Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Potent Pinstripe Platoon

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Potent Pinstripe Platoon

Article excerpt

OAKLAND, Calif. - For the first time all season, Dewayne Wise's sons - ages 6 and 11 months - will join him in New York next week. The family situation was mainly a product of Wise's uncertain status as a reserve Yankees outfielder.

That picture gained some clarity with the announcement that Brett Gardner would undergo season-ending surgery to remove inflamed tissue from his right elbow.

"I knew when I got here that once he came off the DL, there was a good chance I could be sent down," Wise said. "But at the same time, I just tried to make the best of my opportunities while I was here."

The left-field platoon tandem of Raul Ibanez and Andruw Jones, with Wise and utility man Jayson Nix in supportive roles, has more than softened the loss of Gardner since mid-April. Their success has forestalled a need to upgrade the position by the July 31 non- waiver trade deadline.

"We've got a lot of guys on that bench that can go out and get the job done," said Jones, who doesn't see why he couldn't keep contributing at this pace despite being "35 [years old] with a lot of miles."

Jones said his knees feel good. There's occasional soreness, "but at this time of year everybody's a little sore," Jones said. "When they call your name, be ready."

That's exactly the attitude Ibanez took into a season where he's played more left field than anticipated.

Signed to be the club's primary designated hitter, Ibanez still prepared this past winter to play left field - a position where the Yankees at least wanted to use him occasionally this season, adding to their flexibility.

Ibanez has started 49 games in the outfield (42 in left field, seven in right field) while Jones was making his 29th outfield start (21 in left, seven in right) on Friday night against the Athletics at Oakland Coliseum.

"I don't think it's an adjustment," said Ibanez, who started 132 games in left field for the Phillies last season. …

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