The Yankees return from a seven-game road trip to face the Angels in a three-game series at Yankee Stadium. Be warned, since MLB likes to schedule series at one team's venue and then another at the other's location a week or two later, West Coast games are approaching. But tonight, let's enjoy some baseball at a nice reasonable hour.
Lineup vs. Angels: Ellsbury 8, Jeter 6, Beltran 9, Soriano DH, Teixeira 3, McCann C, Gardner 7, Roberts 4, Solarte 5— Andrew Marchand (@AndrewMarchand) April 25, 2014
This is the exact same lineup from last night. The top of the order is Jacoby Ellsbury, Derek Jeter, Carlos Beltran, all in the field. Alfonso Soriano is the DH and cleaning up, while Mark Teixeira is at first, and Brian McCann is behind the plate. Brett Gardner is batting seventh again, Brian Roberts is at second, and Yangervis Solarte is at third.
It seems that since Teixeira and Roberts have been healthy and back in the lineup, Kelly Johnson has been nowhere to be seen. He was the primary first baseman while Tex was on the DL and played third base before Yangervis Solarte pushed him out of his job. What's amazing is that the Yankees seem hesitant to play Johnson at second base, his primary position, in order to squeeze Brian Roberts into the lineup as often as they can. So far on the season, Johnson is hitting a solid .228/.290/.491 while Roberts can only manager a .220/.319/.271 line. At what point does Roberts get relegated to the bench, because right now it seems like having Johnson is a complete waste.
You can now vote for the All-Star Game starting lineup. The ballot includes Yankees Mark Teixeira (1B), Brian Roberts (2B), Derek Jeter (SS), Kelly Johnson (3B), Brian McCann (C), Alfonso Soriano (DH), and Brett Gardner, Jacoby Ellsbury, and Carlos Beltran (OF). Perhaps the greatest mistake of the ballot was the extreme lack of Yangervis Solarte, but you can add him in as a write-in if you think he deserves it.
Brendan Ryan will begin his rehab assignment with the High-A Tampa Yankees on Sunday. He is expected to get 50 at-bats before he is considered ready to return from his cervical spine nerve injury. It could take him about two-to-three weeks to reach that milestone. Add in the eventuality of rest days and it could be another month before we see Ryan with the Yankees. While he's not currently with the team, it's expected that Ryan would replace Dean Anna as the team's backup shortstop once he returns. Still, anything can happen in the next month.
Word has come out that, with Michael Pineda suspended for a total of 10 games for using pine tar, David Phelps will take his spot in the rotation. Thanks to off-days, the Yankees will really only need Phelps to make one start before Pineda returns. In the long run, this might be a good thing for Pineda as it gives him some extra rest that might help him later on in the season.