Results tagged ‘ Morgan Ensberg ’

A-Rod back in the swing

See Alex run, see Alex throw, see Alex catch and … most important of all … see Alex hit.

The Yankees had plenty to keep an eye on before Wednesday’s game, watching Alex Rodriguez take his first steps back on the field since hitting the DL on April 30. By all accounts, it went quite well. A-Rod ran at about 75 percent, he estimated, and said he can’t wait to start his rehab assignment in Tampa on Monday.

That lines A-Rod up to rejoin the Yankees on Wednesday against Tampa Bay, one week from today, the earliest he could possibly be activated. They’ll take it. No, he didn’t faint.

A few assorted notes…

Joe Girardi said he spoke to Joba Chamberlain briefly after last night’s game and has no concerns that the free-spirited reliever will be able to bounce back — “Joba’s been through some tough times in his life, and he’s had to get back up, and not always on the baseball field,” Girardi said.

Judging by the pretty solid slap Joba threw at my left shoulder an hour before game time, he’s in a much better mood this evening.

Wondering about Jorge Posada? He’ll be cleared to take batting practice on Friday. Phil Hughes will tag along to Tampa while the Yankees go to Detroit, though he can’t do a whole lot physically right now.

The Yankees have an interactive feature up until 5:30 p.m. during batting practice where you can send a text message to the video screens down the left and right field lines. Most are simple like “Hi Jenny” or “Go Yankees,” but in the past, I’ve seen some pretty good ones up there — most revolve around Carl Pavano.

Anyway, I finally cranked one up there this afternoon to salute Morgan Ensberg’s devoted fandom of the Will Ferrell movie ‘Anchorman,’ posting “Morgan Ensberg is kind of a big deal.” Actually, I just wanted to see if it would work. If you can think of anything funnier for the next few home games, fire away.

Shelley returns

Cleveland.jpgShelley Duncan is back with the Yankees and back in the lineup, playing right field today. Judging by the force with which he shook all of the reporters’ hands, I’d say it’s safe to say he’s happy to be back. There was a stretch there where he single-handedly destroyed International League pitching. Duncan said playing for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre was like playing for a Triple-A All-Star team.

The corresponding roster move is Billy Traber, who’s been sent to Triple-A. With Traber out, the Yankees will lean on their right-handers to retire left-handed batters, something that Girardi believes they will be able to handle. The Yankees opted to keep both Jonathan Albaladejo and Chris Britton – recalled Friday – for those purposes.

Albaladejo has retired 12 of 14 lefties (.143) faced this year in the big leagues, while lefties were hitting Traber for a .375 (6-for-16) mark. The Yankees need a reliable hurler against lefties, especially with Kyle Farnsworth (.438, 7-for-16) and LaTroy Hawkins (.421, 8-for-19) appearing vulnerable.

Morgan Ensberg checked in with a guest blog over on Phil Hughes’ site. Ensberg is a funny guy, as you’ll see, as I would expect of a fellow Ron Burgundy aficionado. Still wondering about his rowboat question. By the way, I absolutely love these old-school retro Indians uniforms. I’m waiting for Rocky Colavito or Bob Feller to show up on the field.

One last item. For the second day in a row, the printed lineup sheets the Indians provided list the Yankees leadoff batter as “Jhonny Damon.” That’s how you know you’re in Cleveland.

Random in-game musings from Progressive Field

As we watch Billy Traber have a bit of trouble here in the sixth inning, I’m reminded of last week in New York, when I rattled off a Q&A with the left-hander that — for one reason or another — never made it into print. Here’s an excerpt that is appropriate given where this game is being played… What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever seen associated with baseball?

Traber: That would have to be in Cleveland, my first season. I had fans following me home from Jacobs Field. The ballpark was downtown and it’s obviously a great city because everything was so close, so I didn’t drive. The fans would follow me home sometimes. I’d sign autographs, and you’d think that after a couple of blocks they’d get bored, but there were a lot of days that I’d get followed all the way from Jacobs Field to West 9th Street, which was like 10 blocks away. It was definitely an eye-opener.

Back to the action. I noticed today that, with Chad Moeller on his way out the door, Morgan Ensberg had quickly stowed a mask back in his locker. He’s the third catcher around these parts and he’s not letting anyone forget it.  Last year the Yankees’ emergency catcher was Doug Mientkiewicz, though you’d think Shelley Duncan would do a bang-up job if they ever would let him strap on the gear.

And while I’m on a rant (hi, Dennis Miller), see if this makes sense to you. Why would a Continental Airlines flight attendant wake me up this morning to tell me the plane can’t take off if I have the little plastic blind down in front of my window? Is the pilot going to come back and steer the plane from Seat 2A? Just a thought. By the way, the same flight attendant came back upon landing. Planes that can’t land or take off with a window shade down seems to me like a huge design flaw.

Gonzalez up, Duncan down

Alberto Gonzalez is here tonight, having been summoned from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. He’s in the lineup tonight and the Yankees have optioned Shelley Duncan to Triple-A — something of a surprise since Morgan Ensberg apparently rolled his ankle on Monday.

The Yankees did have one bit of good news as Jorge Posada’s MRI came back relatively clean. Derek Jeter played catch today but right now it’s Jose Molina and Alberto Gonzalez as your starting catcher and shortstop, respectively.

I spent some time talking today with LaTroy Hawkins. Hawkins went to the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum today with his mother and nephew, who “loved” the place. Now that MLB is allowing players to wear No. 42 again on Jackie Robinson Day, April 15, Hawkins plans to join Robinson Cano, Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera (of course) in wearing the number later this month.

Already, a rubber game

Phil Hughes received some of the loudest cheers when the Yankees were introduced before Tuesday’s game, and it’s clear the fan base has high hopes for the youngest member of their pitching staff. It’s almost strange to say that just because Hughes’ demeanor really doesn’t lend itself to youth. He may be 21 but, to me, he carries himself like a veteran already.

Hughes gets the ball rolling on his 2008 campaign tonight in the rubber game of a three-game series with the Blue Jays. Will Jorge Posada appear in the lineup? Will Jason Giambi continue to resemble a dancing bear at first base? Stay tuned. I thought an excellent defensive first baseman — hi, Doug Mientkiewicz — would have caught the ball that Giambi fell into the photo box chasing, but when you throw Giambi out there, you’re basically hoping he’ll knock everything around him down and scoop throws, which he actually is quite adept at doing.

Lessons from yesterday — don’t steal from the Yankees and don’t talk on your cell phone while driving. Mike Mussina looked just OK to me but I was impressed with his ability to spot his curveball, the Frank Thomas hit-by-pitch notwithstanding. If Mussina gives you three earned runs in 5 2/3 innings every time out, I think you have to take that. They won’t face A.J. Burnett every day.

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