Yankees Daily Briefing 05/09/11

After going 3-4 on a road trip that, for a while, looked like it might have been a 2-5 disaster, the Yankees will enjoy an off day Monday before hosting newly called up Eric Hosmer and Kansas City for the first of three games on Tuesday. Freddy Garcia (1-2, 2.88) and Kyle Davies (1-4, 7.32) will take the mound for the Yankees and Royals.

1) The three Yankees' affiliates in action on Sunday all lost.

Triple-A Scranton lost to Pawtucket, 5-4.

Luis Ayala made another rehab appearance, allowing two hits in two innings while striking out four. Hector Noesi allowed five runs on six hits over seven innings, and had no strikeouts.

Jesus Montero went hitless in four at bats and struck out twice; Justin Maxwell hit his league-leading 11th home run.

Double-A Trenton lost to Akron, 5-4.

Kei Igawa allowed five runs on 10 hits over four innings; he had allowed nine hits total before Sunday's game.

Pitcher Nayoa Okamota was activated from the disabled list; the move means that Trenton's 24-man roster is now full.

High-A Tampa had a scheduled off day.

Low-A Charleston lost to Lakewood, 4-2.

Slade Heathcott and Gary Sanchez both went hitless; Sanchez struck out three times. J.R. Murphy had one hit in four at bats, and an RBI.

2) Wallace Matthews writes about Derek Jeter's performance Sunday, as the shortstop seemed to silence doubters with a two-home run, four-hit game.

Usually, using one game to judge performance is the ultimate no-no concerning the caveat about small sample size. That said, heading into the Texas series, Jeter was hitting to the tune of a .250/.308/.269 line. After the three games in Arlington, Jeter improved to .276/.331/.350; his average went from .256 to .276 on Sunday alone. Although it's still early enough in the season that one game can make a noticeable difference, Yankees fans will hope that weekend in Texas will be the start of Jeter playing closer to his career norms, as opposed to the second half of last season.

3) Speaking of Jeter, Mark Simon writes about the positive contributions Jeter has been making, even while struggling at the plate. Jeter has not been striking out -- Simon notes that if Jeter's current strikeout rate (11% of plate appearances) continues, it will be the lowest of his career -- or let bad at bats affect his play in the field.

Although there's plenty of reason for concern, as there would be with any 37 year-old shortstop, Yankees fans might perhaps find some reassurance -- Sunday's game not included -- that there are some things Jeter is still doing well.

4) Russell Martin is having the time of his life in pinstripes, writes Pete Caldera.

Martin's injury history meant that for many, expectations for 2011 were temperate at best, yet the Yankees' catcher has already eclipsed his home run total from last season and posting career highs in slugging and OPS. Martin has played in 28 of the 32 games the Yankees have played so far, meaning both that the Yankees haven't had to call on Gustavo Molina or Francisco Cervelli any more than necessary, and that Jesus Montero is able to get regular at bats in Scranton.