Ben Francisco’s time has come and gone.
For the time being, the Yankees will play with an extra reliever and a short bench, electing to DFA Francisco to make room for new reliever David Huff. There are a flurry of further moves on the way — Joba Chamberlain could be activated within a day or two, Mark Teixeira and Kevin Youkilis are possible by the weekend, and Andy Pettitte could be ready in a week — so the roster is going to see a lot of changes.
“We definitely talk about that,” Joe Girardi said. “But as I’ve said, there’s a lot that can happen within a week or whatever when these guys come back. You kind of try to plan it out a little bit, but I don’t get too bogged down with it.”
By choosing to DFA Double-A reliever Francisco Rondon yesterday, and now designating Francisco, the Yankees have an open spot on the 40-man roster, which isn’t a bad thing. With Teixeira nearly ready to come off the 60-day, that 40-man spot should be filled within a few days.
“I don’t really spend my time worrying about roster spots,” Girardi said. “I worry about who’s in the clubhouse and who I have that day.”
• Little bit of a setback for Eduardo Nunez. “He was doing pretty good, and he took some BP yesterday – where he really let it go – and felt like he couldn’t finish his swing,” Girardi said. “I don’t know what exactly that means, how long they’ll shut him down or if they’ll try in a couple of days. He was taking BP and he was doing OK, then he tried to really amp up some swings and said he felt a little something. What does that mean? I don’t know. Probably a few more days off. I guess he’s not ready for that yet.”
• The plan for Huff: “He gives us another lefty in our bullpen,” Girardi said. “And he’s also someone who can give you distance. In a time where we have some questions – I’m 99 percent sure that Kuroda will be fine for his start Tuesday, but we have to worry about Phelpsy a little bit where he’s at. I know he feels pretty good today, but I’m still not 99 percent sure on that one, so (Huff) gives us a little distance.”
• David Phelps played catch and threw 10 pitches off flat ground. He said he felt fine and will throw a light side tomorrow. He’s still expecting to make his next start.
• Andy Pettitte will throw a simulated game in Tampa on Tuesday. That puts Pettitte on schedule to start next Sunday, but Girardi said the Yankees will probably give him at least one extra day. Sounds like Pettitte will be back next Monday at the earliest.
• Chris Stewart isn’t catching today because he still feels something in his groin. “I don’t think Stew’s quite out of the woods yet,” Girardi said. “This way he kind of gets another day and a half, in a sense. I’m not afraid to use him today, but I just want to be careful.”
• Jack Curry reports that Brian Cashman refused to rule out the idea of Lyle Overbay getting some work in the outfield as a possible way to keep his bat in the lineup after Teixeira comes back. Overbay himself completely laughed off the idea yesterday. Asked if he can play the outfield with a first baseman’s mitt.
• I’m going to bet — and kind of hope – that I’ll never again use Rihanna in a lede, so here’s the proof that I did it at least once.
Associated Press photo