Moeller called up, makes Yanks debut
Veteran catcher in Monday's lineup wih Molina, Posada ailing
ST. PETERSBURG -- Chad Moeller saw parts of the Yankees' nationally televised game against the Red Sox on Sunday, but he missed the moments when Jose Molina limped off the field.
Thus, when his telephone rang in Durham, N.C., and the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre backstop was being summoned to the big leagues, it was something of a surprise for the 33-year-old, even if the move was anticipated by most.
The Yankees believe that Molina will be able to avoid the disabled list, but with Jorge Posada's right shoulder still ailing, Moeller was inserted in the Yankees' lineup on Monday, making his New York debut.
"I just never know," Moeller said. "I just thank the Lord every day that I get to do something I enjoy and as long as he wants me to keep doing it, I'm just going to keep going. When my body says stop, it'll probably be a clear answer."
Moeller was batting .136 (3-for-22) in eight starts at Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. He was signed by the Yankees as a free agent on March 10 after being released by the Nationals. Along with the Reds and Dodgers, Moeller has played for four organizations in the last calendar year.
"I've got a lot of bags," he said.
Posada continued to progress back toward defensive duty on Monday, throwing 40 tosses at 120 feet and 20 more at 75 feet. He said that he felt no pain and could still serve as a designated hitter, though manager Joe Girardi kept him out of Monday's lineup.
"It was very good to throw without pain," Posada said. "It feels good now. It's just getting the strength back."
"We're just waiting for the strength to come back, but it's still not there," Girardi said. "There's no pain. It's just not coming out right."
Molina injured his left hamstring while sliding home in the fourth inning of New York's 8-5 loss to Boston on Sunday.
"We call it in Spanish, 'Malo,'" Molina said. "Bad hamstring."
Asked to stay in as long as possible, Molina was lifted for a pinch-runner in the eighth inning after stroking a single to left field, stopping halfway down the baseline and walking to first base.
"The hard part was just running," Molina said, "and I don't run that fast."
Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.