Because how can you not love a baseball player named "Bubba"?
Well, Chad Moeller cleared waivers and was promptly called up again. Chris Stewart was sent back to Scranton. They also had to make room on the 40-man roster for Moeller. Sean Henn, who has been in Scranton on a rehab assignment, was activated off the disabled list, and DFA'd.
Lots of other roster moves for the Yanks today. Chris Britton was called up. (A-Rod's going on the DL clears a roster space for him.) And perhaps the biggest news of the day: Phil Hughes was put on the DL, with a supposed oblique strain.
A lot of people doubt Hughes is really injured. Yesterday, everyone was talking about what the Yankees should do with Hughes. The YES announcers seemed to think he should be sent to Scranton to get his head straight. I found that interesting, because the YES crew is rumored to be a mouthpiece for the Yankees front office. So I was kind of expecting to hear that Hughes was headed to Scranton today. But there was also some worry that it could screw up his head to be sent back to the minors at this point. (Melky Cabrera crashed all the way back down to AA when he got sent down after failing in his first try at the big leagues.)
But I saw Hughes' post-game interview on YES last night, and it was really painful to watch. He didn't make excuses, and he didn't blame the catcher (who he crossed up repeatedly). But he seemed lost. Totally out of his depth. He was on the verge of tears, and looking at him, it just seemed cruel to send him out there again.
I guess the Yankees saw the same thing. A phantom injury lets them take Hughes out of the rotation, and perhaps send him to Tampa or Scranton for a "rehab assignment." And it avoids the trauma of sending him down to the minors in defeat.
As I recall, Andy Phillips suffered an "oblique strain" towards the end of the 2006 season that was widely viewed as a phantom injury. The Yanks were facing a roster crunch, and many were expecting Andy to be DFA'd. But the "injury" allowed the Yankees to keep him until rosters expanded.
There's still no word on whether Posada will need surgery. His injury is apparently a torn rotator cuff. He will be getting another opinion from the Mets' team doctor, in addition to the doctors he's already consulted.
That sounds like bad news to me. You don't get that many second opinions if the news is good...do you?
I like Chad Moeller, and he's played extremely well for the Yankees so far. But it's not realistic to expect him to continue to hit the way he has been. He wouldn't be a backup catcher if he could hit like that regularly. Pete Abe put it this way:
How has it come to this for the Yankees? People are thrilled Chad Moeller is back. This is a guy who was cut in spring training by the Nationals because they liked Wil Nieves better. A team with a $209 million payroll praying that nobody claims Chad Moeller. Amazing.
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