CC Sabathia is back. Ivan Nova is on the disabled list. The Yankees lead is down to two and a half games. But you already knew all of that.
Honestly, there was no stunning news out of the Yankees clubhouse or Joe Girardi’s pregame press conference today. Instead, the biggest developing story of the day doesn’t involve the Yankees at all. The Red Sox are reportedly working toward a trade that would send Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford, Josh Beckett and Nick Punto to the Dodgers. Jon Paul Morosi says the deal is “close” and would involve Boston sending cash to Los Angeles, while the Dodgers send prospects to Boston. Morosi says it wouldn’t be strictly a salary dump.
It would be a stunning move, letting Boston get rid of three of its worst contracts.
It’s not exactly a Yankees story, but it clearly affects the future of the American League East, and it would be one of the more memorable trades we’ve ever seen. Could affect those last three games of the regular season, no?
As for the Yankees…
• Sabathia is activated and cleared for 90-100 pitches. “My hope is that he pitches well,” Girardi said. “Concern? You’re concerned a little bit about his command since he hasn’t been on the mound in this type of situation for 15 days, but I’d sign up for seven innings of shutout baseball.”
• David Phelps will take Nova’s spot in the rotation. He’s available out of the bullpen tonight, and the basic plan is that if Phelps doesn’t pitch tonight, then he’ll throw a side session and start on Monday. If Phelps does pitch tonight, then Phil Hughes will start on Monday and Phelps will be pushed back to Tuesday.
• Girardi on the Nova injury: “We’re going to talk to the doctor when we get back. He won’t throw before we get back. That’s only four days, so it’s not a big deal. We don’t anticipate it to be too long, but I have to see what Dr. Ahmad says and how he’s feeling after three, four days.”
• Andy Pettitte played catch today and felt fine. Girardi said Pettitte felt no soreness after his flat ground session on Wednesday. He’ll do another of those flat ground bullpens while the Yankees are in Cleveland this weekend. Both Pettitte and Alex Rodriguez are scheduled to see the doctor when the Yankees get back.
• Speaking of Rodriguez: He’s going to take some dry swings this weekend. Until now he’s just been swinging with his top hand ever since breaking his left hand.
• Finally, here’s Girardi explaining why he felt the need to yell at a heckler in in Chicago: “It’s the family area, number one. No one did anything, number two. It shouldn’t take me getting upset to have to do something. My wife and kids were there, other kids were there, and I don’t think families should be subject to that.”
Associated Press photo