Eric Chavez will go on the disabled list tomorrow after fracturing a bone in his left foot. The Yankees aren’t sure when or how the injury happened. Chavez had tripled to right-center — Don Kelly missed a diving catch and the ball rolled to the fence — and Chavez seemed fine until he rounded second base.
“We didn’t notice it until after he got by second,” Joe Girardi said. “I don’t know if he did it when he hit the bag or if he did it after. I didn’t ask when he did it. I felt bad for him because he’s been through these injuries, and as well as he’s been playing, it’s frustrating.”
Chavez has been a key part of the Yankees bench this season, giving them a powerful left-handed pinch hitter and a legitimate backup for Alex Rodriguez. Chavez was x-rayed in Detroit and caught the first flight back to New York so he can be examined by team doctors. No word yet on how long he’ll be out, but there’s no doubt he’ll go on the disabled list. With Eduardo Nunez able to play third and Nick Swisher able to play first, the Yankees don’t necessarily have to call up a corner infielder.
Of the potential call-up candidates on the 40-man, Ramiro Pena is the most familiar option, but he’s really struggled offensively in Triple-A. Kevin Russo is another versatile option. He’s hit .275/.370/.400 in his past 10 games, but his season numbers aren’t pretty. Outfielder Chris Dickerson has also hit a little better in the past two weeks or so, and Justin Maxwell continues to hit for tremendous power while carrying a low batting average and high on-base percentage. Third baseman Brandon Laird has not hit at all this year.
The name that obviously jumps to mind is spring training superstar Jorge Vazquez, who’s built on the numbers he put up in big league camp and continues to rake in Triple-A. He’s a corner infielder like Chavez — though not nearly as good defensively — and he’s hit .302/.321/.585 with Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. He leads the team in home runs and RBI. He strikes out a bunch, but he has a boatload of power.
“I’m sure he’s a guy that we’re going to consider because we lost a corner guy and he is a corner guy,” Girardi said. “He’s played first, he’s played third. I know he’s swung the bat well in Triple-A. I haven’t seen the last couple of days what he’s done, but before that he’s swung the bat well so he’s definitely in consideration.”
UPDATE, 5:42 p.m.: Donnie Collins has tonight’s Triple-A lineup, and it offers absolutely no clues to a potential call-up.
Associated Press photo