Overbay stays, gets a shot in the outfield

The Yankees found a way to keep Lyle Overbay in uniform. Unfortunately for Brennan Boesch, it came at his expense. To create space on the 25-man roster for Andy Pettitte, who was activated from the disabled list to start Monday night’s game at Yankee Stadium against the Indians, the Yankees optioned Boesch to Triple A Scranton.

The move ended much speculation over the past week around the Yankees about who would go when Pettitte was ready to get back on the mound. There was some talk about optioning infielder David Adams and even perhaps a trade of Overbay, whose playing time was reduced with the return of Mark Teixeira and Kevin Youkilis off the DL.

But there was Overbay back in the lineup Monday night and playing right field, a position he had not played since early in his pro career in the minor leagues. Overbay has been a first baseman – and a good one – and occasional designated hitter as a major-leaguer and was a major fix-it at first base for the Yankees over the first seven weeks of the season as Teixeira was recovering from a wrist injury.

“We have been forced to be creative because of all the injuries,” manager Joe Girardi said. “Lyle is willing to do anything. We don’t expect him to be a Gold Glove right fielder. The area here at the Stadium is small.”

The Yankees decided to keep Adams, who started at third base Monday night, because he can support Youkilis at that spot and also give Robinson Cano a day at DH on occasion. Adams was primarily a second baseman in the minors but filled a more urgent need at third base since his call-up May 15.

Speculation had fallen on Adams, who has two options left, instead of Overbay, who would have had to be designated for assignment. It is doubtful that he would have passed through waivers considering his productivity (eight home runs and 29 RBI in 178 at-bats), and the Yankees would have lost a player without getting anything in return. Overbay borrowed a glove from relief pitcher Boone Logan to man the new position.

Like Adams, Boesch also had options remaining, so he was the odd man out for the second time this season. It was a bit of an unkind cut for Boesch, who had 5-for-8 (.625) with one double, one home run and three RBI in three games since his May 25 recall that raised his season average to .275 with three home runs and eight RBI in 51 at-bats. Boesch had also been the Yankees’ best pinch hitter at 3-for-9 (.333) with one home run and four RBI.

Overbay found himself in the defensive position that had been manned primarily the previous four seasons by Nick Swisher, who made his return to the Stadium as the Tribe’s first baseman. Swish was treated to a standing ovation from the Stadium crowd in his first at-bat in which he was called out on strikes for the last out of the first inning. The bleacher creatures also accorded a roll-call chant in the bottom of the inning for Swisher, who was always one of their favorites.

Grace Cashman, daughter of Yanks general manager Brian Cashman, did a nice job singing the National Anthem before the game.

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