This could be Joe Girardi’s only decision
With Eric Chavez now taking the backup corner infield spot, the truth is that unless someone gets hurt this spring — fearless prediction: someone will, eventually — most of Joe Girardi’s decisions seem to be pretty much locked in.
One area where that’s not the case is in the bullpen, as the Yankees will again ponder whether they need a second lefty behind Boone Logan. They were going to have Hideki Okajima competing for that job, but Okajima flunked his physical due to a shoulder issue and had his contract voided.
So the competition will have Clay Rapada, Cesar Cabral, Mike O’Connor and Juan Cedeno all trying to get noticed. Will any of them break camp with the team, or will the Yankees take another Luis Ayala-type (Manny Delcarmen, perhaps) as their final bullpen arm?
OK, I’ll admit that it’s not the sexiest debate the Yankees have ever had in Spring Training, and on top of that, it’s impossible to say for sure right now. But Girardi will think about it. Cabral and Rapada might be the most interesting options on paper, though Rapada really should only be used to face lefties.
“I think you could use it,” Girardi said. “You look at our guys in the late innings, you’re going to go to them and probably not worry about the second left-hander. I don’t think it’s a necessity, but if you find a lefty that can give you a little distance or you’re not afraid to use against right-handers, I think it’d be valuable.”
They did get through most of 2011 with Logan as the lone lefty, but Girardi said he could have used another choice.
“At times I think it would have been helpful, especially when [Rafael] Soriano was out or when Joba [Chamberlain] was out,” Girardi said. “I don’t think it’s a necessity because our right-handers get left-handers out.”