The short porch in right field at Yankee Stadium isn’t an advantage anymore for the Yankees, Joel Sherman of the New York Post argues. The fact that defensive shifting has become so common means the Yankees can no longer fill their lineup with pull-oriented lefty swingers and rack up singles and doubles at their home park, which has the least right field square footage of any stadium in the majors, Sherman writes. “It definitely has lent to us realizing that a stadium design that used to move us to gravitate to stack lefty hitters and take advantage of our stadium for 81 [home games] has been negated to a significant degree by the shift,” said general manager Brian Cashman. “You have to be aware of it when you acquire talent.” This isn’t necessarily a new problem for the Cashman-led Yankees, who have been shifted against a major league-leading 3,677 times on balls in play since 2010, according to Sherman. In those instances, the Yankees have put up the second-worst batting average in baseball, .193, on grounders and short line drives.
More from the Bombers and two other American League clubs:
- Performance-enhancing drugs are a hot topic in baseball right now in light of the suspensions given to Chris Colabello and Dee Gordon since last week. Unfortunately, Yankees manager Joe Girardi doesn’t expect PED use in the sport to ever go away, he said Friday (via Evan Drellich of the Boston Herald). His reasoning: “Because I think the rewards are too great from a financial standpoint and I think guys get caught up in being ultra-competitive and they do things that they wish they could’ve done a little bit different.”
- An MRI on Friday revealed that Rangers outfielder Shin-Soo Choo’s strained right calf is “80 percent better,” he said (link via Dave Sessions of MLB.com). Choo is aiming to begin a rehab assignment sometime in the next two weeks and hopes to return to big league action by the third week of May. Choo has been out since April 8 because of the injury, and his departure from the lineup led to the promotion of Nomar Mazara. In Choo’s absence, the rookie phenom has batted .344/.403/.475 with two home runs in 72 plate appearances.
- Athletics outfielder Sam Fuld will face a 12- to 15-month recovery period after he undergoes surgery on a torn rotator cuff, tweets Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle. Renowned orthopedic surgeon Dr. Neal ElAttrache will perform the procedure on or before May 18, Fuld said Saturday. Fuld, 34, is now poised to miss all of this year and a sizable portion of the 2017 campaign. He’s scheduled to become a free agent during the offseason.