ST. PETERSBURG -- It was a scene straight out of the Steinbrenner Yankees playbook, circa the late 1900s: a young reliever, having suffered through a horrendous outing, suffering one more indignity.
That is what fell on Cesar Cabral just moments after the domed roof of Tropicana Field fell in on him Friday night. Less than a half-hour after Cabral had been tossed from the game by home plate umpire Joe West after hitting his third batter in the eighth inning, he was tossed from the Yankees roster.
New York Yankees
Just moments after a worried Cabral told ESPNDeportes' Marly Rivera, "I hope that what I've done so far [one scoreless inning in three appearances] merits a place on this team," pitching coach Larry Rothschild summoned him into the manager's office. There, Joe Girardi broke the news that the Yankees were designating him for assignment, meaning they have 10 days to trade or release him.
"I can't believe this," Cabral said, "but I guess this is baseball."
It is when you pitch the way Cabral did, allowing singles to the first two batters he faced, hitting Evan Longoria and James Loney in succession, allowing a two-run single to Wil Myers and finally plunking Logan Forsythe, which prompted West to eject him.
"Obviously we're not trying to hit anyone there and I feel bad that we hit three people," said Girardi, who was angered that West ran Cabral without a warning. "Obviously, he had no command."
Cabral said West gave no reason for the ejection. "They know I don’t want to hit anybody," Cabral said. "I was surprised because [West] don’t tell me nothing."
Rays manager Joe Maddon agreed that none of the plunkings were intentional but thought West did the right thing. "Someone was going to get hurt out there," he said.
Girardi seemed most annoyed by the fact that Cabral's ejection meant he had to use Shawn Kelley on a night in which the closer should never have to get off his bullpen chair.
"It's unfortunate that we had to do it," he said. "But fortunately he came in and got a quick out and didn't have to throw many pitches."
Girardi's intention was to use Cabral for as long as he needed, even if he knew it would be the last time.