The Yankees, of necessity and not by choice, would do well to hire a car service that stands ready to shuttle players between the Bronx, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, and Trenton. Of late, it reminds of Lou trying to explain to Bud that What’s on second, not Who.
The Yankees can take heart from their pummeling of the first-place Astros last night following their arrival in Houston at 6:15 A.M. and without their promising outfielder, Dustin Fowler, who was left behind in Chicago.
And they can relish the seven-inning quality start performance turned in by Michael Pineda and the 400-foot grand slam home run by Brett Gardner, and three more hits from The Engine That Could, Ronald Torreyes.
But when you look at the list of transactions by the Yankees over the past week or so, you’d better have a pencil with a good eraser handy to keep track of the latest comings and goings that form the team’s 25-man active roster on any given day.
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Subject to change, Clint Frazier will be wearing the Pinstripes in Houston today and Bryan Mitchell, who turned in three faultless innings to earn a save in last night’s 13-4 victory. But he could be shuffled back to Triple-A after having thrown 30 pitches, make him useless for at least a day or, possibly, two.
And if Jimmy Fallon ever wanted to rewrite his script and list of characters for his dead-on rendition of “Who’s On First?”, he would have little or no problem with using the Yankees of 2017 as a resource in filling all the roles.
In another sense, though, the Yankees are putting on a show that, with the possible exception of the Los Angeles Dodgers, is the envy of baseball as they continue to reach down into their farm system to find major league ready replacements for their ever-growing list of injuries.
At some point, they’ll bottom out. But when you can call on players like Frazier, Mitchell, and Miguel Andujar on a moments notice, injecting them into your lineup, that in itself is a statement that should give pause to those who might be thinking that the Red Sox have been handed a gift, and they’ll run away from the pack by the All-Star Break.
And just for kicks because it never gets old, how about another look at Abbott and Costello’s, “Who’s on first?”, routine.
News and notes
As expected, there’s good news and bad news. CC Sabathia reports that he is ready to go and it looks like he will not require a rehab assignment before rejoining the starting staff. Joe Girardi gave this assessment of Sabathia to the New York Post:
"“He will probably throw a bullpen [Saturday] and see where we are at,’’ Girardi said. “I feel pretty good about him going back, but I want to make sure. I think it’s pretty safe we will schedule him [for a start].”"
The mysterious illness that’s afflicted, Matt Holliday, is still just that, a mystery. More tests are scheduled, but there is no timetable for his return as he feels good one minute and not so good the next.
Having Sabathia back, though, is huge for the Yankees.
Noticeably, Girardi has also been shuffling Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez in the DH spot in an attempt to give both of them a rest. Judge, in particular, though not injured, needs a blow, especially with the exhausting activities of the All-Star Game that lay before him. Still, no official announcement as to whether or not he will participate in the Home Run Derby.
A whole new crop of Baby Bomber Yankees will be in the starting lineup tonight replacing injured players. What are the chances one or more will stick?
Again with no official announcement, Austin Romine seems to have settled into a role as the personal catcher for Jordan Montgomery, who makes the start for the Yankees today. Managers tend to shy away from this kind of thing for obvious reasons, but chances are Sanchez will the DH for the game tonight at Minute Maid Park.
The Yankees return home to Yankee Stadium on Monday to face the Toronto Blue Jays.