dipped into Czech Extraliga to pluck Filip Chytil at 21. I guess the Euro Scouts have out shouted the North American Crew at the meetings this year.  Like Lias, Filip played against grownups.  Unlike Lias, he's only 17 and one of the youngest kids in the draft.  They're listing him as a C, and he's 6'2" 179 right now, but he's still just 17. This kid is apparently super fast but with better hands than say Carl Hagelin, so it could really lead to some easy goals.  I generally think it's a great sign when a younger player plays against grown men.  He's supposed to be a 2 way guy, so he fits the template. Oh and he has excelled in international play against his age group.  Very interesting pick.

Btw, I expect the pundits will say the Rangers didn't max out their opportunities, but I would not bet against the Ranger scouting staff.  Not at all.

Rangers Take Lias Andersson at 7

The Rangers just replaced Oscar Lindberg. I suspect Lias is a slightly better version of Oscar, hence his haughty draft status.  Lias is 5'11" and  a very solid 201 pounds. He can play all three forward spots.  The Rangers had reportedly been trying to trade up to #3, but it must have been for a different player, because Lias considered top 15 rather than top 10.

Rangers Draft Stuff

Pictured is Anthony DeAngelo, the 21 year old, right handed defenseman.  He was the 19th overall pick in the 2014 draft and is a great skater.  The Rangers haven't had a first round pick since 2012.  As of right now, tonight they'll have two, #7 and #21.  This must feel like Christmas at last for Gordie Clark, who's still running the drafts along with Gorton.  In general, the Rangers have done about as well as could be expected missing all those first picks.  They were still able to attract a slew of amateur free agents, like Kevin Hayes, and were still able to do well with the picks they had, adding guys like Sean Day, Pavel Buchnevich and Igor Shestyorkin, who probably would have been first rounders but for Sean having a family problem and the other two kids coming from Russia.

The Rangers should be able to find good stuff at 7 and 21, and I expect them to add more picks as the draft goes on because they are currently without a 2 or a 3.

Rangers Trade Stepan and Raanta to Arizona

This is breaking and the details may change a bit, but the Rangers are trading Stepan and Raanta to the Coyotes for the 7th pick in tonights draft, and 21 year old RHD Anthony DeAngelo.  This seems like a very light take back for the Rangers.  Perhaps there are more picks involved, since going into tonight they only had a 1, 4, 5, 6, and I think a 7.  This is also tough, because Step has long been one of my favorite Rangers.  I wish both players the best now and always.

Knicks Draft Review

The big thing last night was that Phil Jackson didn't completely lose his mind and trade KP.  At one point, media pundits were calling it likely! Phew.  So instead of that, the Knicks grabbed a 6'5" PG who will pass KP the ball, and back that up be taking "the best shooter in the draft" and another 6'5" PG who will passt KP the ball.  Frank is 18, Damyeon is 23, and Ognjen is just 21. So, after sneaking away from the youth movement to make that tragic Melo-centric deal with the Bulls last year, the youth movement is back on.

Last night, after the draft, the Knicks signed undrafted block and rebound C, Luke Kornet, out of Vanderbilt, and scoring SF Nigel Hayes out of Wisconsin.  Phil probably won't like the fact that Kornet can nail threes, but probably will like that he's a math whiz.

The Knicks are sheduled to head into UFA season with about 19M in cap room.  They can, of course, can more cap room by trading Lee or O'Quinn.  Then they might be able to dip RFA market as well as UFA.  We'll see. The most important item of business will be to somehow get Melo off the team.  Should be a pretty interesting next few weeks.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Knicks take Ognjen Jaramaz at 58

The Knicks took a second European PG with their 58th pick.  This might be a stash player, or it might now depending on camp and what else happens this off season.  And thank our Knicks holy stars that KP was not dealt tonight.

Knicks Take Damyeon Dotson at 44

Jesus, this guy looks like he should be singing "What is Love?" in his picture.  Anyway, he's a pure shooter and I'd much rather get him a 44 than getting Trent Tucker as #6 when we got him.  We'll see if makes the team.

