Stairs to the DL?
NEW YORK — One day after manager John Gibbons expressed some optimism about Matt Stairs not needing a stint on the 15-day disabled list, Toronto’s skipper made it sound like a trip to the DL was now more of a possibility for the outfielder.
Gibbons said the Jays would have Stairs do some running in the outfield before Wednesday’s game against the Yankees to test his sore left hip, but he was still out of the starting lineup. He’s available off the bench, if needed, but Toronto won’t want to keep having him listed as day-to-day, leaving their bench short-handed.
Should Stairs still need more time to heal up, he’d be on the DL retroactive to March 23, when he last played in a spring game, and able to be activated in time for the April 8-10 series against the A’s. Gibbons said again that infielder Joe Inglett would be the likely callup if Stairs landed on the self.
Even if Stairs was ready to go, Gibby said he’d probably have stuck with Shannon Stewart, who owns a .295 career average against Yankees starter Mike Mussina. Gregg Zaun was also held out of the lineup, but Gibbons said that was simply to give Rod Barajas some early playing time. Gibbons said Zaun isn’t dealing with any health problems or anything.
Dustin McGowan was sent back to the team hotel prior to Wednesday’s game due to flu-like symptoms, but the Jays hope he can still make his start on Thursday. If not, Shaun Marcum would move up one day and take his spot.
B.J. Ryan threw in a simulated game in Florida on Wednesday, throwing 21 pitches and hitting as high as 88 mph on the gun. He’ll throw again on the fifth and then if he feels OK possibly transition into an every other day program.
USELESS TRIVIA: Jays DH Frank Thomas went 1-for-4 in Tuesday’s opener, giving him at leats one hit in 14 consecutive Opening Day games. That’s the longest active streak of it’s kind in the bigs.
QUOTABLE: “Tonight’s the big night. I might get ejected just so I can go watch it.” –Gibbons, referring to the hit TV show American Idol
TORONTO (0-1) at NEW YORK (1-0)
at 7:05 p.m. ET at Yankee Stadium
David Eckstein, SS
Shannon Stewart, LF
Alex Rios, RF
Vernon Wells, CF
Frank Thomas, DH
Lyle Overbay, 1B
Aaron Hill, 2B
Marco Scutaro, 3B
Rod Barajas, C
PITCHING: RHP A.J. Burnett
Johnny Damon, LF
Derek Jeter, SS
Bobby Abreu, RF
Alex Rodriguez, 3B
Jason Giambi, 1B
Robinson Cano, 2B
Hideki Matsui, DH
*Jose Molina, C
Mekly Cabrera, CF
PITCHING: RHP Mike Mussina
*C Jorge Posada was a late scratch with a stiff right shoulder