Around the Horn: Girardi, Sabathia, Warning track…

It hasn’t been long since the Yankees’ season ended, but the team is already in offseason mode. Here are some recent stories:

  • Mark Feinsand reports that the Yankees and Joe Girardi have agreed to a three-year contract worth $9 million which would put the incumbent Yankee skipper back at the helm. I know a lot of people claim to dislike Girardi, but is there really anyone else you’d rather be the Yankees’ manager? I’m very happy that Joe will be back.
  • Along the topic of coaches, Dave Eiland has been let go. His contract was up anyway, so you can get away without calling this a firing, but it sure seems like one.  Brian Cashman said the “letting go” of Eiland was all the GM’s decision and it was “private”. It will be interesting to see who the new pitching coach will be. If the Yankees don’t stay internal I could see Curt Young or Rick Kranitz taking over the position.
  • Yankee fans received some surprising news yesterday when they heard that CC Sabathia would undergo surgery on his right knee. The recovery period is expected to be anywhere from three to six weeks and the Yankees’ ace should be entirely ready for spring training. While this surgery may not be a big deal, it is interesting to wonder if this is the reason CC did not pitch up to expectations during the playoffs.
  • You may very well remember Lance Berkman’s recent slip on the warning track of Yankee stadium. Well it turns out that this was not a freak accident, and in fact the warning track at Yankee Stadium is overly dangerous. Mike Axisa of RAB covered the issue last week.
  • Unsurprisingly, the Yankees turned down the options to retain Lance Berkman, Kerry Wood, and Nick Johnson. I would still expect them to make an attempt to sign Kerry Wood who was excellent in his brief stint with the Yankees.

In case you are wondering, which I am pretty sure you are not, I’m supporting the San Francisco Giants in this year’s World Series, mostly because I love Matt Cain. Plus they had Zooey Deschanel and Ben Gibbard perform at a game recently, which is pretty awesome.

Game 38: Red Sox at Yankees

Tonight, the Boston Red Sox come to town. After making to trips to Boston, the Yankees will now take on Boston at home. However, this is only a two game series. Anyway, here is the starting lineup the Yankees will send out to face Daisuke Matsuzaka via Chad Jennings

SS Derek Jeter

CF Brett Gardner

1B Mark Teixeira

DH Alex Rodriguez

2B Robinson Cano

C Francisco Cervelli

RF Marcus Thames

LF Randy Winn

3B Ramiro Pena

RHP Philip Joseph Hughes

Photo Credit: Getty Images via Yahoo Sports

Johnson to undergo surgery

As I mentioned the other day, there was a chance that Nick Johnson would have to undergo surgery to repair his right wrist. Unfortunately, that chance has become reality. Johnson will most likely have the surgery tomorrow and miss 4-6 weeks. While this is certainly not good news, it is better that the Yankees decided quickly that surgery is necessary rather than waiting it out and further delaying the inevitable. With Johnson out for the foreseeable future the Yankees may look for a more permanent DH while Johnson is out. In my opinion, I’d stick with Juan Miranda in the DH spot and Jorge Posada when he’s not catching or sitting out. If that really seems to not work out, I might look into pursuing Jermaine Dye. Once again, just my opinion.

Why was Javy skipped again?

As you may know, the Yankees have opted to skip Javier Vazquez’s start and push him back to Friday. At first I really questioned the move. He is coming off a very good start and he needs to build on that, so why skip him? Well, Benjamin Kabak of RAB analyzed the situation well. Among his many points, one was that by skipping Vazquez the rotation is lined up well. I recommend reading Ben’s write-up for a good take on the situation.

Curtis is feeling better

As you know Curtis Granderson is on the 15-day DL. Fortunately, it looks like he is making good progress. Yesterday he performed eight 60 yard runs and said he was at about 75%. He also hit balls off a tee. Today he took some fly balls in center field during the Yankees batting practice and in Chad Jennings’ opinion Granderson looked “pretty comfortable” and he moved “better than expected.” Hopefully Granderson can get in some rehab games not far from now, although he went on the DL just 17 days ago it feels like a lot longer.

