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Yankees owner 'content' with infield situation amid roster moves
Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner Tuesday said he is satisfied with the banged-up team's infield situation and doesn't see the need to add a free agent such as shortstop Stephen Drew.
"I'm pretty content with our infield right now," Steinbrenner said at an MLB diversity summit in Manhattan. "Guys like [Dean] Anna and [Yangervis] Solarte have been pleasant surprises. Kelly Johnson has been good and Derek [Jeter] is healthy, so, so far so good, but it's early. You know me, I will consider anything. But right now, I think I'm pretty content with where we're sitting."
Asked about Drew, Steinbrenner said: "All I could say is I'm content with the way things are right now. I'm happy with a couple of the minor-league free-agent signings, like Solarte, and I think Anna. So far, I'm pretty content with where we are, but I will always analyze options. That's my job throughout the course of the whole year."
The Yankees will welcome Jeter back to the lineup Wednesday during a day-night doubleheader against the Cubs.
The Yankees acted early, postponing Tuesday night's scheduled game more than seven hours before the first pitch.
The teams will play at 1:05 and 7:05. Masahiro Tanaka, Tuesday's scheduled starter, will start the opener with Michael Pineda pitching the nightcap.
Tuesday was supposed to be the day Jeter returned from his two-game, three-day respite because of a tight right quadriceps muscle. General manager Brian Cashman said in a telephone interview that there is no reason to think Jeter won't be in the lineup for one of Wednesday's games.
"That was the expectation," Cashman said. "I think Joe [Girardi] addressed that the other day. He just wanted to wrap it around an off day so he'd be ready to go by Tuesday. So now he'll be ready to go by Wednesday."
The Yankees could be without second baseman Brian Roberts. Roberts had an MRI on Sunday for a sore lower back; it was negative. "We'll see how he responds with treatment over the next few days," Cashman said.
Replacements are on the way: Catcher John Ryan Murphy and infielder Scott Sizemore were called up from Triple-A Scranton / Wilkes-Barre.
The Yankees started the season with a thin infield, even before injuries sidelined Jeter, Roberts and Mark Teixeira, the first baseman who is on the disabled list with a hamstring strain. Teixeira is supposed to go on a minor-league rehab assignment this week. But Cashman wouldn't say if Teixeira will be ready to return when first eligible Sunday.
"We have tentative dates that we've had in place for a few days now," Cashman said. "But he's obviously got a few things to do first."
Backup catcher Francisco Cervelli started two games at first base, including Sunday night's win over the Red Sox. But Cervelli blew out his right hamstring Sunday and was placed on the 60-day DL Tuesday. Cervelli's injury forced Girardi to use Carlos Beltran at first base for the first time in the outfielder's career.
Even with Tuesday's moves, the Yankees still have no experienced first baseman on the roster. Johnson will likely play there until Teixeira returns. Murphy, who has played some third base in the minors, might be Johnson's backup.
Honoring Jackie. The Yankees and Cubs will all wear No. 42 in the night game in honor of Jackie Robinson after Tuesday night's ceremonies honoring the baseball pioneer were postponed. The Yankees will also dedicate a plaque in Monument Park to Nelson Mandela.