In the early going, Phil Hughes has been thrust into the odd position of being a stopper on a 15-8 ball club. You see, Hughes spot in the rotation has followed Javier Vazquez, which for the third time in his four starts means he is being called upon to help the team rebound from a loss. Perhaps even more significantly, a greater premium has been placed on Hughes being able to give enough innings to help out a bullpen depleted by Vazquez’ early exits. That particularly holds true in today’s rubber game against the White Sox as both Alfredo Aceves and Sergio Mitre will likely be unavailable in today’s game. To help compensate for the short staff, Mark Melancon has been recalled from Scranton, where he was pitching to a 1.76 ERA in 15 1/3 innings (15 strikeouts and 1.17 WHIP). Still, the Yankees will hope that Hughes can efficiently navigate the White Sox lineup to avoid having to over extend the relief corps once again.
Melancon’s promotion was made possible by yesterday’s groin injury to Curtis Granderson. The temporary recall of a reliever leaves the outfield and the bench exposed for the time being, meaning the Yankees will be somewhat short handed until a reinforcement is found. Granderson’s absence, which is expected to last at least a month, also significantly weakens the defense, especially if Marcus Thames is asked to play a lot of LF. Despite early season struggles, Granderson’s injury also leaves a void in the lineup, evidenced today by a bottom of the order that now features Thames, Gardner and Pena, who is giving Alex Rodriquez a day off at 3B.
With the uncertainty surrounding Vazquez’ spot in the rotation and Granderson’s injury, the Yankees are facing their first period of real adversity. Guys like Mark Teixeira and Nick Johnson, in particular, will need to pick up some of the slack on offense. Today’s game will be an interesting first look at how they, and the team, respond.
|vs. Mark Buehrle||PA||BA||OBP||SLG||HR||RBI|
|Derek Jeter SS||33||0.375||0.375||0.563||1||4|
|Nick Johnson 1B||10||0.375||0.500||0.875||1||2|
|Mark Teixeira DH||40||0.316||0.350||0.500||1||7|
|Nick Swisher RF||26||0.421||0.560||0.474||0||1|
|Robinson Cano 2B||9||0.333||0.333||0.444||0||0|
|Jorge Posada C||19||0.167||0.158||0.222||0||5|
|Marcus Thames DH||0||0.000||0.000||0.000||0||0|
|Brett Gardner CF||2||0.500||0.500||0.500||0||0|
|Ramiro Pena 3B||0||0.000||0.000||0.000||0||0|
|vs. Phil Hughes||PA||BA||OBP||SLG||HR||RBI|
|Mark Kotsay RF||2||0.000||0.000||0.000||0||0|
|Gordon Beckham 2B||2||0.000||0.000||0.000||0||0|
|Andruw Jones CF||0||0.000||0.000||0.000||0||0|
|Paul Konerko 1B||6||0.333||0.333||0.333||0||0|
|Mark Teahen 3B||5||0.600||0.600||1.000||0||2|
|Carlos Quentin DH||1||0.000||0.000||0.000||0||0|
|A.J. Pierzynski C||4||0.250||0.250||0.250||0||0|
|Alexei Ramirez SS||2||0.000||0.000||0.000||0||0|
|Juan Pierre LF||0||0.000||0.000||0.000||0||0|
|Yankees vs. White Sox|
|Season: 2010||Season: 2009||Season: 2008||All-Time|
|TIED: 1-1||NYY: 4-3||NYY: 5-2||NYY: 1044-824|
- Yesterday, Derek Jeter become the Yankees all time leader in plate appearances. Jeter has stepped to the plate as a Yankee 9,913 times, surpassing Mickey Mantle’s total of 9,909. Jeter is also bearing down on Mantle’s franchise mark for most games. He is currently four games away from tying that mark.
- Jeter also remains one double away from passing Don Matting for sole possession of third place on the all-time Yankee list.
- Mark Buehrle is 1-6 against the Yankees in his career. His only victory occurred on April 10, 2004. Since then he has been winless in six starts against the Yankees.
- Mark Teixeira bid farewell to April with two hits and RBI to start the month of May. Texeira’s career splits in April are 235/.342/.411, versus 295/.378/.547 in May.
- Despite having considerable success against Hughes (.974 OPS in 17 PAs), Alexis Rios is not in the starting lineup.
- The Yankees and White Sox have played 8 straight games decided by 1 or 2 runs.