Zobrist hurt, Hammel hit, Yankees unhappy

I think that the title just about sums the whole situation up nicely actually.

Bad news first, and it comes in threes.  Well, actually there is one piece of bad news, two bits of potentially worrying news, and one bit of so-old-its-not-new-anymore-news.  The bad news is that Ben Zobrist has fractured his thumb and will be out of action for a month.  Ben had had a pretty nice start to the spring, and seemed to be adapting to the super-utility role nicely, getting time all over the place, from third to centre.  His injury means that Andy Cannizaro becomes the backup shortstop for the season’s start pretty much by default.  I can’t really comment on that because I don’t recall ever really seeing him play, but I will say that someone had better teach me how to spell his name if he’s going to see more playing time.  I’m really disappointed for Zobrist, who after having a nightmarish start to last year, had a really good shot of being a big help to the team in 2008.  Hopefully he’ll be back quickly and seeing some playing time.

The two potential worrys are the last two outings from our rotation-hopefuls.  Both Edwin Jackson and Jason Hammel have had dodgy outings since my last post – Hammel in particular got hit hard, giving up nine runs in 3+ innings yesterday.  Ouch.  He’s likely to be in the ‘pen to start the year in any case.  Jackson on the other hand needs to bounce back, because he’s a better pitcher when he’s starting… but when he’s starting like the tail end of 2007, not the first half.

The old news is the ongoing saga of Rocco Baldelli.  I feel genuinely sorry for Rocco, because I cannot imagine just quite how frustrating things must be for him.  All I will add is that I really hope he can get fit because a healthy Rocco would be yet another thing that the rest of the AL East have to worry about.  If he can’t then that likely means more playing time in right (as opposed to DH) for Jonny Gomes, which actually is a good thing.  While there is no question that a healthy Rocco is a better fielder (and hitter) than Jonny, Jonny plays better when he plays regularly, and he plays better when he is fielding between his at-bats.  Plus he’s just flat-out fun to watch hustling after those fly balls.

Having posted my last entry before the end of the Yanks game on Saturday, I missed out on all the fun surrounding the collision at home plate.  Obviously its a shame that the Yankees catcher got hurt, but I’ve got to say I’m with Maddon and Zimmer on this one.  If you’re playing a game, play it properly.  You can’t expect people to go easy just because its March. 

Happy note to end on – Kaz is back throwing from the mound, and expected to pitch a batting practice session in the next couple of days.  Excellent.

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