The Yankees have cut a deal with Jason Lane to extend his time with Triple-A Scranton. He had an opt-out a few days ago but decided to stick around rather than become a free agent.
Which means that none of the other 29 teams had a spot for him in the majors.
Lane is at .243/.343/.480 for Scranton. He has hit 11 homers. A right-handed bench savior he is not. Keep in mind that Shelley Duncan was Babe Ruth when he was down in the International League earlier this season. The numbers there don’t really translate.
The Yankees have much bigger problems than their bench anyway. Once Jorge Posada gets back, the lineup will be fine. Duncan can give Jason Giambi an occasional day off (as could Posada) and Wilson Betemit can play once every 10 days or so.
What the Yankees need are relievers. J.B. Cox has yet to allow a run for Scranton (10.1 innings). But he has logged only 23.1 innings this season. He could use a little more time to sharpen his stuff. He has only 12 strikeouts in 23 inings.
In 2006, before he got hurt, Cox fanned 60 in 77 innings. He’s not a strikeout pitcher by any means and won’t be in the majors. But you’d like to see him put away a few more hitters where he’s at now, if only to boost his confidence.
Meanwhile, as the Mets pound Barry Zito, it points to the foolishness of signing free-agent pitchers to long-term contracts. And that includes Johan Santana. He’s been pretty good this season. But great? Not really. Let C.C. Sabathia make his money someplace else. Keep the draft pick and continue to build.
It’s painful to watch at times. Who thought that that on June 4 that Phil Hughes, Ian Kennedy and Joba Chamberlain would have only 16 starts and no wins? But it’s the only way that makes sense. Suffer now, celebrate later.