Mark Feinsand is reporting that Alberto Gonzalez is with the team in Kansas City. This suggests one of two things. 1) Jeter is headed for the DL. 2) Shelley Duncan is headed down temporarily. Feinsand notes, and I can’t argue with his logic, that if Posada was the one hitting the DL, we’d also be seeing Chad Moeller in KC. Still, the possibility exists that both Jetes and Po hit the DL.
Jorge Posada botched two pitch-out attempts today and left the game early. Now word comes along that Posada is heading for the MRI machine and could land on the disabled list. If so, Chad Moeller and his career OPS+ of 60 will assume the back-up catcher duties for Jose Molina. Needless to say, this is not good news.
Via BBTF comes a good piece from the New York Observer about Jason Giambi’s 2008 campaign. Giambi, 37, is trying to make a move few his age make with much success: He is trying to move to the field after being a full-time DH.
Giambi, according to Medgal, discovered running this off-season and with it, he hopes, a Fountain of Youth:
Since signing a seven-year, $120 million contract with the New York Yankees prior to the 2002 season, Giambi has been an increasingly irregular presence in the lineup, and seeing him in the field has been an even greater rarity. In his first two seasons with the Yankees, Giambi played in 313 of a possible 324 games, 97 percent, including 177 at first base. But in the past four seasons, Giambi played just 441 of 648 games, and just 211 of those at first base. Last year, Giambi appeared in just 18 games at first base, and often was replaced in the late innings for defense…
“I’d get hurt all the time, and I just took it as part of getting older,” Giambi said as he stood near his locker before yesterday’s game against Toronto, a bat leaning against his leg. “But when I worked toward getting back from the plantar fasciitis, I worked with a new doctor, who deals with—well—ballet dancers. And he told me that I had really high arches. I got these inserts”—he gestured toward prescription orthotics in his cleats—“and suddenly it didn’t hurt to run anymore.”
Giambi suffered knee and back pain so quickly, along with “dead legs,” when running in the past that it was never part of his offseason regimen. But this winter, he said, he ran every day. Giambi found a track near his Las Vegas home and learned how to run without pain for the first time, 60 yards at a time.
This winter was the first time in his career that Giambi went through a running program, and the Yanks are hoping that Giambi’s legs will stay fresher for it this year. While Giambi talks about regaining quickness, his apparent injury yesterday bodes ill for his legs.
Right now, the Yanks have to hope that this supposedly new and improved Jason Giambi is also willing to let himself heal. But at 37, it’s hard to roll back the baseball clock as it keeps on ticking ever forward.
Despite throwing a successful 75-pitch outing against Minor Leaguers on Sunday, Andy Pettitte‘s prospects in the early going this season look bleak. The Yankees pitching depth, it seems, will be tested early.
According to reports out of New York, Pettitte’s back did not respond well at all to the weekend outing, and the Yanks believe he could be out for as long as two months. To make matters worse in the eyes of fans, the Yankees plan to replace Pettitte with the much-maligned Kei Igawa who, just a few hours ago, was named the Scranton-Wilkes Barre Opening Day starter.
The Yankees all of a sudden find themselves with a little bit of a pitching problem. While Chien-Ming Wang will retain his place at the front of the rotation, the four pitchers behind him are anything but a given. Mike Mussina will slot into the second starter position, but he’s coming off the worst season of his career and had a shaky Spring Training. Phil Hughes and Ian Kennedy, two youngsters who may struggle at times, will follow Mussina, and Igawa will pick up the rear.
When word of Pettitte’s injury came down, I, like many of you, probably turned your thoughts to the ace in the hole the Yanks seem to carry in their bullpen. Wouldn’t Joba Chamberlain be a much better choice than Kei Igawa? Right now, the Yankees seem unwilling to move Chamberlain out of the pen. They fear that he’ll be used too much too soon and will reach his innings cap before the Yanks need to call on him in October.
While the rained out Opening Day and subsequent 7:05 p.m. rescheduling of the game took some of the damper out of the festivities that surround the start of the season, this news casts a veritable pall over what is usually a joyous time of year. This time, Roger Clemens won’t ride to the rescue. All of a sudden, the Yanks are left with a hole, and Johan Santana sure looked good in his Mets debut.
But the Yanks have overcome adversity before, and they still have the makings of a championship team. Maybe Kei Igawa can step. Maybe he can pitch effectively. That is, after all, why they play the games. And, oh yeah, Happy April Fools Day.
Kat O’Brien notes that Jeff Karstens will start the season on the DL after straining his groin today. Having recently recovered from a similar injury, I can tell you that those take a while to heal. Meanwhile, I guess this means that either Darrell Rasner or Kei Igawa will win a spot in the bullpen. I think the Yanks would be better off with Ohlendorf or Patterson, but the tradition of having a long man — while seemingly foolish — seems to be carrying the day. We’ll know more soon.
The AP reports that Andy Pettitte threw a successful bullpen session this morning and is now on target to start the third or fourth game of the season. To keep a retroactive DL stint an option, Pettitte will face Minor Leaguers on Saturday or Sunday depending upon how his back responds to today’s pitching. Mike Mussina will, in all likelihood, start game two against the Blue Jays.
In other pitching news, the Yankees have apparently claimed Felix Heredia off waivers from the Reds. With the minors stocked with better arms, I shudder to think why.
Update by Joe: As many have pointed out, this seems to be a technical error on ESPN’s part. Rest assured, there is no Heredia redux.