In his last turn, Jake Peavy pitched six scoreless innings in his first start after an elbow-related DL stint. In his last turn, Darrell Rasner was beat severely about the head and neck by the typically mild-mannered Oakland A's offense. Peavy needed just 72 pitches to get through those six innings against the Dodgers. He'll likely be pulled before he hits 100 pitches today. Rasner, despite that beating, has still only allowed three homers and walked just six men in 42 major league innings this season, and hasn't allowed a homer in any of his last three starts. Peavy was the best pitcher in baseball last year, but couldn't deliver the Wild Card to San Diego in their one-game playoff against the Rockies. Rasner is 0-3 with a 6.35 ERA in his last three starts.
So there's that.
Hideki Matsui's left knee is hurting, so he sits tonight and will see a doctor tomorrow. I'm hoping his knee is just reacting to the wacky changes in atmospheric pressure. Here in New Jersey we've had different weather every two hours today. Cool and crisp like an early spring day. Downpour. Overcast and humid, but dry. Downpour. Sunny and hot like a perfect summer day. Downpour. It's not raining now, but the sky is darkening and I can hear thunder in the distance (make that directly overhead . . . yikes!).
With Matsui out, Wilson Betemit will play first base while Jason Giambi moves to DH. In contrast to his persistent career-long split, Giambi has been a better hitter when not playing the field this year (.297/.458/.622 vs. 252/.383/.563). For those of you filling out All-Star ballots, the Big G leads AL first baseman in VORP this year and Alex Rodriguez, Johnny Damon, Giambi, and Matsui are all among the top dozen ALers in the stat.
In other news, the Yankees picked reliever Oneli Perez off waivers from the Indians and assigned him to double-A Trenton. Perez is a 25-year-old Dominican righty with who entered the year with some fantastic career numbers in the minors, but who had never seen triple-A. He had a rough 14 games with the White Sox's double-A affiliate to start the season and was released. The Indians picked him up and got an equally unattractive performance from him across seven games in his triple-A debut. There must be something going on with this guy, as he had been excellent, if old for his league (he was originally a hitter in the Padres' system), the previous three seasons. Chad Jennings quotes Baseball America as reporting that Perez "can drive his managers a little loopy with his laid-back approach to conditioning and peperation." BA also reports that Perez has six fingers on each hand. One of those two things was clearly unpalatable to the Chisox and Tribe.
To get Perez on the 40-man roster, the Yankees moved Jonathan Albaladejo, who was diagnosed with a stress fracture in his pitching elbow and is out for the season, to the 60-day DL. In other injury news, Brian Bruney and Ian Kennedy are throwing bullpens. Kennedy could start a rehab assignment next week. Also, Francisco Cervelli started something of a mini rehab assignment with Tampa on Monday.
Finally, and most frighteningly, the Yankees have added Sidney Ponson to the Scranton roster. Jennings expects this to be a temporary minor league roster filler move like the signing of Runelvys Hernandez was last year. Even still, couldn't they find someone, anyone, else?