The Yankees will try their hardest to not get swept by the Red Sox today. Ivan Nova will take on Clay Buchholz in only his second start since June. Hopefully the Yankees can take advantage with their injury-plagued lineup:
Falling Off The Face Of The Earth Lineup: Granderson 8, Rod DH, Cano 4, Soriano 7, Overbay 3, Reynolds 5, Suzuki 9, Ryan 6, Stewart 2.— Andy McCullough (@McCulloughSL) September 15, 2013
Curtis Granderson leads off while Alex Rodriguez bats second as the designated hitter again and Robinson Cano bats third. Alfonso Soriano returns to the lineup after testing his sprained thumb in batting practice and will bat cleanup. Lyle Overbay and Mark Reynolds play the infield corners, while Ichiro Suzuki is in right field. Brendan Ryan stays as the shortstop and Chris Stewart is back in the lineup after sacrificing one day to let JR Murphy get a shot.
It's amazing how much Joe Girardi clings to Chris Stewart as his starting catcher when he's not only unable to hit, but is not really that great of a catcher. J.R. Murphy might not have gotten a hit yesterday, but also was fine behind the plate, so why not give him a shot? It's unknown when Austin Romine will be ready to return, but Chris Stewart can't continue to play every day. We know what Stewart can offer, so what if Murphy can offer more?
On the Yankees injury front, it seems that Brett Gardner doesn't sound optimistic that he will be able to return this season. An oblique strain can take a lot of time to heal and there isn't a whole lot of time left in the season. Losing Gardner down the stretch could prove to be critical to the Yankees' playoff chances. They don't just lose his defense and speed, but it sufficiently diminishes the lineup on a daily basis. Ichiro isn't a full time player, but he'll still be there in the outfield, day in and day out.
Boone Logan has gone to see Dr. Andrews to have his elbow examined firsthand. It seemed like he was on his way back after an MRI checked out fine, but now it doesn't seem so good. He's a free agent at the end of the year, so if he needs surgery it won't hurt the team's future, but it does hurt the team now.
Cesar Cabral and Mike Zagurski are the Yankees' left options for now and Cabral is the only one that might have a future with the team. He's been impressive in the little amount of time he's had to play, but Girardi hasn't given him much of a leash. Zagurski hasn't even pitched yet and is unlikely to ever get in a game and Cabral has played sporadically, so right now there's no real LOOGY option to go to. Hopefully Logan proves to be ok, but since his elbow issues in spring training, this was likely to happen eventually. Hopefully it won't hurt the team too much.