The Yanks will return to the diamond tonight after their last off-day before the All Star Break. The expectation is that they will send Ivan Nova back down to Triple-A after his Sunday spot start and recall somebody from the Minors. As much as a 13-man pitching staff might help against the Rangers and Orioles, a 3-man bench of Austin Romine, Alberto Gonzalez, and Vernon Wells is not an ideal scenario and Nova won't be able to pitch for at least a couple days. Adding a position player is the right move to make here. The question is who.
The players who would be ideal call-up options are either hurt (CoJo, Mustelier, Boesch) or ineligible (Neal), and the only other guy on the 40-man roster who could be called up is Ramon Flores. The Yankees aren't going to make that jump, nor are they going to make a rush move and call up somebody like J.R. Murphy, so what's the play here? Smart money would be on either the newly-acquired Brent Lillibridge, who can play literally every defensive position except catcher, or lefty swinger Dan Johnson. Johnson has some power in his bat and would be a nice option to sub for the slumping Lyle Overbay, but I bet Lillibridge's extreme defensive flexibility and right-handedness gets him the nod.
We've already seen the Yankees give 219 combined plate appearances to 7 guys - David Adams, Thomas Neal, Zoilo Almonte, Corban Joseph, Chris Nelson, Reid Brignac, Alberto Gonzalez - that nobody expected to see on the field this season. In a few hours, we should see number 8.