What About Pena?

About the only good thing that has happened to the Yankees this season is Ramiro Pena.  Despite never playing above AA, he has hit .280 and provided solid, if not spectacular, defense so far in 2009. There is no doubt that he can help the 2009 Yankees, but the 2010 Yankees and beyond might be better served by having Pena playing every day in AAA.

New York has to make a decision about this tomorrow, but it might be a moot point right now. Before Molina left tonight’s game you could argue the best use of Pena either way, but now Molina may miss some time.  With no other catchers on the 40-man roster, the Yankees need an insurance policy and the best way to get one is to DFA Angel Berroa and add a catcher to the 40-man.  You can activate A-Rod tomorrow and DFA Berroa to do that.

Before Molina left the game, I would have argued for the Yankees to send Pena down and see what he does everyday at AAA.  Jeter grows more immobile by the day and you need to see if Pena can replace him in the future.  Now, you don’t have that luxury. This team needs all hands on deck.  Pena stays, A-Rod arrives and you have to hope something clicks. 

UPDATE: Molina is in a MRI machine right now and Girardi assumes that means he is headed to the DL.  I guess that means Kevin Cash is the catcher for the next few weeks and validates my thinking above.  <gulp>

Alex And Selena, Part II

Yup, I read the book and I had planned to write a review on it, but Murray Chass did a much better job than I ever could. 

For those who don’t know Chass’ work, he was the baseball reporter for the New York Times for years.  In that role, he was also a co-worker of Ms. Roberts, as he mentions.  

I agree with everything he says.  The thing that struck me by the book is how little concrete proof there is of anything.  I understand that history books use footnotes, not sports books, but this book badly needs some footnotes.  Anonymous quotes, illogical reasoning, unsupported conclusions, this book has them all.  

I have no doubt that A-Rod isn’t a saint, far from it, but he deserves better than this.  Don’t buy the book and apart from the 2003 steroid test, I wouldn’t believe much that Selena Roberts says.   

Is This A Shock To Anyone?

Well, looks like we have another big star who tested positive for steroids a banned substance.  Only this time, he will be suspended 50 games. 

UPDATE: Ok weird addition to the story here.  Peter Gammons is reporting that Manny has been suspended for using a drug other than steroids that he had a prescription for.  If it was legally prescribed, why the suspension?

UPDATE 2:  Manny has issued a statement where he says he took a prescription drug that was not a steroid but was on the banned list.  He points out that he has passed 15 drug tests in the past 5 years and apologizes to the Dodgers, fans, etc..  Now, will Manny take questions on this and if so, you have to assume that question #1 is going to be about whether or not he has ever taken a banned substance.  Also, I would assume he is going to produce the Dr. involved in this mess if he really wants to clear his name. 

Can A-Rod Be A Hero?

The Yankees are 13-14 and not a very good team right now.  Unless something bad happens, A-Rod will join them in Baltimore on Friday and have a chance to be the hero of 2009. 

Let’s face it, the only "good" thing about the Yankees’ performance so far is that it takes the pressure off of Alex.  If he was returning to a 20-7 team and they then slumped, it wouldn’t matter what he personally did, Alex would be blamed.  Now the opposite is true.  If the Yankees go on to make the playoffs this year everyone will point to May 8th and how the team was .500 without him and then caught fire when he returned.  

It’s the perfect scenario for Alex considering his offseason.  Just come back, hit and hope the team wins.  Everyone in New York will forget the other crap and the fans outside of New York were never going to forget it anyway.  Is Alex up to this? I sure hope so.   

More Bad News

Brian Bruney is going to be out at least two more weeks according to Kim Jones on YES.  Considering the mess that the bullpen is, this is not good news.  Add in the fact that they say the elbow is "grabbing" and your guess is as good as mine as to when he will really return.

Let’s review.  Wang injured hip.  Nady injured elbow.  Marte injured elbow.  Bruney injured elbow.  Posada injured hamstring.  A-Rod injured hip.  Ransom injured hamstring.  That’s quite an injury bug for a team to go through in the first month of the season. 

Sweep!

Can a team "sweep" a 2-game series?  I think so.

Glad the Red Sox took both games.

My impression of Joba Chamberlain has only worsened.  He plunked Jason Bay with a straight shot to the back after painting the corners for 4 innings and after Bay did serious damage.  I don’t care what outside influences he is/was dealing with, Joba threw at Bay and I suppose we’ll see a Yankee get plunked next time the these teams meet.

With Josh Beckett pitching tonight, I fully and completely expected fireworks following Bay’s HBP, but Beckett, in unusual fashion, kept his cool and decided to pitch.  I thought Mark Teixeira would get the next ball in the rib cage, but alas, nothing happened, just a win.

If MLB had professional wrestling as a component, I think a Beckett folding chair across a Yankee batter’s head would have been not only a great storyline, but a necessity.  No?  Good drama in my book.

I think we’ll see a benches clearing incident later this season as a result.  Joba, you started things off and your teammates have you to thank…

David Ortiz, while still struggling, has seemingly managed to get himself out of the "in-between" status.  He isn’t behind on the fastball and way ahead of a normal off-speed pitch.  He did swing and miss at a few very nice change-ups Tuesday night, but I’d rather see that than late on fastballs and way too early on off-speed stuff.  Time will tell if Ortiz has figured anything out.

Jacoby Ellsbury left with a hammy injury and Kevin Youkilis sat with a chest/oblique injury.  NESN’s broadcast suggested Youk would be back Wednesday vs. Cleveland at Fenway while Ellsbury’s status is unknown.

Cervelli To The Rescue?

Despite hitting .190 in Trenton (AA) Cervelli has been called up to the Yankees.  Why did they do this?  I can think of two reasons.

1- Cervelli is the only other catcher on the 40-man roster

2- Kevin Cash is on the DL in the minors.  Chris Stewart is hitting .175 in AAA and PJ Pilittere has a noodle for an arm.  

This leads me to believe that the Yankees will try and swing a deal because they don’t like their AAA options (obviously) and Cervelli seems like a move they made because it was the easiest one to make (no 40-man move) and not because they believe in him.  We shall see.

BTW- Posada was diagnosed with a Grade 2 hamstring tear.  Not that it’s the same body part, but A-Rod was diagnosed with a Grade 2 quad tear last year when he went on the DL in April and he missed about 3 weeks. 

Posada To The DL

WFAN is reporting that Posada is headed to the DL with a hamstring strain. 

This is the worst possible news for the Yankees and now they have to, have to make a trade for a new catcher.  Posada is 37, he is not going to catch 120 games a year anymore and Austin Romine and Jesus Montero are in A ball.  The Yankees never should have let it come to this, but they have and now Cashman has to figure it out.   

Another Brutal Loss

The Yankees showed some fight tonight, but they ultimately failed and did it in a way that makes it extra painful.  Thanks, just what I needed at 1AM.

A couple of things from tonight’s game.  I am beginning to think the only way the Yankees go back to 12 pitchers is if they have to play a game with only 8 fielders.  Considering the injuries they have suffered so far this year, it could happen soon. Either way, another night with way too short a bench.  

Edwar Ramirez isn’t helping right now.  Why do they keep him in the majors?

Aceves made a mistake, but generally pitched pretty well.  He gave the Yankees the length they needed in this game.  Hopefully, they keep him around the rest of the year.  

Now for some sleep.   

Girardi Should Get Tossed From Every Game

That’s the way to provide a spark Joe!