The Yankees finished their series against the Orioles with a win last night. The 3–2 victory came thanks to fine pitching by the returning Freddy Garcia, an early RBI double by Mark Teixeira, and a two-run homer by Nick Swisher. Note that none of the names mentioned above are Alex Rodriguez, Derek Jeter, or Suleiman the Magnificent. That is, of course, because none of the three participated in last night's win thanks to a variety of nagging injuries. A-Rod has a left thumb sore enough that it required an MRI yesterday (which revealed nothing of further concern). Jeter's right knee still bears the bruise of the foul ball that struck it on Sunday. Suleiman the Magnificent has been dead for over 400 years. New York obviously managed the O's just fine with a short-handed lineup, but with a crucial series against the Red Sox — who sit 1.5 games ahead of the Yanks atop the A.L. East— coming up, they'd like to be fully staffed.
First, the good news: Jeter was actually somewhat ready to go last night. Manager Joe Girardi claimed he would have felt comfortable employing Jeter in an "emergency", which was thankfully never the case. The pain is subsiding with rest and treatment, and Jeter is walking capably enough to instill legitimate hope that he'll be in the lineup from tonight forward. From the man himself:
"I hope so, that's the plan," said Jeter, who received a full day of treatment, watched some of the game from the dugout and went inside for additional treatment in the late innings. "I made a lot of progress since [Sunday night] and hopefully I make more."
Sounds good. The word on Rodriguez, however, isn't as encouraging. The sprained left thumb that kept him out of several games last week continues to be an issue. While the MRI results showed nothing new, one can understand why even a moderately sore pollex would be problematic for a guy who swats at 90-mile-per-hour projectiles for a living. And from the sound of things, Rodriguez won't be doing much projectile-swatting this week:
"We really wanted to have him and we wanted to have him on a roll and playing and fresh and healthy," Girardi said. "It's just not going to happen right now. We've got to find a way."
That's less promising. The remaining Yankees will just have to make a go of it, and probably summon more offense than they did on Monday.
Suleiman the Magnificent's centuries-long entombment is expected to sideline him until at least the postseason.