Today’s news is powered by . . . Cliff’s new bundle of joy! Off we go!
- Good news on Posada and Cabrera:
Jorge Posada is on his way back to the Yankees lineup, playing six innings in an extended spring game on Thursday and then flying to meet the team.
Posada has been sidelined since suffering a strained right hamstring on May 4 in New York. The Yankees have an off-day on Thursday and will open a four-game series at Cleveland’s Progressive Field on Friday.
“The hamstring is feeling good,” Posada told The Associated Press in Dunedin, Fla. “I’m happy with everything. The most important thing was just running, seeing some pitches and getting the timing down.”. . .
Additionally, outfielder Melky Cabrera will rejoin the Yankees on Friday. Cabrera was examined by Yankees team physician Dr. Chris Ahmad in New York and supported the diagnosis by head trainer Gene Monahan of a bruised right shoulder.
Yankees manager Joe Girardi said that Cabrera — who crashed into a fence chasing a fly ball in the first inning on Tuesday — would be sidelined five to seven days.
- Buster Olney has the Yankees pondering Mark DeRosa:
Imagine Mark DeRosa as a big hunk of tuna, bait on a hook. One of the looming shadows circling below is that of the New York Yankees, who are weighing options and haven’t decided whether to take a shot at the versatile veteran.
[My take: Another corner outfielder? Would he supplant Cano at 2B? Otherwise he's a pretty expensive (but versatile) bench player.]
- Bruney’s elbow . . . the on-going saga:
Brian Bruney’s visit to Dr. James Andrews went as well as the Yankees could have hoped, as the famed orthopedist found no structural damage in the reliever’s injured right elbow.
Bruney was diagnosed with a right flexor muscle strain, the same injury that landed him on the disabled list from April 25 to May19. Bruney will rejoin the team in Cleveland before tomorrow’s game and will undergo a throwing program.
“We’re happy the diagnosis isn’t a surgical situation,” GM Brian Cashman said. “It’s just how long it will take for him to heal.”
[My take: Give him some truth serum along with that rehab . . .]
- Coke adds life . . . to the Yankees’ pen:
He is Phil Coke, who is tied with Veras for the staff lead in appearances, with 21. It is no wonder Coke was chatting before Wednesday’s game with a Texas Rangers reliever, Eddie Guardado, whose nickname is Everyday. Despite Coke’s mixed results — 1-2 with a 4.43 earned run average — Girardi has found him indispensable.
“He has three quality pitches,” Girardi said. “He’s able to locate his fastball on both sides of the plate, he has an equalizer in his changeup to get right-handers, and he’s got a good slider to get left-handers. Really, what he does is he just pitches. He locates, he changes speeds and he works both sides of the plate.”
- SWB Yanks add a Bush:
It seems the Yankees have signed 29-year-old Paul Bush out of the independent Atlantic League and assigned him to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Bush is a right-handed pitcher with pretty good numbers — 1.62 ERA with 22 strikeouts in 16.2 innings — and logic would dictate that he’s going to fill the hole in the Triple-A rotation.
But Bush is a reliever.
Those 16.2 innings have come in nine games with the Somerset Patriots. Bush spent the previous seven seasons in the Atlanta Braves organization, including 22 games in Triple-A. Of his 175 minor league games, only 29 were starts, and each of those starts came in seasons when the vast majority of his outings came out of the bullpen. Seems to me that the last thing the Yankees need is another Triple-A reliever, but I’m sure they have a plan.
- Does Cashman have his head in the clouds, and not on the field?:
Remember those wind tests the Yankees were said to be doing on their new stadium? Well, whatever is going on with them, no news has crossed General Manager Brian Cashman’s desk. And since he puts together the roster, he would probably be in the loop.
“I don’t have any answers about wind studies,” Cashman said. When I asked if he still believed the dimensions were the same as before, as some folks have disputed with visual evidence, Cashman said, “I’ve been told they’re the same. I know they’re supposed to be the same.”
Supposed to be the same doesn’t mean “the same.” It’s a bandbox. Take the number of home runs the old Yankee Stadium allowed and double it. That’s basically what has happened. But Cashman insists he doesn’t see it that way.
“I don’t think it has anything to do with the dimensions,” he said, explaining that most of the homers he’s seen have been legitimate shots.
[My take: So if its NOT the dimensions, then it must be the wind patterns, right?]
- Yanks should have called Priceline (thanks to PeteAbe for the tip):
The Yankees usually stay in the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Cleveland, an elegant establishment befitting their lofty status as America’s most beloved and revered sports franchise.
But the Yankees, who have a large traveling party, were unceremoniously booted out this weekend. A Saudi Arabian princess is in Cleveland to have surgery at the famed Cleveland Clinic and booked up the entire hotel to accommodate her retinue of handlers. She wanted 90 — that’s right, 90 — rooms. And you thought Vincent Chase had an entourage.
The Ritz was able to find space for the Orlando Magic, who are here for the NBA playoffs. But there was no room for the Yankees.
[My take: I would have figured Boss George still had plenty of properties in and around his native city for his team to crash in.]
- With this year’s amateur draft coming up soon, Kevin Goldstein looks back at how the Yanks did with their draft of ’08:
Top Pick: The Yankees were unable to sign righty Gerrit Cole, who struck out 104 over 85 innings at UCLA while moving into the Friday starter role as a freshman. . . .
Movin’ On Up: Right-hander D.J. Mitchell received a lot of late-spring buzz at Clemson and earned a $500,000 bonus as a tenth-round selection. His sinker/slider combination and outstanding athleticism drew plenty of praise from scouts as he kept his ERA under two at Single-A Charleston before moving on to the High-A Florida State League.
Disappointing: The Yankees gave $850,000 to sixth-rounder Brett Marshall, but he’s been inconsistent in terms of both his mechanics and velocity at Charleston, with an ERA of 4.93 and a disappointingly low strikeout total of 25 in 42 innings.
- Phil Hughes and his personalized cap:
The other day, Paul (Lukas) noticed that Hughes had “Jr.” written on the right side of his red Memorial Day cap when he beat the Rangers here. Paul wondered why, and here’s the answer.
Hughes said it was a tribute to his father, also named Phil, who spent 16 years in the Navy and served on a Destroyer in Vietnam. Hughes’ father, who is 64, lives in California and watches all his son’s games on TV.
“I really don’t get to see him on Memorial Day or Father’s Day, but I know he watches every game,” Hughes said.
Hughes said he kept the Memorial Day cap and plans to give it to his father as a keepsake.
- Bizarre, fun fact . . . Brett Tomko’s dad is responsible for naming the Cleveland basketball team the Cavaliers:
Tomko’s father, Jerry, gave the Cavaliers their nickname when he trumped more than 11,000 entries in a write-in contest in the Cleveland Plain Dealer back in 1970. Jerry Tomko’s winning entry read in part, “The name Cleveland Cavaliers represents a group of daring, fearless men whose life’s pact was never surrender, no matter what the odds.”
- Charlie Hayes turns 44 today. Hayes was the starting 3B for the ’92 squad, then got drafted by the expansion Rockies in ’93. He returned as a late-season addition to the ’96 squad, and is perhaps best-known for catching the clinching out of that year’s World Series.
- On this date in 2000, Oakland Athletics second baseman Randy Velarde turned an unassisted triple play, just the 11th in major league history, on a line drive hit by the Yankees’ Shane Spencer. With runners on first and second bases running with the pitch, Velarde tagged Jorge Posada as he neared second base, then touched the base to retire Tino Martinez. In 1995 spring training, while with the Yankees, Velarde turned an unassisted triple play against the Dodgers.
Back on Monday . . .