The Yankees traded for Ichiro Suzuki and wrapped up a series win in Seattle, but this was still a brutal road trip. Swept in Oakland, couldn’t win a winable game against the Mariners and lost Alex Rodriguez for a month or so. That’s rough. Now the Yankees have an off day before facing the Red Sox in the Bronx.
So, you know, I’m sure things will quiet down a little.
A few random thoughts heading into the calm in the middle of the storm…
• There’s never a good time to lose Rodriguez, but the timing of this injury was especially brutal because he was hitting .349/.391/.581 in his past 11 games, including six hits during that A’s series when it seemed none of the Yankees could hit. He was becoming a productive hitter again, driving the ball a little bit, and then a changeup got hit on the side of the hand and changed everything. Brutal.
• By the way, that’s five straight years Rodriguez has been on the DL after never going on the disabled list his first four years with the Yankees. That contract is a real problem, and there’s not much the Yankees can do about it.
• On the bright side: Ichiro. It’s silly to think he’s going to suddenly become the Ichiro we remember from a few years ago — he’s been really, really bad this year — but I don’t think it’s out of the question that he can become good enough to have an impact. The team seemed to like having him around this week, and I think he can feed off that. He hasn’t played for anything in a long time, but he’s certainly playing for something now. It’ll be fascinating to see how he responds this weekend.
• I understand the desire to have David Phelps in the rotation instead of Freddy Garcia. Actually, it makes perfect sense. But Garcia’s pitched pretty well lately — a lot like last year, actually — and this bullpen stint might not be the worst thing for Phelps. He seems to be legitimately improving in that role, and by the time the playoffs get here, he could be called upon to get some huge outs.
• I really wish Ronnier Mustelier were healthy right now, just to see if the Yankees would have pushed him into a big league role in the wake of the Rodriguez injury.
• When you see Andy Pettitte around this team, it’s impossible to tell that he has an ankle injury. I don’t know what that means — he’s not throwing bullpens or anything — I’m just saying, the guy looks like he’s doing pretty well, all things considered.
• Eric Chavez as a third baseman this season: .274/.323/.512. Eric Chavez as a designated hitter this season: .256/.340/.372. Probably means nothing, but there it is.
• Dave Robertson is back to his old self, and Joba Chamberlain is apparently throwing in the upper 90s consistently. When the bullpen was pitching so well earlier this season, it didn’t seem sustainable — and it’s certainly hit some bumps in the road — but the pen as a whole finds a way to maintain.
• Speaking of the bullpen, who would have possibly though Clay Rapada would stay on the roster this long, much less become a really, really valuable piece of the puzzle?
• For obvious reasons, everybody likes superstars, but the Yankees have gotten some real value out of Jayson Nix and Dewayne Wise this season. Neither had much of a chance to make the team out of spring training — and Wise was designated for assignment a few days ago — but those two have helped out.
• Adam Warren allowed six runs in his first Triple-A start after his ugly big league debut. In three stats since then Warren’s allowed two runs in 18.2 innings. He has a 2.47 ERA in his past 10 Triple-A starts. Don’t count him out based on that one big league outing.
• It’s still a lot of fun to watch Robinson Cano play baseball every day. He’s just a very, very good player who always looks like he’s having a very, very good time.
• Just a final note — a heads up really — that the blog might be a little lighter than usual today. I actually flew home to Missouri after last night’s game because one of my oldest and dearest friends, Mandy, lost her father over the weekend. He died just before that final game in Oakland, and I was in Seattle for the funeral, but I’m going to be with her family over the weekend. I’ll be checking in on a few things, but unless something massive breaks, I doubt I’ll do a ton of blogging today. First time I ever went to Opening Day, back in high school, Mandy was with me. And she was actually my first ever sports editor at the high school newspaper. Her father was a wonderful man with a put-you-at-ease smile. As always, go hug someone you love today. Enjoy the off day.
Associated Press photos