After saying good-bye to two prolific men, the New York Yankees ended the weekend placing ace Andy Pettitte on the DL.
Pettitte will be gone for five weeks with a grade one tear in his left hamstring. This digs the dagger even deeper as the Seattle Mariners played the reigning champs like fools by trading Cliff Lee to the Texas Rangers.
The Yankees got used by Seattle, who got more bang for Lee with the Bombers in the mix. Well, nothing good comes from dwelling in the baseball past, but this wound is still fresh after such a long week.
The Angels are in town today for a quick two games in the Bronx. These Halos have a history of reeking havoc on the Yankees, but the reality is these Angels are coming with broken wings.
Losing All-Star 1B Kenny Morales for the season was the biggest blow to a team dealing with a lot of injuries already. The latest victim was SP Scott Kazmir, who Yankee fans might remember. Kennedy was slated to start on tonight against his old buddy Phil Hughes.
With Kazmir on the DL, the Angels have yet to confirm who will take the mound, leaving Wednesday afternoon in question as well.
Yankees Javier Vazquez will take the mound against an Angel pitcher TBA. I have seen both Jared Weaver and Joel Pineiro as the probable pitcher, but both official teams sites list the Angels as TBA.
Either way, Hughes and Vazquez have to be on top of their game more than ever with Pettitte out. Joe Girardi and GM Brian Cashman have said that Sergio Mitre will fill in for Pettitte.
Mitre has been on the DL since mid-April and has yet to be fully activated. This sounds like a broken record from 2009; Mitre coming off the DL to fill-in for Pettitte. But, can the Yankees afford a struggling Mitre every fifth game?
Since 2003, Mitre has only pitched a full season once; in 2007, when he played for Girardi as a Marlin and posted a career best 4.65 ERA. Over seven seasons, Mitre has pitched for a total of 388 innings, allowed 232 runs, 47 home-runs, and walked 130 batters.
Not great, but Mitre did post one promising stat with 237 total strike-outs.
It is a stretch, but Mitre can throw strikes if he is not injured.
Girardi can't seem to get enough of Mitre or any player he managed as a Marlin. Does Skipper Joe realize that this is the big leagues, not little league?
Players are not on an MLB team to play with chances. Their job is to win. The duds get weeded out. That is why it is hard to comprehend why Mitre is still in a Yankee uniform.
The Yankees 'Hughes Rules' can no longer be in effect because Sabathia and Vazquez need a good third starter. Until AJ Burnett gets on track, Hughes is that guy.
The rules consist of an imposed 170 innings limit, with the idea that Hughes would move to the bullpen around late August. Hughes dominated in that role in 2009, so it would have brought some relief in September. Now that can't happen, as the Yankees got a reminder that the DL is not just for the Phillies and Red Sox.
Prediction Yankees Vs. Angels:
The Yankees should win both games because A-Rod is on a tear, Jeter is back to life, and Cano and Swisher haven't slowed down yet. Depending on which Angels show up in New York, the Yankees will either easily take both games, or the teams will spilt in an old school battle.
The Angels have been in a slump, as the hitters seem to be holding bats made of ice. What worries me is that those bats will thaw, and the Angels will get hot again. It is no secret how hot New York City is right now, so it wouldn't surprise me if the Halos got warm again tonight.
When you're talking about players like Abreu, Hunter, and Matsui, once they get going watch out. The Angels, when on fire, can hit the hell out of the ball, no matter who is throwing it.