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July 18, 2006

Wang, Wang, Wang
by SG

The Yankees beat the Mariners 4-2 last night behind yet another good start by Chien-Ming Wang. Wang was not as sharp as he has been recently and didn't get much help from Alex Rodriguez defensively but pitched seven strong innings and allowed only two runs, resting the bullpen for the eight innings they will have to pitch today when Sir Sidney gets bombed.

I'm still worried about Wang's workload going forward as he's never pitched more than 160 innings in a season, but he's not that young so he may be able to handle it. I'm also pretty certain at this point that his low K rate is not going to be a big problem as long as he continues to do all the other things that he does well, namely getting ground ball DPs, controlling HRs, and not walking too many hitters.

Rodriguez was pulled from the game after seven innings in a story that the buffoons at Baseball Tonight couldn't wait to spin as proof that he has become Chuck Knoblauch. The real story is that Rodriguez had a bruised foot and is going to have X-rays. He had a bad game in the field and at the plate, but I wouldn't say it's anything more than that, and let's not forget that the Yankees did win the game.

With Robinson Cano still on the shelf, Miguel Cairo has been playing pretty much every day. While his offensive stats leave a lot to be desired, he's been playing outstanding defense and contributing enough that he's not a complete black hole. One thing Miggy has done better than Cano this season is hit with runners in scoring position as he's hit .333/.325/.410 compared to Cano's abysmal .227/.268/.320.

Here are your injury updates from

General manager Brian Cashman said Friday that Robinson Cano (hamstring) will not begin a minor league rehab assignment until next week. Cano, who has been out since June 25, was initially expected back a lot sooner. He's already missed 14 games. Jul. 15 - 10:23 am et

Octavio Dotel (elbow) pitched a perfect inning Saturday for Single-A Tampa. Dotel will likely make four or five more appearances before the Yankees consider activating him. He could join the pen before the end of the month

Also, during the game last night Michael Kay said that Hideki Matsui could very well be back in August. This could be great news on two fronts as it upgrades the Yankees and preserves the farm system. I'm hoping nothing comes of the newest Reggie Sanders rumors.

The Yankees are heavily involved in trade talks to acquire either the Phillies' Bobby Abreu or the Royals' Reggie Sanders.

The Yankees badly need an outfielder, but they have two things going for them in their pursuit: 1) They can afford high-priced outfielders (the $23 million remaining on Abreu's contract apparently doesn't faze them; neither does Sanders' $5 million salary in '07); and 2) there are plenty of outfielders available.

On Friday the Royals dropped their asking price on Sanders, and talks have progressed to the point where the Royals had a scout watching the Yankees over the weekend. Kansas City apparently is no longer insisting on prized pitching prospect Phil Hughes, Jose Tabata or Melky Cabrera and appears willing to choose from New York's second-tier prospects, which include Tyler Clippard, Jeff Karstens, Stephen White, Jeff Kennard and T.J. Beam. A deal may be expanded to also send relievers to the Yankees, possibly including veteran Elmer Dessens.

Abreu remains one of the Yankees' top choices, and the team hopes he'd waive his no-trade clause since he has a condo in Manhattan -- though it may take a financial inducement. His friends say Abreu would prefer the Mets because he'd like to stay in the National League.

I wouldn't give up anything for Sanders. He's no better than Kevin Thompson at this point, who is already on the team. Well, he was on the team until he was optioned to make room for Sir Sid. Abreu seems intriguing, but it would depend on the cost in terms of talent.