A few news items as we head towards tonight's preview:
It's official: Xavier Nady will have the second Tommy John surgery of his career.
Jose Molina begins his rehab assignment in Rhode Island tonight. He'll suit up for Scranton against the hated Pawtucket Red Sox.
There is no news on Damaso Marte, the only other Yankee on the DL. I presume he's fallen down the same rabbit hole that swallowed Ozzie Smith on The Simpsons.
Eric Hinske arrived in the Bronx yesterday, was added to the roster, and issued #14. A-Rod got a half night off as the DH, but with lefty Jarrod Washburn on the mound, Cody Ransom got the start at third.
Many in the blogosphere have pointed out the Hinske has played just 132 innings at third over the past five seasons, and has not been particularly graceful at the hot corner. Still, I'd expect to see him see time there soon, particularly when the Yanks get to the turf in Minnesota next week. All he has to do is run into one at the plate to make up for a few errors.
As expected, Ramiro Pena was optioned out to make room for Hinske. The plan is for Pena to learn to play CF at Scranton, increasing his versatility. RAB has a nice look at the situation. But I wonder, don't the Yankees already have an option like this at Scranton with the offensively-superior Kevin Russo? Either way, I think consistent playing time and regular PAs will help Pena.
Today marks the start of the international signing period, which means a bunch of Latin American 16 year-olds are about to become very rich in deals that may or may not be ethical and above board. The Yankees have completed their long-rumored deal with Gary Sanchez, adding to the organization's tremendous depth at catcher. They are reportedly closing in on a pitcher and shortstop as well. Pete Abe has some good comments on all this.
In bigger international news, Cuban lefty Aroldis Chapman has defected. Chapman was impressive in the WBC and figures to start a bidding war once he establishes asylum, likley in the Dominican Republic or Nicaragua. If he's more El Duque than Jose Contreras, I say go for it.