The Yankees kick off their series with the Texas Rangers, one of the worst, and most beat up, teams in the league.
Tonight's lineup: Gardner 7 Jeter 6 Ellsbury 8 Beltran dh Johnson 3 Roberts 4 Suzuki 9 Cervelli 2 wheeler 5 Greene RHP— wallace matthews (@ESPNNYYankees) July 21, 2014
It appears Girardi took that into consideration when planning out his lineup for tonight because it's certainly missing a few important pieces. The top of the order stays the same with Brett Gardner, Derek Jeter, and Jacoby Ellsbury up top, however this soon start looking very different. Carlos Beltran remains the designated hitter while Kelly Johnson gets the start at first base with Mark Teixeira on the bench. I'll be shocked if this ends poorly. Lineup regulars Brian Roberts and Ichiro Suzuki stick around while Francisco Cervelli fills in for Brian McCann behind the plate and Zelous Wheelers gets his first start at third base since before the All-Star Break. They clearly know who they're facing today and they decided to take it easy on them.
If you're wondering why Teixeira isn't out there, it's because he's hurt:
Mark Teixeira out three or four days with strained lat muscle, Joe Girardi says. #yankees— Brendan Kuty (@BrendanKutyNJ) July 21, 2014
Tex said he started having back spasms about a month ago in Oakland. He's been dealing with the area ever since. He'll get a PRP shot today.— Mark Feinsand (@FeinsandNYDN) July 21, 2014
It doesn't sound too serious, but here's another sign that Tex is starting to break down because he's been hurt several times this season. He'll avoid the DL for now, but if it doesn't clear up in a few days, expect a move to be made. Also prepare yourself for another extended look at Kelly Johnson at first base. I'd like to know how many times they're going to run him out there like he knows what he's doing and then be surprised when he messes up.
Keith Law believes that top Yankees prospect Aaron Judge hasn't finished moving through the system this year just yet.
I believe he will. "@YourSource123: @keithlaw Any chance Aaron Judge gets moved up to Double AA this year?"— keithlaw (@keithlaw) July 21, 2014
After missing the entire 2013 season, Judge debuted this year and has seen nothing but success. He started out in Low-A Charleston where he hit .333/.428/.530 in 278 plate appearances before moving up to High-A Tampa where he has hit .311/.427/.495 so far. While the competition he's faced hasn't slowed him down much, he's still just 22 and has yet to show the home run power that many believe he should possess. As exciting as it would be to move him up to Double-A, it's not entirely necessary just yet. Either way he'll start 2015 off in Trenton and hopefully he'll begin to see some of that power develop.