I was personally holding out hope that the Yankees would be able to land Casper Wells as an upgrade over Ben Francisco. But the 10 day limit for the Mariners ran out today, and the Blue Jays claimed the right-handed outfielder. Over his career, Wells has been disappointing, but a lot can be blame on Safeco Field. He’s a .268/.331/.478 hitter on the road, and has a .264/.349/.489 slash against left-handed pitchers. He can also play all parts of the outfield and UZR loves him in all three. Unfortunately, he’ll be the Yankees’ competition for now, and I’m a little surprised that Cashman didn’t try to trade for him over the last week.
A few injury updates today. Derek Jeter took batting practice, fielded, ran the bases, and all this after a day of sprinting. Girardi called this a “big step” in the rehab process, and even met with the media to discuss his timetable. Granderson was also fielding balls today, but only throwing them back underhanded. The centerfielder is still wearing a brace, but could begin a throwing program as soon as tomorrow, and start swinging a fungo bat this weekend. Finally, Michael Pineda, who’s on the same schedule as Cesar Cabral, also pitched a live batting practice yesterday. He’s probably looking at a June return, but Cashman has indicated in a few interviews that the team won’t hesitate to use his options (and prevent him from being a Super Two).
Chad Jennings has some quotes from Brennan Boesch about his recent time at first base. I mentioned yesterday that he played there in college, but he actually last played there in high school. I’m not sure what the Yankees plan to do with him, but he’s been working with Mick Kelleher and Mark Teixeira over the last few weeks. I don’t think he’ll be a replacement for Lyle Overbay, but I wonder if the Yankees see him as a Nick Swisher type RF/1B. Since making changes to his swing, Boesch has been hitting the ball extremely well, and I think the organization sees the 27 year old as a long term piece, rather than just a stopgap.
And today’s lineup.
Ichiro Suzuki had a nice home run yesterday, but so did Boesch. Boesch will get the start in right field, with Stewart catching over Cervelli. Girardi has really stuck to his guns with the alternating catcher position, and I can’t say that I’m a fan. Stewart has just 2 hits in 10 at bats, while Cervelli is 6 for 17 with 2 extra base hits and 4 walks. On top of that, Stewart has looked awful behind the plate. If the team wants to split up the position, it might do them well to let Stewart walk and call up Austin Romine at the end of the month, who’s currently 7 for 18 with 3 walks.
Ivan Nova is on the mound tonight, and as I mentioned in my post on Monday, watch out for his fastball. He’s now throwing a sinker, and if he’s getting a lot of ground balls, it could be an important part of his repertoire.
Apparently Corey Kluber is starting for the Indians. The right-hander pitched to a 5.14 ERA and a 4.29 FIP in 12 starts last season.