The New York Yankees just came out for the pre-game stretch here in New York on a damp, foggy and chilly afternoon. Hope the rain holds off.
I know many of you have complained about Jose Vidro batting fifth in the lineup, despite his 18 runs batted in. Well, that problem is solved tonight because Jeff Clement is the DH and positioned in the fifth spot. Jamie Burke is the catcher tonight. That was always the plan, which is why Kenji Johjima came in as a defensive replacement for Clement in last night’s game after Willie Bloomquist pinch-ran for the latter.
Talked to Mel Stottlemyer, earlier on. He’s making his return to a place where he spent a decade as the pitching coach on some of Joe Torre’s top playoff teams.
“There was a whole lot more good than there was rough times,” he said. “During those years I left, I really appreciated those years when we went to the playoffs a lot more.”
Stottlemyre said the problems J.J. Putz is having with his command are similar to those he’s seen other relievers experience. He feels Putz needs to get into games more regularly for it to work itself out. In his book, a closer sitting out three to four games in a row is too long. He’d rather not use Putz in non-save situations, but, at this stage, the six-days between appearances for Putz this last time didn’t work out so hot either.
So, if it’s a choice between the two, he’d choose to use him.
Here is tonight’s Mariners lineup:
Jose Lopez 2B
Raul Ibanez LF
Adrian Beltre 3B
Jeff Clement DH
Richie Sexson 1B
Wladimir Balentien RF
Jamie Burke C
Yuniesky Betancourt SS