Jorge Posada's '08 Done? Hideki Matsui Chose Rehab & Damon Returns to NY Yankees

Patrick ReadSenior Writer IJuly 21, 2008

Johnny Damon returns tonight against the Twins, while Posada goes on the DL and may be out for the season. Hideki "All Heart" Matsui opts out of season-ending surgery to help the team.

Washington DC—July 21, 2008

It was announced today that Johnny Damon is making his comeback appearance tonight against the Twins, and a sigh of relief was heard in the Bronx that resonated across Yankee Universe. 

Damon had injured his shoulder (after his foot) on July 4, while streaking back—he's never been shy with the wall—and jumping into the wall, robbing Kevin Youkilis of a home run, which earned him his first career visit to the DL.

Johnny’s batting average this year is an all-time high at .319, second only to fellow “disabled-lister,” Hideki Matsui. Matsui is swatting a Yankee’s best .323, which is his all-time high while playing in the MLB.  

News also broke today that Matsui is refusing season-ending surgery. He has confidence in his rehab program and believes that he and his knee will be back this year to help the team as a DH.   

Dr. Scott Rodeo examined Matsui and advised that Hideki get season-ending surgery on his left knee. This came just after the same surgery on his right knee last November. In case you’re interested, Rose preformed that procedure as well, and he must be making a good buck off of ol' Hideki.

Matsui had fluid drained last week, and he has felt better lately. What’s more inspiring is his determination, saying, “I have a strong desire to play this year and be a force for the team. That is more important to me right now.” 

Brian Cashman chirped up, saying, “Hideki hasn’t responded well to rehab so far, therefore I am not optimistic.” 

Hey Brian, good thing we don’t have Bernie Williams on the team to round that bench off. Then again, you got rid of him because he played too well in 2006, and "Torre always used him" instead of lesser players. Who would want that type offense in their postseason anyhow? 

So fans can trust that the Yanks won’t be grabbing Bonds, given the GM’s wont to lose, as made apparent by that nagging offense which was just solved with the power acquisition of Richie Sexson?!

Matsui’s decision to tough it out, and take one for the team is a positive for the Yankees, yet fans were stricken again, as it was also released that Jorge Posada may have season-ending surgery as well. He should seek out the advice of disabled-list veteran, Carl Pavano.

Last April, Dr. James Andrews diagnosed Posada with a tear in his subscapularis muscle, causing Jorge’s first career visit to the DL. An upset Posada reassured all that he signed a “clean contract” in the offseason, and didn’t think his shoulder was any worse than it had been in years past.

Jorge was advised that rehab would work fine, in lieu of surgery

Since his return from the DL, Jorge has not been the same, and he has not been an everyday player, which is a far cry from his past. Posada has said that he was frustrated that he couldn’t play, and said that he was upset because he wasn’t allowed to play, but now realizes his season may be done

It would be nice to have Jorge on the bench. Not as a player, but as a DH or pinch hitter, like Matsui. 

Posada will have his decision made for him tomorrow, the 22nd, after he gets his MRI results.

If the Yanks lose Posada and Matsui, then the Yankees will need more depth on offense, not Richie “I’m hitting .215” Sexson, but Barry “Gimme a Bat Already”  Bonds.   

Phil Hughes and Brian Bruney are both making good progress as well. Thank goodness, because as the Yanks' offense continues to flail about, they had better be able to rely on good pitching, a decent bullpen, and maybe (pray to God) an improved bench.

Farnsworth hasn’t given up a run in just under a month’s time. It's true—but he has also only pitched six times this month and it’s the 21 of July. He has a 3.43 ERA this season for good reason, and if there was confidence in him, then he’d play more. 

Veras has given up three runs in his last three appearances, while Hawkins has given up six in as many appearances. Traber has given up four runs in his last 2.1 innings, picking right up where Farnsworth left off. 

The Yankees would do well to give Dave Robertson (six appearances, one run) and Edwar Ramirez (three runs in 14 innings!) more time in the later innings.   

As it is right now, Andy Pettitte has had to create his own bridge to Mo, most  recently being just yesterday. "Lefty" did the same in his last start, which he won—with Ramirez closing the game against Toronto. Moose has had to do the same thing as Andy.

The bullpen is more unreliable than it is deep, so all starters should start thinking the same way until Bruney is back, and either Rasner (three bad outings since May 21) and/or Hughes take some spots over in the "game-costing" bullpen.

Hughes has made relief appearances, most recently last year in his postseason gem, and Rasner was sought out this preseason to help the team in the bullpen, like he did last year. 

Hughes and/or Rasner, Robertson, and Ramirez could replace Traber, Hawkins, Veras, and Farnsworth handily in relief, or at least strengthen the bullpen. 

I vote for Robertson in the sixth, Rasner in the seventh, and Ramirez in the eighth...The R3 Connection!

The rest can come in with big leads, when losing big, when the "connection" needs rest, or as dreaded long relievers.

If you can’t hit the ball because of half the team is injured, then you cannot score runs (barring an all-out walk-and-steal fest). Therefore, whenever the Yanks do get a lead, they had better be able to hold it.