Friday, June 14, 2013
Notes: Neal and pray
By Wallace Matthews
ANAHEIM -- In the aftermath of Thursday's 18-inning 3-2 loss to the Oakland Atheltics, Joe Girardi mentioned there would probably be some roster moves today in order to deal with some of the fallout. A pitcher or two definitely, and a position player -- probably an infielder -- maybe.
But no one expected the Yankees to call up an outfielder, a choice that seemed even more curious with the news that 3B Kevin Youkilis was headed back to the disabled list with lingering lower back problems.
And yet, that is what they did, recalling Thomas Neal from AAA Scranton, and throwing him right into tonight's starting lineup against lefty C.J. Wilson.
"It's pretty cool to get out here and get in there right away," he said. "You don't have to sit around and think too much."
Actually, Neal was told yesterday afternoon, before the Yankees-Athletics game had even began, that he was getting the call-up, indicating the club is starting to get impatient with the lack of production from Vernon Wells and Ichiro Suzuki, and is reluctant to use Lyle Overbay in the outfield after his miscue cost them a run on Wednesday. Neal, who had a good spring training and had an outside shot at making the team before the trade for Wells, was hitting .339 with two home runs and 24 RBI for the RailRiders. Last year, he appeared in nine games for the Cleveland Indians, batting .217 with five hits in 23 at-bats.
"He gives us options against left-handers," Girardi said. He’s been swinging the bat good and we thought we’d get him up here. He should help out."
The 25-year-old Neal is from San Diego, and spent much of the day scrounging up extra tickets for the 21 friends and family members who will be making the drive up to see him make his Yankees debut. "And that's just the people I chose to tell I was coming up," he said.
-- As expected, Adam Warren, who pitched six scoreless innings in Thursday's marathon, was rewarded with a ticket back to Scranton. He was replaced by right-handed reliever Chris Bootcheck, who will be available tonight. “It’s really hard," Girardi said. "When a guy basically does his job and you have to send him down, it becomes difficult. That’s kind of the life of a long man a lot of times. Unfortunately Adam is guy that threw a lot yesterday and we won’t have him for four or five days, and we need pitching tonight."
-- Girardi is giving Robinson Cano a DH day, his third of the season, and using rookie David Adams, who hasn't played since last Saturday in Seattle, at second base. Adams has been in a slump lately -- 0-for-his-last-12 -- and when asked if he would get more playing time at third with Youkilis back on the DL, Girardi said “I’ll probably play [Reid] Brignac more, now, too. Depending on whether we’re facing a right-hander or a left-hander, it will be kind of what I do."
Brignac is playing shortstop tonight and Jayson Nix is at third.
-- Eduardo Nunez, still troubled by an oblique strain and unable to do more than hit off a tee, was moved to the 60-day DL. He is eligible for reinstatement on July 5.
-- Gosuke Kato, an 18-year-old second baseman who is the first Japanese-American player ever taken in the amateur draft by the Yankees, was in the clubhouse before the game and took part in pregame workouts with the team.
-- Andy Pettitte, who turns 41 tomorrow, is 14-11 lifetime against the Angels with a 4.49 ERA. Here at the Big A, Pettitte is 7-8, 4.11, and since 2008, is just 2-5 with a 5.83 ERA against the Angels. C.J. Wilson is 1-3 with a 3.43 ERA against the Yankees, but he is 1-0, 2.08 against them since joining the Angels.