Yankees release Russ Branyan … then re-sign him

Saturday: Via Bryan Hoch, the Yankees saved about two months worth of salary with the move. “They feel like I’ve got another three or four weeks of rehab, so they’ve decided to rehab me,” said the slugger. “At the end of that rehab, we’ll see where we are.”

Friday: Via Mark Feinsand, the Yankees have released Russell Branyan from his minor league contract. They then re-signed him to a new minor league deal. They may have changed the terms following the back injury that has kept him on the shelf all Spring Training, or they could have circumvented the $100k retention bonus. He’ll probably continue rehabbing just in case he ever gets healthy and Raul Ibanez stinks. Either way, welcome back Russ, even though you never really left.

Open Thread: 3/31 Camp Notes

Raul I-bomb-nez. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

The Yankees and Astros played Homerun Derby this afternoon, with the good guys coming out on top 5-4. They also won the rain-shortened game 11-9. Robinson Cano hit his second jack of the spring, Raul Ibanez hit his third (woulda been fourth if it wasn’t for Jason Heyward), Jose Gil got hit first, and — get this — Dante Bichette Jr. hit not one, but two dingers. He only saw two pitches too [Marc Carig]. Now that’s pretty cool.

Adam Warren‘s final bid for a bullpen spot didn’t go well; he gave up six runs on ten hits in 5.2 IP. Now that he has a virtual lock on the second lefty job, Clay Rapada went ahead and gave up a homer to the left-handed hitting Brian Bogusevic. How about that timing? Here’s the box score and here’s the rest from Tampa…

Here is tonight’s open thread. The Devils, Knicks, and Nets are all playing tonight, plus MLB Network will be airing a game later on tonight. Talk about whatever you want here, go nuts.

Update: Cesar Cabral has stress fracture in elbow

Update (1:33pm): Via Marc Carig and Mark Feinsand, Cabral has a stress fracture at the tip of his elbow. He underwent a battery of tests, but for now he’s in a splint with no treatment plan in place yet. Needless to say, he’s going to be out for a long time.

11:19am: Via Marc Carig and Erik Boland, Joe Girardi said left-hander Cesar Cabral has a “significant injury,” but doesn’t know the specifics yet. Cabral had his arm in a sling last night. That really bites. Clay Rapada will likely get the second lefty spot in the bullpen by default. If Cabral misses the entire year, the Rule 5 Draft rules will carry over to 2013.

Yankees place Pineda on DL with shoulder inflammation tendinitis

Update (12:59pm): Via Marc Carig, Brian Cashman said Pineda will be shut down for 10-15 days. That’s pretty much the only thing they can do. Cashman also said the MRI revealed no structural damage; Pineda’s labrum and rotator cuff are fine.

11:18am: Via Marc Carig and Dan Barbarisi, the Yankees are sending Michael Pineda to the 15-day DL with shoulder inflammation tendinitis. They’re obviously relieved that it isn’t anything more serious, and you should be too.

I don’t like that Pineda kept the soreness from the coaching staff and trainers, but I guess that’s what happens when you’re told you’re in a competition for a rotation spot. The Yankees plan to be very conservative according to David Waldstein, which isn’t surprising at all. Hopefully he heals up after some rest and comes out throwing darts sooner rather than later.

CNN Money Q&A with Billy Eppler

The Yankees promoted Billy Eppler to assistant GM this past offseason, a significant move in the sense that it created at least the appearances of a line of succession for GM Brian Cashman. Eppler chatted with Shelley DuBois of CNN Money about a variety of topics recently, including the scouting process and what he’s learned from Cashman.

“Brian Cashman has taught me so much about not reacting too soon,” said Eppler. “I’ve learned that time and patience are extremely powerful weapons when used right … I look to Brian and I almost marvel at how he balances when it’s the right time to make a change and when it’s the right time to let a player sort himself out.”

The interview is short but sweet, and it’s well worth your time. It gets RAB’s highest level of recommendation, so check it out.