5/21/2014 8:37 P.M. ET
Nelson, Cannizaro to represent Yankees at Draft
By Bryan Hoch / MLB.com
CHICAGO -- Former Yankees Jeff Nelson and Andy Cannizaro will serve as representatives for the organization at the 2014 First-Year Player Draft, Major League Baseball announced on Wednesday.
Nelson, a sidearming right-hander who pitched for four World Series-winning Yankees clubs during the dynasty era that started in 1996, appeared in 331 games over six seasons with New York.
"It's good to make people aware of what kinds of athletes these guys are, especially if you look in the Minor Leagues and see how the fans are -- when they see a great player, they tend to follow that player throughout the Minors," Nelson said.
"I think it's the same as the Draft. They're trying to get people to be aware of these guys coming out of high school and top colleges, and putting it on TV. Maybe they'll get recognized a little earlier by the fan bases of the organizations that they get drafted by, and follow them."
Nelson said that on the day of the Draft, he'll be responsible for announcing the Yankees' first selection -- due to free agency compensation, he'll be tasked with the 55th overall pick, coming in the second round.
"They'll give me a little script and make sure I can pronounce the name right," Nelson said.
The Draft has changed a great deal since 1984, when Nelson was selected by the Dodgers in the 22nd round.
"I didn't know anything about the Draft; I got scouted in high school by the Mets and the Cardinals," Nelson said. "I got a telegram from the Dodgers that said I was selected in the 22nd round. I had no idea what that was, but I was like, 'Oh, this is awesome!'"
Nelson said he visited Old Dominion University and considered playing college ball there, but he ultimately decided to sign with the Dodgers, scoring what he believes was a $7,500 bonus.
"I went out to Great Falls, Montana, right into rookie ball," Nelson said. "I was 6-foot-2, 175 pounds when I got drafted out of high school. I didn't even wear spikes; I showed up in white turf shoes with a glove. I had to borrow somebody's spikes, and luckily there was a guy that was the same size that I was. That was my first experience as a Minor Leaguer."
Cannizaro, a former infielder who came up through the Yankees' farm system, played in 13 games with the Bombers in 2006. He also appeared in the Majors with the Rays in 2008.
The 2014 Draft will take place on June 5-7, beginning with the Draft preview show on MLB.com and MLB Network on Thursday, June 5, at 6 p.m. ET. Live Draft coverage from MLB Network's Studio 42 begins at 7 p.m., with the top 74 picks being streamed on MLB.com and broadcast on MLB Network. MLB.com's exclusive coverage of the second and third days will begin with a live Draft show at 12:30 p.m. ET on June 6.
MLB.com's coverage includes Draft Central, the Top 100 Draft Prospects list and Draft Tracker, a live interactive application that includes a searchable database of Draft-eligible players. Every selection will be tweeted live from @MLBDraftTracker, and you can also keep up to date by following @MLBDraft. And get into the Draft conversation by tagging your tweets with #mlbdraft.
'Valuable information' could end Ellsbury's slump
CHICAGO -- Jacoby Ellsbury might have been one of the few Yankees who didn't mind when Wednesday's game stretched deeper into extra innings. The more at-bats Ellsbury gets, the closer he feels to escaping his recent funk at the plate.
Ellsbury started the afternoon hitless in his first four at-bats, dipping deeper into what was a 1-for-27 slump, before stroking singles his last two times up in the Yanks' 4-2 victory over the Cubs.
"That's all I needed; some extra innings to get it going," Ellsbury said.
Hitting coach Kevin Long said that he brought a flaw to Ellsbury's attention early on Wednesday, having studied video of the outfielder's recent at-bats for about an hour.
"He was just late and late and late, and finally I just noticed that his bat was wrapping behind his helmet, creating some length in his swing," Long said. "I showed him the film this morning, and he worked on it in BP. I thought he was a lot better today. It's nice to see dividends right away."
Long said that Ellsbury is "not 100 percent there yet, but made progress today." Ellsbury said that the flaw might have been a reason for his slump, calling it "valuable information."
"It's something we talked about," Ellsbury said. "I felt like I was still swinging at good pitches, still taking for the most part quality swings at the ball. For me, a lot of times I don't want to change too much, because that's when you can get out of sync. We talked about it, but that's what we talk about every single day, just being a student of the game. It was just nice to get some results today."
Kelley's rehab put on hold after lower back setback
CHICAGO -- Yankees reliever Shawn Kelley, currently on the 15-day disabled list with a stiff lower back, sustained a setback after playing catch this week and has had his rehab put on hold.
Kelley played catch on Monday at Yankee Stadium, according to manager Joe Girardi, and woke up feeling stiff on Tuesday.
"The catch is on hold, the side will be on hold for a little, and obviously the rehab game that we were planning is on hold," Girardi said. "We just have to wait and see."
The Yankees were hoping to have Kelley pitch in a Minor League rehab game this weekend, but those plans have been scrapped. Girardi said that Kelley was sent for more tests, but they came back clean.
"He's just having some muscular issues back there, it seems to be," Girardi said. "There's no disc problems; at least from the MRI we haven't had any."
Mark Teixeira, a five-time Gold Glove Award winner at first base, committed his fifth error of the season in Tuesday's 6-1 loss to the Cubs; already tied for his third-highest error total in any big league campaign, and his highest total as a Yankee.
"I think he's still very good over there. I'm very comfortable when he's around the bag in what he does," manager Joe Girardi said.
• On this date in 1923, Colonel Jacob Ruppert took sole control of the Yankees, buying out Colonel Tillinghast L'Hommedieu Huston for the price of $1.5 million (about $20.7 million in 2014 dollars). Ruppert held control of the Yankees until his death in 1939.