The Yankees have been forced to shuffle around their roster due to injuries this season. Their bullpen and designated hitter spot in their lineup. Players like Al Aceves, Sergio Mitre, Nick Johnson and Marcus Thames, who, while not bona fide stars, all do play a particular role on the 2010 Yankees.
The Yankees have had to make do with parts from other team's scrap heap as well as from their own farm system. Players like Kevin Russo, Chad Huffman, Colin Curtis and Chad Gaudin have all come in some capacity to fill the voids.
But with most guys on the mend, the Yankees should look to make a few temporary changes before welcoming back all of their injured troops.
With the return of Marcus Thames and minor injuries to guys like Brett Gardner and Curtis Granderson, Kevin Russo has become expendable in New York. He's had only one at-bat since June 20. It would be much more beneficial for the Yankees to option him back to Triple-A Scranton for regular at-bats and time at multiple positions to develop his skills as a utility player.
The Yankees could then call up Juan Miranda to take his place as the left-handed half of a DH platoon with Marcus Thames while they wait on Nick Johnson to recover from wrist surgery. Miranda has nothing left to prove at the Triple-A level and has demonstrated an ability to hit Major League pitching.
In regards to the bullpen, which apart from Mariano Rivera has been a glaring weakness for the Yankees, they now are carrying two longmen with the call-up of journeyman Dustin Moseley. His presence on the team enables the Yankees to part ways with Chad Gaudin for the second time this season and promote Jon Albaladejo from Scranton.
Gaudin has been underwhelming since his return to the Bronx, pitching to an ERA near 5.00 in 16 innings. While we've seen the Jon Albaladejo in the majors before, he seems to have transformed himself this past year, moving away from his traditional two-seamer and relying more on a mid-90s four seamer with more offspeed pitches.
With Mark Melancon hitting a rough patch in Scranton, Albaladejo is a good choice to replace Gaudin. Albaladejo might be sent down when Sergio Mitre (who began a rehab assignment a few days ago) returns. If her performs well, the Yankees could opt to keep Albaladejo and part ways with the free agent dud Chan Ho Park instead.
Albaladejo could even stick around after Aceves returns. If the Yankees feel they have enough length in the bullpen with Aceves and Mitre and cut Moseley instead.
For the most part, the Yankees have avoided major injuries to key players this season. These are a few minor roster moves the Yankees could make to further improve what has been baseball's best team over the first half of the season.