Brian Cashman spoke to reporters about the Yankees' injuries and Chad Jennings at LoHud summarizes everything nicely.
Michael Pineda will pitch on Thursday for the Tampa-A Yankees and will increase his pitch count to 80 pitches. The Yankees have him on a customized rehab program where he will be increasing his pitch count by eight pitches each time out, rather than the customary 15 pitches. His last start was a simulated game where he gave up three hits and a walk while striking out five in 5.2 innings. He threw 74 pitches, 57 of them for strikes. He has been sitting around 92 mph and hitting 94-95 mph.
The two leading candidates for Pineda to replace at this point are Phil Hughes and David Phelps. Though this will never happen, Hughes has a 4.89 ERA and 4.60 FIP, while Phelps has a 3.68 ERA and 3.49 FIP, Hughes seems to be the one to go if Pineda proves to be ready at the end of his 30-day rehab assignment.
Curtis Granderson will have the pin removed from his knuckle on the 20th and then will be able to begin a short rehab assignment before returning to the team, again. He had a pin put in his broken pinky knuckle in order to ensure that the bone stays in place and heals properly. The surgery to insert it was minor and did not alter his recovery time of one month. He'll need a week of strength and grip exercises before he can even swing a bat again.
The Yankees desperately need an upgrade in the outfield. Brett Gardner has been one of the teams best hitters, but Ichiro Suzuki is only producing at a decent clip and Vernon Wells has been terrible. When Granderson returns he could force Wells into a reserve role and get his league-leading -0.4 WAR out of the lineup.
Alex Rodriguez will face live pitchers for the first time on Tuesday. He started running the bases over the weekend and has upped his rehab considerably. He has been fielding ground balls to his left and right, as well as slow rollers.
Yankees third baseman in 2013 have produced a grand total of 0 WAR. That's Youkilis, David Adams, Jayson Nix, and Chris Nelson and only Adams and Nix have accumulated a total of 0.5 WAR. A-Rod could be a huge help to the team at this point because you can't really do much worse.
The Yankees still have no test results from Kevin Youkilis going to see a doctor in California. Until then it's hard to know what his timetable is. Even though he's on the 15-day disabled list, he could be out for much longer depending on the severity of the injury. Asked why the Yankees thought it was a good idea to sign him in the first place, Brian Cashman stated that "it had to do with Youkilis coming through his offseason physical with flying colors and the comfort level knowing the White Sox offered him a two-year deal and that's where he just came from."
The injury to Youkilis further depletes an already barren depth chart in the wake of the Yankees losing Mark Teixeira again. Lyle Overbay will be the starting first baseman, but he has been terrible against lefties. The platoon of Adams and Nix also leaves something to be desired.
Derek Jeter did tee and toss and took 15 swings during caged batting practice. He also fielded 20 ground balls, moving side-to-side and throwing to first base. If Derek Jeter could actually come back this year that would be nice. He could kick Reid Brignac off the roster.
Eduardo Nunez fielded 30 ground balls today, did tee and toss and long toss. Brian Cashman seemed skeptical that he would be back before the All-Star break. Nunez has been incredibly disappointing this season before he went down from a seemingly mild injury and then disappeared. I don't expect much from him going forward.
Francisco Cervelli did long toss and receiving drills and could be a week away from singing a bat underwater. He won't be back until mid-July at this point. Even if he doesn't return to the level of play he was at before he got hurt, Cervelli would be a marked improvement over Austin Romine's .132/.148/.170 for the season.
On top of that, Ronnier Mustelier, Melky Mesa, and Sam Demel were all just added to the Triple-DL and Vidal Nuno, Brennan Boesch, and Corban Joseph are still not playing. To mitigate these injuries, the Yankees just signed famed ballplayer Randy Ruiz out of the Mexican League, who was with the Trenton Thunder back in 2006, has a .272/.332/.488 in 238 plate appearances for the Twins and Blue Jays, and is a 35-year-old DH/1B. Aslo, he was suspended for a PED violation too. This is what it has come to.
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