youkilis teixeira

Welcome back Tex, Youk and Andy (4 days too late?)

AL BEast Notebook – May 31

New York Yankees

** No better time to make changes than after getting swept by the cross-town Mets. Fortunately, some moves will be natural as some former All-Stars are returning from the disabled list. Kevin Youkilis and Mark Teixeira are set to play today (Friday) against the Red Sox.

The Yankees bats have really been quiet lately. Against the Mets, who owned the second-highest ERA in the National League, the Yankees could not muster more than one run in three of the four games. And while they did collect four runs in the other one, David Phelps allowed five Mets to score in the first inning. Not only that, but in each of the last three games the Yankees struck out at least nine times and didn’t earn a walk.

As well as the fill-ins have played, it is time for the backups to get back to being backups. The Yankees have gotten more out of Lyle Overbay than they could have hoped, and David Adams has shown he can be a valuable batter against lefties. For the time being (with Tex, Youk, Overbay, and Nix/Brignac all available for corner infield), Adams is likely to head back to the minors, along with pitcher Vidal Nuno.

** Andy Pettitte is scheduled to return and start Monday at the stadium against the Indians, and that will likely mean a pink slip for either Adam Warren, Preston Claiborne, or Ivan Nova.

Boston Red Sox

** Speaking of returns, the Red Sox got a good performance in the season debut of Franklin Morales off the DL in a spot-start win over the Phillies Thursday night. Clay Buchholz has been out with a collarbone problem, but he is expected to be ready to pitch Sunday in a great matchup with Hiroki Kuroda.

** In each of the four games against the Phillies, Jacoby Ellsbury led off with a hit and came around to score off the bat of Dustin Pedroia. And in Thursday’s game Ellsbury didn’t stop there. The speedy outfielder got on base four more times and stole five bases, a Red Sox single game record. Strangely, despite Ellsbury constantly putting himself into scoring position, he never touched home after those five steals. (It didn’t bother the team too much; Boston still scored nine runs.)

Tampa Bay Rays

** Pitching is still what it’s all about in Tampa Bay and there seems to be no shortage of arms to go around. This week THREE Rays make/made their season debut: Jake Odorizzi and Alex Colome started games the Rays won and Chris Archer starts Saturday. With David Price injured, Alex Cobb needing extra rest for his finger, and Jeremy Hellickson struggling, it definitely helps to play the Marlins. Even Roberto Hernandez pitched a gem. Archer will have a much tougher test in Cleveland this weekend, and next week starts with a trip to Detroit.