On Tuesday night Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez was hit by an 88-mph changeup from Seattle Mariners right hander "King" Felix Hernandez suffering a non-displaced fracture of the fifth metacarpal in his left hand. The Yankees have put A-Rod on the disabled list. It is possible that he could miss six to eight weeks so the club has called up Ramiro Pena from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
This has been a season plagued by injuries but true to Yankees form they find a way to get through it and come into today having the best record in the American League at 60-40. Does their payroll allow them to have a deeper bench then most teams and get through these injuries ? Yes and that's why it's great to be a Yankees fan and this is why I'm going to take some time to whip up some pasta sauce and stir the pot a little !!
When the Yankees suffer an injury do us Yankee fans panic, cry or say "oh no what are we gonna do ?" No ! Do we pack it in and say the season is over ? No ! We have faith that they Steinbrenner family will do what they have always done and put a playoff caliber team on the field. When they lose the best closer in baseball history Mariano Rivera they have Rafael Soriano who saved 45 games in 2010 for the Tampa Rays step in and replace him. When they lose their left fielder Brett Gardner they go out and get one of the games best hitters Ichiro Suzuki.
Now they just lost their star third baseman Alex Rodriguez what will they do next ? Allow me to stir the sauce a little with some rumors I've been hearing. A-Rod fractured left hand ?....How's Wright ? As in David Wright ! That's what their saying talk in New York on sports talk radio. The Mets who were the talk of the town a couple of months ago have since fallen out of the race. They have a record of 48-53 and are currently 12 1/2 games out of first in the National League East and trail in the wild card standings by 8 1/2 games. Wright is having an MVP type season hitting .331 with 16 homeruns, 70 RBIs, .421 OBP, .558 SLG Pct. Wright is a free agent at the end of this season. The Mets who seem to be struggling financially brought in Sandy Alderson as their General Manager to help turn the franchise around. Wright is in his last year of a 6 year $ 55 million dollar contract with a club option for 2013. Do they pick up that option, resign him or make a trade to get something in return ?
Hey ! We are the New York Yankees !! If somebody goes down we get the best or close to the best to replace them ! We spend the money because we make the money ! To bad all you small market team cry babies ! It's just another example of the have and have not's. Okay settle down people. I'm just kidding. The Yankees are probably not going out to find a player to replace A-Rod. For now their going to go with Eric Chavez and utility man Jayson Nix. Chavez is having a good year hitting .258 with 8 homeruns and 20 RBIs in 163 at-bats. The six time Gold Glove Award winner Chavez is 34 years old and in his 15th Major League season. After suffering some injuries in the last few years the Yankees will limit Chavez's playing time to maybe three or four games a week to keep him healthy and go with Nix the other days. The 29 year old Nix is hitting .250 with 4 homeruns and 12 RBIs in 88 at-bats. I'm pretty sure the Yankees feel the way I do. Giving one player more of the playing time could hurt more than help. If Chavez gets to much time there's a risk of injury or he could just slow down as the season goes on because he's a little older. Nix is more of a role player. If he gets a lot of at-bats, teams could expose a weakness in his game. Before coming to the Yankees this past off season Nix has played for the Rockies, White Sox, Indians, and Blue Jays. The highest batting average he's ever had was .234 in 2010 with the Indians and White Sox. That year in 331 at-bats Nix had 14 homeruns and 34 RBIs. I think both Chavez and Nix can hold the fort until Rodriguez comes back in September.
Speaking of coming back. Word is that right handed relief pitcher Joba Chamberlian could return shortly. On Friday at Yankee Stadium Chamberlain threw a bullpen session for some coaches. Joba is scheduled to make another Minor League rehabilitation appearance on Sunday (today) for the Double-A Trenton Thunder.
Chamberlain who is coming back from last June's Tommy John surgery also suffered an open dislocation of his right ankle while playing on a trampoline with his son back in March. In six Minor League appearances he has ERA of 1.12. He's pitched three games with the Gulf Coast Yankees and three with Class-A Tampa. In eight innings he's allowed three hits, one earned run while walking one and striking out seven. On Friday Chamberlain told reporters Bryan Hoch, Steven Miller and Ethan Asofsky / MLB.com that "I never had any doubt whatsoever," Chamberlain said. "Obviously the surgery is only a third of it; the rehab is two-thirds. I've never been one to shy away from hard work and prove people wrong. It's going to be awesome to put this uniform on again and pitch for this team." "I got challenged every day," Chamberlain said. "They never gave me more than two weeks in advance, because they knew if they gave me more, I'd probably try to skip a week. I know how my body is; I know how to push myself. My ankle is strong, and I've got to continue to work and not let up on anything we've done to this point." We all know in October most playoff games are won and lost by the bullpen. The Yankees strong point this season has been their relief pitching so the reutrn of Joba can only improve an already great bullpen.
Also set to return is outfielder Nick Swisher. Swisher pinch hit in Saturday's game against the Boston Red Sox and struck out in the ninth inning against closer Alfredo Aceves. Swisher who has been out of the lineup for the last seven games because of a strained left hip flexor could possibly be in the lineup tonight (Sunday) verses the Red Sox. If he does return Manager Joe Giradi said Swisher will continue playing rightfield. The newly acquired Ichiro will then move to leftfield and outfielder Raul Ibanez with then become a DH or a bat off the bench.
Swish, Ichiro, Joba and the Yankees with an eight and a half game lead over the Baltimore Orioles in the AL East ? It looks as if the Yankees are shaping up to finish out the season. As long as everyone can stay healthy they should be able to capture their 18th Division Championship, make run for their 41st AL Pennant and a 28th World Series Championship !!
Let's Go Yankees !!!