RANDOM BITS FOR A RANDOM FRIDAY
… Because I definitely feel 13th after a very busy week.
? The Cubs signed Esteban German to a Minor League contract, so those that wrote suggesting he’d make a good depth addition for the Yankees and a possibly useful Alex Rodriguez substitute, forget it. I don’t think it’s a huge loss unless he’s going to go back to walking 50 times in half a season.
? Remember last week I said that A-Rod’s injury wasn’t the last injury, just the first, and the Yankees would have to survive the cumulative weight of those losses? Now, we have Robinson Cano’s sore shoulder and Damaso Marte’s pectoral muscle. In both cases, the injuries could be nothing or could be something. There’s no reason to worry too much about Marte because the Yankees have the pitching depth to get by without any one reliever, but Cano would force the Yankees to fall back on some pretty weak choices. For any team, as ever, the emphasis must be on the farm, the farm, the farm, the farm, or eventually you’re going to get hit and not be able to cope. Thank you, Uncle WBC!
? Has anyone who was lukewarm on the Mark Teixeira signing before the event yet conceded that in the absence of A-Rod that signing may very well save the offense, and thereby the season? By the way, Chase Utley had the full-on version of the surgery that Rodriguez is splitting in two back in November. He has yet to get into a game.
? A-Rod replacement speculation: the guy the Yankees should be looking to make a force majeure kind of move on is J.J. Hardy of the Brewers, who may lose his job to Alcides Escobar at some point in the near future. He can hit enough to play third and is young enough to play short after, just in case, you know, the Yankees ever have any defensive weakness at that position.
? Before someone asks about catcher Rob Bowen, who the A’s are shopping, there is no evidence he would out-hit Jose Molina. Yes, Molina is a better hitter than somebody.
? Big loss for the Rays in having Fernando Perez hit the bench for three months with a dislocated left wrist. Perez isn’t an impact player but is a nice complimentary part. Matt Joyce hasn’t played yet due to his own injuries, and B.J. Upton is still working his left shoulder back into shape. Gabe Kapler is going to end up playing a lot more than might be good … Too much of Justin Ruggiano and his amazing capacity to strike out, too.
? Transcript from today’s chat, with lots of Yankees questions, some politics, and scattered other baseball musings.
? Those of you in the District of Columbia, I’ll be making two appearances there next Wednesday, along with BP compadres, Clay Davenport and Jay Jaffe. First, I’ll be hosted by the Georgetown Lecture Fund at 4:30 p.m. (open to the public). Following closely on the heels of that talk will be one of my favorite yearly events, a trip to the Politics & Prose bookstore at 7 p.m. For address info, see this page.