Knicks KP and Take Frank Ntilikina!

I knew we would be in the lottery since before the season even ended, so I took a long look at the lottery type players, and decided I only wanted Ball, if the Knicks won the lottery, or Ntilikina if they stayed at 6.  Thus I freaked when they fell to 7 and again when they feel to 8.  Frank is a proper guard to go with Kristaps and Willy.  He's selfless, like Ball, and unlike Melo, Rose and most other players the Knicks have had since they traded for Marbury.  Okay, Gallo was cool, and Lin was, too, but they got traded, as I was concerned KP would be.  This kid also loves defense and can be the point of that if we play box and 1.  I just love this pick and we have two more.

Knicks Draft Night

Two years ago, the Knicks had a lottery pick and set a course for the future by taking Kristaps Porzingis and Willy Hernangomez.  Tonight have the 8th pick and two second rounders, and a big chance to get a lot done.  We'll also see if the Knicks can pick up more picks.  If they do it through traading KP, we'll never talk about the Knicks again.

Yanks Finally Recall Tyler Webb

Tyler Webb pretty much started our current affair with the South Carolina baseball program and has been major league ready since around the time we drafted him in 2014.  I think he's been a victim of his velocity, and unrecognized for his results.  He's not a loogy by any means, but a long term help for any bullpen. This could be crucial.  Go Tyler!

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Yanks Win!

And a 23 year old shall lead them.  Jesus, was it a long time between wins.  Girardi did his best again tonight, taking Monty out after 5.2 again, and then putting Clippard in with an 8-2 lead in the ninth, which became a 8-4 lead after just two batters.  It is over for Clippard and they have to move on.  Chad Green got 4 outs between the 6th and 7th and deserves the 7th inning role.  They scored 8 runs, but the kids are suddenly having the odd bad PA, and they need to wake up.

In other Yankee news, Greg Bird got a cortisone shot and they will turn him lose in a few days.  I can't believe it took them this long to get him a cortisone shot.  Giambi used to get them constantly.

The Yanks released a list of 20 signed players yesterday.  They aren't listing Schmitz or Sauer yet, but  if we're interesting in signing any of those high upside third day guys, we have to hope that the Sauer rumor of 2.65M is wrong, or that Schmitz gave us an insane discount.

Knicks Tomorrow

I've had faith in Phil Jackson, but honestly, since taking over 3 years ago, he's had exactly one good night as the Basketball Czar of the Knicks. Tonight he gave an interview to MSG, and it seems his panties are still in full twist over KP skipping his exit meeting.  That was immature of KP and everything since has been immature by Phil.  I do think Jackson is just acting out, and he did concede that Kristaps is a Unicorn, so I think this will all blow over rather than lead to something.  But the Knicks need a big draft and offseason and they really do have to find a way to get rid of Melo and get more picks.

Rangers Lose Oscar Lindberg in Corporate BS

Rangers, as was rumored all day, lost Oscar Lindberg to the big bribe the owners take to allow theft of players every time they want to get tipped and dillute the level of play.  This screws the Rangers of a really good player, who overcame hip surgeries and was really coming on as the rest of the Rangers were kneeling like dogs this past Spring.

Huge draft and starts Friday.  Crucial offseason coming right up.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Your 2016 Pulaski Yankees

Wow, still no draft picks listed on the roster. Remember, though there are no longer 2 DSL teams, there are still 2 GCL teams, and they are going to be loaded with draft picks.  This year's Pulaski lineup is loaded with IFA's, the biggest name on the team is 3B Dermis Garcia, who tied for the league lead in homers last year, and is repeating the level, probably because Nelson Gomez, who is also a 3B has better plate disc.  Dermis, 19, probably has the loudest bat left in the system, and could start moving if something clicks.

The rest of the infield includes more teenagers: Andres Chaparro, Yeison Corredera, Eduardo Torrealba and Jesus Bastidas.  Bastidas is a SS,  Torrealba is also a SS,  Corredera is a UT and at 23 is the old man on the team.  Andres Chapparo is 18 and also a third baseman, but he or Dermis will end up playing first because they are the biggest guys on the team,

The catchers are Saul Torres, who is someone they really like and Victor Rey is 21 and used to be a 3B.

