8/2/2014 10:15 P.M. ET
Prado ready for challenge ahead in New York
By Bryan Hoch / MLB.com
BOSTON -- Martin Prado said that he had been aware of the trade rumors swirling around his name. So when his cell phone buzzed with an incoming call from an unknown number on Thursday afternoon, the veteran infielder-outfielder was not surprised.
One destination that Prado hadn't considered, however, was the Yankees. That was the part that caught him off guard. But as he joined his new club with the assignment of playing right field every day, Prado said that he will make sure that he is ready for the change.
"It's been a while since I've played right field, but I told [the Yankees] that I'm open for it -- to help my teammates, help my team win games," Prado said. "Whatever I have to do, I will prepare myself for any challenge to help the team win."
Before Friday, when Prado entered as a pinch-hitter for Ichiro Suzuki and played the final two innings without incident in right field, he had only played two career innings as a right fielder -- on Oct. 4, 2009, for the Braves, in a 15-inning loss to the Nationals.
Prado said that Yankees general manager Brian Cashman explained the situation to him. In addition to right field, manager Joe Girardi said that he could use Prado at second base, third base and in left field.
"I'm looking forward to the challenge," Prado said. "I just said, 'The only thing I want is to give me a heads-up on the things you want to do with me, and I will prepare myself for that.'"
A career .290 hitter in nine big league seasons, Prado was having a down year with Arizona, posting a slash line of .270/.317/.370 with five homers and 42 RBIs in 106 games.
After nine years in the National League -- including seven with the Braves -- Prado is no stranger to visiting New York, though he said that the fast pace of the city may take some getting used to.
"When I was with the Braves, always when I went to play against the Mets, I was, 'Oh, man. It's crowded,'" Prado said. "I didn't like the crowded stuff. I was like, 'I don't like the city,' but I always took my family because they'd never been in New York. But I've got a lot of friends in New York and they've been around, so I'm getting to like the city."
Betances hits triple digits on Fenway radar
BOSTON -- Dellin Betances couldn't help himself. As he turned back from the mound, having completed an eighth-inning strikeout of Mike Napoli, the Yankees reliever took a peek at the radar-gun readout.
Fenway Park's digital board had clocked Betances at 101 mph, which he said was an all-time high for him. What's more, it wasn't a fluke: Fenway's gun had Betances throwing in the triple digits three times to Napoli.
"I feel blessed to be able to do that, but I was more happy that I was able to get him out," Betances said. "He's a tough at-bat every time. And that situation is important to get the leadoff guy out."
Betances said that extra rest helped him channel some bonus adrenaline, which did not go unnoticed in either dugout.
"I've only faced one pitcher like that who could throw 100 mph, and that was Aroldis Chapman," said Boston's Yoenis Cespedes. "I faced Betances once earlier in the year. He wasn't at that kind of velocity."
Manager Joe Girardi said that he saw the gun readings at Fenway and that he wanted to compare the scoreboard to the team's own numbers.
"It was kind of high," Girardi said. "I'll have to look on ours. We've seen him hit 98, 99 with us, too. He had three days off, and he probably felt pretty good today."
Whatever the true number was, Betances will gladly take the end results.
"There's days that the ball feels like it's coming out better, and today was one of those days," Betances said.
Yanks in no rush to put Beltran back in right
BOSTON -- Now that the Yankees feel that they have added some outfield help, it is less imperative that they hurry Carlos Beltran back to right field. He will continue to toss, but the team has no reason to rush him.
Thursday's addition of Martin Prado allows the Yankees that flexibility. Beltran has not appeared in the outfield since May 12 due to a bone spur in his right elbow, and he had recently progressed to playing catch at a distance of 100-120 feet.
"We have more options -- we were carrying three outfielders for a while there," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "Carlos was the fourth, and then we were running infielders out there.
"But with Martin, who's played a lot of outfield, and then having [Ichiro Suzuki], too -- we'll make sure he's ready when he goes out there."
Ichiro had been seeing regular duty in right field, but Prado's acquisition is expected to bump Ichiro back to a reserve role. Girardi said that could help the 40-year-old veteran from a physical standpoint.
"I think at this point in the season, you kind of go day by day. But we acquired Prado to play a lot," Girardi said. "We'll go day by day [with Ichiro]."
• Brian McCann got the day off on Saturday, which Girardi said was a nod to the day game after a night game. Girardi also liked the idea of keeping right-hander Shane Greene and catcher Francisco Cervelli together.
"We're going to give Brian days off in this 13-day stretch, so I chose today," Girardi said.
• On this date in 1979, Yankees captain Thurman Munson was killed in a plane crash in Canton, Ohio at age 32. Munson's No. 15 was immediately retired, and his locker at Yankee Stadium remained vacant until the facility's last game in 2008.