Quick hits: Gardner’s hand OK, Jeter on tap for Monday

Oh, I get it. Sand Man.

Oh, I get it. Because he’s the “Sand Man.”

Greetings From St PetersburgHere are the early notes as the Yankees (68-60) and Rays (73-53) prepare to meet under the roof here at Tropicana Field, with CC Sabathia and David Price matching up for the 7:10 p.m. ET start:

Brett Gardner is not in the Yankees’ lineup, but it has nothing to do with his right hand, which was hit last night by a 95 mph Chris Archer fastball. Gardner had X-rays this morning on the hand and they showed no break. Gardner said the hand is a little swollen, but manager Joe Girardi said he wasn’t planning on playing Gardner against the left-hander Price anyway.

Girardi also said he thought Ichiro Suzuki‘s at-bats were good against Price the last time the Yankees saw him.

Derek Jeter is scheduled to play tonight for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre against Pawtucket and then would be in the Yankees’ lineup on Monday at Toronto if everything goes well. The captain went 0-for-3 with a walk and run scored on Friday for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

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Tonight’s lineup at the Trop

Girardi’s scouting report on Price: “You look at him three or four years ago and you see he threw 80-85 percent fastballs. But now he’s developed his repertoire. He’s got a curveball, slider a very good backdoor slider to righties. He’s got a very good changeup. He’s just evolved as a pitcher is what he’s done. He’s always had the great fastball but his secondary stuff is now pretty good.”

And what Girardi is looking for from Sabathia tonight: “This is a lineup that if you make mistakes, they’re going to hit the ball out of the ballpark and you got to stay away from the mistakes. Your sinker has to be effective, your changeup has to be effective, and you go from there.”

Girardi was asked if Sabathia’s weight loss might have anything to do with his struggles this season: “I don’t think so. It’s not like he’s 210 pounds. He’s not Mr. [Edwar] Ramirez that we used to have here. He’s still a big man. He’s still strong. I think he’s in tremendous shape.”

Yes, that’s right, there was an Edwar Ramirez reference today. Bet you weren’t counting on hearing anything about the man they called “Flacco.” I do miss watching Mariano Rivera stuff Ramirez into the lockers at the old Stadium.

Two other random thoughts about Ramirez, since my memory has been jogged — Mark Feinsand of the Daily News once made Ramirez cry, asking him about a grand slam that he gave up to Mark Teixeira, who was then with the Angels. Watching Edwar mop his tears with his uniform was just about the saddest thing you can see in a clubhouse. And then there’s the great quote from Kevin Millar about Ramirez: “Cute little fella. That’s good hittin’.”

Other notes — Adam Warren should be available in long relief out of the Yankees’ bullpen. … Lyle Overbay isn’t having a fun trip; he’s still having some flu-like symptoms, and it’s uncertain if he would be available to play tonight. Hey, at least he’s doing better than Chan Ho Park was in Boston. … The Yankees were watching the California/Connecticut Little League World Series game on the clubhouse TVs.

My Beat The Streak pick tonight: Alfonso Soriano. Streak is at zero after Alex Rodriguez went hitless last night.

And we’ll wrap today’s pre-game notes with a Debbie Downer not-so-fun fact for the Yankees: they’re 5-15 in their last 20 games at Tropicana Field dating back to July 21, 2011.

1 Comment

Does Cano frustrate anyone but me? He’s so damn casual and flippant. he can be great and other times he’s just so frustrating. That missed catch at 2nd. That strikeout where he just stands there and gets called out on third strike with the game on the line in the 8th. He drives me nuts sometimes. Is he worth 100 million over 10 years? I don’t think so and certainly not at his age. A 5 year contract should be the most he gets. if he doesn’t want it, let him go. They could put Soriano at 2nd. CC pitched great tonight up to the 6th and then the wheels fall off and he gives up a 2-0 lead. He just lost the plate and gave the Rays good pitches to hit. You can’t make mistakes with these guys. I think at this point the Rays are the best team in the East. I’d be surprised if they don’t end up in first place. The Yankees won’t make it. They’ve got too much ground to make up. Easy to sweep the Jays but you got to beat teams like the Rays and the Sox.

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