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Friday, June 21, 2013
Mini-shakeup in the Bronx

By Andrew Marchand

NEW YORK -- Joe Girardi and Brian Cashman don't have many options so they are shaking things up where they can.

The main transaction Friday: Reid Brignac is out and Alberto Gonzalez is back in.

What it means, according to Girardi, is that Jayson Nix will now be the everyday shortstop and David Adams will be the guy at third.

Still, the biggest news in the the new lineup might be the addition of Zoilo Almonte.

The switch-hitting Almonte, who just turned 24, is making his first career start on Friday night -- and has a chance to make many more.

As you know, Girardi is loath to make any firm declarations, but it sounds as if Almonte may be given an opportunity to take Vernon Wells' playing time. Wells is hitting .107 in June and .221 overall. Girardi would only say that he would take it "day by day."

If Almonte hits, he will stay in the lineup.

At Triple-A this season, Almonte was batting .297 with a .789 OPS. He is 1-for-2 as a major leaguer.

Adams will receive a further look at third with Kevin Youkilis possibly out for the rest of the year and Alex Rodriguez not due back until about a month from now, at the earliest. Adams is hitting .200 with two homers and seven RBIs in 23 games. Girardi said that Adams has done, "OK," but indicated the league has adjusted to him after his initial quick start.

Brignac came in with a reputation for not being able to hit a lick -- and lived down to it. He was designated for assignment with a .114 average in 44 at-bats. Gonzalez had three hits in nine at-bats in his first go-around with the Yankees. He was hitting .224 in 23 games for Triple-A Scranton-Wilkes Barre.

As for going from a mini-shakeup to a Manny-shakeup, Girardi declined to talk about Manny Ramirez, saying that it was a front office question. Cashman did not return a text seeking comment.

The Yankees picked up two pitchers on Friday, as well. Yoshinori Tateyama, who was with the Texas Rangers' Triple-A team, is a 37-year-old righty. He had a 4.24 ERA for Round Rock. MLBTradeRumors.com reported the Yankees also acquired Mike Zagurski from the Pirates. Zagurski, 30, is a lefty, who made six appearances with Pittsburgh this season. He had a 2.14 ERA at Triple-A in 21 innings. Zagurski had been designated by the Pirates.

Both Tateyama and Zagurski will go to Triple-A Scranton.