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Hey, hand me that Phillips
2005-04-03 12:43
by Cliff Corcoran
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to bronxbanterblog.com.

On Friday I wrote in this space that Kevin Brown's achy, breaky back was acting up and could lead to his being moved into the delayed fifth spot in the rotation with Jaret Wright taking over his starts against the Orioles on Friday and in Boston a week from Wednesday. Yesterday that switch became official. Today, WFAN's Sweeny Murti reports that the Yankees have placed Kevin Brown on the 15-day disable list. Some may take this as a sign that Brown's back is in particularly dire shape, but it's actually an excellent job of roster management on the part of the Yankees and, if Brown is able to come back (no pun intended) on schedule (don't hold your breath), could work out better for the team than their original plan to have Jaret Wright hang around doing nothing until April 15.

You see, Wright's (and in turn Brown's) first start was supposed to be April 15 in Baltimore. In reality the Yankees wouldn't need a fifth starter until April 17, as Pavano and Mussina can pitch on the 15th and 16th on full rest as the rotation is currently set up (swap Wright and Brown, of course). Of course, Brown will not be eligible to come off the DL until April 18, so the Yanks will need a spot start out of Tanyon Sturtze in Baltimore, but that seems a small price to pay to have a full 25-men at Joe Torre's disposal over the first 12 games of the season.

Best of all, that twenty fifth man will be . . . Andy Phillips! Hot diggity dawg! I suppose it would be too much to ask for Torre to revise his Opening Night line-up one more time to have the hot-hitting righty Phillips start over either the left-handed Giambi at first or the left-handed Womack at second against the left-handed David Wells. Still, look for Phillips to pinch-hit for Womack if Not My Wacko comes up in a key spot tonight. Meanwhile, let's hope that, during this early part of April, Phillips is given the first base starts against lefties (the Orioles have two in their rotation: Erik Bedard and Bruce Chen) over the struggling Tino Martinez. Any opportunity for Phillips to prove himself with the big club can only be a good thing for the Yankees, so while there should be legitimate concern about Brown's back, this shakes out as a pretty good deal for the Yankees, at least for now.

For those looking for tonight's final 25-man rosters, just click below.

Boston Red Sox

1B – Kevin Millar
2B – Mark Bellhorn
SS – Edgar Renteria
3B – Bill Mueller
C – Jason Varitek
RF – Trot Nixon
CF – Johnny Damon
LF – Manny Ramirez
DH – David Ortiz

Bench:

R – Jay Payton (OF)
R – Kevin Youkilis (3B/1B)
R – Doug Mirabelli (C)
L – Ramon Vazquez (IF)
R – Dave McCarty (1B/OF)

Rotation:

L – David Wells
R – Matt Clement
R – Tim Wakefield
R – Bronson Arroyo

Bullpen:

R – Keith Foulke
R – Mike Timlin
L – Alan Embree
R – Matt Mantei
L – Mike Myers
R – Blaine Neal
L – John Halama

DL:

R – Curt Schilling
R – Wade Miller
L – Adam Stern (OF)

Expected Line-up:

L – Johnny Damon (CF)
R – Edgar Renteria (SS)
R – Manny Ramirez (LF)
L – David Ortiz (DH)
R – Kevin Millar (1B)
S – Jason Varitek (C)
R - Jay Payton (RF)
S – Bill Mueller (3B)
S – Mark Bellhorn (2B)

New York Yankees

1B – Tino Martinez
2B – Tony Womack
SS – Derek Jeter
3B – Alex Rodriguez
C - Jorge Posada
RF – Gary Sheffield
CF – Bernie Williams
LF – Hideki Matsui
DH – Jason Giambi

Bench:

S – Ruben Sierra ("OF")
R – Rey Sanchez (IF)
R – John Flaherty (C)
L – Bubba Crosby (OF)
R - Andy Phillips (IF)

Rotation:

L – Randy Johnson
R – Carl Pavano
R – Mike Mussina
R – Jaret Wright

Bullpen:

R – Mariano Rivera
R – Tom Gordon
R – Felix Hernandez
R – Paul Quantrill
L – Mike Stanton
R – Steve Karsay
R – Tanyon Sturtze

DL: R – Kevin Brown

Expected Line-up:

R – Derek Jeter (SS)
R – Alex Rodriguez (3B)
R – Gary Sheffield (RF)
S - Ruben Sierra (DH)
L – Hideki Matsui (LF)
S – Jorge Posada (C)
L – Jason Giambi (1B)
S – Bernie Williams (CF)
L – Tony Womack (2B)

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