Quick hits: Girardi trying to navigate without Mo, Robertson
Here are the early notes as the Yankees (75-65) and Red Sox (84-58) prepare to meet here at Yankee Stadium, in what after last night’s events is a must-win game for the Yanks (well, they’re all kind of must-win at this point, aren’t they?). The Yankees need a deep outing out of left-hander Andy Pettitte (10-9, 4.01) and will try to put up some runs against left-hander Felix Doubront (10-6, 3.89).
It sounds like the Yankees will try to push a win to the finish line, thus preserving a chance of taking three out of four from the Red Sox, without the services of both David Robertson and Mariano Rivera tonight.
“I don’t know if we have Mo, I don’t know if we have Robbie,” manager Joe Girardi said. I’m just going to have to wait and see. I’ll let them go through BP and tell me what they’re thinking and how they feel, talk to Larry [Rothschild] and make a decision. We may not have either one of them tonight.”
Girardi said that his thinking is that the Yankees cannot afford an injury to Rivera or Robertson at this late stage.
“That would really hurt us. That’s the first thing you have to think about,” Girardi said. “I think you have to trust the communication that’s between them, Larry and me is honest communication on how they’re feeling. You try to look at how many pitches they’ve had. It’s tough.
“And it becomes tougher when you have a stretch like this of 17 days in a row, because if you get in a lot of close games, you can’t use them every day. My thought going into tonight is we may not have either one of them. That’s kind of my thought going into the day and you go from there.”
Girardi said that he had to address his thinking with Rivera in particular.
“I think Mo’s probably saying, in his mind, I’m not really saving it for anything in the future, so I think that’s what you have to judge,” Girardi said. “With Robbie, obviously he’s been important to us and you don’t want to get him hurt. A lot of our guys are always going to say, ‘Yeah, I think I can go,’ but we have to weigh the type of stuff that they would take out that day, number one. And number two, are you going to hurt them?”
How can the Yankees navigate the late innings? Cesar Cabral seems like he has impressed Girardi, and another answer might be using Phil Hughes, who can help in either a long relief or short relief role. (Some MLB.com writers who shall go nameless first-guessed the move last night to bring in Joba Chamberlain instead of Hughes in the 10th inning.)
“He is both,” Girardi said. “My hope was I could get [Hughes] out of the bullpen one day before it was a high-leverage situation, but that may not happen now.”
There’s also a roster move to report: the Yankees signed right-hander Matt Daley to a Major League contract and selected him to the active roster. To make room on the 40-man roster, infielder Corban Joseph was reinstated from the minor league 7-day disabled list, recalled from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and placed on the 60-day Major League disabled list. Joseph is recovering from right shoulder labral repair surgery performed on June 7.
In injury updates, it sounds like Shawn Kelley is moving closer to throwing a bullpen. Girardi said that he doesn’t expect him to be available until next week due to triceps irritation. David Phelps threw a bullpen today and is scheduled for a simulated game of about an inning on Monday. Kevin Youkilis has been doing tee and toss and will fly to Tampa on Monday. I suppose it’s possible he could return for that Astros series at the end of the month.
My Beat The Streak pick tonight: Eduardo Nunez, who is starting tonight at shortstop and is 4-for-8 lifetime vs. Doubront. The streak is currently at six games after Robinson Cano went 1-for-5 last night.