Too many pieces missing

By Paul Sokoloski

May 12, 2013

MOOSIC - Two of his current teammates had already left the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders original starting lineup Sunday and headed straight to New York.

The rehabbing player who had the most consistent day for the the RailRiders will likely be back in the batting order of the parent Yankees in a matter of days.

Could it be much longer before David Adams joins them?

With talk swirling about his possible upcoming promotion to New York, Adams launched a three-run home run during his first at-bat for the RailRiders during Sunday’s 7-6 loss to Gwinnett.

That may not have been enough to help the RailRiders extend Gwinnett’s two-week losing streak, but it certainly couldn’t hurt his stock in the eyes of the Yankees.

“A rumor’s a rumor unless the Yankees come out and say something’s official,” said Adams, referrring to a New York Daily News report over the weekend that Yankees sources are targeting Wednesday as the third baseman’s callup date to New York. “I don’t pay attention to anything in the media. If I get a call, I’ll be ecstatic, I’ll be grateful. Until that day comes, I’m going to keep playing hard.”

Yet, a couple of guys who didn’t play may have hurt the RailRiders the most Sunday.

Both starting pitcher Brett Marshall and leadoff hitter Corban Joseph were scratched from Sunday’s original starting lineup, and both were on their way to New York as the Triple-A game in Moosic began.

Although no official roster move was made yet, one or both of them could be activated to help the Yankees get through a doubleheader in Cleveland today.

Joseph could be added to New York’s regular 25-man roster as an extra 26th player - which is allowed under baseball rules for an unscheduled doubleheader - for one or both games in Cleveland today. Marshall will likely be activated only if necessary.

The Yankees had planned to bring their regular starting pitcher Ivan Nova off the disabled list in time to start one of today’s games, but he suffered a relapse during his minor league injury rehab assignment this weekend. As a result, the Yankees now plan to use a long reliever - either Adam Warren or Vidal Nuno - to start today’s second game. But if one of the two were forced into action during Sunday’s game or Monday’s first game, Marshall would likely be activated by the Yankees as an insurance policy for the night game of today’s doubleheader.

“We’re all ecstatic for those guys,” said Adams, who’s batting .311 with three homers and added three RBI and two runs scored to his season totals Sunday. “Any time anyone gets and opportunity to go up to the big leagues, I’m happy for them. It’s basically what we’re all hoping for.”

Curtis Granderson likely won’t have to hope much longer.

The rehabbing Yankees outfielder appears right on schedule to rejoin New York following one more game with the RailRiders tonight, as he sprayed three singles around PNC Field on Sunday, scored one run and played flawlessly in rightr field while making two catches.

Granderson laced singles to right field in the first inning and he opposite way to left field in the fifth. He also dropped a looping hit to left against tough Gwinnett lefthander Ryan Buchter in the ninth and reached third base as the game’s possible tying run. But Granderson was stranded there, as Thomas Neal struck out against Buchter to leave the bases loaded.

“You’ve got to give him credit,” said Neal, who just returned to the RailRiders from the disabled list and contributed two hits Sunday. “There are pitches I feel like I can drive. The more games in, maybe some of the pitches I miss (now), I don’t miss them.”

The RailRiders were certainly missing Marshall, who’s 2-2 this season despite a 4.60 ERA.

His emergency replacement, Kelvin Perez, came out of the RailRiders bullpen to make the start and lasted just two innings. In the second, he surrendered Tyler Pastornicky’s bases-loaded, two-run double and a two-run single by Atlanta Braves rehabbing standout Jayson Heyward.

Those were the big blows in a five-run inning that offset the towering three-run homer Adams belted in the first and put Gwinnett up 5-3.

The RailRiders never did catch up from that.

Heyward and Joey Terdoslavich hit consecutive sacrifice flies in the sixth inning for a 7-3 G-Braves lead, and that proved just enough to snap Gwinnett’s 14-game losing streak.

“Losing 14 straight’s pretty tough,” Neal empathized. “They kept battling. Gotta tip your hat to them today.”

Dan Johnson got Scranton/Wilkes-Barre back in it with a wind-aided, two-run homer that bounced off the top of the wall and then over it in the sixth inning.

And Johnson drew a bases-loaded walk to force home Addison Maruszak with two outs in the ninth inning as the RailRiders closed within 7-6 and sent Granderson to third base - just 90 feet from tying it.

But Buchter closed the game by striking out the side to strand the RailRiders’ comeback hopes, and end a day that began with a bunch of shuffling.

“Our team’s very talented,” Neal said. “If one guy’s missing, whether it’s guys going up to the big leagues or guys down due to injury, it’s an opportunity for others to step into the lineup.

“As a baseball player, that’s all you can do.”