Today’s news is powered by a couple of gals out-doing that famous scene from “Big”:
- Posada edging closer:
New York Yankees catcher Jorge Posada may be able to rejoin the team for a weekend series in Cleveland after missing more than three weeks because of a strained right hamstring.
“It’s possible as early as Friday, yeah,” New York manager Joe Girardi said before Wednesday night’s game at Texas. “He’s a big bat we’ve been missing. He’s another big bat to add to the middle of that order. We’ll wait to see how he feels and go from there. If he feels fine, there’s a good chance we’ll activate him Friday.”
Posada caught for five innings in an extended spring training intrasquad game on Wednesday. . . .
Posada ran from first to third on a single and threw out a runner trying to steal second base in the intrasquad game.
- Melky fought the wall and the wall won:
New York Yankees center fielder Melky Cabrera missed Wednesday night’s game against the Texas Rangers with a strained right shoulder, and could be out through the weekend.
Cabrera exited Tuesday night’s game against Texas after running into the wall while trying to make a catch in the first inning. . . .
Cabrera had an MRI exam Wednesday that was negative. Girardi said Cabrera wouldn’t be in Wednesday night’s lineup, with Gardner starting in center.
Girardi said Cabrera could be out until Monday night’s series finale against the Indians.
“We’re going to call it day to day. but it’s probably going to be more than a day or two,” Girardi said. “I don’t necessarily think it will be a DL thing — getting to the end of the weekend in Cleveland or Monday, that would be really good.”
- When will Girardi deploy his CMW?:
Still in the unfamiliar role of a long reliever, Wang said Tuesday that manager Joe Girardi told him there are still no plans to insert him into the rotation and that he will continue with the Yankees as a reliever for now.
“He talked to me yesterday and said he doesn’t know when,” Wang said.. . .
. . . Wang has spoken in a team-first manner, but the two-time 19-game winner would clearly prefer to be starting.
As of this moment, though, there are no clear-cut opportunities with which to give him that chance. Girardi said that Hughes will make his next scheduled start on Sunday against the Indians in Cleveland, which leaves Wang as a reliever for now.
“I think he’s somewhat frustrated by it,” Girardi said. “It’s the way you’d expect anyone to be if you’d been through what he’s been through the last couple of months. I believe he understands that he’s here to help us, and we feel really strongly that he can be a big part of this club. We need to get him back to where he needs to be.”
- George Vecsey writes about two minor league catchers helping their big league NY teams (Omir Santos and Francisco Cervelli):
The Yankees have been impressed with Cervelli’s aggressive ways behind the plate.
“You know, he reminds me of Billy Smith, the old Islanders goalie, who would hit people,” Cashman said, harking back to his childhood on Long Island, when the Islanders were winning Stanley Cups. . . .
“He’s the kind of guy who gets hit with an extra pitch because of the way he plays, but that’s all right,” Cashman said. “He knows his job is to help his pitchers.”
Santos has not yet contacted Cervelli since they were both called up early this season, but he marvels at Cervelli’s arm. In March, Cervelli played for Italy in the World Baseball Classic, courtesy of the dual citizenship from his father, who moved from Italy to Venezuela as a child. The name means “brains” in Italian. How’s that for a “Bronx Tale” nickname? Frankie Brains.
Cervelli’s progress was impeded by a broken wrist from a hard slide by a Tampa Bay player in spring training of 2008 that infuriated Manager Joe Girardi and the Yankees. He was hitting .306 for the Yankees going into Tuesday’s game in Texas, compared with the .190 he was hitting at Class AA Trenton, but Cashman noted that Cervelli will need to play somewhere when Posada and Molina are healthy.
- Jeter shows great range at the ballot box:
. . . the first 2009 AL balloting update for Major League Baseball’s All-Star Game was released Wednesday, and once again, Derek Jeter of the New York Yankees is the leading vote-getter, with Tampa Bay Rays third baseman Evan Longoria right behind him.
Jeter, who is seeking his 10th All-Star Game berth, garnered 664,630 votes to lead the shortstop category by a healthy margin of almost 400,000 votes over second-place Marco Scutaro of the Toronto Blue Jays. The shortstops are rounded out by Texas rookie Elvis Andrus, Jason Bartlett of the Rays and Chicago White Sox second-year man Alexei Ramirez.
- Tyler Kepner is looking forward to a pitching match-up on Sunday:
Not to get too far ahead of ourselves, but you’ve got to love the pitching matchup in Cleveland on Sunday. The Yankees’ Phil Hughes takes on the Indians’ Carl Pavano — who is 5-1 in May.
That’s right. Pavano has more victories this month than any Yankees pitcher has this season. Now, that doesn’t mean he has pitched better than the Yankees’ starters. His earned run average for the season is 5.50. But at 5-4, Pavano already has more wins for Cleveland than he had in any of his four seasons in New York.
[My take: And I still say Pavano gets dealt by July 31st, probably to the Mets. Fun fact: Pavano has lowered his season ERA in each of his last nine starts.]
- On this date in 1946, the first night game is played at Yankee Stadium as the Washington Senators beat the New York Yankees 2 – 1.
- On this date in 2004, Mariano Rivera posted his 300th career save, in a Yankees 7 – 5 victory over Tampa Bay. He also became the first Yankee and 17th reliever in major league history to reach the milestone.