While Jay and I were busy enjoying the weekend, there were some noteworthy tidbits coming out of Yankeeland.
First and foremost, Sergio Mitre will get the start against the O's tomorrow night. In nine minor league starts this year, Mitre is 4-1 with a 2.32 ERA and a 1.05 WHIP as he rehabs from Tommy John surgery. That's that good news. The bad news is that in 310.2 MLB innings since 2003, Mitre has a 5.23 ERA in the NL (81 ERA+) and a 1.55 WHIP. This is not a long term solution to the fifth starter spot.
To make room on the 40 man roster, Xavier Nady will likely be moved to the 60 day DL. Candidates to be moved off the MLB roster would have to be Mark Melancon and David Robertson, who both have options, or Brett Tomko who is on a Berroa-like streak of bullet-dodging.
Meanwhile, Alf Aceves and Phil Hughes, both superior hurlers to Mitre, remain in the pen where they continue to mow down opposing batters (or is that "Mo down opposing batters"?). Apparently the team has figured it better to play Russian Roulette for five innings every five days rather than for one or two innings each time through the rotation. At this point I've resigned myself to Hughes being in the pen for the remainder of 2009.
On a semi-related note, Brian Cashman is sending strong indications that the Yankees will not be a player for Roy Halladay as the deadline approaches. I support this position, though admittedly it could be tactical posturing on Cash's part. If the Yankees aren't going to pursue Halladay, that's one less option to sure up the rotation. Unfortunately, I don't think Mitre nor Chien-Ming Wang - who begins a throwing program today - is the answer for this year.
Damaso Marte is continuing his rehab with the GCL Yankees. He made his second appearance Saturday, this time throwing a perfect inning and striking out two batters.
HOPE Week begins for the Yankees today. The organization seems to have been more heavily involved than usual in charities and community outreach this year, and that's a great thing.
Jay will be back with tonight's preview shortly.