After Jayson Nix was placed on the disabled list with a Grade 2 hamstring strain, the Yankees went out and signed free agent Luis Cruz, who was recently released by the Dodgers. He replaces one of last night's heros, Alberto Gonzalez, in tonight's starting lineup.
Answering Machine Lineup: Gardner 8, Suzuki 9, Cano 4, Hafner DH, Almonte 7, Overbay 3, Stewart 2, Cruz 6, Adams 5, Sabathia 1.— Andy McCullough (@McCulloughSL) July 3, 2013
No Yankees have ever faced tonight's starter for the Twins, P.J. Walters. In seven starts this season, Minnesota's right-hander is 2-4 with a 6.03 ERA. CC Sabathia is coming off back-to-back seven-inning starts where he gave up five runs and four runs, respectively, to the Rays and Orioles. The Yankees need more out of their ace, and CC should be able to take care of business against a weak Twins lineup to get himself back on track.
That being said, it seems like it would take a miracle for the Yankees to get even a hit out of the bottom four in this lineup. Cruz was rocking a -7 wRC+ in his time with the Dodgers, and Adams has struggled against righties (and everyone, really) with a .179 batting average against them.
Two potential targets for the Yankees were grabbed up by other teams very recently: The Nationals acquired Kelly Shoppach, who was previously released by the Seattle Mariners. Shoppach would have provided an easy upgrade over Chris Stewart and Austin Romine. The ever-controversial Manny Ramirez was signed to a minor league deal by the Texas Rangers. When you need offense as badly as the Yankees do, it's difficult to be picky, and missing out on Shoppach is rather questionable when depending on the return of Francisco Cervelli is really all the Yankees have.