The Yankees' lineup versus Felix Hernandez and the Mariners has been unleashed:
Today's lineup: Gardner 8 Cano 4 Teixeira 3 hafner dh wells 7 ichiro 9 nix 5 brignac 6 Stewart 2 phelps 1— Erik Boland (@eboland11) June 9, 2013
Chris Stewart is now playing in his third game in a row, so it seems that the groin and dehydration issues have finally passed. The left side of the infield consists of Jayson Nix and Reid Brignac going up against King Felix. That should be fun. It would be nice to see Vernon Wells make good on his two-hit game yesterday, but Felix Hernandez is not the pitcher you want to go up against when you're trying to get out of a monstrous slump.
The big story of this lineup is the fact that Kevin Youkilis is sitting after a game where he slid into first base to get out a runner. It was the same way he hurt his back, in that one game he played after sitting for a week and then having to go on the disabled list. He was seen during the game trying to stretch out his back and then after the game had it iced up. If Youkilis hurt his back again, and in the same way as last time, the Yankees are going to be in trouble.
If he misses another 15 games or even just a week the Yankees will have to play David Adams every day and he has not hit well. If he is gone that could ensure that Lyle Overbay would have to DH against lefties. Brennan Boesch recently left a game with an injury, Corban Joseph is currently on the Triple-A disabled list, and Eduardo Nunez is still nowhere near ready to return from an oblique strain he keeps re-straining. The only position players left on the 40-man roster at this point would be Zoilo Almonte, Ramon Flores and >gulp< Melky Mesa. Let's not have it come to that.
If Youkilis is fine and this is just precautionary, that's great, but he has to stop putting his body into harm's way when he doesn't have to. He needs to be smart about it because he can help the team more by staying healthy, rather than sacrificing his body.
They could always put Thomas Neal or Ronnier Mustelier on the 40-man roster and call them up, but we know that won't be happening. The Yankees are likely keeping the last spot on the 40 open for when Francisco Cervelli returns from the DL, but they could use the spot now.