The Yankees have been pretty lucky as far as injuries are concerned in that nothing major has happened, but that doesn’t mean that a few of the players haven’t been banged up quite a bit.
- Jorge Posada is out today after waking up with a stiff neck. No word yet if he’ll be back tomorrow.
- Francisco Cervelli is also out and could even start the season on the DL after he suffered from a Grade 1 hamstring strain.
- This wouldn’t be an issue, but third-string catcher Mike Rivera hasn’t played since March 20 with his own hamstring injury.
- The Yankees announced their immediate plans for Phil Hughes yesterday. He’s going to be on the major league roster, but he’ll make extended spring training starts on April 5 and 10. His first regular season start will be April 15.
- It’s official, Curtis Granderson will be the starting center fielder with Brett Gardner starting in left.
Thoughts: Posada’s injury is interesting. It sounds very innocent, but with both of his top backups hurting as well it makes his health even more important. P.J. Pilittere is starting today and Mitch Abeita will be his backup. Either of those two can handle backup duties defensively, but neither are going to hit at all in the majors. The good news is that manager Joe Girardi made it sound like he doesn’t expect Cervelli to hit the DL.
I like that the Yankees are going to skip Hughes the first couple of times around. It will give him two more starts to get comfortable with his changeup which at this point could be the difference between him throwing it in a tough spot or not. I can’t help but wonder if they couldn’t have let Joba Chamberlain join him in extended which could have given both of them a little bit longer to battle for the fifth starter spot. It makes me believe that the Yankees believe in Hughes over Joba more than we know.
Anyways, with Hughes not expected to pitch until April 15 here, via Marc Carig, is the projected rotation for the first few weeks:
4/4 CC Sabathia
4/6 A.J. Burnett
4/7 Andy Pettitte
4/9 Javier Vazquez
As for Granderson, since Joel Sherman reported this about a week ago it really comes as no surprise.