Valdosta Daily Times

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April 16, 2014

No Drew for Yankees; Steinbrenner ‘pretty content’

NEW YORK — Despite a string of infield injuries, Yankees fans shouldn’t expect New York to add free-agent Stephen Drew, a former Lowndes standout.

“I will consider anything, but right now I think I’m pretty content with where we’re sitting,” managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner said before Tuesday night’s game against the Chicago Cubs was postponed by rainy weather. The teams will make up the game today as part of a day-night doubleheader.

First baseman Mark Teixeira has been on the disabled list since April 5, a day after he strained his right hamstring. Shortstop Derek Jeter sat out games against Boston on Saturday and Sunday because of tightness in his right quadriceps.

For Sunday night’s game against the Red Sox, first baseman Francisco Cervelli, second baseman Yangervis Solarte, shortstop Dean Anna and third baseman Kelly Johnson totaled 19 career starts at their positions. Since 1915, the previous low for Yankees starting infield had been 26 for the quartet of Mike Hegan, Horace Clarke, Bobby Murcer and Mike Ferraro on Sept. 10, 1966, according to STATS.

And Cervelli strained his right hamstring running to first in the fourth inning of Sunday’s 3-2 win, an injury that will sideline him for at least two months and led to Carlos Beltran’s first big league appearances at first base.

In addition, second baseman Brian Roberts missed Sunday’s game due to a sore back, and backup shortstop Brendan Ryan has been on the disabled list since the start of the season because of a cervical spine nerve injury.

Steinbrenner was pleased with the play of the rookies Anna and Solarte.

“I’m not liking the injuries we’ve had so far, but nothing like last year,” Steinbrenner said. “And a lot of teams have had worse, so I can’t complain. I think starting rotation looks great. The hitting is coming around and it will come around because the ability is there.”

Drew remains unsigned after rejecting a $14.1 million qualifying offer from the Red Sox in November. A team signing him before the amateur draft in June would lose a high selection.

“I’m pretty content with our infield right now,” Steinbrenner said. “I think guys like Anna and Solarte have been pleasant surprises. Kelly Johnson has been good. Derek’s healthy. So far, so good, but it’s early.”

Cervelli was put on the 60-day disabled list by the Yankees, who recalled catcher John Ryan Murphy from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and selected the contract of infielder Scott Sizemore from Scranton.

With the rainout, New York’s Masahiro Tanaka and the Cubs’ Jason Hammel were pushed back to Wednesday’s day game. The Yankees’ Michael Pineda and Chicago’s Travis Wood are to start the night game.

NOTES: New York also postponed ceremonies marking the unveiling of a plaque honoring Nelson Mandela’s visit to Yankee Stadium in 1990. The ceremonies, planned during the offseason for Jackie Robinson Day, were rescheduled to before Wednesday night’s game. Players from both teams will wear Robinson’s No. 42 for the night game.

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