Notes: Yankees designate Myers
Brower called up from Triple-A to take lefty's spot in bullpen
TORONTO -- The writing was on the wall for Mike Myers following his most recent outing against the Royals.
The Yankees reliever was brought in during the seventh inning of Sunday's game to face left-handed-hitting Mark Teahen with runners in scoring position. Myers promptly surrendered a single, which allowed two inherited runners to score, and made an otherwise lopsided game much tighter.
On Monday, New York designated Myers for assignment, and now have 10 days to either trade, release or reassign the left-handed reliever to the Minor Leagues.
Manager Joe Torre said that he's been talking with general manager Brian Cashman about ways to improve the bullpen, and Myers' recent struggles didn't exactly come at the right time.
"It didn't help matters," Torre said. "Cash and I have been talking about this for a week, how we're trying to make our bullpen better; we consistently try and do that."
One of the main reasons for the move was Myers' struggles against left-handed hitters, who are batting .312 against him. Those aren't the type of numbers the Yankees want to see for someone who's primary job is to get lefty batters out.
"The inability to consistently get left-handers out, I think, was a big part in making this decision," Torre said. "You're so tempted when you have left-handers to get Mike up. Mike was so quick to get ready for us and take the ball as often as we needed him to. But just the inconsistency."
The Yankees purchased the contract of veteran reliever Jim Brower from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre to replace Myers on the active roster. The 34-year-old was 4-1 with a 1.65 ERA and 20 saves in 35 appearances for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre this season. Brower arrived in Toronto a couple of hours before game time, and he was made available for Monday's afternoon game.
Torre said the Yankees picked Brower over other candidates, such as 21-year-old prospect Joba Chamberlain, because of his versatility.
"The experience that Brower has," Torre explained. "After just talking to him, the fact that he can pitch multiple innings, he can pitch three days in a row. He can do a lot of things for us."
Giambi nearing return: Jason Giambi wrapped up his rehab assignment on Sunday in Triple-A by going 0-for-3. He's now set to rejoin the Yankees and will arrive in Toronto on Monday or prior to Tuesday night's game against the Blue Jays, although it's still not known when he'll actually be activated by the club.
Giambi's 2007 season will resume in the same city where he suffered his left foot injury. On May 29, Giambi tore tissue in his left foot while running out a home run that he hit off Blue Jays reliever Scott Downs. Giambi was placed on the disabled list three days later and hasn't been activated since.
When Giambi returns to the Yankees' lineup, it will set off a series of changes for New York. First, the Yankees will need to make room for Giambi on the active roster, and second, they'll need to find a way to get him at-bats.
Torre talked with Giambi on Sunday and told his slugger there wouldn't be any guarantees of just how many days a week he'll be in the lineup. With Hideki Matsui, Johnny Damon, Melky Cabrera and Bobby Abreu all competing for playing time in the outfield, there will only be so many at-bats to go around.
"I think we're going to have to ask the players to understand," Torre said. "Everyone we have here is capable of helping us down through August and September. ... I think everybody is going to have to give a day here and there to get Jason into the lineup."
Damon is one of the players who would be affected by Giambi's return. Damon started the season as the Yankees' everyday center fielder, but the improved play of Cabrera has forced Damon to see a lot more time at designated hitter instead.
Damon said earlier that if Giambi's return to the DH spot was going to cost him a lot of playing time, he would be open to the idea of being traded. He's since softened his stance and says he's waiting to see how Torre decides to rotate his outfielders.
"I think we're going to find out tomorrow," Damon said. "We're going to have a nice mix and all play about five days a week. It'll keep the team fresh and keep us focused."
Matsui gets a breather: Matsui got a rare day off in the field for the series opener in Toronto. Instead of taking his usual spot in left, Matsui found himself batting fifth as the DH.
Torre said the decision was made to give Matsui a day off from Rogers Centre FieldTurf.
"The turf isn't what it was two years ago, when it was more on the hard side," Torre said. "But you certainly keep it in mind when you're thinking about resting someone."
Beckham spotting: Soccer star David Beckham was in attendance for Monday's game along with some of his Los Angeles Galaxy teammates. Beckham was on the field prior to game time chatting with players from both sides. His Galaxy coach, Frank Yallop, threw out of the ceremonial first pitch.
Coming up: Roger Clemens (3-5, 4.23 ERA) is scheduled to take the mound for New York on Tuesday night, when the Yankees take on the Blue Jays at 7:07 ET at Rogers Centre. Toronto will counter with right-hander Josh Towers (5-8, 5.17).
Gregor Chisholm is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.