The Blue Jays put Dustin McGowan on the DL today with a shoulder issue. Their starter for Sunday is now the ever-popular TBA. The Yankees also will miss A.J. Burnett and Roy Halladay.
Here’s now the rest of the week shapes up:
Thursday at Pittsburgh: Mussina vs. Maholm
Friday at Toronto: Chamberlain vs. Litsch
Saturday at Toronto: Rasner vs. Parrish
Sunday at Toronto: Pettitte vs. TBA
Is 3-1 too much to ask? That would put the Yankees at 52-43 at the break with 67 games to go.
On another subject, here’s an interesting story regarding second-round pick Scott Bittle out of Ole Miss. Seems the Yankees have a question about the soundness of his shoulder and contract talks have stalled.
The player says his shoulder his fine, but the Yankees seem to want to cut down on his bonus. This kind of thing happens from time to time (with the Mets and Billy Traber, for instance). In this case, Bittle has some leverage in that he can go back to school for a year. But if there is actually something wrong with his shoulder, he risks injury and the possibility of not getting drafted. His best move might be to take whatever the Yankees offer.
Shoulders are also different for teams than elbows. Doctors can generally a fix an elbow but there are worse odds for shoulders. For a young player, a bum shoulder is a bad sign.
UPDATE, 9:40 p.m.: In talking to a few people, it sounds like the Yankees could try to sign Bittle to contract that would pay him shorter money up front (say, $250,000) and pay off the rest of his bonus over a period of time contingent on his ability to pitch.
That kind of money could be hard to turn down given the risk.