Johnny Damon has been unsuccessfully trying to land another job since the Indians released him in August, so not surprisingly he’s hoping the Yankees give him a call with Curtis Granderson out.
Damon appeared on Michael Kay’s radio show today and said, among other things, that he has “tons of interest” in rejoining the Yankees. He also admitted that it’s unlikely.
Damon says he’d be willing to play for the minimum salary and then exit gracefully if the Yankees decided to part ways once Granderson gets healthy, although even then it’s probably a long shot that they’d be interested after he hit just .222 with a .610 OPS in 64 games for the Indians.
UPDATE: As expected, general manager Brian Cashman ain’t interested. “We will focus on what we have at this time.”
Justin Verlander is approaching the tail end of a fantastic year with the Astros — arguably one of his best in the last decade — and on Saturday, he kicked off his last regular season start at Minute Maid Park with a strikeout, his 270th of the year. While that’s still a few shy of Max Scherzer‘s league-best mark of 290, it was a new personal record for Verlander, who had yet to beat the previous career record he set with 269 strikeouts in 2009.
Verlander’s moment arrived at the top of the first inning on a seven-pitch called strikeout against the Angels’ Kole Calhoun. Cole worked a 2-2 count, then fouled off a pair of 95-MPH fastballs before missing the seventh and final pitch at the top of the strike zone.
Jose Fernandez battled twice as long in the next at-bat, albeit with far more disastrous results. His 14-pitch duel against the Astros’ righty ended when he caught a fastball on his hand and was forced to come out of the game.
After expending a total of 27 pitches in the first inning, however, Verlander returned in the second to strike out the side, then logged another pair of strikeouts in the third. With six strikeouts through three innings, he boosted his season strikeout total to 275 — just a hair above fellow Houston righty Gerrit Cole (and all other AL pitchers), who previously led the team with 272 whiffs on the year.