New faces galore for Yanks and Red Sox
Talk about needing a scorecard to tell who the players are. The Yankees were set to open a three-game series against the Red Sox Friday night at Fenway Park with both clubs showing off new players. The great news for Yankees fans about the series is that the Yanks will not have to deal with Jon Lester or John Lackey, both of whom were traded away this week as Boston decided to be a seller at the July 31 non-waiver trading deadline to turn its sights on 2015.
The Yankees were buyers instead of sellers at the deadline and imported Martin Prado from the Diamondbacks and Stephen Drew from the Red Sox. Drew, who just had to switch clubhouses, was in the Friday night lineup ready to make his first major-league start at second base. Passing Drew along the way was Kelly Johnson, who went to Boston in a rare Yankees-Red Sox deal. Prado, who has played a lot of second base in his career, will likely play more often in the outfield for the Yankees. He was en route to Boston and was expected at Fenway at some point during the game.
The Red Sox were in the same situation regarding outfielder Yoenis Cespedes, the outfielder they obtained from the Athletics in the trade for Lester and outfielder Jonny Gomes. He was not in the starting lineup, but Allen Craig, who was acquired from the Cardinals in the Lackey deal, was batting fifth and playing left field.
Chris Capuano, who pitched in 28 games for the Red Sox last year and was purchased from the Rockies last month by the Yankees, was to make his second start in pinstripes against Anthony Ranaudo, a New Jersey native who was making his major-league debut. The Yanks also added righthander Esmil Rogers, who was claimed off waivers by the Blue Jays Thursday, to their 25-man man roster.
To create room for the three new players, the Yankees designated second baseman Brian Roberts for assignment and optioned infielder Zelous Wheeler and outfielder Zoilo Almonte to Triple A Scranton. No one expected Roberts to replace the departed Robinson Cano, but his slash line of .237/.300/.360 was weak as was his defense. Say this for Roberts. He played more games (91) in a season since 2009, avoided serious injury and fit nicely in the clubhouse.