Yankees lineup at White Sox: Gardner 7 Jeter 6 Ellsbury 8 Teixeira DH McCann 2 Solarte 5 Ichiro 9 Roberts 4 Johnson 3 Kuroda RHP— Bryan Hoch (@BryanHoch) May 23, 2014
Brett Gardner is back in the lineup with Derek Jeter at short and Jacoby Ellsbury batting third. Mark Teixeira will get a half-day off as the designated hitter, while Brian McCann is back behind the plate. Yangervis Solarte is at third, while Ichiro Suzuki is in right field. Brian Roberts stays at second base and Kelly Johnson rounds out the lineup batting ninth as the first baseman.
Michael Pineda continues to work back from injury after he threw a bullpen on Tuesday. According to Joe Girardi, the big right-hander will be facing hitters in live batting practice on Saturday and then will need to go on a rehab assignment to get back into game shape. So far everything is going according to plan, which is good to see after it was announced that Pineda would take longer to return than originally expected. He's still on track to return to the majors in early June, where he would likely replace one of Vidal Nuno, Chase Whitley, and David Phelps in the rotation. I think Nuno should be the first one booted, but Whitley will likely get the axe, unless he shows that he can go more than four innings.
After suffering a setback on Monday when he woke up with a sore back, Shawn Kelley is continuing his rehab program. Girardi believes that he will likely try pitching again next week and we'll see where it goes from there. As good as the Yankees bullpen (read: Dellin Betances, Adam Warren, and David Robertson) has been, they could use a healthy and effective Kelley. His return would likely push one of Preston Claiborne or Matt Daley back to the minors and hopefully take some of the workload off the back end of the bullpen.
The July 2 international signing period is fast approaching and with it comes word that the Yankees are interested in a plethora of young talent. The Yankees have already been connected to shortstop Dermis Garcia, third baseman Nelson Gomez, outfielder Juan De Leon, shortstop Christopher Torres, shortstop Diego Castillo, and outfielder Jonathan Amundaray (which we've covered here, here, and here).
Now it appears that the Yankees are looking at, at least, one more player, and that's outfielder Antonio Arias. Baseball America describes the right-handed hitting Venezuelan as a physically projectable specimen as he has plenty of room to fill out his 6-foot-2, 170-pound frame. He is described as a good athlete, a fast runner with good bat speed and projects as a center fielder with a below-average arm. While he doesn't show a lot of power now, scouts believe his swing is suited for it and he simply has to mature and get stronger.
Baseball America has actually predicted that the Yankees will sign Garcia, Gomez, De Leon, and Torres to an estimated total of at least $6 million, blowing well past their $2,193,100 bonus pool. Seeing as how they would be in excess of 10% higher than their dollar limit, the Yankees would have to pay a 100% tax on any money they spend, lining up their final expenditures to somewhere in the previously predicted $12-$15 million range. They would also be prohibited from signing any free agents to a bonus in excess of $300,000 for the 2015-2016 and 2016-2017 international signing periods.