The LoHud Yankees Blog

A New York Yankees blog by Chad Jennings and the staff of The Journal News

The new guys

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Podcast on Aug 01, 2010 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

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Now that yesterday’s trade deadline has come and gone, the Yankees clearly made the most significant moves in the American League East. The Rays added reliever Chad Qualls, and the Red Sox added backup catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia. The Yankees, on the other hand, added three players.

ph_204020Lance Berkman
Why: Because Nick Johnson got hurt and the Yankees were without a full-time designated hitter.
Role: Could get some time at first base, but he’ll primarily be a DH, and it sounds like most of those starts will come against right-handed starters. The Yankees are happy with Marcus Thames against lefties.
He said: “My dad’s favorite player was Mickey Mantle – he’s probably one of a billion people that would say that – and one of the reasons I’m a switch-hitter is that he was such a big fan of Mickey Mantle, and he wanted me to switch-hit. I grew up hearing about Mick and the Yankees, so it’s surreal in the sense that with the situation I had in Houston, I never thought there was any way in the world that this could happen. Now that it has happened, it feels good. I think this is a great uniform to put on.”
Girardi said: “He gives you a very accomplished switch-hitter that knows how to hit in the middle of the order. He’s been an RBI guy. He’s been a run-producer. As I said, he gives you versatility.”

ph_400290Austin Kearns
Why: Because the Yankees left-heavy outfield needed a right-handed hitter, and Marcus Thames struggled when asked to play the field.
Role: Not an everyday player, but he should get plenty of starts against left-handed starters, and he’s not a bad option against righties.
He said: “I’m definitely excited. It’s the best chance you have to win, obviously, coming here. That’s what it’s all about. I’m happy to be a part of it… Whatever they want. I’m not picky. Just anything to help out.”
Girardi said: “He’s going to play against a lot of left-handers, and he’ll probably play against some right handers as well. We’re in some tough stretches where we’re playing a lot of games, so we want to keep everyone fresh, and if we can get people days off, we will.”

ph_134268Kerry Wood
Why: Because the late innings have been tricky. The Yankees had more long relievers than they needed, and it made sense to add another late inning candidate.
Role: Along with Joba Chamberlain and Dave Robertson, the Yankees have another potential eighth-inning reliever at practically no cost.
He said: “I’m obviously excited to go and pitch in a pennant race and have a chance to get to the postseason and win a championship. That’s why we all play the game… I would have liked to have held up my end of the deal (in Cleveland) more than I did.”
Girardi said: “He’s a guy that’s pitched in the back end as well. As (Brian Cashman) said, people have to earn their spots, and we want him to make all our decisions tough in the later innings… I know him more than I know some of the others guys we acquired because I know his heart. I know he’s a real competitor and that makes me believe he can help us.”

Here’s Girardi talking before last night’s game.

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