Good morning Fackers. As we mentioned in last night's recap, Jorge Posada's MRI revealed a hairline fracture on the bottom of his right foot. He's expected to be out three to four weeks, though in typical Posada fashion, he said he'll be back sooner than that.
In some ways, his upcoming DL stint could be a blessing in disguise. While the last thing the Yankees need right now is another injury, the soon to be 39 year old Posada hasn't been healthy in three weeks. Nagging injuries to his knee, calf, and foot, have kept him out of the starting lineup for 11 of the past 20 games. He's only started seven games behind the plate in that time. Placing him on the DL for at least the next two weeks should allow him the time he needs to heal up. But obviously, this will necessitate some additional roster shuffling.
Let me throw some cold water on two of the hotter suggestions that will be bandied about today. As much as we'd like to see either top prospect, neither Jesus Montero nor Austin Romine will be brought up to take Posada's place. Neither is Big League ready. Both need to be playing, and catching, everyday as a critical part of their development right now. It would be a disservice to either to call them up; they aren't ready. Montero has struggled a bit offensively this year, for the first time in his career, and is just now starting to come out of his slump. Romine has been hitting very well at AA, but recently missed several games behind the plate due to a period of dead arm. Patience. We'll see them soon enough.
Who we will see is veteran catcher Chad Moeller. Moeller was released by Baltimore at the end of Spring Training, and the Yankees quickly grabbed him up for this express purpose: to serve as the veteran emergency catcher at AAA. Moeller is currently not on the 40 man roster, which is full, so room will have to be made for him. Nick Johnson will likely be transferred from the 15 day to the 60 day DL to open a spot.
Moeller had a brush with the Yankees in 2008, joining the club when Posada went down with a shoulder injury, then being pulled from team once Ivan Rodriguez was acquired at the trade deadline. Moeller had little impact on the roster during that time; he'll try to take a bite out of the competition this time around and give the team something to chew on. (Ok, that's enough teeth jokes from me. I wouldn't want Rick Reilly to accuse me of stealing his schtick).
The Moeller for Posada swap likely won't be the only move made today. The Yankee bench has been woefully short the past two nights, due to Posada's injury, Nick Swisher's nagging biceps problem, and the 13 man pitching staff. With Marcus Thames adding his name to the list of the walking wounded last night, another outfielder will be needed. Low men on the bullpen totem pole Boone Logan and Mark Melancon soaked up all the necessary relief innings last night, and Sergio Mitre now has had three days rest following his Sunday spot start. As such, the bullpen should be sufficiently fortified and rested moving forward, allowing a return to a more manageable 12 man staff.
With Posada heading to the DL, the Yankees have the option of recalling Greg Golson, who was sent down Tuesday. Since he'd be replacing a DL'd player the ten day demotion requirement would be waived. The same applies to Kevin Russo, who was demoted last Thursday, and has been playing all over the field since heading back to Scranton. And as we mentioned yesterday, it appears that Scranton has been prepping outfielder/first baseman Chad Huffman, hitting .274/.344/.460 on the season and .317/.457/.548 over his last ten games, for a potential recall.
So it appears we'll see a series of roster moves today. Nick Johnson will be transfered to the 60 day DL so that Chad Moeller can be added to the 40 man roster. Jorge Posada will be placed on the 15 day DL, and one of Golson, Russo, or Huffman will be recalled to take his place. And the extra pitcher, either Boone Logan or Mark Melancon, will be optioned back to Scranton allowing for Moeller's recall. We'll update you on the finalized roster moves in today's preview.