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August 2, 2006

Look Who's in First Place
by SG

The Bobby Abreu as a Yankee era got off to a rousing start with a 5-1 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays. The box score will show that Abreu went hitless, but he had a good AB in the middle of the Yankees four run rally in the fourth inning, working back from an 0-2 count, fouling off three pitches, and then eventually setting the stage for Bernie Williams.

I was a little irritated to see Bernie in the lineup yesterday against a righty, particularly against A.J. Burnett who throws about 100 mph. However, Bernie shut me up by stinging a double the opposite way, driving in three runs and basically winning the game.

Bernie's not what he once was, but in the batter's box he's a touch below average, not horrible. His value gets supressed tremendously when he has to play the OF, which should be a less and less frequent occurrence going forward. Craig Wilson's a better player, against righties and lefties, but Bernie's on the team, he's going to play, probably a bit more than he should. Let's accept it and hope that playing the field less frequently speeds up the bat a bit.

I hate watching Jaret Wright pitch BTW. Even when he's effective, he's excruciating to watch. Maybe he should strictly pinch run.

Ron Villone, Scott Proctor, and Kyle Farnsworth finished up with varying degrees of effeciveness. Villone got five outs, but was getting hit hard all over the field, including a line drive that almost took his head off which he made a great catch on. Proctor looked shaky but got the job done, and Kyle Farnsworth continued a dominant stretch of recent pitching. Since June 28, Farnsworth has pitches 13 innings, allowed 8 hits, 1 HR, 1 R, 1 BB, and gotten 12 strikeouts. Control is key for Farnsworth, when he's throwing 101 mph on the black, no one's going to hit him.

Here's the injury hit list from Rotoworld

Jason Giambi was removed from Tuesday's game against the Jays because his right leg cramped up. Giambi was playing first base tonight. He'll probably be back in the DH spot on Wednesday.

Octavio Dotel (elbow) pitched a perfect inning for the Rookie GCL Yankees on Tursday. He struck out two in his first outing in almost two weeks after experiencing elbow discomfort. Dotel reached 94 mph and threw 10 pitches, all fastballs. With no additional setbacks, Dotel could be an option for the Yankees next week.

Robinson Cano(hamstring) was hit just above the right ankle by a pitch during batting practice Tuesday but still expects to start a rehab assignment Thursday. The plan is for him to come off the DL and sent Miguel Cairo to the bench next Tuesday.

Hideki Matsui is scheduled to have his injured left wrist re-examined Thursday in New York. If the wrist shows enough progress, he might be given a timetable for taking batting practice. Matsui has experienced some shoulder soreness in his workouts, but he's not concerned. "Everything is fine," he said. "I physically feel pretty good. The shoulders are not sore anymore. It's fine."

Gary Sheffield (wrist) had his cast removed [last] Wednesday and has reportedly begun working with a physical therapist. Asked if Sheffield will return by September 1, general manager Brian Cashman said: "It’d be nice, but I don’t know. I can’t tell you Sept. 1 is going to be the date or not, but that’s what we’ll stay with right now."

With the Red Sox actually not coming back last night (thank you Mark Loretta), the Yankees are now in first place in the AL East. Feels nice, doesn't it?

Update: ESPN - Sheffield willing to switch to first with Abreu's arrival
Gary Sheffield embraced Bobby Abreu's arrival with the New York Yankees, saying he would shift to first base if needed.

"I gave him a hug. I wanted him to feel welcome," Sheffield said Tuesday after Abreu reported to the Yankees, who acquired him in a trade with Philadelphia two days earlier.