Saturday, July 20, 2013

Another Day, Another Injury, Melky II On His Way

The Captain won't be around to greet Melky II this time.
First game back after the All-Star break and the injury list grew ince again. Zoilo Almonte who has had a pretty good introduction to the Major Leagues is the latest victim of the now you see 'em, now you don't conspiracy. It was just more rancid icing on a progressively stale piece of cake that is the Yankees season. To make matters worse it occurred during a 4-2 loss to the Boston Red Sox that dropped the Bomberless Bombers seven games out of first place in the AL East.

Almonte lunged at the first base bag in attempt to beat out the back end of a double play ball and the bag won. A sprained left ankle is the diagnosis with a pair of crutches the newest part of Almonte's wardrobe. A trip to the 15-day DL is the grand prize as Almonte joins Derek Jeter, Curtis Granderson, Mark Teixeira, Kevin Youkilis, David Phelps, Francisco Cervelli, Jayson Nix, and (temporarily) Alex Rodriguez on the sidelines.

If this were an episode of the Andy Griffith show, Sheriff Taylor would be saying, "Sarah, get me (Scranton GM) Rob Crain on the phone." RailRiders beat writer Donnie Collins reported that Melky Mesa and Thomas Neal are headed to Boston to join the team for the remainder of the weekend series.

Melky II, this time it's personal, got into three games last September and October and was 1-3 with an RBI. Mesa had a good shot to make the team out of Spring Training and the front office remains high on him despite the fact he's got the lowest OPS (.710) of his career since he was in rookie ball in 2007. Most worrisome are his 93 strikeouts in 242 at-bats and just seven walks. Mesa struck out 118 times in 2012 in 502 plate appearances.

I won't be a total Debbie Downer though- Mesa does have a solid .430 slugging pct. with 9 HR, 10 doubles, and a trio of triples. He's also stolen seven bases in eight attempts. He's been primarily a centerfield in his minor league career, but the Yankees will count on him to play the corner outfield spots. Plus the Yankees can unload the "Got Melk" t-shirts that have been laying around since Melky Cabrera was traded.

Neal got into four games with the Yankees this year and was 2-11 (.182) with one walk and four strikeouts. Entering Friday's play Neal had a nice slash line of .318/.392/.407 with 23 walks in 65 games for Scranton. Unlike Mesa, Neal's career in the outfield has been primarily played in left and right fields.  The Yankees signed him as a free agent this past January 18.

Alberto Gonzalez and Luis Cruiz dodged a bullet Friday when Brennan Boesch was released to make room on the 40-man roster. One of them is likely to go this time, with my guess being Gonzalez, as it was on Friday for Brent Lillibridge's entrance.

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