Brian Heyman here at Yankee Stadium for Chad today.
We just got to listen to Phil Hughes’ thoughts. The next step in his comeback is to try to play catch on Thursday. Hughes admitted that he had been experiencing some discomfort before his recent shot. He said that shot has helped. His shoulder feels looser. He was working with a physical therapist while the Yankees were on the road trip.
Joe Girardi said there has been no-decision yet whether to activate or option Luis Ayala, who has been on a rehab assignment at AAA.
A lot of the pregame talk was actually about the Royals, about their improvement and aggression. They lead the majors with 42 steals and are above .500, which seems like a miracle, even after just 34 games. They are at 18-16, in second place in the Central, 4 1/2 behind the Indians.
This game marks the return of Melky Cabrera, back for the first time since the Yankees dealt him to the Braves after the 2009 championship. Cabrera signed with the Royals in the offseason and is off to a good start at .283 with three homers and 21 RBI. He was looking forward to seeing one ex-teammate in particular.
“They were all great to me,” Cabrera said through an interpreter. “It felt like home when I was playing there. But especially my best friend, Robinson Cano. I really miss him. I really want to spend some time with him and see how the family is doing and chat a little bit.”
Jeff Francoeur, who was here with the Mets and then the Rangers in the ALCS last year and signed with Kansas City in the offseason, is also off to a good start at .302 with eight homers and 24 RBI.
“I’m having a blast,” Francoeur said. “It was fun to be in Texas, playing in the World Series. Playing here in the ALCS was something great. But this is a good new chapter for me, a good opportunity.”