CHoP Returns

Earlier today the Yankees activated reliever Chan Ho Park off the DL and sent starting pitcher Ivan Nova down to Scranton. I’m really glad that Park is back as he has the ability to create some stability in a somewhat unstable bullpen. As far as Ivan Nova goes, I’m sure there is a less valuable bullpen arm that could have been sent down instead (*cough*cough*Boone Logan*), but in the end this was the smart decision. Why? Simply because Ivan Nova is a starter and he needs to be racking up as many innings as possible, not being used sparingly in the major league bullpen. Sorry Boone, I know my dislike is a bit uncredited.

Game 36: Twins at Yankees

Last night the Yankees won the first game of this series in dramatic fashion. If you want to see the story of the game check out my game recap. Anyway, today the Yankees look to secure a series win on this fine Saturday afternoon. Here is the starting lineup via Chad Jennings…

SS Derek Jeter

RF Nick Swisher – I’m shocked that he is back in the lineup so soon.

1B Mark Teixiera

3B Alex Rodriguez

2B Robinson Cano

DH Jorge Posada

LF Marcus Thames

C Francisco Cervelli

CF Brett Gardner

LHP Andrew Eugene Pettitte

Photo Credit: Getty Images via Yahoo Sports.

Injury Updates

  • Obviously Nick Swisher is back in the lineup today after leaving yesterday’s game early with a strain in his left biceps. Jennings reports that Swisher only feels pain when he hits left-handed, and since today’s starter for the Twins, Francisco Liriano, is left-handed Swisher will be batting right-handed.
  • Chan Ho Park will likely return to the bullpen tomorrow which is really good news.
  • Curtis Granderson ran a bit this morning according to Jennings, and he felt fine. That is a step in the right direction.

Nick Johnson still waiting

Chad Jennings has the latest news on Nick Johnson. Reportedly, after Johnson went on the DL he received a cortisone shot in his wrist and the Yankees are still waiting to see if it works.

    “We’re hoping that works,” Brian Cashman said. “But if it doesn’t, we’ll have to take other avenues.”

If it does work Johnson could be back in about three weeks. If it doesn’t he will probably need some type of surgery and it will be at least 4-6 weeks before he returns.

The Field of Dreams for sale

If you have a few million dollars to spend, you can purchase the Field of Dreams. I think I’ll pass on the offer.

Injury Bug Hitting Yanks Hard

Lately it seems like the Yankees can’t even go a game without someone getting injured. Building injuries like this can really hurt a team, but let’s hope the team pulls through them. Let’s take a look at each injured player.

Chan Ho Park

Park strained his right hamstring on April 15th and has been on the 15-day DL since then. Fortunately, it looks like he may not be there much longer. According to Chad Jennings, Park through 45 pitches in a bullpen session yesterday and is scheduled to do the same tomorrow. This is big step in his recovery, and if all goes well with Park I would expect him back in a week or so.

Curtis Granderson

Granderson was placed on the 15-day DL on May 1st with a grade 2 strain of his left groin. I’ll turn it over to Will Carroll of “Under The Knife” to describe Granderson’s injury…

The Yankees will be without Granderson for about a month with a Grade II groin strain. That’s a reasonable time frame no matter which way you go with the estimate. On one side, you could be optimistic and say that Granderson’s conditioning and strength will help him get back in two to four weeks. On the other hand, caution and some normal setbacks could push it to four to six weeks. There’s not really much more here to clarify; Granderson has a simple groin strain. Until he begins to jog or run, probably mid-month, we won’t know anything new.

I could see Granderson being out for quite a while because he is a player who really relies on his legs and the Yankees won’t want to rush him back and risk a much worse injury.

Jorge Posada

Posada has been staying on the bench lately with mild calf strain. According to Chad Jennings, Posada said yesterday that he expects to play today. However, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Yankees give some extra time to recover.

Mariano Rivera

Rivera has sat out since April 30th with stiffness in his left side, but he appears to be ready to return to action. He was available last night out of the bullpen, although he didn’t see any action. He did however throw in the bullpen during the game, so it seems as if he is not really an issue anymore.

