Today is September 1st and the Yankees are sitting alone in 1st place. The Rays are just one game back though and have proven that they will not back down this season. The Yankees are also eight games up on the Red Sox for the Wild-Card lead, but with six head-to-head games left against them that lead isn’t exactly air-tight. The Yankees also have the toughest schedule of all three teams so nothing is locked in place. Get ready for what could be an exciting month.
Here are some notes:
- The rosters expand to 40 players today. The first call-ups: OF Greg Golson, C Chad Moeller, and RHP Jonathan Albaladejo. More will join the team later on.
- Lance Berkman is still expected to be activated today although no announcements have been made.
- Alfredo Aceves isn’t going to be activated today like I had originally guessed. There have been no reports about further back problems, but he hasn’t been sharp in his rehab outings.
- Javier Vazquez in the rotation? Not yet, for now Dustin Moseley‘s spot is secure.
- Andy Pettitte will throw another bullpen today. If that goes well a rehab start can’t be far behind.
- There is no time table for Damaso Marte‘s return, but it isn’t likely to be soon.
- Minor league outfielder Melky Mesa won the Florida State League’s Player of the Year award.
- Arizona Fall League rosters have been announced. Yankee minor leaguers participating: C Austin Romine, 3B Brandon Laird, 2B Corban Joseph, RHP George Kontos, and RHP Craig Heyer. There are spots on the roster open so more could be added later on.
I’m disappointed that Vazquez is not being put back in the rotation, but perhaps others are right in thinking that more time off could benefit him. It’s also somewhat of a surprise to see Aceves staying in the minors. I guess the Yankees don’t like what they’ve seen from him.
I like September call-ups. It’s always fun getting to see new players on the roster. Golson’s job will be to come off the bench as a runner and defensive replacement. I don’t expect he’ll get many starts or at bats. Moeller will just be here for insurance and maybe some late inning defensive duties. Albaladejo will get a shot to show if he can help the team in the playoffs or not. The Yankees have been carrying three long-men, Sergio Mitre, Chad Gaudin, and Vazquez. That’s overkill. If Albaladejo can pitch well, he has a shot at the playoff roster.
For those who don’t know much about Mesa, I’ve had a chance to see him play quite a bit. He’s fast, has a cannon for an arm, good range in the outfield, and he hits for power. His drawback has always been that he swings at everything to the point where it’s almost comical. My experience watching him was in 2008 when he was with the Staten Island Yankees. Since then he’s improved on his over aggressiveness at the plate, but improvements can still be made. He could probably make it to the majors on his speed and defense alone though, a la Golson.