KANSAS CITY – Mariano Rivera and Joba Chamberlain said that all was forgiven on Sunday, one day after the Yankees pitchers had an intense exchange during batting practice in the visiting dugout at Kauffman Stadium.
Rivera was conducting an interview with reporters in the dugout and instructed Chamberlain, who was yelling to family members in the seating area, to be quiet. Chamberlain took exception to Rivera’s comment, barking, “Don’t ever shush me again.”
When Rivera chuckled dismissively, Chamberlain continued, “No, seriously. Don’t ever shush me again. I don’t get to see my family very often.”
Chamberlain said on Sunday that he did not feel the need to apologize for the incident, but Rivera said that Chamberlain did indeed offer an apology before Sunday’s game.
Rivera also said that he personally wanted to apologize because the exchange was in view of reporters and fans.
“Sometimes you have little things that we say that we don’t mean,” Rivera said. “It’s good. We’re a family here. That’s what it is all about. It’s something that we take care of in house. It’s something that is in house. Unfortunately it happened in front of you guys, but again, it shouldn’t happen. We apologize and we move on.”
Rivera had been discussing an emotional visit with local families and seemed to be distracted at times by Chamberlain’s loud running commentary. Chamberlain said that he spoke to Rivera outside the clubhouse on Saturday and actually asked for an autograph on behalf of a family member, which Rivera granted.
“We joked and laughed after the game,” Chamberlain said. “It’s one of those things. I’m around him more than I am my family. He’s a brother to me. I’m pretty sure everybody has ha an argument with their sibling at one time or another. It was good. I saw him, we laughed and joked this morning. It’s just another day.”
Chamberlain hinted that there may have been more on his mind than Rivera’s comment, saying, “There’s a lot of things. It was my fault, personally. My family is here and my son [Karter] wasn’t here, which kind of bothered me. But that’s another story for another day.”
Manager Joe Girardi said that his understanding is that everything is fine between Rivera and Chamberlain. Rivera added that he is not angry or insulted by the comments from Chamberlain, who has been his teammate with the Yankees since 2007.
“No, I’m better than that,” Rivera said. “When you’re in the team or you’re in the family for so long, you know the members of your family, you know what I mean? He’s a good kid, man. He’s a good kid.
“Sometimes we all say things that we don’t mean to say. It’s the way it is and I keep it like that. … There’s a lot of other things that I have to worry about. I’m better than that, guys.”
Photo credit: Kent Klooster, MLB.com
Mariano Rivera jogged out to the spot where his career nearly ended 12 months ago, looked down, and smiled.
A prankster from the Yankees’ clubhouse had painted a white chalk outline of Rivera’s body on the warning track, while a banner adorned with stop signs and yellow caution tape fluttered from the outfield wall reading: “No Mo Zone.”
Rivera posed in front of the wall for a photo, grabbing his right knee in mock pain. He said that he expected to hear some good-natured ribbing from his teammates as he returned to Kauffman Stadium, the Yanks’ first trip back since Rivera tore his right ACL before a May 3, 2012 game against the Royals.
“The only thing that will come back to me is just knowing that I got hurt there,” Rivera said. “But I mean, I will enjoy it definitely because that moment and seeing where I am right now, that’s what is gratifying. I’m thanking the Lord for me being here.”
Yankees bullpen coach Mike Harkey, who was one of the first on the scene when Rivera crumpled in pursuit of a Jayson Nix fly ball on that afternoon last May, is believed to have been one of the leading pranksters to dress up the left-center field area on Friday.
The adornments were removed by the time the Yankees’ batting practice session concluded, and manager Joe Girardi said that he didn’t expect his thoughts would drift to Rivera’s injury much during the course of Friday’s game.
“Not really,” Girardi said. “You see guys get injured all the time in different ballparks and I know Mo is not just your everyday guy, I understand that. I’m sure the guys will have a little fun with it today and then try to put it behind us.”
The Yankees are in Colorado for a three-game series against the Rockies, marking the first game of an eight-game road trip which includes a three-game weekend series at Kansas City and a traditional doubleheader at Cleveland on May 13 (the makeup games for those April 10 and 11 rainouts).
New York just completed a 10-game homestand, going 7-3 against Toronto (4-0), Houston (2-1) and Oakland (1-2). They are 17-8 since 4/7 (the second-best record in the Majors over the stretch behind St. Louis, 18-8) after starting the season 1-4, and have lost just two of their last eight series after dropping their first two series of the season.
Beginning with the Rockies series, the Yankees will play 26 of their next 40 games on the road.