In the OF, the big name is Brayan Emery, another 19 year old from the 2014 IFA splurge.  He's a rightfielder who could develop some power.  Leobaldo Cabrera is Oswaldo's older brother, but playing one level behind.  Frederick Cuevas is another kid from 2014, and a lefty hitter.   Andy Diaz is now 21 and also hits lefty with some power.

As for the pitchers, the only lefty is Tyler Honahan, last year's 36th rounder.  The rest are RHP's and they are: Mark Seyler, Rony Garcia, Juan Jimenez, Gilmael Troya, Kaleb Ort, Jose Pujols, Abel Duarte, Carlos Espinal, Alexander Vizcaino,  Matthew Wivinis, Danial Ramos and Jio Orozco.

Seyler was the 19th rounder from 2015, so he may be coming back from injury.  Ort is a fireballer they signed out of Indy Ball and either is 24 or turning 24 this year  and is probably destined for the bullpen. Wivinis is another 24 year old out of Indy Ball.  The rest are IFA's with Garcia, Troya and Duarte having the most buzzz.

There you have it, some 25 year old chaperones out of Indy Ball and a bunch of talented kids.

Gleyber Gets TJS, Andujar Moves Up

As if losing 6 straight didn't suck enough, Gleyber Torres is now gone for the rest of the season - with no chance of helping us - with TJS. It's terrible for Gleyber, the Yanks and us.  That means the Yanks now have their top position prospect, top pitching prospect and maybe #3 or #4 pitching prospect down with TJS.  Brutal.

The brightside with Gleyber, at least, is that it's not in his throwing arm, so the rehab with be much different and presumably have him ready for Spring Training.  Also on the brightside, Miguel Andujar, a real 3B, is coming up to play 3B at AAA.  And this is a promotion that Miguel, who's also a power hitter, was very deserving of.  He was crushing AA, and isn't learning the position from scratch this year. And he's already on the 40.  The Yanks also have another AA infielder who should be moving up in Thairo Estrada.

Interestingly, the injury probably also puts a trade freeze trading any of Wade, Andujar or Thairo, which is good for the longterm outlook of the team.  I see the future as Andujar at 3B, Gleyber at SS, Thairo at 2B,  and Wade as Super Utility guy.  This will also allow them to eventually trade high on Didi and Castro.

Another interesting issue is that Clint Frazier is now crushing AAA, and worthy of promotion.  Will they be willing to make room?

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Staten Island Yanks Start Tomorrow

The Yanks are off tomorrow, thankfully, but the SI Yanks will be starting their season against the heinous Brooklyn  Cyclones tomorrow evening. This year's roster has not yet been flooded with fresh draft picks, and that's because the Yanks spent much of day three popping unsignable big time talents, instead of a bunch of seniors to stir things up on Staten Island.

So this year's team is an interesting mix of high talented teenagers and the kind of older guys that couldn't get AB's in Charleston, or pitchers who they just won't give up on, like David Palladino, who will be starting his 4th season in SI, but is 6'9" and could start moving very quickly if he ever put it together. He's 24 and so are Will Carter,  Eduardo Rivera,  Chase Hodson, and Jeff DeGano, the lefty who had TJS in college, which explans his being older than Sevy and Montgomery.

On the younger side, they have Drew Finley, the 20 year old who started in SI last year but got shutdown.  He bears watching because of his upside and because TJS could be next. Jhonny Brito (RHP) is 19 and a 2015 IFA.  He hasn't put up numbers yet, but he's pitching in a college league at 19, so he probably has stuff. Juan DePaula is 19 and has put up big numbers already striking out 121 in 118 2/3's innings with a 2.58 ERA in the Mariners org last season.  Got him for Gamel.  Alexander Vargas is also 19 and coming back from injury.   The rest of the guys are the college guys from the last two drafts who haven't pitched yet this year.

The youngest of the three catchers is 23, the oldest 25.

