From the department of “I saw that one coming.”
According to Tyler Kepner of the NY Times, Hideki Matsui’s surgically repaired knees are not 100 percent. This has already caused him to miss games last week against the Tampa Rays and it is possible that 2009 could be a repeat of his 2008 campaign.
"It is clear this will probably be an issue all season. Matsui did not start the last two games at Tampa Bay, and after one game as the starting designated hitter, he is back on the bench.
"Matsui is only 34 years old, but all those years of playing every game on the artificial turf of the Tokyo Dome are taking their toll. It is troubling that even after operations on both knees since late 2007, there remains a build-up of fluid.
"'It’s somewhat discouraging, but it’s something we’ll have to deal with a lot during the course of the year, just because of where he is in his career with his knees,' Manager Joe Girardi said. 'He doesn’t want to take time off, but he has some fluid and you’ve got to give him a day. You’ve got to make sure to keep the fluid out. That’s the concern.'"
This news and the news of Xavier Nady’s elbow is pretty troubling for the Yankees. With Nady out of the lineup, there is no real solution to replace Matsui if he misses time. It turns out that Juan Miranda could get more at-bats than anyone imagined.
Although, if Matsui misses extended time because of his knees this season, it is likely they would make a deal for another DH, instead of giving Miranda a lot of at-bats. That is because there are probably more than a couple of teams who might be willing to dump some large contracts in this economy.
Maybe even Magglio Ordonez in Detroit.