Today's lineup and Matsui news

Vs. the Rays (nee Devil) at Legends Field
Damon LF
Jeter SS
Abreu RF
A-Rod DH
Giambi 1B
Cano 2B
Ransom 3B
Molina C
Melky CF
Mussina P
Other pitchers: Karstens, Farnsworth, Albaladejo, Ohlendorf

Hideki Matsui is listed on the travel squad for Sunday's game at Fort Myers. If he goes, he will DH for his first action of the spring. Is it the best thing to have him take a 2 1/2 hour bus ride when he missed time last week with a stiff neck? Matsui said he was going to confer with Joe Girardi but felt ready to play.

Comments (10)

if his neck can't handle a bus ride then he probably shouldn't be playing anyway now should he?

So, if I were handicapping some of the position battles I would say that Billy Traber has the edge over Heath Phillips and Sean Henn for the lefty reliever spot.

And if Matsui starts the season on the DL and the Yankees have two extra bench spots I would assume Woodward and Lane have the edges for those spots (joining Betemit, Duncan, and Molina)

I still think the Yankees would be better off, if Matsui can show he's healthy and ready - dealing him. Moving Giambi to DH and using a platoon of Betemit and Duncan at first base.

Chip - who do you think we can get for Matsui and where do we need someone?

Chip,

Not so sure the two activities are comparable.

If the game is two and a half hours away, that's five hours of having your head rocked around on your neck by involuntary movement.

DH'ing for the few innings that starting players put into ST games involves (a) a fraction of the time, and (b) voluntary movement.

I guess they'll have to have Matsui travel around in a neck brace and don't dare let him fall asleep because sleeping in odd positions is usually what hurts your neck.

San Francisco really wants Matsui, just not sure what we can get back

If Matsui cannot endure the 2+ hour bus ride then I suggest he stay home. How much can the athlete of today be pampered?

Trading Matsui for pitching might be a good thing if possible but we've been down this road before with San Fran and they have their OF replacement unless they want to fill the seats with the Asian crowd of the Bay area.

I indicate pitching in return but its early and Matsui has to show he's healthy and our pitchers need to take the opportunity to show their stuff. It does appear that some of our pitchers prior season performances are reappearing, unfortunately.

To Sully and Casual Observer, I was playing golf early this AM approaching the third hole at the Legacy Golf Course in Lakewood Ranch. The community is next to Sarasota. The cart path runs through a very nice condo community. And this huge man walking this little dog walks by as we approach and waves which caught my eye. I returned the greeting and said to my playing partner, "hey thats Carlton Fisk". He's bigger than a house but not fat just big strong looking. I immediately remember him and Pinnella going at it after Pinnella slid into home plate. Those were the days.

I know that San Francisco has offered the White Sox and Tigers LHP Jonathan Sanchez in talks for Joe Crede and Brandon Inge. The differences, obviously are, Matsui is older and has a longer/more expensive contract than either Crede or Inge. Given that San Fran is looking at an outfield of Aaron Rowand, Randy Winn, and Dave Roberts - I think they would be happy to add Matsui, and his bat (they currently have Molina batting cleanup). But the question is whether Matsui would insist on having his contract extended as a precondition to accepting a trade.

Again, there are some risks to trading Matsui though. It relies on Giambi being a healthy and productive DH - I'm not sure he can be either over the course of a full season. While moving Matsui would allow Giambi to DH and let the Yankees put a better glove at 1st, an injury to Giambi with Matsui gone could lead to a lineup where Shelley Duncan is the everyday DH while Wilson Betemit is the full time first baseman. Not that I don't think those two could possibly handle full time roles, but I've always believed that good bench players are good bench players because they are not very good everyday players, and even if they thrive in an every day role - it still weakens the bench.

That said, I would still take the risk and look to move Matsui.

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