Thursday, June 01, 2006

Sheffield to the DL again

Rushing Gary Sheffield back was a very bad decision by the Yankees. Now it looks like he may need surgery. Sheffield could miss 6 weeks.

I cannot see the Yankees not making a trade. Hopefully Melky Cabrera and Phil Hughes do not end up as casualties. Personally, I wouldn't mind trading Robinson Cano, but that is me.

This is a time for a 5 man bench. The Yankees started the season with a bench made of Cairo, Phillips, Stinnet, and Bubba. That setup was not great, but when Jorge Posada is your #7 hitter, you don't worry much about your bench. There were not a whole lot of pinch hitting opportunities that would require an offensive substitution by Joe Torre. The extra pitcher would be needed.

Things have changed. The Yankees are now playing guys like Andy Phillips, Terence Long, Miguel Cairo, Melky Cabrera, (soon) Bubba Crosby, Kevin Thompson, and Kelly Stinnet frequently. This means a lot more work for Joe Torre with his bench.

Currently, the starting lineup looks something like this:

CF Damon
SS Jeter
1b Giambi
3b Rodriguez
C Posada
2b Cano
DH Bernie
LF Cabrera
RF Long

Bench: Phillips, Cairo, Stinnet, Thompson.
Bullpen: Mo, Farns, Proctor, Villone, Myers, Rasner, Erickson

Some things immediately pop out to you. First off, we do not have a single left hander off the bench when starting Long. Second, we don't have any real power threats (with Phillips resigned to hit only singles) available to pinch hit. Third, we have only one outfielder coming off the bench in Thompson (while Bernie is DH).

My suggestion? Drop Phillips (I'm sure that some team would take him) and call up Carlos Pena. Pena will have a little bit more power than Phillips, but more importantly hits from the right side. Drop Scott Erickson and replace him with Bubba when the time comes. This now gives some power and adds a left hander off the bench. Pena could even platoon at DH with Bernie.