I'm fried this morning, people. Got no chance of putting a well thought out, coherent full post together, so how about a few early bullet points to get the mind moving? - What's the deal with Derek Jeter's ankle? Are we starting to get the point where we can wonder if there's more going on here than the Yankees are letting on? Joe's comments on Jeter's scaled back weekend work sounded a lot more like damage control than honest assessment to me. I don't know what his new working definition of "setback" is, but if we're being honest, pretty much everything that's happened with Jeter since he first felt that stiffness in his ankle and got the cortisone shot late in spring camp has been a setback. To me, going through that exercise and then basically starting from the beginning with light work only to have to scale that light work back almost a month after the shot screams "SETBACK!!", but that's just me.
- On the other side of the injury concern coin, I think anybody out there who was still skittish over CC's elbow can stop worrying. He's pitched 23 innings in his last three starts with 19 K to just 4 BB. The velocity still isn't where you'd like to see it, and his command could be better on all his pitches, but if nothing else the fact that Joe is willing to let him pitch into the 7th and 8th innings of games this early in the season means he has to be feeling good physically.
- It kinda sucks that Travis Hafner already has a really cool nickname because I'd really like to give him another one, at least while he's still healthy and cranking home runs. Dude is just a monster.
- How great was that 7th-inning rally last night? It was like the Island of Misfit Toys all banding together. Ben Francisco gets his first Yankee hit, Boesch comes up with a big 2-out double, Nunez draws a walk after being down 1-2 in the count, and Brett Gardner didn't try to do too much with the bases loaded, calmly stroking a big 2-run single to left to tie the game. Once again, the Yanks got it done with 2 outs, putting four straight runners on base in that situation and driving in three game-tying runs against a pitcher who had owned them leading up to that point.
- Major props to Nunez and Jayson Nix for having the situational awareness and discipline to take pitches from Miley and force him to keep throwing when he was starting to tire. We don't often see smart baseball plays like that from bottom-of-the-order guys like Nunez and Nix, so maybe that's a sign that this group has taken the "grind it out" mentality that so many people thought they were going to have to play with to heart.
- I know I'm not the manager, and it probably won't help merchandise sales, but if Ichiro doesn't start picking it up in another week or so, I'd start giving his playing time to Boesch. Boesch has done a lot more with the bat in a lot fewer opportunities, and Ichiro's contact rates are awful.