Monday, April 09, 2007

Yankees Look for Backup for Hideki Matsui

With the major leagues flush with extraneous outfielders, it's a wonder the Yankees have been unable to consumate a deal for additional reserves to bolster a roster depleted by successive injuries first to Johnny Damon, then Hideki Matsui.

Damon has tenuously returned to action following a sore calf, but Matsui finds himself on 15-day injured list following his second hamstring strain since last year, not to mention a broken wrist that kept him out from May to September.

The Yankees exposure at the position has been underscored by the team's decision to recall outfielder Kevin Thompson from Scranton. Thompson's .300 batting average in limited action last year was good enough to knock Bubba Crosby off the roster, but he has yet to win manager Joe Torre's confidence. Robinson Cano's history of hamstring problems further exacerbates the team's thinness up and down the lineup.

Scuttlebutt depicts General Manager Brian Cashman moving behind the scenes to acquire help from any number of teams that have a surplus of outfielders in their organizations, perhaps including but not necessarily limited to the Brewers, Rays, Diamondbacks, Astros, Rockies, Mariners and Dodgers.