A Month of Fundays

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

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Monday, July 28, 2014

Yanks Farm: Clarkin Announces Ty Henley Has Been Promoted

Ian Clarkin just tweeted that Ty Hensley has been promoted.   I'm not sure whether that means to SI or Charleston.   Probably SI since he's only been making partial starts.   It's good to finally get our injury plagued 2012 first rounders career out of the GCL.   As you'll recall, when drafted he was and still is a prototypical, top of the rotation type, right handed power pitcher.   He's a guy who could now soar in the rankings if he stays healthy.   And he was one of the guys I was alluding to earlier when I said it will turn out we have more than 2 of the top 100 in our system already.   Congrats to Ty!

Giants Claim OL Mark Asper and Waive OL DeMarcus Love

Today the Giants picked up former Oregon Duck OL on waivers from the Bills.  Don't remember if he played with either Schwartz brother, but he was in the 2012 -- even he'll turn 29 this year.   I think he's a Mormon and did a mission.  I'm sure we'll find out.   More stuff for the bottom of the roster.

Yanks: Zoilo Re-Called, Francis DFA'd

Zoilo Almonte was recalled today, presumably to form a RF platoon with Ichiro.   He should hit some homers, but his overall OBP is week, if they keep him in the proper platoon, he should be okay. I don't know why they had to DFA Francis since Zoilo was already on the 40.  Now they should have an opening on the 40.

Yanks One of Three Teams Scheduling Private Workouts With Castillo

This is getting interesting.   Since Saturday's showcase, according to BA, the Yanks are one of three teams scheduling a private workout with Cuban speedster Rusney Castillo.   The additional workout fits in with the multiple looks the Yanks like to get before signing their IFA's and the IFA team were the ones looking on Saturday.  If he's the goods let's hope they don't get outbid again by one of the so called small market teams that have been extorting money from them all these years...

If you'll recall, a week or so ago, we talked about how staying out of the deep end of the Cuban talent pool over the past few years, was hurting this year's club.   Maybe they're ready to start using it again.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Yanks Lose Again

Yanks blew another one today.   And this time, the A bullpen stunk.   Go figure.   But they wrapped up their longest home stand of the year with a 7-3 record.  If they keep playing .700 for awhile, they should be able to hang onto their wild card berth.    For reasons unknown, Tulo was at the game today.

Rangers Reportedly Give Brassard 5/25M

This seems weird.  The Rangers have reportedly avoided arbitration with Brassard by giving him more than he was asking for.  This must be a structure thing where they don't use AAV for some reason.   And now they're going to have to give Stepan more.   This is curious, though it is good to have him locked up. He's been money in the playoffs.

Giants: The Mosley Factor

The buzz coming out of the Giants Camp and Organization about OG/OT Brandon Mosley.  This can be a really big deal if it turns into production and Mosley turns out to be "a guy."   We talked about this throughout the offseason, but the Giants went in having just Justin Pugh as a definite and really needing 4 more guys.  It really looked like a 2 year rebuild.   We're still probably going to have do do one more thing next offseason, but if Mosley is a guy, it gives the line rebuild a huge boost.

When he was drafted out of Auburn, Mosley drew comparisons to a young David Diehl.    Though he's physically similar to Diehl, Dave had a lot more OL experience than Mosley did when he was drafted.  Mosley had been a TE, and when you watch college tapes of him, you would see that he was game, but didn't use his leverage like a more experienced guy would.   Then he looked bad in the 2012 preseason games before getting hurt. He was sort of nondescript last year, in pre, then played well in games before getting hurt again.

But the buzz now is that he's getting consistent. And Shaun O'Hara likes his punch. So this is getting really intriguing.   If he can be one of the guards going forward, all we have to do next offseason is get a more physical left tackle -- or move Pugh to OLT and draft another physical ORT, that might be preferable, especially if it looks like we need to get a DE first next year.

So keep an eye on Mosley when the preseason games start.    This could be a big story.

Yanks Farm: Clarkin And Banuelos Pitch Today

Manny Banuelos who had had a tough time in his recovery from TJS finally looked lights out again in his last AA start.   We'll see if he can do it again and end the season on an upward tilt.    Ian Clarkin gets another start in low A.   They've been adding an inning at a time since he came back from the twisted ankle.   Should be up to 4 innings, perhaps 5 today.   These are probably our two most important lefties.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Yanks Had The IFA Team In FL to Watch Castillo Today

The Yanks haven't gone big for any of the most recent Cuban players, that may be changing.   They had their big guys from IFA including Donny Rowland and his cross checkers, as well as a pro scout down in Florida to watch Castillo's work out today.   These are the guys who signed all the kids earlier this month, and probably interrupted more of their international work to come to Florida and watch Castillo today.   This might be a sign that they're ready to do something here.  Supposedly he's a "Brett Gardner with Power."  That would make him our 3rd big league Brett Gardner.  And along with Slade Heathcott, our second organizational "Brett Gardner with Power."  We'll see.

