Posada out three to four weeks
MRI reveals hairline fracture; Moeller could join Yankees
NEW YORK -- An MRI on Jorge Posada's ailing right foot revealed a hairline fracture on the bottom of the foot that will sideline the catcher for three to four weeks.
"Something was wrong, because I couldn't walk right," Posada said while sporting a boot on his right foot after the Yanks' 10-6 loss to the Rays on Wednesday. "I've never had a problem with my feet before. This is something where you have to transfer your weight from one side to the other. This is something we have to take care of. I can't really do too much."
Posada suffered the injury on Sunday when a foul tip off the bat of Michael Cuddyer struck him on the foot. He had not been in the lineup since. Manager Joe Girardi provided the timetable of three to four weeks, while Posada said he would be back sooner than that.
"They can say whatever they want to say," Posada said. "I'll be here before that."
This is the third consecutive season that Posada will hit the disabled list. He made two trips to the DL in 2008 for a shoulder injury that limited him to 51 games and eventually required season-ending surgery. Last year, he missed three-and-a-half weeks with a hamstring strain.
Girardi said he foresees Francisco Cervelli continuing to get the majority of at-bats in place of Posada. Cervelli has already made a good impression this season in his 17 starts, batting .375. He hit .298 last season in two starts.
"Jorge has been a leader," Girardi said. "It's something that we dealt with last year. [Kevin] Cash and [Cervelli] came up big and did a good job, and we're going to need someone else to come in and do a good job for us."
Posada's injury is both the latest and the most serious in a rash of injuries this month for the Yankees. Curtis Granderson is on the disabled list with a groin strain, Nick Johnson just underwent wrist surgery, Andy Pettitte has missed a start and outfielders Nick Swisher and Marcus Thames are both day-to-day with a left biceps strain and sprained right ankle, respectively.
"Injuries happen. You hope you don't get them at the same time, but you can't feel sorry for yourself," Derek Jeter said. "Other guys have to pick it up. That's what has to happen."
Girardi wouldn't reveal how the Yankees would replace Posada on the 25-man roster. The team does not currently have another catcher on its 40-man roster. Prized prospect Jesus Montero is catching for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, but it seems more likely that the Yankees would call up veteran Chad Moeller to back up Cervelli.
Posada is hitting .326 with six home runs and 14 RBIs in 16 games this season.
Swisher misses fourth straight game
NEW YORK -- Nick Swisher didn't start for the fourth consecutive day as he continues to nurse a strain in his left biceps that prevents him from batting left-handed. Swisher had expected to play on Wednesday against the Rays, but he still felt something in his arm when taking some quick left-handed swings in the cage during Tuesday's loss to Boston.
"It wasn't a pain thing, but there's still something in there," Swisher said of the injury. "It's just a one-more-day kind of thing."
Swisher has been sticking by that philosophy for the past few days, but the Yankees are being especially cautious with the right fielder. And as long as there's "something in there," they don't want to risk prolonging or worsening the injury.
"We just want to make sure everything's perfect. As frustrating as that is to hear, you've got to listen to it," Swisher said. "If you're not at 100 percent, you're not really helping anybody."
Swisher was taking some swings in the cage in the eighth inning of Tuesday's game as preparation for a possible pinch-hitting appearance against Boston's Hideki Okajima. While there, he took a couple "dry hacks" from the left side and felt that "something" in his arm.
Swisher admitted that the injury, which he first felt earlier this season but which returned last Wednesday in Detroit, was probably worse than he initially let on. But even as his return keeps getting pushed back, he is focusing on the improvement in his biceps. He was able to work out with weights on Wednesday for the first time in a week, and he joked he might go back in for a "double workout."
"This ADD is kicking in," he said. "I want to be out with my boys on the field."
There's little chance the Yankees will place Swisher on the disabled list, since he can still pinch-hit from the right side or serve as a defensive replacement. Furthermore, the Bombers are slated to face two left-handers this weekend when they travel across town to face the Mets at Citi Field.
Forbes says Yanks have richest brand
NEW YORK -- The fans at Yankee Stadium aren't the only people decked out in shirts and hats bearing the team's famous interlocking "NY." Yankees merchandise can be seen throughout the city, the country and the world, and on Wednesday, Forbes announced that the Yankees had the most lucrative brand of any sports franchise.
It was the third year that Forbes calculated brand value and the first that the Yankees earned the No. 1 spot, helped largely by winning their 27th World Series championship last fall. The criteria include revenue from sponsorships, local media and merchandise that are not simply attributable to market demographics or league.
The Yankees swapped spots with Manchester United, which fell to second on the list, just ahead of Real Madrid. In fact, five of the top seven franchises on Forbes' list were European soccer teams. The only other baseball teams to crack the top 10 were the Yankees' chief rivals: The Red Sox placed eighth, followed immediately by the Mets.
Manager Joe Girardi isn't exactly worried about his closer, even if Mariano Rivera has surrendered runs in back-to-back appearances for the first time in over a year. "I'm not real concerned about him," Girardi said. "I haven't been concerned about Mo since 1996." ... The Yankees still have to officially write up their protest of Tuesday night's loss to the Red Sox and submit it to league officials. Girardi protested the fact that Manny Delcarmen was allowed to throw unlimited warmup pitches after Josh Beckett was removed from the game, saying that the call to the bullpen was made before Boston informed the Yankees that Beckett was injured. Beckett was placed on the disabled list on Wednesday. A protest has not resulted in a game being replayed since 1986.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.