With tonight’s game already underway, here are the pitching matchups for the Rockies series:
Tonight: RHP Hiroki Kuroda (4-1, 2.25) vs. LHP Jorge De La Rosa (2-3, 4.18)
Wednesday: RHP David Phelps (1-1, 5.56) vs. RHP Juan Nicasio (3-0, 4.91)
Thursday: LHP CC Sabathia (4-3, 3.31) vs. LHP Jeff Francis (1-2, 7.27)
The Yankees are 31-17 all-time in Interleague play against the NL West. They’ve lost just three of their 16 series (6/18-20/04 at Los Angeles-NL, 6/19-21/07 at Colorado and 6/22-24/07 at San Francisco).
The Yankees will play the second game of their three-game series against the Athletics today at Yankee Stadium, as Phil Hughes gets the ball for his sixth start of the season.
Hughes is still looking for his first win of the season, but after two rough starts to open April, he has steadily improved and pitched well enough to win in his last three outings – all no-decisions against the D-backs, Rays and Blue Jays.
“I just think his stuff in each start has gotten a little bit better,” Joe Girardi said. “The location of his fastball, his offspeed to me has gotten better. He’s pitched well enough to win his last couple of games, (but) we haven’t scored a lot of runs.”
Here’s the Yankees’ lineup they’ll be sending out against old friend Bartolo Colon:
Brett Gardner CF, Robinson Cano 2B, Vernon Wells LF, Travis Hafner DH, Ichiro Suzuki RF, Chris Nelson 3B, Lyle Overbay 1B, Eduardo Nunez SS, Chris Stewart C, Phil Hughes RHP.
The Yankees placed right-hander Joba Chamberlain on the 15-day disabled list yesterday with a strained right oblique, making Chamberlain the 10th player currently on the DL and the 11th overall this season (Phil Hughes started the year on the shelf before being activated).
Brian Cashman said on a conference call that the Yankees were still discussing who to promote, but according to Dan Barbarisi of the Wall Street Journal, they’ve decided on right-hander Preston Claiborne, a power right-hander who had a 3.48 ERA and three saves in eight appearances at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
The Yanks haven’t officially announced the move, but hey, we’re living in a Twitter world. Here’s what Claiborne tweeted last night:
Thank you for all the love everybody. Words can’t describe it.
— preston claiborne (@olroy57) May 3, 2013
And fellow Yanks Minor Leaguer Rob Segedin tweeted this:
— Rob Segedin (@RobSegedin) May 3, 2013
The Yankees should have Claiborne in uniform tonight against the Athletics, and they’ll also be finding a locker for infielder Chris Nelson, who was acquired from the Rockies late on Wednesday and replaces Corban Joseph on the active roster. Cashman said that he expects Nelson to be a useful piece for manager Joe Girardi.
“Ultimately, we’ve been running Jayson Nix out there every day, [Robinson] Cano out there every day,” Cashman said. “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.”
There was a lot of ground covered on the conference call, and here is a quick rundown of some of the other news and notes to get you up to speed:
- David Robertson had an MRI on his left knee and has “a little bit of crankiness” in the hamstring area. He was seen by team physician Dr. Christopher Ahmad but Cashman said this is not considered a DL situation.
- Alex Rodriguez will report to Tampa on May 6 to begin baseball activities. The Yankees are still keeping his timeline for return vague: “We’re just going to stick to sometime after the All-Star break,” Cashman said. Mark Teixeira is also heading to Tampa at the end of this homestand, and Curtis Granderson had a second day of at-bats in Extended Spring Training games yesterday.
- Cashman said that the Yankees weren’t considering promoting left-hander Clay Rapada to replace Chamberlain because he is thought of as more of a left-on-left specialist. Other names mentioned by Cashman in consideration were Mark Montgomery and Sam Demel.
- Chien-Ming Wang has posted some nice numbers thus far at Triple-A, but the Yankees aren’t convinced that they would translate in the big leagues. Cashman was candid on that, saying that Wang isn’t the same power sinker guy who won 19 games in back-to-back seasons in 2006 and ’07.”He’s becoming a different type of pitcher now because he can’t come up here and just sink that sinker every pitch,” Cashman said. “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.”
- Michael Pineda had “a good physical day” down at the Yankees’ complex. Cashman said he was sitting 93 mph on the radar gun and touched 95 mph. That velocity has to be encouraging, considering the nature of labrum injuries.
- Derek Jeter is in a removable boot and has been able to use a stationary bicycle and swim. The Yankees are also using laser therapy, hydro therapy and a bone stimulator on Jeter, who will be in the boot for four to eight weeks until his fractured left ankle heals.
NEW YORK – Joba Chamberlain is the latest Yankees player to hit the team’s crowded disabled list.
The right-handed reliever has been placed on the 15-day disabled list with a right oblique strain, the team announced on Thursday.
Chamberlain, 27, had no record and a 3.86 ERA in 10 appearances for New York this season, spanning 9 1/3 innings.
