Marcus Thames has been dealing with some mild hamstring soreness for a while now. It was playable until yesterday’s double into the left-field corner. “When I first took off, that’s when I felt it,” Thames said.
He felt like he had a chance to cut off the ball, but the hamstring forced him to play it off the wall. When he went popped up later in the game, he couldn’t run to first base.
“I felt like I was running in slow motion,” he said. “I know I’m not that slow.”
Thames has been placed on the disabled list and was told he’ll be shutdown for 10 to 12 days. To fill his spot, the team has called up Chad Huffman from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Huffman was claimed off waivers from the Padres earlier this season. He can play both outfield corners and first base, plus he has some power from the right side. He had a .279 average with five home runs in Triple-A.
Huffman is from the Houston area, and most of his family — mother, father, brother, cousins, uncle — flew to New York at the last minute to be here for his debut. The Scranton team flew from Charlotte to Allentown yesterday morning, then drove from Allentown to Scranton.
“Got about two hours of sleep,” Huffman said. “Got to the field and then (manager Dave) Miley called me into his office as soon as I got there and had some good news… I packed up and drove here as fast as I could.”
• I must admit, I showed up today fully expecting Derek Jeter to be the designated hitter. Joe Girardi had a different idea. “Swish has played every game and every inning in this stretch,” Girardi said. “I thought it would be a way to kind of give him a day and a half off.”
• Girardi said there’s no update on Dave Eiland’s status. “When I have word I’ll give it to you,” Girardi said. “There is no word right now.”
• Jorge Posada will be back behind the plate for the first time since mid-May. “As far as the injury, I don’t really have much (concern) there,” Girardi said. “It’s more the fatigue level.”
• The Yankees will have to monitor how many days Posada catches in a row. “Would be play him three days in a row? More than three days in a row? That was a question,” Girardi said. “That can adjust all the time. He’s going to DH some, but he’s going to catch too. He’s not going to DH everyday. He’s going to catch and we want him to catch because of the flexibility that he gives us, and the experience.”
• For this series finale, the Yankees are once again giving the ball to Phil Hughes, who’s going after his ninth win. “He’s been able to limit damage in innings,” Girardi said. “When he’s not had his best command or his best stuff, he’s still be able to go deep into games for us, just finding a way to get it done. To me, that’s a sign of maturity, and to be a big winner during the course of the season you have to be able to do that.”
UPDATE, 12:25 p.m.: Astros lineup.
Michael Bourn CF
Jeff Keppinger 2B
Hunter Pence RF
Carlos Lee DH
Cory Sullivan LF
Pedro Feliz 3B
Geoff Blum 1B
Tommy Manzella SS
Kevin Cash C
Associated Press photo of Thames.