In defense of Hideki Matsui

With the Matsui trade talks swirling earlier this week, I was planning on writing up a defense of the Yankees’ DH and sometimes-left fielder. But Mike Plugh beat me to it. So check out Canyon of Heroes’ rational for keeping Matsui. Despite his numbers in the clutch in 2007, Hideki is one Yankee the team shouldn’t trade.

And a quick point that Plugh didn’t touch upon: If Matsui goes, Jason Giambi would become the full-time DH. Can we really expect Jason Giambi to do anything this year anyway? I don’t relying on Giambi is really the way to go.

Yanks, Giants talked Matsui

From the Toronto Sun:

The Giants and the New York Yankees have discussed left fielder Hideki Matsui for a starter. Matsui does have a complete no-trade clause.

The article doesn’t say much more than that. Obviously the first two names that pop into your head when you hear “Giants’ starters” are Matt Cain and Timmy, but I’d be floored if the Yanks could get one of those two for Godzilla. Maybe they could land Jon Sanchez and some salary relief instead? The main obstacle would be getting around Godzilla’s no-trade clause, but I do think he’d waive it to reunite with Torre in Chavez Revine. Pac Bell…not so much.

(hat tip to MLBTR)

A-Rod, A-Rod, A-Rod, A-Rod, Hideki

In non-A-Rod news, the Yankees announced that Hideki Matsui, their Designated Hitter, underwent successful knee surgery and will begin a rehab program on Friday. Matsui, who has a past of knee problems stretching back to his days in Japan, should be back at full strength by the time Spring Training rolls around. Derek Jeter, the other Yankee experiencing knee problems this season, will not need off-season surgery. He plans to rest and build up strength in the knee for next season. We now return to your regularly scheduled Alex Rodriguez show.

Please, start Giambi today

Not much time to talk today. Feel sympathy for me, please: I have a rehearsal dinner tonight which happens to basically run the length of the Yanks game. The groom is a huge Yanks fan, so I’m hoping he’s accommodated for this. I’m not banking on it, though.

There’s not much to talk about from last night. Wang was terrible, leaving balls up in the zone all night. Ohlendorf didn’t help. Hughes might have pitched his way into a Game 4 start (solo homer or not, that was the best he’s looked since returning from the DL). Matsui and Jorge failed in huge spots, and A-Rod didn’t really get a chance until the game was out of hand (yes, I realize that he popped up with Abreu on first in the third). But all of this was pretty clear; it’s not like anything subtle caused the Yanks to lose last night.

As Ben says, it’s a must-win today. I can definitely see this one going in the Yanks’ favor. And then it’s all up to Clemens and Mussina/Hughes. The Yanks will put themselves in the best position to win the game if they sit Hideki (thereby giving him another two full days off) and starting Giambi at DH. This is so obvious that I expect Torre not to do it.

Hit-deki!

Hideki Matsui‘s 10 home runs this month are tops in the AL. For July, he’s hitting .340/.402/.701, and you gotta believe his wrist is healed. Matsui’s month, one of the best of his MLB career, is one of the top reasons why the Yanks are 4.5 behind Cleveland and 6.5 behind Boston as we head into the dog days of summer.

Matsui out with strained hamstring

Hideki Matsui joined the ranks of injured Yanks today. According to reports from the game, Matsui has a strained left hamstring. He will be evaluated over the weekend, but hamstrings are tricky injuries. Don’t expect Bernie Williams to come back anytime soon. He missed Spring Training and was hardly in great shape last year. If Matsui goes on the DL, we’ll see an AAA outfielder named Kevin.