Today on MLB.com
It would seem, courtesy of the New York Post, that the Yankees have discussed using Joba Chamberlain as a contingency plan to fill the closer’s role if Mariano Rivera misses an extended period of time. The timing is a little curious after Rivera needed just 11 pitches to set down the Pirates in an inning on Tuesday, but I suppose Chamberlain could do as well as a closer as he was in the setup role. Mark Melancon is getting his feet wet at Triple-A and you’d have to think, long-term, he projects as the most likely heir apparent.
Chien-Ming Wang made the adjustments he needed to make and didn’t even need to bat in the Yankees’ 4-1 Grapefruit League win over the Astros.
Joe Girardi said yesterday that Hideki Matsui won’t play the field until at least Interleague play in June, leaving him strictly as a DH until then. That could create an at-bats crunch for Jorge Posada and Johnny Damon, who also could have used the DH to stay in the lineup. As it is, you’d have to think this will be Matsui’s final season in pinstripes for that reason – Posada has two more years under contract and it’s anyone’s guess how much catching he’ll do.
Good luck to Aaron Boone, who will undergo surgery to repair a heart condition that may end his career. Boone originally wanted to be known for more than just the 2003 ALCS home run off Tim Wakefield, but has since accepted that it’s part of who he is. One thing’s for sure – no baseball fan in New York will ever forget that moment. It was actually voted as the top Yankee Stadium moment by fans on MLB.com last year.