Good morning Fackers. Another work week is upon us, and it's something of a mixed bag this morning. On the good side, the Yankees just wrapped up a 9-1 homestand. Coming off an a four day All-Star break that was preceded by an awful three game sweep at the hands of the Angels, the Yankees rebounded by sweeping the Central leading Tigers, the basement dwelling O's, and taking three of four from the A's. This nice little run has left the Yanks with a 2.5 game lead in the AL East as they hit the road for the next nine games before returning home for a big four game set against the Sawx.
On the bad side of things, the Yanks have some bad news on the injury front. The nightmare continues for Chien-Ming Wang. He did not throw as scheduled Friday and is currently on his way to visit Dr. James Andrews in Birmingham. Wang had an MRI last Tuesday that showed damage to his rotator cuff. At this stage it's unclear whether the damage is new or if it's residual from his 2000 procedure, performed by Andrews. Wang also missed time in his rookie year of 2005 with rotator cuff issues, though that injury did not necessitate surgery. If surgery is necessary, Wang will miss the remainder of this year and at least part, if not all, of next year. At this point I can't feel anything but bad for CMW. I hope he can put his career back together at some point.
While CMW has contributed next to nothing this year, Brett Gardner, after a rough start, has been very valuable. I've been pretty vocal here about my opinion that Gardner should be playing regularly in CF. Now a broken thumb will leave him sidelined until mid-August. So on the same day the best base stealer in Yankee history was inducted into the Hall of Fame, the Yankees lose their best base stealing threat since Rickey. It's as of yet unclear who will take Gardner's roster spot. Jonathan Albaladejo was recalled for yesterday's game, but logic would dictate that another position player, specifically someone who can back Melky up in CF, will be needed. Word is that it won't be Austin Jackson at this time, and I still think that's the right move. Ramiro Pena has played CF just five times since being demoted, but went 3 for 3 with a HR last night for Scranton.
We're four days away from the non-waiver trade deadline. Certainly these injury developments impact the Yankees' plans, but given Brian Cashman's statements over the past several weeks, I don't imagine that he'll allow himself to be strong armed into a deal based on this latest news. It will however be interesting to see if Cash pulls the trigger on a deal for a starter before Wang sees Andrews. If Wang is lost for the year, the Yankees leverage will be significantly decreased when the news becomes public.
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