This Week on the Blog

Big week on the blog, as each of our 4 favorite teams face different issues.

Yankees:  This is the scary one.  The Trade Deadline is on Thursday, and we have pray they don't trade Severino, Clarkin, Judge, Jags, Bird and a few others.  The Yanks are finally starting to produce some kids who look like Real Live Yankees.   It would be yet the latest example of their pound foolishness to trade them.   Beyond that, they have to try to win the last game of the home stand and take their act on the road.

Giants:  The Giants will endure their second week of camp and will be really getting ready to play the Hall of Fame Game.   Tomorrow will be their first day in pads.  No injuries, please.

Rangers:  Rangers stil have to get John Moore and Brassard figured out.  Plus, I still think they'll make a big trade for a C.   So beware of that.

Knicks:  People are reportedly laughing at their trade offer for  Kevin Love.  The internet if funny that way.  I want to hang onto Amare for his expiring contract. It's valuable even if he isn't anymore.  Anyway, we'll see what plan B is.

Should be an interesting week, even if it will be scary till the 31st.  Be smart, teams!

Yank Lose

So between Brian Roberts poor fielding, which lead to Toronto's first lead, Joe Girardi was unable to get to his favored bullpen formula going, and when he goes off the script, anything can happen.   Strangely, he went with Chase Whitley down a run.   Chase is the guy they need to slow down for innings count reasons.  And it was a one run game when he came in.    It backfired.   Oh well.  Capuano was actually okay.  That being said, they will still overlook Roberts' horrible D and Girardi's poor bullpen choice and go an get another starter...

Yanks: Capuano Gets the Start

So the recently acquired by and for Cash, Chris Capuano is going to make his first Yankee start today, and I wouldn't be surprised if it is also his last start.   Here's why, it's already the 26th, and the deadline is 5 days away.  It's really unlikely, even if Capuano throws a perfecto today, that Cash won't still be looking for a better other starter.   I say other starter because with Tanaka, Pineda, CC and Nova all out, all we have is other starters and no classic one, two, three, four or five.    Bunch of three/four's really.   I think they'll snap someone else up in the next few, and he will take Capuano's spot.   And then Chris may ride the DFA train.  

I think he was really just brought in to pick up a Whitley start, and that's it.   All he cost was Cash.   So he could be making a brief one.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Yanks Win Again

The Yanks fell behind 3-0 in the top of the first.  Then they actually showed some gumption and came back and won!   Though they did cap their scoring after Ichiro's annual clutch homer gave them 6 runs.   Beltran had also homered and McCann and Headley did some good things, too.   Kuroda got the win, though he gave up 4 runs in 5.2.   Sort of deserves it for all the offensive no-shows he's pitched through.   Betances and Robertson also did their things.   This has got to get ownership thinking playoffs as a real possibility.   Let's hope they don't do anything crazy.

Yanks: Whitley to the Pen, Capuano to Start

So the Yanks announced that Chris Capuano will start tomorrow, and Chase Whitley will go to the pen.   This moves Shane Greene's next start to Sunday.  Glad they are respecting Whitley's innings load.   But this still feels like a temporary rotation and you have to wonder what else is coming and at what cost.

Interesting GCL Game

The GCL1 Yankees have been great this year, and they have some of the Yanks best lower level pitchers including 19 year old Austin DeCarr, 20 year old Ty Hensley and 21 year old Simon De la Rosa.   Today, they all pitched one after another.   Ty started and allowed 0 runs, in two innings, though he walked 4 and only K'd 2.  Might have been getting squeezed or working on something.   DeCarr also pitched two shutout innings with 2 K's and no walks.   De la Rosas then pitched 4 innings of 1 run, 1BB 7K ball.   The Yanks are currently winning this game 11-1 and I'm not sure who will pitch the 9th.

That said, I feel sorry for whoever they were playing.  They got no  let up.   Both Ty and Austin are exactly what you're looking for in a righty power pitcher.   Ty is coming back from injuries and Austin was just drafted but they both have top of the rotation projection.   De la Rosa is a little older, in fact, he's older than Luis Severino right now.

Actually let's talk about pitchers ages for a minute.   Ultimately all that matters is that a guy can get major league hitters out.   Dwight Gooden could do it at 18, and Mike Scott didn't get really good at it till his late 30's.    So in development terms, it doesn't matter how old pitcher is, even if he's crushing younger competition, because he'll either run into a level he can't stop or he won't.

Thus with a pitcher like De la Rosa, I'm not going to worry about age until and if he finds a ceiling.

Back to De la Rosa, he's got electric arm, and will probably hit Charleston next year and could be a fast mover.

