Of course, if you were around these parts last year, you may remember that anytime I talk about Pearl Jam, disaster follows. So of course, the Yankees had a meltdown in the eighth inning yesterday. By that time I was out to dinner with the family, celebrating my youngest brother's 20th birthday, so I was only getting updates via phone. Since 2007 Joba is Back Baby!, I'm sure he had nothing to do with things falling apart. It can only be the bad karma brought on by me going to see that band. Sorry about that. On to the news and notes:
Today marks the twelfth anniversary of David Wells' Sunday afternoon perfect game against Twins. As chance would have it, the Twins were at Yankee Stadium yesterday, for a Sunday afternoon game, and Boomer was in the house doing the game for TBS. Unfortunately, things didn't work out quite so well for the home team this time. Oddly enough, the Twins also played a Sunday afternoon game in the Bronx on May 17th last year, and Wells was covering that game for TBS as well.
Speaking of starting pitchers, after Saturday's game Joe Girardi laid out the Yankees' rotation for the remainder of the week. Phil Hughes gets the ball tonight; Javier Vazquez is getting skipped again, this time pushed back to Friday night at Citi Field. We'll have a little more on this in our next post.
As we mentioned in yesterday's preview, Chan Ho Park is ready to return. It still makes no sense to me why he wasn't activated for yesterday's game, and the fact that he wasn't seems to indicate that it'll been Ivan Nova going to Scranton to make room for him, rather than Boone Logan.
That move doesn't add up to me either, as it will leave the Yankees without a longman for the rest of this week, though I suppose we could see Javy in relief tonight or tomorrow. That, in turn, could jeopardize his start for Friday, depending upon how much is needed from him. Which would mean another spot start for Sergio Mitre, who would once again be unable to return the longman role for a few days. All this just to keep Boone Logan around?
In other injury news, Nick Swisher remains day-to-day with a sore left bicep. It bothers him most when batting left-handed. On Saturday, he took a right handed at bat against a right handed pitcher, the first time he'd done that against a non-knuckleballer. He was held out of yesterday's line up against a right handed pitcher, but came on to pinch hit against lefty Brian Duensing in the eighth. When Ron Gardenhire pulled Duensing in favor of righty Matt Guerrier, Swish was immediately lifted for Juan Miranda. This will merit watching as the week unfolds.
Curtis Granderson ran at about 75 to 80 percent on Saturday and took batting practice yesterday, so he appears to be progressing well in recovering from his pulled groin.
In less pleasant injury news, Nick Johnson may need surgery on his injured wrist. If the cortisone shot he received last weekend doesn't do the trick, he'll go under the knife yet again. Best case scenario the shot works and he's back in three weeks. Worst case, we're looking at surgery and maybe an August return. Cue the indignation at signing the injury prone Johnson! Just remember, if you're going to bemoan his fragility keeping him out of the lineup now, you can't complain that he was slumping when he was healthy. Can't have it both ways.
Speaking of shots, Alfredo Aceves had one as well. The reliever with a bulging disc in his back was given an epidural over the weekend. Both mother and baby are said to be doing well.
Brian Cashman traveled to Scranton Friday to watch Chan Ho Park's rehab appearance. He held court with the media there, and sounded surprisingly callous in talking about releasing the oft injured Christian Garcia. I mean, I don't disagree with you Cash, but jeez, have a heart. The guy's had a rough few years.
In the same session, Cashman described Shane Lindsay, the pitcher who took Garcia's spot, as "a lesser version of Brian Bruney" Yeesh. Color me inspired. Hey, accept no imitations. The real deal is available.
Lastly, Cashman also said the Kevin Russo is going to get the Jerry Hairston Jr treatment, and will be playing all over the diamond in an effort to turn him into a super utility player. This is something I advocated for last summer, so I'm happy about it. Beyond tooting my own horn though, there's value in this. Russo profiles as a useful bench bat. He's not about to usurp any of the Yankee infielders, so making him a capable infielder and outfielder is only going to increase his value. With Ramiro Pena struggling, it could even position him to take the Big League utlity infielder job. There would be concerns about Russo's ability to play short though. Either way, if he's capable of playing all over the diamond, Russo would be a very useful bench piece, with or without Pena on the roster.
Meanwhile, down in Trenton, starter Ryan Pope has been shifted into the depleted bullpen. To take his place in the rotation Hector Noesi has been recalled from Tampa. Noesi was a darkhorse addition to the 40 man roster last offseason, and he's been dominating the Florida State League this year to the tune of a 2.72 ERA, 0.95 WHIP, and a 53:6 K:BB over 43 IP.
Tampa can easily absorb the loss of Noesi, since they added starter Graham Stoneburner from Charleston last week. Stoneburner has a 2.08 ERA, 0.95 WHIP, and 44:10 K:BB in 39 IP in the Sallie League prior to his promotion. He made his Tampa debut last Thursday, retired the first 15 batters he faced and allowed two runs, three baserunners and fanned seven over six innings.
Back with more in a bit.