Yanks have a bit of an injury mess

Swisher & Hughes bury Sox, but Yanks lose two more to injury
Yankees recall Kevin Russo; Posada still out; Cano in

In the past few days the Yankees have had to deal with a number of injuries. Most of them have been mild in nature, but that still causes problems for the roster. In fact, mild injuries can cause more problems than DL trips in some cases, because the player is not available and there is no one to take his place on the roster. Right now the Yankees have three players nursing injuries who won’t hit the DL, so that’s three inactive roster spots. It can make managing the lineup and bullpen a bit tricky.

The Yankees do have options, though, and will likely make a number of moves during the next few days to keep their roster up to speed. The moves will include recalling an infielder tomorrow, and then probably an outfielder early next week. They’ll need an extra OF if Marcus Thames is going to take more reps at DH. Let’s start with what they’ll do tomorrow.

Send down: David Robertson or Boone Logan. Recall: Kevin Russo

Marc Carig reports that the Yankees have scheduled no tests on Robinson Cano‘s knee, so chances are he’ll just sit out a day or two. The Yanks could probably get by with just four infielders, but it’s probably advisable to have a backup. Kevin Russo makes the most sense, since he can play all infield positions and is already on the 40-man roster. I’d be very surprised if this didn’t happen tomorrow.

The Yankees currently have 13 pitchers, which is two too many. Logan and Robertson pitched last night, so they’re the most likely to go on an optional assignment. Mike wrote about demoting Robertson yesterday. Boone Logan writes about his own demotion every time he walks a batter.

Disabled list: Nick Johnson. Recall: Greg Golson

The Yankees sent down Golson before today’s game, meaning that under normal circumstances he’d have to spend 10 days in the minors. With the injury to Johnson, though, the Yankees can bring him right back. If, as Carig reports, they’ll use Thames at DH, they’ll need a reserve outfielder. Golson is the best option right now.

Possible alternative: Moeller instead of Russo or Golson

Both Golson and Russo are really just emergency options. They’re nice to have around, and the Yankees have the flexibility to keep them around as insurance. They could, however, opt to give Jorge some reps at DH. That way they can get his bat into the lineup without risking his legs by playing him at catcher. That would require a third catcher, which would be Chad Moeller.

This is something I can see happening after the need for Russo expires. Once Cano is back to playing the Yanks don’t need two utility infielders, so Russo will likely head back to Scranton. That does leave a roster spot free. The Yankees could opt to recall Chad Moeller as Francisco Cervelli‘s backup and give Jorge reps against righties at DH. They could even ease him back into catching, making sure that his leg issues really are behind him.

Alternative two: Option Russo, recall Miranda

If the Yankees are prepared to let Jorge return to catching full-time, they could opt to replace Russo with a platoon partner with Thames at DH. I like this just about as little as I like carrying a third catcher. Miranda can back up Teixeira at first, and Thames can play the OF if need be, but neither presents a good option. Then again, with these injuries that doesn’t come as a surprise.

I’d probably support recalling Moeller more, because it provides the added bonus of getting Jorge’s bat into the lineup while making sure his calf is ready for the rigors of squatting for an hour and a half each night. Also, Miranda hasn’t played since May 4, so there might be something there.

Rain? That might help

There is rain in the forecast today, and while I’m not normally one to hope for a washout, it might not be the worst thing in this case. Rescheduling this afternoon’s game as a doubleheader later in the year accomplishes a few things.

  1. It pushes the whole rotation back a day. CC would pitch on Sunday, and then Burnett would go Monday against the Tigers. Vazquez could then go Tuesday as scheduled, followed by Hughes on Wednesday. Could Andy Pettitte pitch on Thursday? I doubt it, but there’s a non-zero chance.
  2. It gives Jorge and Robbie a free day. It sounds like Jorge could catch today, but giving him another day couldn’t hurt, especially if there’s no game to win that day. Cano won’t play today, so a rainout will only help there.
  3. It means no Joe Buck and Tim McCarver.

No one likes to see injuries, especially ones to key players. The Yankees have weathered a few trips to the infirmary this year, but they’re in an even tougher spot now. They do have options, though they’re starting to get a bit thin.

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Swisher & Hughes bury Sox, but Yanks lose two more to injury
Yankees recall Kevin Russo; Posada still out; Cano in
  • lardin

    “It means no Joe Buck and Tim McCarver.” That might be the best reason I have ever heard for a rain delay.

    • Poopy Pants

      Here here!

    • JobaTheHeat62

      amen

  • http://theyankeeu.com Matt Imbrogno

    In strict DH terms, that is, Jorge returns to catching and the DH spot is still open, is a Miranda/Thames platoon that bad of an option? If they’re willing to live w/letting Thames play the OF very poorly against LHP, wouldn’t it make sense to continue maximizing his bat while lessening the negative impact of his glove? The same goes for Miranda against RHP. His best offensive attribute is his power against right handers and he’s not a reputably good defender. It may not be optimal, but I think it’s at least worth a shot until another option becomes clear.