In all it was a really interesting day for GCL 1 as they threw a possible 3/5's of a future rotation at the hapless GCL Phillies.  Just checked, 14-1 was your final.  Sheesh!

UPDATE: Jose Mesa pitched the scoreless 9th with 1 K.

Yanks To Scout Rusney Castillo Tomorrow

Rusney Castillo is a speedy right handed CF who also has experience at 2B and 3B.    He's 5'9" and thick, but fast and he's got some pop.   Anyway, according to George King the Yanks will be at his showcase tomorrow.

As we've talked about before, the reason the Yanks are so screwed on offense and in the field lately is that they did not sign many of the Cubans who have been available lately.   From Chapman to Abreu the Yanks sat on the sidelines, saying the Yanks didn't see anything.    That either says they have bad scouts, which I don't believe at all, or that the scouts were being blamed for an organizational decision.

In any event, it's left a gap in our offense.  They did sign Adonys Garcia and he's just looked serviceable at AAA.    They also signed LHP Omar Luis who had missed two years of baseball development over his defection, and pitches like it.  

So should the Yanks go for Castillo?  Why not?   If he's as fast as they say, that would really be a sick OF with Gardy and Ellsbury.    And if he can help out at second and third, that even more value.

In any event, the Yanks just have to get the Cuban market back as one of their international options that don't cost draft picks.   Sure, they have their problems with Cuban players, but that's also where they got El Duque, and he was straight money.

UPDATE:  Leroux has been DFA'd.   Next!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Giant Toughness

We've talked about Giant Toughness over the past few years and I'm not sure where exactly it is these days.   Camp's been delightfully uneventful from a practice and player standpoint, but they don't have pads on yet, and I don't really want them proving their toughness against each other, anyway.

But Chris Snee's retirement really got me worried about this.   Beatty's not tough.  I think Pugh probably will turn out to be.  Maybe Richburg, but the other guys I just don't know about yet, and if we go to a more zoney-spready scheme, we may never find out.  Of course if we can execute both the run in the pass from the new O, I'll be thrilled, but I will miss those nasty bastards pictured above and the way they used to blow people up in the running game, then get down field and blow up more guys.

On defense, we've been kind of soft since Strahan retired.   We keep losing our best homegrown DT's like Cofield and Linval, and I just don't know where we are on the defensive line anymore when it comes to character and toughness.

I think the linebackers with Beason and McClain are tougher than they've been in a long time, so that's encouraging.    And I think the Dbacks will be feisty and good.

But I am concerned about the identities of our OL and DL.   Seriously concerned.

Yanks Get Chris Capuano for Cash

In their latest dumpster dive, the Yanks have picked up 35 year old, below average lefty, Chris Capuano from the Rockies for what is said to be cash.   I think there might be more in motion at this point, but here's hoping the Analytics guys found another gem.   The price seems right as long as there's no PTBNL.   It feels like they are returning to their "get any lefty we can for this ball park" past.   It's at least entertaining.

Yanks Now Tied for Second Wild Card

Um, yikes!   We know trades are coming, but hopefully this doesn't make them any bigger or make us more willing to blow up the future.

UPDATE:  Billy Eppler has completed his 2nd interview with SD.  We better get compensation if he leaves in season.  We didn't get it for Sabean.

Second, the AA lineup has not been announced yet and it's over an hour late.   Yikes.

Yanks Win Again

Brandon McCarthy gave the Yanks another 6 strong, and they won yet another game in under 3 hours.   Are we going back in time?  Part of it has been a lack of walks both by the lineup and from the staff in some of these games.  The O definitely doesn't grind like they used to, but they did fall behind 1-0 then catch up and pull ahead.   They even tacked on a run when Texas made it 3-2, ultimately beating them 4-2.   Had to use Warren, Thornton (one pitch pop up!), Betances and Robertson.

They really do have to make a decision on Robertson.   He's a great pitcher, whom they should extend, but if they're not going to, they should trade him now while the prices for closers are big.

Severino Pitches Today

A little later, Luis Severino will make his second AA start.   He cruised after the first inning last time, so he'll either still be cruising this time, or be forced to make adjustments.  I think teams will try to swing earlier in the counts since he is s strike thrower.  We'll see how he does.

Meanwhile, someone on twitter brought up an interesting point about Refnsyder.  Because he's risen so quickly, he doesn't have to be protected from the Rule V draft at the Winter Meetings.   Thus that will be a 40 space they can use for someone they do have to protect, and that, as much as anything may be why they haven't pulled to trigger on a promotion yet.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Yanks Win Rain Shortened, Pen Saving Game!

Yanks just beat Yu Darvish, thanks to Mother Nature and the reasonably priced True Yankee, Brett Gardner.  After Cervelli scored on a balk,  Gardy hit  his 10th homer, which gave the Yanks the 2-1 lead that the rain upheld.   The rain started in the bottom of the 5th, so it was official.   This is great because the Yanks didn't have to use their pen.  Phew after last night's 14 inning monstrosity.   Now let's see who's on the team tomorrow!

