Tuesday, July 31, 2012

No Structural Damage to Tex's Wrist

Getty Images
So if you're like me, you've been holding your breathe since Mark Teixeira left last night's game with a wrist "injury." At this point, it seems as though a new injury seems to "pop up" within the Yankee roster every week now. If Tex has seriously injured his wrist, what would this mean for an already compromised team that's been making it more of a habit of losing lately than winning? Well, Nick Swisher and Eric Chavez would platoon first base for Tex. On the days that Swish is at first, Ichiro would remain in right field. When Chavez plays first, Jayson Nix and Ramiro Pena would platoon third base. And while Swish and Ichy play first and right, respectively, Andrew Jones and Raul Ibanez would continue to platoon left. Whenever Swish moves back to right and Ichy is placed in left, Ibanez and Jones could take their turns as the DH. Confusing enough for ya?

Well thankfully, we may not have to worry about Joe Girardi re-shuffling the contents of his binder to consider such moves. Yankees.com reported today that an MRI on Tex's hand showed no structural damage, only inflammation. So while he'll most like be out for another game or so, we shouldn't expect to see Tex placed on the DL. Good thing, because another one of our superstars being forced to watch the game from home, would have been more than I could bear. And I'm sure that Girardi is happy to not have to face the "How are you going to manage?," or "How bad is this for the team?" questions by the media once again.

On another note, the Yankees have been on a terrible run since being swept by the Oakland A's two weeks ago (although, they shouldn't feel too bad because Oakland is beating EVERYBODY!). They've lost eight of their last eleven games; the majority of which were decided by a run. Yes, the team remains atop all of baseball, but with the injuries mounting, this no time for our boys to fall backward. I'm expecting a strong start tonight from Ivan Nova, who bodes very well against the Orioles. He goes up against Chris Tillman tonight. Game time is 7:05 pm.

Follow Rasheeda Cooper on twitter: @ra_cooper

Friday, July 27, 2012

Yanks Take on Boston at Stadium Tonight

Via Alex Rodriguez Page on Facebook
My spirits have been somewhat low since Alex Rodriguez went down with his broken hand on Tuesday. Thankfully, a series against the Boston Red Sox is just what I need to set my mood back in order. The Yankees open up a 3-gamer against Beantown tonight; here is the starting lineup:

1 - Derek Jeter, SS
2 - Curtis Granderson, CF
3 - Robinson Cano, 2B
4 - Mark Teixeira, 1B
5 - Raul Ibanez, LF
6 - Andrew Jones, DH
7 - Eric Chavez, 3B
8 - Ichiro Suzuki, RF
9 - Russell Martin, C

Getty Images
Phil Hughes gets the start against right-hander Aaron Cook, who is 2-3 with a 3.50 in 6 starts. Hughes' last start against the Red Sox resulted in a loss; the Yankees' only loss against Boston this year. Look for a strong outing from him, and look for the stadium crowd to go nuts when Ichiro's name is announced.

Follow Rasheeda Cooper on twitter: @ra_cooper

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Hard Knocks Continue for A-Rod

Associated Press
So of course fanatics, my return to blogging--on what I'm hoping will be a regular basis--comes on the heels of another bad injury to a needed Yankee. Michael Pineda never made it out of Spring Training; Mariano Rivera and Brett Gardner are also gone for the year; Andy Pettitte will be out until the end of August/beginning of September. Nick Swisher has also recently gone down "DL Lane." So, as if these imjuries were not enough to "almost" push the Yankees to the brink of injury insanity, Alex Rodriguez was forced to leave last night's loss to Seattle in the eight inning. He was hit on the hand by a pitch from Felix Hernandez; an 88 mph changeup that was later determined to have caused a "non-displaced" fracture on his pinky.

What we don't know yet is how bad the fracture is. Alex will remain with the team for tonight's rubber game in Seattle, and see team physician, Dr. Ahmad tomorrow. Once the severity of the fracture has been diagnosed, we'll all find out just how long the team projects Alex could be gone. Reports speculate that it could be from 6-8 weeks, but with fractures, it could be even longer. That could mean that Alex would come back in late September as the Yankees make their push for the postseason.

What we do know is this injury comes at the worst possible time for our third baseman. Having an average first-half, Alex seemed to be hitting his stride since the All-Star break. In his lastb 10 games he hit to a .333 AVG, going 13-for-39. He also hit 2 monster home runs in that span, so perhaps his power stroke was coming back as well.

With Alex on the DL, the Yankees called up Ramiro Pena from Triple-A. You can guess that the plan for now is to platoon him at third with Eric Chavez. Chavez, whose had a good season thus far, is of course more than up for the task of playing third base. But there's still the case of his own injuries; injuries that have plagued him for some time now. Fanatics may expect Chavy to simply take over third base, but he requires much rest in order to be a back-up for Alex. A long stint of A-Rod on the disabled list, was not what Chavez or the team had in mind.

And as to be expected, fans are calling for Hernandez' head on a platter. I'd be lying if I said I didn't share those sentiments at all; watching Alex go down in that kind of pain was enough to make my blood boil. But, reality kicks in, and you realize that there was no intent by Hernandez. Alex was just the third of the Yankee players on Hernandez' bulls-eye, having hit Ichiro and Derek Jeter prior. We know that the best way to get these guys out are to pitch them inside, and Hernandez had poor control trying to do just that. But I'd also be lying if I said that perhaps having a guy like, I don't know, maybe Jesus Montero get up close and personal with a 90+ mph fast ball wouldn't seem fair. I know, it's not what the Yankees do, and I'm proud of them for that. Best way to settle this score is for the team to go out this afternoon and give Seattle a serious beating on the field.

As for Alex, this is a terrible blow. Seemed like he would have the number of games played he wanted this season, and maybe he still can, but there's no way to know right now. The best we can hope for is to see him back and in good health for the playoffs. The Yankees have been able to weather the injuury storm thus far, and I'm sure that Joe Girardi will piece together a plan that works in the meantime.

Follow Rasheeda Cooper on twitter: @ra_cooper