Ken Rosenthal reported today that Johnny Damon was moving toward a deal with the Indians. It seems that he would move into their left field picture, possibly as a platoon partner with another former Yankees outfielder, Shelley Duncan. Let’s take a look at some of last year’s Yankees who are playing a role elsewhere this season.
You might vaguely remember that, in mid-January, the Yankees traded away a young catcher with 18-games of big league experience to get a starting pitcher who has been stuck on the disabled list since the end of spring training. Montero was expected to the be Yankees regular designated hitter, and that’s been his role with the Mariners. Montero has played six games with Seattle and caught one of them. He’s hitting .286 but has yet to get an extra-base hit or draw a walk. He’s most recently dropped from fifth to sixth in the Mariners batting order.
After two years or erratic disappointment, Burnett was traded to Pittsburgh just before the start of spring training, and he quickly went on the disabled list when he fouled a ball off his face during bunting drills. Burnett has since made two rehab starts in the low minors, and the results have been predictably inconsistent. His first start lasted 4.2 innings with one run and five strikeouts. His second start — which came on Wednesday — lasted just 1.2 innings, with Burnett allowing eight runs (five earned) against Florida State League hitters.
The unheralded part of the Montero/Pineda trade — at least Jose Campos got some prospect buzz — Noesi moved into the Mariners rotation and will make his second start on Saturday against the Athletics. After a good spring training, Noesi’s regular-season debut was ugly, lasting just three innings during which he allowed seven runs on six hits and three walks. Noesi gave up two home runs, but might fare better in spacious Safeco Field.
Optioned to Triple-A on the last day of spring training, Cervelli became Scranton’s everyday catcher. He was also the team’s last regular to get a hit. Cervelli started the season 0-for-14 before finally getting a base hit in his final at-bat of Monday’s game. He was promptly thrown out trying to stretch the single into a double. Cervelli got his second hit of the season last night and is now hitting .111 through five games.
Colon turned last year’s comeback with the Yankees into a one-year, $2-million deal with Oakland, and he delivered a masterful debut with the A’s. In his first start of the season, Colon allowed three hits through eight innings, striking out six Mariners in the process. But when Colon faced the Mariners for a second time on Saturday, the tables turned. He lasted just 4.1 innings, allowing seven runs on 10 hits. All told, Colon is 1-1 with a 5.84 ERA. He’s struck out nine and walked one.
A surprising part of last year’s Opening Day bullpen, Ayala stuck around all season and pitched pretty well, earning occasional late-inning appearances when the bullpen was thin. This winter he landed with Baltimore, where Ayala has thrown 3.1 scoreless innings, including two appearances against the Yankees.
Granted, he didn’t play a single big league game with the Yankees, but he might have if not for a shoulder injury that cost him all of the second half. He also had a strong spring training before being designated for assignment and claimed by Houston. Maxwell’s first at-bat with the Astros was a pinch-hit, two-run homer on Monday. He’s one of two backup outfielders on the Houston bench.
Associated Press photo