Yanks: Ian Kennedy Part 2?

The Yanks reportedly have a scout in Chicago tonight watching Ian Kennedy pitch for the Padres.   Kennedy is a weird pitcher.   First, he's got a strong K rate and lots of K's without too many walk or home runs, and a bit less than a hit an inning.   But his ERA+ is a below average 95.   Perhaps the mysterious Yankee Analytics department is recognizing something.    Anyway, he's not someone who should cost us anything serious, and I was kind of thinking he and Headley would arrive in one trade. But they are looking at him tonight, and he'll probably be similar to the guys we've called up this year, but without as much uncertainty.   We'll see what happens.

Btw, Soria just got traded for the Tigers #2 and #4 prospects...   Imagine what Robertson could get us given what Soria and Street have brought in trade this week.

Knicks Waive Shannon Brown

Phil Jackson is kicking the training wheels off of his new look Knicks.   He just cut Shannon Brown, who had probably only been signed for his familiarity with the triangle.   He played in Summer League for the Knicks and that, apparently, was that.   Gotta wonder what's next for the Knicks.   Not worried about it for the first time in forever.

Rangers Come to Terms With Kreider

The Rangers and Chris Kreider avoided arbitration this morning by agreeing to a two year deal that will pay Chris 2.35 this year and 2.6 next.  This is ideal, as it probably is too soon to make a huge commitment to Kreider but it might not be at some point during the two year deal.   Now they just have to make deals with Brassard and Moore.   So far, so good -- for the time being, at least.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Headley Wins it for the Yanks in 14!

So it took him three times, but Chase Headley had the game winning hit in a 14 inning pitchers (incompetents?) duel that just ended at the stadium.    It was 0-0 till the 13th when both teams scored one.   The Jeff Francis finally appeared for the Yanks (after two weeks on the 40 where he did nothing, nice work Joe G.) .  Anyway, he prevented the Rangers from scoring again, then the Yanks beat Soria, who the Rangers had been holding back in the 14th.  Roberts and Cervelli had the big hits before Headley's game winning single.    Whitley was good again, or, at least lucky.   I wonder who'll make his next start...

MZA Signs

Mats Zuccarello has signed a 1 year 3.5M deal with the Rangers.   Good deal for both sides as we await further cap increases.   I think the Rangers might have gotten crushed on this one if it had gotten to arbitration.  This should give them room for Kreider and Brassard.

Yanks Cashman Says He Still has More Work To Do

So Cash now says he's still looking for a starting pitcher as well as a righty throwing OF.    First we've heard of the OF, but it could be Wllingham.   The pitcher could be Lee, Danks, or Kennedy, and but the price for any of this stuff must be small or we are back in the late `80s.   Scary times but as long as he's not making a big talent bet on this year's underachievers, we should be okay.

Rangers Appear To Be Headed to Arbitration With Kreider

The Rangers are behaving curiously this summer.   First, they were in pretty good cap shape, but then pissed it away by increments on older players who will block kids.   Because of those questionable investments, they must now play a dangerous arbitration game with three of their best young players: Kreider; Brassard and MZA.  The problem with arbitration is that it can be so hurtful and foster bad feelings from the players across the table.   The Rangers need a better way to handle their young core, and not just the McD's.

In the meantime, this offseason, which features all these veteran bandaids, seems to indicate a trade of some of the kid forwards is probably in the offing. We'll deal with that when we know who for, but the signs are pretty bright.

Impact of the DePaula Trade on The Yankee System

So, the Yanks finally traded Raphael DePaula today.   You'll recall all the drama they went through to get him a few years ago, including his suspension and several false starts.   After the promotion of Severino, he as the most electric arm left at High A for the time being, and was probably close to a AA promotion after last night.    

So the trade right now takes a power arm out of Tampa, but the reason they were willing to do this was that there are plenty of power arms left from both the most recent draft and past few IFA classes. DePaula was already 23, and still walking too many arms.  

Now, the Shane Greene story is exactly why you should be incredibly patient with power arms, but the fact is the Yanks are loaded with them, so this wasn't so bad, unless you wanted to save DePaula for a bigger trade, though I'm not too interested in making any bigger trades.

Speaking of which the Yanks are reportedly talking to the White Sox about Danks, who would be another buy low guy.

Yanks Acquire Chase Headley

Yanks have traded Yangervis Solarte and Raphael DePaula for Chase Headley.    Had a feeling DePaula was getting traded this round.  Since he's the only thing of value leaving, we should remember he's been pitching better in his second go round in High A, but his chances of making it are probably not what they were when he was cruising through low A.    Headley, at one time seemed to be able to hit.  If he snaps out of it at all, this could be alright.