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Saturday, July 20, 2013
Pregame notes: Meet your new DH

By Andrew Marchand

BOSTON -- The Yankees made two roster moves earlier today, calling up Thomas Neal and Melky Mesa to replace the injured Zoilo Almonte and the ineffective Alberto Gonzalez.

Joe Girardi said Neal will be used as a right-handed DH against lefties. Neal had a .794 OPS against lefties at Triple-A. Mesa will likely be utilized mostly as a late-inning defensive replacement for Vernon Wells. Wells will start more in the outfield with Almonte on the shelf.

As for Almonte's ankle, it -- and he -- are headed to Tampa for an MRI and further tests. Until those are done, the Yankees won't know the severity of the injury that landed him on the 15-day disabled list.

MOVING UP THE FOOD CHAIN: Ivan Nova will start Monday, before Phil Hughes pitches Tuesday. It might indicate the Yankees are looking at Nova as their No. 4 starter and Hughes as their No. 5. This will only matter if David Phelps comes back and the Yankees eventually return him to the rotation. The bet here is if Nova and Hughes pitch reasonably well, Phelps will land back in the bullpen when he comes off the DL.

NUNEZ STRUGGLES: Girardi said Eduardo Nunez is jumping at the ball too much. Nunez comes in batting .207 with no homers and eight RBIs in 37 games. With Derek Jeter possibly coming back in a week, Nunez's chances could decrease soon, and he hasn't done much to warrant being a big part of the Yankees' future plans.

DON'T BE SORRY: Brett Gardner didn't only apologize once, he apologized twice to Girardi for his tantrum that got him thrown out of Friday's game. Girardi said Gardner didn't need to apologize. Girardi didn't even think Gardner should have been thrown out.