Stewart up as Posada visits Andrews
Latest backup arrives from Triple-A; results expected Tuesday
CLEVELAND -- Yankees catcher Jorge Posada left the team on Monday en route to a consultation with noted sports orthopedist Dr. James Andrews in Birmingham, Ala., seeking clarification on the injured right shoulder that has forced him onto the disabled list for the first time in his career.
Posada was unable to play in Sunday's game at Progressive Field and had to be scratched 12 minutes before first pitch when he had no strength in his shoulder, which had originally been diagnosed as strained. General manager Brian Cashman said that Posada was slated to meet with Andrews on Monday afternoon, with results to come on Tuesday.
The 36-year-old catcher has been a mainstay with New York for more than a decade. The last time the Yankees played a game without Posada on their active roster was Sept. 1, 1996, against the Angels.
"It's kind of strange when you walk in the clubhouse and you don't see him there," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "I've seen him since 1996, so it's a little different."
Girardi believed that the visit with Andrews would yield the same diagnosis as it did when the results of an MRI taken in Kansas City were sent along -- a strained shoulder. Posada said on Sunday that he fears the injury may be worse.
"I expect they're going to see much the same and we're probably going to have to rest him a little bit longer," Girardi said. "He's a constant. You like to see constants in a clubhouse -- a guy who has been here a long time, a guy who plays every day, a guy who knows what the expectations are and knows how to handle everything. Jorge, in a way, is a quiet leader."
To replace Posada on the Yankees' 25-man roster, the club purchased the contract of Chris Stewart from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
Stewart, 26, was batting .300 with three doubles and three RBIs in 15 games at Triple-A. He received word of his callup from Scranton/Wilkes-Barre manager Dave Miley after the second game of a doubleheader on Sunday.
"He has some big league experience," Girardi said. "He was playing in Triple-A, playing well. It's nice that he has some experience because when he gets in there, he won't be fazed. He's done it before. He's a catch-and-throw guy that can handle the bat."
Stewart has appeared in 23 games over the last two seasons with the White Sox and Rangers. He attended Spring Training with Texas as a non-roster invitee and believed he would have a roster spot in Triple-A, but instead was released on March 27.
A career .200 (9-for-45) batter in the big leagues, Stewart signed a Minor League contract with the Yankees on April 3.
"A roller coaster is the best way to explain it," Stewart said. "I just stayed mentally strong and told myself I was going to do whatever it took to get back up here, and here I am."
Girardi said that he plans on using Jose Molina on a regular basis as the Yankees' starting catcher, probably in the lineup four out of every five games. With the exception of a few pitchers that Stewart received at Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, right-handed relievers Jonathan Albaladejo and Chris Britton, Stewart will have a few nights of homework to get caught up on the Yankees' staff.
"It's a whole new pitching staff for me," Stewart said. "It's going to be a lot of video watching, a lot of sitting down and talking with the guys and finding out what they like to do out there. It's a big welcome for me."
With Posada down, the Yankees remain hopeful that veteran Chad Moeller will slip through waivers and remain their property. The Yankees designated Moeller for assignment on Friday when they added Shelley Duncan to their roster in the midst of facing five left-handed starters in six games, and Moeller said before leaving for his Arizona home that he would accept the assignment to Triple-A.
Saying that "hindsight is 20-20," Girardi said that he met individually with Posada and Molina, who assured him that they would be physically fine to hold up to the workload of such a move.
"We felt that we were clear," Girardi said. "Nature had a different idea."
Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.