So, speedy Brett Gardner is on the shelf for at least the next three weeks with a fractured thumb. How will the New York Yankees replace him?
For now, they have recalled reliever Jonathan Albaladejo. Soon, though, they will have to add a player to the bench.
That player should not be AAA phenom Austin Jackson, and it won't be.
"It’s not something that we’ve talked about at this point," Girardi said. "Obviously, the guy that comes up is not going to be an everyday player. To bring up a guy like Austin Jackson and sit him on the bench right now, I’m not sure how much sense that would make.
The other obvious choice is Shelley Duncan, who is tearing up the International League with 25 home runs and 75 RBI. That does not make any sense, though, because Duncan can't play center field. Unless you truly believe Johnny Damon or Nick Swisher could play center field -- and I don't -- whoever the Yankees add has to be able to play that spot. Meaning, of course, there is no real place for Duncan.
Ramiro Pena is a possibility, since he has played a little bit of outfield since being sent down a few weeks ago. I doubt he could be depended on to play much in the outfield, but maybe in a pinch.
More likely, though, if the Yankees think Gardner will be out for more than the three weeks, is that GM Brian Cashman will be looking to make a small trade for a solid defensive center fielder.
Now let's look at some of the other stories making news around the Yankee Universe.
From Pete Abe:
"When he got the second MRI on Tuesday, it revealed a possible rotator-cuff tear. The question is whether it’s a new injury or scar tissue from the operation he had back in 2000.
Because Dr. James Andrews did that surgery, he will examine Wang on Tuesday and figure it all out. If Wang does have a new tear, he’ll be out the rest of this season and part of 2010."
My take: Could the last year have been any worse for CMW, once the ace of the Yankee staff?
- BucsBits reports that the Yankees had a scout in Indianapolis Sunday to watch Ian Snell pitch. Snell, by the way, went five innings, surrendered nine hits and two runs, and lost, 2-1.
- MLB Daily Dish takes an in-depth look at the Yankees' needs, and how well positioned they are to meet them.