Andy Pettitte

Pettitte last pitched May 5th before he had to prematurely leave that game with stiffness and mild inflammation in his left arm around his elbow. Whenever you hear news like this about a pitcher you have to be worried. Fortunately, the Yankees have so far deemed Pettitte healthy enough not to put him on the DL. Pettitte is scheduled to miss his next start and for now Sergio Mitre will take his spot in the rotation. Hopefully Mitre will only have to make one start and then Pettitte will go back into the rotation.

Nick Johnson

Johnson left last night’s game with a sore right wrist and is headed for the DL. Johnson is scheduled to undergo tests today in New York, and we will hopefully know more after then. Johnson’s right wrist is the same wrist that he injured in 2008 and kept him out for most of the season. Hopefully this isn’t as serious.

Robinson Cano

Cano was hit by a pitch from Josh Beckett on his left knee. Cano left the game shortly after with a bruise on his knee but is not scheduled for any further testing. Don’t expect Cano to play today, but for now it doesn’t look like he’ll be out for an extended period of time.

Roster Moves

With injuries usually come roster moves, and we should be seeing some moves today. While I can’t say for sure what the Yankees will do, I think they will call up Kevin Russo to be the backup infielder with Ramiro Pena as the starting second baseman for now. If the Yankees want to play it safe in the outfield they could recall Greg Golson who was sent down before yesterday’s game. While players usually have to wait 10 days in the minors before they can be called up again, with Nick Johnson going on the DL the Yankees can bring Golson right back up if they wish. If they decide to the call up Golson then he would take Johnson’s roster spot, and they could send Boone Logan or David Robertson down and use that spot to call up Kevin Russo.

"Call Doctor Robert, we need his help."

Update

Kevin Russo has indeed been called up. Robinson Cano is back in the lineup today as the DH according to Chad Jennings. Jennings also reports that Nick Johnson has a torn tendon in his wrist, I’m no doctor, but I’d expect him to be out for a few months if this is the case.

2nd Update

Looking back at Jennings’ post, it appears he has changed Nick Johnson’s torn tendon, to Nick Johnson’s inflamed tendon. That’s good news.

Game 1: Yankees at Red Sox

Opening Night is finally here. It will be great to see the Yankees play a meaningful game after a long offseason. The Yankees will be in Boston tonight as they take on their biggest rival in a game that will surely be overblown by the media. Anyway, here is the projected starting lineup for the Yankees…

SS Derek Jeter

DH Nick Johnson

1B Mark Teixeira

3B Alex Rodriguez

2B Robinson Cano

C Jorge Posada

CF Curtis Granderson

RF Nick Swisher

LF Brett Gardner

SP CC Sabathia


Time/TV: 8:05 p.m., YES/ESPN2

Weather: Mostly sunny, 65º F via The Weather Channel.

Injury Updates: Alfredo Aceves and Nick Johnson should be good to go for tonight, there haven’t been many updates regarding Damaso Marte so he is questionable.

P.S. The reason I used my projected lineup is because I won’t have a computer available to blog with later, but I wanted to do a game post.

It is almost here

Later today, millions of people will be watching Super Bowl XLIV. For many baseball fans, this game will take their minds off baseball for a few hours. But after that, our minds will shift back to waiting for spring training which is only 11 days away. So many of us are anxiously awaiting for pitchers and catchers to report, but the funny thing is that once they do report nothing really changes for us fans. We will just get stories of how the pitchers did some fielding practice, or how Posada is working with Javier Vazquez to get him adjusted, or how player X is in the “best shape of his life.” All of these stories are pretty generic for spring training, and they won’t really fulfill our need for baseball. It won’t be until the first spring training game shown on YES that we will begin filling that need. Anyway here’s some links to look at on this fine Sunday morning.

“Hughes Should Start in Scranton” via TYU I agree, if Hughes does not start 2010 in the starting rotation I feel he would be better off starting in Scranton than relieving in the Bronx. Phil Hughes and Joba Chamberlain are starters.

“Rival GMs praising Cashman” via RAB He deserves the praise, he has been running the organization wisely lately.

“Nick Johnson vs Johnny Damon: Who’s the better two-spot hitter? via Pending Pinstripes

Petcoa picks the Yankees to win the East now

Only 11 more days until pitchers and catchers report!