Prior to today’s game, the Yankees placed RHP David Robertson on the 15-day disabled list (retroactive to 4/7) with a left groin strain and recalled LHP Cesar Cabral from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
NEW YORK — The Yankees have traded infielder Eduardo Nunez to the Twins in exchange for Minor League left-hander Miguel Sulbaran.
Sulbaran, 20, is 21-10 with a 3.15 ERA in 55 career Minor League games (45 starts) in the Dodgers and Twins organizations. This season, he made one relief appearance for Class-A Cedar Rapids.
A product of Venezuela, Sulbaran spent last season with Class-A Great Lakes and Cedar Rapids, going 9-4 with a 2.96 ERA in 27 games (20 starts). In 112 2/3 innings, Sulbaran allowed 110 hits and 32 walks, recording 101 strikeouts.
Nunez, 26, was designated for assignment when the Yankees chose to take Dean Anna and Yangervis Solarte as the backup infielders on their Opening Day roster. In 270 career games with the Yankees, Nunez hit .267 with 10 home runs, 76 RBIs and 48 stolen bases.
The Twins have said that Nunez will be assigned to Triple-A Rochester.
NEW YORK — The Yankees spent seven weeks of the spring watching David Robertson glide through a breezy camp, harboring few concerns about the handoff of Mariano Rivera’s old closer role.
One wrong move has changed that, shaking up the pecking order of New York’s bullpen. Robertson will be placed on the 15-day disabled list after suffering a Grade 1 strain of his left groin, Yankees manager Joe Girardi revealed after Monday’s 4-2 victory over the Orioles.
“It’s not what you want, but you’ve got to figure it out,” Girardi said. “Other guys will get a chance to step up. You expect them to step up and get the job done in his absence. We’ve had to deal with things like this before. We just need guys to step up.”
In Robertson’s absence, Girardi said that his first call will likely be to right-hander Shawn Kelley, depending on where the opponents’ lineup is. Kelley set down Baltimore in the ninth inning on Monday to record his first career save.
“It forces all of us to throw another inning later, so obviously that’s not good for the whole ‘pen,” Kelley said. “But injuries are part of it and we’ve got to overcome it. You saw today what we’re capable of, and hopefully we can string it together until he gets back.”
The Yankees could consider promoting left-hander Cesar Cabral or right-hander Shane Greene from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre to replace Robertson on the active roster, though no official move has been announced.
“Opportunity presents itself all the time,” Kelley said. “I would give anything for David not to be hurt right now, because I know he’s upset. We’re a better team with D-Rob. But like I said, we’ve got to move forward, and we’ve all got to step up and fill some bigger roles.”
Robertson said that he felt the injury after throwing about five or six pitches while closing out Sunday’s game against the Blue Jays in Toronto. Robertson pitched around a hit and a walk to log his second save of the year.
“It just started aggravating me. I thought it was going to go away,” Robertson said. “I had some pain in the afternoon coming home on the flight, and this morning when I woke up there was still some irritation there, so I came in and said something.”
An MRI taken on Monday morning in New York revealed the strain. Robertson said that he believes he will be able to return in the minimum 15 days, but the timing of the injury is an annoyance that recalls a previous incident in his career.
Back in 2012, when Robertson claimed the closer’s role following Rivera’s season-ending knee injury, Robertson made just four appearances before he also landed on the disabled list with a strained oblique muscle. Rafael Soriano claimed the closer’s job at that time, keeping it for the rest of the year.
“It’s definitely a little frustrating. It seems like something always happens to me,” Robertson said. “There’s nothing I can do about it. There’s no way I’d be able to go out there and be 100 percent, and do what I do the way I’m feeling right now.”
It’s Opening Day in the Bronx! It’s also Derek Jeter’s final Opening Day. The Yankees captain said that he did not feel anything out of the ordinary on his ride up to the Bronx today, sensing all the normal season-opening jitters and butterflies, but that’ll change soon. Jeter is taking part in a pregame ceremony with the Core Four, as he and Jorge Posada will catch ceremonial first pitches from Mariano Rivera and Andy Pettitte.
