Ransom hoping to help turnaround
Newest Yanks reserve offers versatility, pop off bench
NEW YORK -- Now that Cody Ransom has finally set foot inside of Yankee Stadium, he is ready to see what he can do about helping the home team win some games.
The 31-year-old was recalled from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre before Friday's game against the Royals, summoned when the Yankees cut ties with first baseman Richie Sexson. Though Ransom has appeared in 133 games across five big league seasons, he had yet to witness one in the Bronx.
"Unfortunately, we didn't win the first game here, but the atmosphere and everything is kind of what I heard about," Ransom said. "It's a lot of fun. I'd never been here. There were only about five or six parks I hadn't been to, and this is one of them."
Ransom offers the Yankees some additional versatility off the bench. A product of the Giants' farm system, he made it into 19 games last year with the Astros. Ransom can play all four infield positions capably and could be used as an emergency outfielder.
A .236 lifetime hitter in the Majors, Ransom was playing mostly third base and shortstop at Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, where he was hitting .255 with 22 home runs and 71 RBIs in 116 games.
"He's a guy that can pinch-run for us late, he's a guy that can spell an infielder," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "He can play first; he can play anywhere. That's the thing that he can do. He's similar to Wilson Betemit in the sense that he can play any infield position and has more speed than Wilson. We'll use him as we need him."
Ransom said that despite his Minor League power numbers -- he led Scranton/Wilkes-Barre in home runs and RBIs at the time of his call up -- he does not consider himself a power hitter.
Instead, he looks for mistake pitches and tries to drive the ball, be that over the wall or up the gap for an extra-base hit. He had 24 doubles and three triples at Triple-A. Ransom said that he understands what the Yankees are looking for, which is a reliable glove.
"I feel like I can play everywhere in the infield," Ransom said. "I don't feel like I'm going to hurt anybody defensively. I try to make all the plays and hopefully get some hits here and there."
Those skills kept Ransom in outside contention for a bench job when the Yankees camp broke as a non-roster invitee to Spring Training. When that didn't happen, Ransom said he kept his focus and remained optimistic that the Yankees would eventually find a reason to bring him to New York -- better late than never.
"It's what you play for," Ransom said. "I really wasn't thinking about when it was going to happen. I was definitely hoping that it would, but I couldn't say that I thought it was going to."
Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.