    Of course, this all depends on how long Johnson hits the DL for, how long until Posada can catch again, how Cervelli keeps hitting, etc. If Cervelli can show that he can hit at a league average level (unlikely, but possible?) and still play plus defense, I’d be okay with that scenario and having Jorge be the primary DH (but I’m not okay with having to carry a third catcher, so maybe I’m not okay with that).

  • http://thebronxbloggers.wordpress.com Bronx Blogger

    The injury to Cano hurts the most. You have to expect a pitcher and Jorge to go down at least once. NJ to the DL was also inevitable in some people’s minds. But having your star 2B who’s on an absolute tear miss a game or two sucks. At least the bottom of the order has been stepping up.

    It’s time for ARod and Tex to remind Boston why they’re behind Toronto in the standings.

    • http://enternight.mlblogs.com Ana

      I’m pretty sure Josh Beckett reminded Boston why they’re behind Toronto in the standings.

      But yeah, fortunately it seems as though Cano isn’t too badly hurt… here’s to a speedy recovery! (Hey, maybe the days off will help shake the mini-slump …/bright side’d?)

    • poster

      Meh, I’m not too worried. It IS only a game or two, and we have our best pitcher and (arguably) our second best pitcher going for the next two games.

      I think the two worst injuries are Granderson and Johnson since both will be facing the DL. Inevitable my ass.

  • JobaJr

    I got tix for today’s game, it better not be rained out.

  • Vin

    The carrying of 13 pitchers is always ridiculous. This is simple.

    DL. Johnson, call up Miranda
    Send down Sanchez or Logan, call up Russo.

    Russo has been playing RF down in SWB, and Pena has experience out there as well so they can serve as backup OF’ers if necessary.

  • Ghost of Scott Brosius

    Part if the problem is that Vasquez’s struggles and Pettitte’s soreness make Mitre a rotation option, meaning the team lacks a real long man, especially since Ace right now appears to be one of our few good late game options. It’s forcing them to carry an excess of pitchers to compensate. I think Sanchez, with his starting background, was brought in in case we need a 4 inning outing along the line. When the rotation is stabilized, the team can turn more attention the the right bullpen combination and the right bench.

    • Zack

      Well they had Sanchez as a starter down in AAA so he can give you 60-70 pitches if necessary

    • http://www.thechuckknoblog.com/ JobaWockeeZ

      This is where Joba as the 6th Starter could really be helpful right now. But teh eighth is too important.

  • poster

    Do we even KNOW Johnson will be DK’ed yet? I mean, it’s certainly likely, but is it official? If not, I’m still clinging to the desperate hope of simple tenderness.

    • poster

      Ugh, DK’ed=DL’ed

      • Donkey Kong

        Did someone say my name?

        Oh, nevermind.

        • poster

          Good Sir, this comment has earned a +42. Well done.

        • Drift King

          He was definitely calling me.

  • http://kierstenschmidt.com Kiersten

    Weird how if the game gets rained out, it probably won’t be made up until the first weekend in October. Who makes up these stupid schedules?

    • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

      Who makes up these stupid schedules?

      A-Rod.

      • alightiningrodfan

        I don’t get it.

  • pat

    I’d like to see Miranda called up. Time to see what the big cat can do with some actual PT. He’s a good enough hitter that he could go on a tear for a week or two before the league adjusts to him. Hopefully that could buy us some time on the NJ front.

    • http://www.thechuckknoblog.com/ JobaWockeeZ

      Same. It’ll be interesting to see how he does in the majors again.

  • http://www.thechuckknoblog.com/ JobaWockeeZ

    Guthrie and Beckett, intentional or not you still suck.

    • pat

      At least one was given a gihugey contract to continue his suck for the foreseeable future.

  • jay dee

    Buck & McCarver are CNN’s version of baseball.
    Thank God there’s Stirling & Waldman!

  • Sonny

    I know everybody might think I am an idiot but this what I would like to see happen.

    1. send down Russo
    2. call up Jon Weber for one game

    The twelve year minor leaguer has never been called up. Miranda is on the seven day DL and Weber is hitting .364 in May after a slow start. The guy has ten championship rings and a gold medal. Plain and simple,he is a winner who has never quit and deserves at least one at bat before people get healthy. It would be awesome to see him win a game at Fenway on Mother’s Day with a late inning pinch hit double off the green monster. He was the MVP for the Durham Bulls last year and although he is thirty-two he seems to be getting better every year. He was the best player in spring training(.452) other than Cano. He will play one day in the show and today may be the day. God bless Jon Weber.

    • Tim

      Sonny – I like your thinking. Let’s hope Weber gets a shot.

  • http://flewelling1710.jxxj.org/ Cory Nieng

    hi,great pants in your post,I love that good pants,I need to find one for me,bill

  • http://isainttropezimmobilier.com Maryrose Breckenstein

    I love this site and just wish I was as smart as you guys but maybe I can at least give you a smile?
    A diplomat is someone who can tell you to go to hell in such a way that you will look forward to the trip. :)