Yankees' pitcher injures self falling down steps

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Yankees' pitcher injures self falling down steps

From Comcast SportsNet
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) -- The New York Yankees took their first misstep of 2012 when All-Star setup man David Robertson sprained his right foot when he fell down stairs while moving boxes in his spring training home. An initial X-ray was negative, and the reliever was taken a hospital for an MRI Thursday. The accident occurred Wednesday night, and his foot started throbbing an hour or two later. He was put in a walking boot to make the foot more comfortable. Manager Joe Girardi said Robertson was limping from what he described as a mid-foot sprain that caused the pitcher to walk gingerly. "I'm concerned," Girardi said. "It hurt him to walk, (and) you assume that he's going to be down a little bit of time even if everything comes back OK. Now that doesn't mean he wouldn't have time to get ready for the season. But you've got to start over a little bit." Girardi said if Robertson were sidelined for two weeks or less, he still could be ready for the Yankees' opener at Tampa Bay on April 6. "If it's going to happen, let it happen now," he said. Robertson had been slated to make his second spring training appearance Thursday against Toronto at Dunedin. The 26-year-old was 4-0 with a 1.08 ERA in 70 games in 2011. "Last year, he did a tremendous job," Mariano Rivera said. "So we're expecting something good out of him this year, also." If Robertson isn't ready for opening day, Rafael Soriano likely would move up to New York's eighth-inning pitcher. New York has bad memories of pitchers and injured feet. Chien-Ming Wang sprained his right foot while running the bases at Houston on June 15, 2008, and missed the rest of the season. Wang struggled to a 1-6 record with a 9.64 ERA when he returned the following year. He needed shoulder surgery that sidelined him until last July, when he came back to the major leagues with the Washington Nationals. Girardi said the injury occurred when Robertson missed a step. "They were empty boxes. They weren't even heavy boxes," Girardi said. "I told him to kick them down the stairs the next time." Notes: Rivera threw 32 pitches in his second batting practice session. He likely will make his exhibition debut Sunday.

Drellich: Devers is a keeper, even with the addition of Nunez

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Drellich: Devers is a keeper, even with the addition of Nunez

BOSTON -- The cherub stays.

There's no way Rafael Devers is headed back to Triple-A before the homestand starts Friday, right, Dave Dombrowski? Not for the newly acquired Eduardo Nunez, who's a fine player but has nowhere near the offensive upside of Devers, the 20-year-old phenom you just rushed to the big leagues.

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You probably weren't really considering sending Devers straight back, were you now, Dave? Sometime in the 3 o'clock hour Eastern time on Wednesday morning (after a 13-inning, 6-5 loss to the Mariners), you did tell reporters in Seattle that you would need to sit down with manager John Farrell to figure out the plan at third base from here.

Likely, you're just making sure your ducks are in a row. That Nunez himself has a chance to shake hands with you, and gets to hear straight from you what he'll be doing.

That's fair. But let's be doubly sure we're on the same page.

As long as something else doesn't happen between now and then -- no other trades for third basemen, no injuries -- Devers must at least platoon at third unless he shows he can't handle it. Nunez bats right, Devers left.

But it wouldn't be crazy to let Devers have the bulk of the playing time, either, and use Nunez to spell Xander Bogaerts and Dustin Pedroia. Or simply have him come off the bench.

Devers didn't look overmatched in his very first big-league game Tuesday night. On the contrary, he was patient at the plate, drawing the walk that started a sixth-inning rally against Felix Hernandez. (King Felix is quite the draw for a someone making his major-league debut, we should note.) He looked like a happy kid, and sounded like one after the game.

"For me it's just going out there and playing my brand of baseball and having fun out there," Devers told reporters through translator Daveson Perez. "That's what I was trying to do and I think I did that."

Devers finished 0-for-4 with a pair of walks, one strikeout and a run scored. He didn't make any errors and looked smooth and quick, his athleticism shining through some baby fat.

Dombrowski spoke during the last homestand about the lack of league-norm production at third base. Nunez can bring that, if nothing more. He is, at a position that's had no certainty, some form of certainty. A stable piece that can help out around the infield and has valuable versatility.

But Nunez is not what the Sox need most: A bopper.

Devers has pop. The chances he blossoms this year are not in his favor because he is the youngest player in the majors. But it would be a most strange and almost cruel choice to call the kid up for two days and then decide you don't need him because of Nunez, who entered Tuesday with the same OPS as Mitch Moreland (.745).

If you're the glass-is-half-full-type, the first four-game losing streak of the season for the Red Sox was numbed by a third-base situation that's been upgraded twofold. Let's assume the Sox know how to best deploy the two from here -- in the big leagues together, until shown a reason to change course.