Christian, at AAA, out for the season

Some Minor League news, courtesy of Chad Jennings, raised an eyebrow this afternoon. Justin Christian is out for the rest of the season with a thumb injury. Christian hurt his thumb on Monday sliding into third base, and he will undergo season-ending ligament surgery to repair the damage.

Christian, 27, is a little too old to be considered a prospect, but he was in the middle of a solid season before this injury. He had been hitting .325/.370/.438 with 10 steals in 169 AAA at-bats. Speculation was that Christian would arrive in the Bronx in September when the rosters expand.

Replacing him on the Scranton roster is Bronson Sardinha, up for his recent demotion at AA. Jennings gives us some insight into Sardinha:

Sardinha didn’t earlier this year in Triple-A, but he was sent down to Double-A at the all-star break and hit .429 with four home runs in 15 games for Trenton. Sardinha called the demotion “a good wakeup call.”

When Sardinha hits, he hits the ball hard. He just needs to hit more consistently. He’s starting in right field tonight and batting third.

Meanwhile, Ian Kennedy’s pitching now. We’ll check in on him later.

Torre’s lineup attempts to diffuse a sticky situation

We’re hearing that Alex Rodriguez will take the night off and Wilson Betemit will start at third as the Yanks wrap up a series against the Blue Jays tonight. I like this move. The Yanks have already won the series; they have their ace going in Wang; and there’s no reason to further Toronto’s petty ridiculousness by having A-Rod act as a moving target for another season of missed expectations by an overpaid Blue Jays squad. His bat can come off the bench, and A-Rod can rest.

Update: This is indeed the way the lineup shakes down for tonight. Also, of note, Jason Giambi is DHing and Johnny Damon is enjoying the game from the bench.

2 homers in 3 days for Tabata

Triple-A Scranton had a scheduled day off. They play two with Pawtuckett today to make up a twice-postponed game.

Double-A Trenton (11-2 loss to Binghamton in 7 innings — called for rain, maybe?)
Reggie Corona: 2 for 3
Bronson Sardinha: 0 for 3
Cody Ehlers: 2 for 3
PJ Pilittere: 1 for 3, 1 2B — had both of Trenton’s RBI
Jeff Marquez: 5.1 IP, 9 H, 8 R, 5 ER, 1 BB, 4 K — kid hasn’t been the same lately

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Farnsworth clears waivers

That’s the word from Joel Sherman. The Yanks are now free to dish him to any team. The likely return in this kind of scenario is a younger, non-40-man roster player, since they can be traded without clearing waivers themselves. The Yanks will almost certainly be on the hook for $4 to $6 million if they choose to dish him.

Hat tip to Steve

Alex Rodriguez and the Still-Sore Hamstring?

I had nearly forgotten about this, but on July 2, the Yankees’ season hung in the balance. The Yanks hadn’t yet pushed to within 5 of the Red Sox and 0.5 of the Wild Card, but there went A-Rod, limping off the field with a hammy problem. The Yanks’ season could have ended in July, but Rodriguez returned quickly. We breathed a sigh of relief.

However, things haven’t quite been the same. Look:

AB AB/HR AVG OBP SLG
Pre-Hammy 299 10.68 .321 .419 .669
Post-Hammy 117 14.62 .239 .370 .496

Statistically, the post-hammy injury is a small sample. It’s been just a shade over 100 at-bats, and A-Rod’s hitting around .250 during that time. It could happen to anyone at any point in the season over that stretch really. Additionally, during the last month, A-Rod’s had 500 on the mind. We know how he deals with the psychology of sports and competition. This slump could have been spurred on as much by that drive as by anything else.

But in the back of my mind, I can’t help but think that Alex Rodriguez, a tough competitor, just didn’t give his hamstring the rest it needed. Maybe I’m wrong; his stolen base numbers are right on par and his mobility in the field seems fine. Meanwhile the Yankees are winning and scoring runs without as much production from A-Rod as they were enjoying when he was all but carrying the team.

But I can’t stop thinking about that hamstring now that the memory’s been triggered. What if it’s still bothering him?