Via Meredith Marakovits, Alex Rodriguez took 25-30 swings off a tee and soft toss this afternoon while wearing a brace on his left hand. He’s been on the shelf since late last month after a Felix Hernandez pitch broke a bone in his hand. A-Rod isn’t expected to return until early-to-mid-September, but anything he can do to maintain the strength in his hands is important.
The Yankees haven’t won a three-game series in Toronto since May 2009, back when Marco Scutaro and Alex Rios were still Blue Jays. Injuries have complete decimated the Jays this season, especially the pitching staff. Staff ace Ricky Romero will be on the mound tonight but has seen his performance suffer in a major way, to the point where the front office is probably hoping he’s hiding a minor injury so they at least have some kind of explanation. If there was ever a time for the Bombers to take two of three from the Jays in Canada, this is it. Here’s the starting nine…
SS Derek Jeter
RF Nick Swisher
DH Mark Teixeira
2B Robinson Cano
LF Andruw Jones
3B Jayson Nix
C Russell Martin
CF Ichiro Suzuki
1B Casey McGehee
RHP Freddy Garcia
Tonight’s game is scheduled to start a little after 7pm ET and can be seen on YES. Enjoy.
Via David Waldstein, manager Joe Girardi will not be suspended by the league for his tirade and subsequent ejection in Thursday’s game following third base ump Tim Welke’s premature foul call on a ball that hit the line. Girardi made his case to MLB’s Executive VP of Baseball Ops Joe Torre, and that was that. No surprises here.
Via George King, left-hander Andy Pettitte’s recent setback has pushed his schedule back by 7-10 days. This is the original setback he suffered in Oakland, not a new one. “We have to let the healing process take its course,’’ said Brian Cashman. “He had that setback which cost him a week to ten days, but he is in the middle of the healing process.”
A recent check-up exam showed that Pettitte’s fractured left leg/ankle is healing properly, though he did push himself a little too much prior to the setback. He is not eligible to come off the 60-day DL until August 27th, but an early-to-mid September return seems more likely now. It’s tough to count on a 40-year-old healing quickly, but the important thing is that Andy gets at least two and hopefully three tune-up type starts at the end of the regular season before a potential postseason start.
In his first minor league rehab appearance with the Rookie Level GCL Yankees, veteran left-hander Pedro Feliciano struck out the side as part of a scoreless inning today. He allowed a double to a left-handed batter and issued a walk as well. No word on the pitch count or velocity, but I highly doubt he was throwing anything other than the low-to-mid-80s. He wasn’t exactly a hard-thrower to start with.
Feliciano has yet to throw a meaningful pitch for the Yankees since signing a two-year, $8M contract prior to last season. He had major shoulder surgery last September after trying to rehab the injury and is just now getting back into game action. He’s been throwing bullpens and live batting practice in recent weeks. Assuming he makes it through the rehab well — a massive assumption — we could actually see Feliciano in the big leagues when rosters expand in September. Maybe he has a 2009 Damaso Marte run in him. That would be sweet.
Sorry for missing last week. Sometimes you just forget to hit the record button. But we’re back in full force this week.
- As always we start with the weekly review. Considering the one-run losses, plus losing games to Verlander and Felix, it’s not nearly as bad as it looks.
- Eric Chavez has been a monster in the past two or so weeks. Not only that, but the right-handed side of the platoon has held up its end of the bargain. Alex who?
- Mike and I have a lengthy discussion about the differences between the Mariners and the Yankees training programs for young players, as inspired by Josh Norris’s Trentonian article.
- The new playoff system gets dissected.
- Pedro Felciano pitched in a game this morning. Could he play a role down the stretch?
Podcast run time 54:44
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Intro music: “Die Hard” courtesy of reader Alex Kresovich. Thanks to Tyler Wilkinson for the graphic.