A.J. Burnett missed out on a chance to show he belongs in the rotation, but he'll get another tonight in Kansas City as he takes on Felipe Paulino. Freddy Garcia is out with a - as far as Joe Girardi is concerned - convenient cut on his right index finger, putting the decision on who to remove from the rotation off at least a few more days. A date hasn't been set for Garcia's return.
- A-Rod played in a simulated game yesterday. He played the equivalent of three innings at thirdbase and had 13 at-bats. The results: two doubles, two singles and three K's. He's expected to return during the four-game series in Minnesota that starts Thursday.
He's been outstanding. When he's on the field, he's been unbelievable and then there's what he means to this clubhouse. He's a super positive guy, always full of energy and real positive. He's been our spark. Every time we need a big hit, a home run, it seems like he's the guy hitting it. Every year it seems like someone steps up and has that sort of year. Robbie [Cano] did it last year and Grandy this year has been unbelievable.
- Did you see that steel sculpture given to Derek Jeter before Saturday's game? It was commissioned by Jorge Posada and CC Sabathia and weighs 225 pounds. Of course, Jeter has plenty of room for it in his new home.
- The remainder of the season is a preview of 2012, says Joel Sherman -
Manny Banuelos/Jeuss Montero
The Yankees' top pitching and hitting prospect will be integrated onto the roster in time to exhibit if they can help in the playoffs - Banuelos as a lefty reliever and Montero as a DH/bat off the bench. But there also should be glimmers if either (or both) should be part of 2012 plans...
This is their chance to show they are primetime. And Banuelos does get the opportunity to show if he has the stuff - in repertoire and makeup - to begin making inroads toward being a top-of-the-rotation starter. As for Montero, there has been a lot of doubt about his defense, but there has been no doubt about the projection he will hit at a high level. He might not get a lot of opportunities to catch. But he should show if he can, indeed, hit at a high level in the majors, which will go a long way to the Yankees tolerating his 2012 defense or building up his value to trade in the offseason.
- And if you happen to be in the Kansas City area, you can find tickets to tonight's game here.