I might have missed one, but after a quick read through my notes from today’s Brian Cashman conference call, I believe he specifically mentioned 18 different players by name.* Some were players who came up in questions, some were names that he brought up on his own, but at some point he said the name of 18 different players. That’s pretty insane, especially for a random Thursday in early May when there was no game scheduled and no news really expected.
Anyway, just to make sure we’ve covered everything — we hit on most of the transactions and injury updates earlier today — here are a few leftovers. It’s a rare day that the leftovers are still fairly interesting. These quotes are Cashman’s words.
Why trade for Chris Nelson?
“Ultimately, we’ve been running Jayson Nix out there every day, (and) Cano out there every day, so he’s going to give us a chance to make sure we take the pedal off the metal on Nixy a little bit and maybe Cano a little bit. Ultimately, Joe has been doing a great job of getting guys in the outfield some time here and there, but because of the roster setup that we’re currently sitting at, when Youk went down there was a period of time where he was playing Nixy every day because we didn’t know where Youk was. Now Youk is down. I didn’t really have an alternative to him because David Adams wasn’t available to us, but now I do have an alternative third baseman, and he can play second as well. So if Joe decides, he can rest a Cano for a day or he can rest a Nix for a day, or longer. I think it’s going to depend on getting to know the player a little bit; better pitcher matchups; how Nixy is feeling. That type of stuff.”
Is there a need for a right-handed first baseman? Can Nelson play there?
“I don’t know if Nelson can play first base. I don’t remember seeing first base ever in his fielding background. It’s possible. I know he’s played a lot of different spots. We didn’t acquire him because of first base. It would be nice to have a right-handed alternative there at first base, but it’s not something I’m out there looking for.”
Why isn’t Chien-Ming Wang a candidate for promotion?
“I think he’s done well. He’s not the power sinker he used to be, but we believe he needs to mix in more of his breaking balls to have the type of success necessary to pitch up here consistently. We’ve talked to Wanger about that. He’s becoming a different type of pitcher now because he can’t come up here and just sink that sinker every pitch. He needs to incorporate some of his pitches in there and mix and match because he’s that reduced in velocity. His lines have been very nice and good, but he’s working on all his weapons because what he’s doing down there wouldn’t represent necessarily what we think he could do up here right now.”
Would Mark Montgomery be trusted as a seventh-inning reliever?
“He might not even be the guy (called up). Bottom line, I think Joe will trust that whoever he turns the ball to in the circumstance he turns it to — whether it’s the sixth, seventh, eighth, ninth or extra innings — that guy is going to get the job done. We’re talking through a number of candidates. Montgomery is obviously one. Claiborne is one. Demel is one. We’re talking about a lot of different guys right now. We haven’t decided on what we’re doing yet.”
Why not Clay Rapada for Chamberlain’s spot?
“The reason I say Rapada (isn’t an option) isn’t because Rapada wouldn’t be someone worth talking about, but I think we need someone that’s going to give us a little bit more. Clay is a left-on-left guy, and I think we’re going to need a little more than that.”
* The players mentioned by Cashman (in order): Joba Chamberlain, Clay Rapada, Dave Robertson, Alex Rodriguez, Mark Montgomery, Preston Claiborne, Sam Demel, Chien-Ming Wang, Mark Teixeira, Curtis Granderson, Michael Pineda, Derek Jeter, Corban Joseph, Chris Nelson, Jayson Nix, Robinson Cano, Kevin Youkilis, David Adams
Associated Press photo