He had permitted four earned runs and 10 hits, walking six and striking out seven. Chamberlain last pitched on Saturday, when he recorded a save in a scoreless ninth inning against the Blue Jays.
The Yankees did not immediately announce a corresponding roster move to replace Chamberlain on the active roster.
New York now has 10 players on their star-studded disabled list, as Chamberlain joins Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, Curtis Granderson, Mark Teixeira, Ivan Nova, Michael Pineda, Cesar Cabral, Francisco Cervelli and Kevin Youkilis.
NEW YORK – The Yankees announced on Wednesday that they have acquired infielder Chris Nelson from the Rockies in exchange for cash considerations or a player to be named later.
Nelson, 27, hit .301 in 111 games for the Rockies last season, and he was hitting .242 (16-for-66) this season before the Rockies designated him for assignment on Sunday to bring up prospect Nolan Arenado.
“He’s played third. He’s played second,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said of Nelson. “I believe he was a first-round pick for the Rockies [in 2004]. We feel that a right-handed bat will help us. We’re pretty left-handed right now and we’ll see. He’s going to get a chance to play at some points.”
To make room for Nelson on the 40-man roster, the Yankees placed catcher Francisco Cervelli (fractured right hand) on the 60-day disabled list.
New York will make a corresponding roster move to add Nelson to the 25-man roster before Friday’s game, likely to option infielder Corban Joseph to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
David Phelps gets the ball tonight for his first start of the season after making six relief appearances, and as the Yankees try to win two of three from the Houston Astros, Phelps will try to continue proving that he is capable of handling both a starting role as well as coming out of the bullpen.
“It’s a good opportunity,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. “We’ve loved what he’s done over the last couple of years that we’ve had him. Whether it’s been in the rotation or in the bullpen, we think he’s really learned a lot and progressed well. But it’s a good opportunity for him to get in the rotation.”
Girardi said that the Yankees can expect to squeeze about 90 pitches from Phelps tonight.
“I think it’s important that we get as much as we can out of him as far as innings because that always helps the bullpen,” Girardi said. “So it would be helpful.”
Other than Vidal Nuno, who pitched three scoreless innings in his big league debut, there weren’t many people in the Yankees’ clubhouse who had anything good to say about Monday’s 9-1 loss to the Astros.
They’ll try for better results tonight as Hiroki Kuroda (3-1, 2.79) and Phil Humber (0-5, 7.99) link up in a 7:05 p.m. ET contest here at Yankee Stadium.
Injuries are, once again, the story of the day around the Yankees – Kevin Youkilis went on the disabled list with a back strain and GM Brian Cashman said it was “a mistake” to allow Youkilis to play on Saturday against the Blue Jays. With Youkilis out, the Yanks have recalled infielder Corban Joseph from Triple-A; he’ll be in line to make his big league debut, asked to back up at second base, third base and first base.
Joe Girardi’s pregame chat also included injury updates, with Curtis Granderson (still taking BP, could soon advance to Minor League games) and Mark Teixeira (still taking only dry swings, unlikely to return in May) among them. It was last week that Girardi was asked, following the hits to Ivan Nova and Francisco Cervelli, if he was ready to shake his fist at the baseball injury gods. In case you’re wondering, he still isn’t at that point.
“There’s not a whole lot I can do about it, in a sense,” Girardi said. “I can’t really worry about it. You have to go put a lineup up today and just concentrate on the game today. That’s what I try to do.”
NEW YORK – The Yankees have placed infielder Kevin Youkilis on the 15-day disabled list with a lumbar spine sprain, replacing him on the active roster with infielder Corban Joseph.
Youkilis had missed eight of the Yankees’ last nine games with the persistent back issue. Manager Joe Girardi said that an MRI taken on Youkilis was negative, but Youkilis was scheduled to receive an epidural injection on Tuesday to relieve discomfort.
Telling the Yankees he felt ready to play, Youkilis returned to action against the Blue Jays on Saturday but felt more discomfort in his back after waking up on Sunday.
“It was just one of those things waking up, and I didn’t feel right,” Youkilis said before Monday’s game. “Sometimes, after your adrenaline’s gone, things occur to you. We’ve just got to find out what’s going on.”
The 34-year-old Youkilis signed a one-year, $12 million contract with the Yankees and was expected to hold down third base in the absence of Alex Rodriguez, who is not expected to return until after the All-Star break. Youkilis was batting .266 with two homers and seven RBIs in 17 games.
Joseph, 24, was recalled from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, where he was batting .273 with four home runs and nine RBIs in 22 games. A fourth-round selection by the Yankees in the 2008 Draft, Joseph has played mostly second base in the Minors and will be making his Major League debut.