Yankees workout notes from Citizens Bank Park
As the Amtrak/Jersey Turnpike Series moves on to Philadelphia, here’s what’s making news:
It seems like there is a sliver of a chance the Yankees could play Hideki Matsui in the outfield during this series. Joe Girardi committed only to that Johnny Damon will be playing left field in Game 3, leaving Nick Swisher without a solid answer to his status, though he expects to be in the lineup playing right field.
But Jerry Hairston, Jr. and Eric Hinske remain options, while Girardi made it sound a lot like he is considering telling Matsui to dust off his glove as a potential defensive replacement on a double-switch or in an emergency:
“I’m going to look at some things today, watch a little bit, see how he moves around and see if we think that it’s physically possible for him to do it,” Girardi said. “It’s something that we have to look at, and if we can’t do it, we’ll use him in a role to pinch hit when we feel that he can be most valuable to us. It might be a situation where you might think about a double switch at high time, but you don’t want to lose his bat. As productive as he’s been for us this year, you don’t want to lose his bat.”
The Yankees have told CC Sabathia to be ready to pitch Game 4, although that hasn’t been set in stone yet. There is an option of using Chad Gaudin as a fourth starter, of course, but it’s extremely unlikely that the Yankees would send Gaudin out if Andy Pettitte and the Bombers don’t win Game 3.
Furthermore, they can use A.J. Burnett on short rest for Game 5, an idea which he loves, so perhaps Gaudin doesn’t need to see the rubber at all. Sabathia said that he doesn’t know anything more than has been said publicly, and a Game 4 starter won’t be announced until the Yankees know the outcome of Game 3.
“I think you worry about just winning a game tomorrow, and then you go from there,” Girardi said. “I don’t think in a series like this or really at any point you can look beyond what the task is at hand, and that’s to win the game tomorrow night, and then you go from there. These have been two tough games so far, and I don’t expect anything different tomorrow night.”