Yankees notes: Soriano, The G.O.A.T. and Mr. Jones

He'll never say it of course, but there had to be an evil part of Brain Cashman's heart that was pretty amped about the news about Rafael Soriano on Wednesday.

The man that was supposed to be the bridge to Mariano can finally scowl with good reason after Dr. James Andrews – the grim reaper of pitchers – diagnosed Soriano with an inflamed elbow ligament. The injury will cost the right-hander 6-8 weeks.

Intentionally or not, Cashman put himself in a no-lose situation after his mouthy performance at Soriano's press conference in January. If the signing blows up, it's irrefutable evidence that ownership shouldn't override the veteran GM in matters of roster construction. If Soriano produces, Cashman can play the "Listen, nobody wants him to succeed more than me!" card.

We still have a long way to go, but it's certainly looking like Door No. 1 right now.

Cashman's comments on how the Yankees will get by without Soriano carried a whiff of why he didn't view the reliever as a necessity in the first place.

"I've got confidence. I think we have the personnel in place here as well as down below to get us through. Joba, Robertson, (Boone) Logan are well equipped to handle it, and we were trying to get Girardi other choices with the Ayalas of the world.

"I've got a lot of confidence in the guys we have — more confidence when we're at full strength, but I have confidence in the guys we have."

I'm pretty sure throwing Logan in there was a joke meant to bring levity to a serious situation, but who knows.

Bill Madden says Cash can give the Yankees a big, fat "I told you so."

Soriano's injury was one of two subplots for Thursday's win, the Yankees' seventh in nine games. They are now 27-21, percentage points ahead of the Red Sox in the AL East.

Andruw Jones homered twice and Mariano Rivera closed it out in a non-save situation, capping a 7-3 win. It was the G.O.A.T.'s 1,000th appearance, becoming the first pitcher to reach that milestone with one team.

Steve Politi says Rivera's durability is just as impressive as his dominance.

Cashman busted out his tried-and-true Panamanian Fishing Boy schtick:

"When you simplify it, he’s a one-pitch pitcher coming from a small fishermen village in Panama, and to have this type of success in one of the biggest cities in the world, it’s incredible. And he’s that great a guy at the same time. He’s the same person he was when he signed."

Jones told LoHud that the 1996 Mo and 2011 Mo are essentially the same pitcher, which might be the greatest praise an athlete can receive.

"He’s the same guy, same pitcher, still getting them out. I think he’s super human."

David Robertson is helping his Alabama hometown recover from last month's devastating twister.

Nick Swisher was back in the lineup Wednesday, but the slumping outfielder took another 0-fer, dropping his average to a ghastly .204. Swisher has been watching a lot of film from last year to get his swing and confidence back where it needs to be. It all sounds sort of depressing to me, like watching your wedding video on loop after your wife leaves you for the snow plow guy.

"I watch base hits, home runs, doubles – things that put positive things in my mind. When you're struggling sometimes it's tough to get out of it. You have to talk about it every day and you might not want to."

This is a couple days old, but interesting quote from Johnny Damon on the treatment of Jorge Posada and Derek Jeter by Yankee management. Hint: Somebody's probably going to turn down Old-Timer's Day a couple of times.

"I got to see it the year before. I always thought I was one of the fan favorites, but that's baseball. There's stuff you can't control."

For those interested, here's a look at Jesus Montero's numbers at Triple-A.

Until next time, hang onto the roof ...

Dan Hanzus is a regular contributor to Pinstripe Alley. He can be reached at dhanzus@gmail or on Twitter @danhanzus.

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