“Everyone is human, so you have emotions. Everyone has feelings,” Jeter said. “Especially here, you play in so many big games. So many special games, throughout the course of my career. Yeah, I’ll be nervous, I’ll have butterflies before this game starts, but I do that all the time. I’ve just been pretty good at trying to control my emotions and not get too high, not get too low. Yeah, you have feelings, and there’s a lot of ‘wow’ moments playing here in New York. For me, I just thought it was always easier for me to play if I control my emotions.”
Here are the lineups:
David Lough LF
Ubaldo Jimenez RHP
Brett Gardner LF
Hiroki Kuroda RHP
And today’s what you need to know, courtesy of the Yankees’ media relations department:
AT A GLANCE: Today the Yankees will play their home opener… is the first game of a 10-day, nine-game homestand vs. Baltimore (today-Wed.), vs. Boston (Thurs.-Sun.) and vs. Chicago-NL (4/15-16)… completed a six-game, season-opening road trip with a 3-3 record (1-2 at Houston and 2-1 at Toronto)… will play 18 of their first 31 games at home.
Are 3-0 this season when leading after six innings and 0-3 when trailing after six innings.
Yankees pitchers have allowed just 42H and 14BB in 51.0 total IP in 2014… have averaged 7.83 K/game and 2.33 BB/game this season.
No Yankees player has started all six games this season.
OPENING DAY FESTIVITIES: Gates will open to fans with valid tickets beginning at 11:00 a.m.… festivities will begin at approximately 12:30 p.m. with the introduction of both teams on the baselines followed by the presentation of colors by the West Point Cadet Color Guard, including a giant American flag being unfurled in the outfield… Andy Pettitte and Mariano Rivera will throw the ceremonial first pitches to Derek Jeter and Jorge Posada… following the game, Pettitte and Rivera will receive the “Pride of the Yankees” Award at the 35th Annual Homecoming Dinner… Kelli O’Hara (Tony nominee and co-star of the Broadway musical The Bridges of Madison County) will sing the national anthem prior to the game and James Moye (from the Broadway show Bullets Over Broadway) will perform “God Bless America” during the seventh-inning stretch… the Yankees ask their fans to please budget ample time when planning their trip to the Stadium and urge their fans to use public transportation.
Are 14-2 in home openers since 1998, 19-3 since 1992 and 25-5 since 1984 (after dropping two straight in 1982 and 1983)…won a Major League-record 11 straight home openers from 1998-2008.
YARD WORK: With LF Brett Gardner’s two-run HR in Sunday’s win at Toronto, the Yankees snapped a five-game homerless streak to start the season… was just the fifth time since 1923 they had such a streak to begin a season (also 1990-7G, 1975-6G, 1964-5G, 1938-5G)… the HR also snapped the team’s 183AB homerless stretch to start the season… the Elias Sports Bureau notes that the Yankees have had only two longer droughts since the advent of the DH in 1973 (234AB to start 1975 and 229AB to start 1990).
BOTTOMS UP: Yankees 7-9 batters have combined to bat .338 (22-for-65) with 10R, 7 doubles, 5RBI and 7BB this season.
CURTAIN CALL: SS Derek Jeter has begun his 20th and final season as a Yankee, breaking a tie with Mariano Rivera (19 seasons), to become the longest tenured player in franchise history… leads all active MLBers and is the Yankees franchise leader with 3,320 career hits… on Sunday at Toronto, surpassed Paul Molitor (3,319) for sole possession of eighth place on MLB’s all-time hits list and fourth place on the all-time AL list.
TORONTO — Derek Jeter logged career hits No. 3,319 and 3,320 on Sunday against the Blue Jays at Rogers Centre, passing Paul Molitor (3,319) to claim sole possession of eighth place on the all-time hits list.
The pair of singles to right field off Toronto right-hander Drew Hutchison, coming in the third and fourth innings, also moved Jeter into fourth place on the all-time American League hits list.
Molitor, who was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 2004, collected his hit total over a 21-year career with the Brewers, Blue Jays and Twins from 1978-1998.
After Molitor, the next name on both lists is Carl Yastrzemski, who logged 3,419 hits with the Red Sox from 1961-1983 and was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1989.