The big names in the infield are  SS Wilkerman Garcia,  3B Nelson Gomez who are 19 and Oswaldo Cabrera who is 18. Two years ago, Wilkerman lit things up.  Last year he got hurt and tried to play through it, and dinged his status.  Healthy he could do it again.  Owaldo Cabrera was last year's phenom who stumbled out of the gate in Charleston earlier this year, but could light it up again in SI.

The prospects in the OF are Carlos Vidal, 21, who is coming off of an injury but who showed plate disc in his last healthy season.  Kendall Coleman is just 21 though it feels like he's been around longer.  A power prospect who could still breakout.  Leonardo Molina is still just 19 but he also seems like he's been around longer.  He's tooled up, but hasn't really performed yet.  He's got time. 22 year old Dom Thompson-Williams, the fast twitch guy from last year South Carolina Picks, will also be performing, and if power ever shows up, he could move.

It's not as prospect laden as Scranton or Trenton, but it should be fun and it can be a runway and take up place for a bunch of these kids or older players they've been waiting on.

Pulaski starts Thursday, and the GCL starts a week from tomorrow.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Yanks Sign RHP Harold Cortijo

The Yanks have apparently signed the 14th round pick, prep pitcher Harold Cortijo.  He's the kid who moved from Puerto Rico to Maryland to play his junior and senior HS seasons at a super program. He was really one of the most intriguing picks outside of the second half hail mary's they popped instead of seniors or guys who couldn't make their rosters.  Great get.

They also signed their 13th round JuCo monster bat Eric Wagaman.  He apparently hit a homer in his last at bat before signing.  I wonder if it's landed yet.

Both signings that they really wernt for what is becoming their bread and butter once again, power arms and power bats. No more power projections.  Just now power all over the place.

This Week on the Blog

As we try to recover from the Yanks' sudden loss of four winnable games, take some comfort from the fact that the youngest players on the team never gave up.  They are a gritty lot and remind me of Mattingly before he got hurt, Munson, Murcer, Randolph and White. And the future couldn't be brighter.  And speaking of young players, we have two more drafts coming up this week.

Yanks: The Yanks had a brilliant draft this past week, and since day one of same, they have not won a game. But we shouldn't fret too much about that.  This season is all about Judge, Sanchez, Severino, Montgomery and Bird, and any other kid who finds his way onto the convoluted 40 or 25. We're seeing in stunning relief the inept bullpen handling of our manager. Why the hell is Domingo German there? They won't let him start, even though he's been a starter, and they could have used him to split Sevy's start and pitch the 7th, 8th and 9th.  Other than Betances who was unavailable, German has the best stuff.  We're gonna see Cessa today, and he's been unimpressive in SWB, so this could be another rough one.

Giants:  The Giants wrapped up mini-camp and are now off until the end of July.  We could see some roster moves, or maybe and extension or two, but things should be very quiet till training camp.

Knicks: The Knicks have about aone month window to boldy remake their roster and set a new course for the future.  To do that, they have to dump Melo, and trade O'Quinn and Lee for more picks.  What I'd like to see is a brilliant plan unfold including this weeks draft, where they have the #8 pick and two second rounders. We'll see what they do.  The team is a mess as currently constituted they need brilliance and luck.

Rangers: The Rangers have two drafts this week. The actual draft runs Friday and Saturday, but there's also the despicable expansion draft that will take place around then, but I'm not exactly sure when because I find it ridiculous.  This is the problem with Hockey: they don't trust the greatness of their own game to propel profits.  They have to dillute the level of competition every few years through needless expansions that bring a few millions to each owner, and I'd wager most don't pour it back into operations.  Hockey is a great, great sport, and they should be promoting the games and rivalries they already have instead of stealing players from ever team for a new team that won't be good anytime soon. Meanwhile, the Rangers are going to get robbed this week and there's nothing we can do about that, but they still have a draft to participate and they have a first round pick for the first time since they took Brady Skjei.  In other news, the Rangers might be marketing Derek Stepan.  If they do, decide to trade him they better get a huge take back.

Alright, so let's keep rooting for the Yanks, and hope for great plans for the Knicks and Rangers.  Have a great week everyone!