Notes: No reservations about reserves
Pitchers on the mend; Matsui to make Class A start on Friday
NEW YORK -- Joe Torre believes the Yankees are in much better shape to handle injuries today than they were only two seasons ago.
The veteran Yankees manager said on Tuesday that he was comfortable sending rookie Chase Wright, fresh out of Double-A, to the mound to face the Cleveland Indians at Yankee Stadium on Tuesday night.
Wright, a third-round draft pick in 2001, had made just two starts at Trenton when he got the call that was necessitated because of injuries to veterans Mike Mussina and Carl Pavano, who on Sunday joined Chien-Ming Wang and Jeff Karstens on the disabled list.
"I feel better now than I did two years ago, when we had the same problem, because we have some reserves," Torre said when asked if he had any reservations about calling up a young pitcher with two starts at the Double-A level. "We have some options, with some good arms. Not to say they are going to be successful, but there's comfort going into this, having seen Chase Wright.
"We brought pitchers up a couple of years ago, and I didn't know anything about them. And they didn't last very long."
What pleases Torre is that his organization's depth isn't limited to young pitching.
"I think this is the best crop of young players, not just pitchers, but the best crop of young players since I've been here," he said.
More about pitching: Torre wasn't ready to name a starter for Saturday's game against the Red Sox in Boston, but he indicated the right-handed Karstens, disabled with elbow tendinitis, may get the nod.
Karstens is scheduled to throw a side session on Wednesday, and if he comes through that, he'll likely get the nod for Saturday.
"We'll have somebody to do it," Torre said, again stressing the depth of the pool he has to fish from. "We'll probably have some kind of an announcement tomorrow."
The skipper said that whoever gets the call won't be brought up to work on short rest.
More about health: Torre indicated that Wang, disabled all season with a right hamstring strain, could pitch in Tampa next Tuesday if he comes through a work session in Florida on Thursday in good shape. Wang was a 16-game winner for the Yankees in 2006 and a key to their hopes of success this season.
Torre suspects that Mussina, disabled with a left hamstring strain, will return to active duty before Pavano, who's out with tightness in his right forearm.
"They are just doing what they are doing, getting treatment," Torre said. "In Moose's case, I sense he'll be back sooner, because it's his leg, and he's still able to throw the ball. His arm will be up to speed when his legs catch up. In Carl's case, we'll have to wait until that quiets down a little."
Happy anniversary: Public-address announcer Bob Sheppard called his first game on Tuesday, April 17, 1951. The veteran silver-voiced announcer made it 56 seasons on Tuesday night, working in the cold while the home team throttled Cleveland. Sheppard's first game was a 5-0 win over Boston, played before 44,860 at the Stadium.
Matsui on the mend: Outfielder Hideki Matsui, out since April 8 with an injured left hamstring, is scheduled to start a game at Class A Tampa in the Florida State League on Friday and could be ready to rejoin the Yankees when the team opens a series against the Devil Rays in Tampa next Monday.
Torre's take on a tragedy: "I don't know how anybody can be allowed to buy handguns," said Torre, who has been following the horrible events that led to 32 murders and a suicide at Virginia Tech on Monday. "I understand the sports part of it. Handguns are only for damage. The emotions of young people, all the peer problems and all that stuff going on -- girlfriend problems, boyfriend problems, whatever. It carries a lot of impact. When you watch all that stuff on TV, or in the movies, when it's over, those people can get up and go home afterward. It doesn't happen in real life."
Tribune to Robinson: In a pregame ceremony at home plate, the Yankees unveiled a plaque in Monument Park honoring the 60th anniversary of Jackie Robinson breaking the color barrier in baseball. The plaque read: "In becoming the first Major League player to break the color barrier, Jackie will forever be an inspiration with his grace, dignity and perseverance. His story and the stories of those who never had the same opportunity must never be forgotten."
Coming up: The Yankees and Indians play the second game of their three-game series at Yankee Stadium on Wednesday at 7:05 p.m. ET. Kei Igawa, (0-0, 7.84) will continue his quest to earn his first victory. He showed nerves in his debut, on April 7 against Baltimore, yielding seven runs on eight hits and three walks over five innings. He improved in his second start, at Oakland, but got a no-decision. Cleveland sends left-hander Jeremy Sowers (0-0, 2.08) to the hill.
Kit Stier is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.