The Yanks got some bad news last night after Melky Cabrera crashed into the wall in center field. He’ll have an MRI today to assess the actual extent of the damage, but it appears as though he could only miss a couple of days. The off-day tomorrow will help in that regard. While that leaves the Yanks shorthanded for the series finale tonight, they could get Melky back for the Cleveland series. With a little bit of luck this will coincide with the return of Jorge Posada. Bryan Hoch talked to Joe Girardi, who said that Jorge could rejoin the team “within four or five days,” which would put him at a weekend return.
This would provide a big boost to the Yankees. With Melky hitting well the Yankees would have a forceful one through nine. In fact, with Posada slotting higher in the order, the slumping Nick Swisher could fall into the nine hole and become the weakest link in the lineup. Brett Gardner would even work in this lineup, so long as Melky continues the way he’s been going.
Posada caught three innings in Extended Spring Training yesterday, and is scheduled for five today. The Yanks don’t think it’s necessary to have him work up to a full nine in EST, which makes sense. It’s not like he’s had an eight-month layoff. If he catches five today, takes tomorrow off, and catches seven on Friday, we could possibly see him on Sunday, in time to catch Phil Hughes.
Girardi did acknowledge that temporarily carrying three catchers is a possibility. That would mean the release of Angel Berroa, which would make it tough for the Yanks to use Alex Rodriguez as the DH. In those situations Girardi couldn’t pinch hit for Ramiro Pena, since there would be no infielder to replace him. Having three catchers, though, would allow Jorge to DH in place of Matsui. If it is only for a few weeks it shouldn’t be an issue. Perhaps it would last until Xavier Nady is ready to return, at which point the Yanks would option Frankie Cervelli or release Kevin Cash (though with the return of Jose Molina it could be both).
In any case, the return of Jorge couldn’t come any sooner. The Yanks miss his bat in the middle of the lineup. They’ve been putting up runs lately, and perhaps Jorge can help out with the team’s sporadic issues with runners in scoring position.
Both Cody Ransom and Xavier Nady participated in simulated games, Nady batting four times, Ransom six. There’s a good chance that Ransom’s activation could be accompanied by his release. Then again, the team should have a free 40-man spot after designating Cash, so perhaps the Yanks will hold onto Ransom and option Ramiro Pena.
Brian Bruney is saying all the right things as he heads down to Birmingham. “I”m looking at it as I’ll finally know what’s wrong,” Bruney said. “You can’t run from it forever; we tried that and nothing worked. I’ll go see the so-called expert and see what he has to say.” Okay, so maybe referring to Dr. Andrews as a “so-called” expert isn’t the right thing. Still, he’s displaying the right attitude heading down there. One has to wonder, however, if Bruney was hiding this pain when he was activated last week.