Girardi: Chase Whitley took “the right attitude” to the Minors
The Yankees recalled right-hander Chase Whitley from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre to make Tuesday’s start against the Rays at Yankee Stadium, optioning infielder Gregorio Petit to Triple-A in a corresponding roster move.
Whitley, 25, was 2-0 with a 2.12 ERA in three starts at Triple-A. He had compiled a 1.17 ERA in seven spring appearances (two starts), but was sent to the Minor Leagues so the Yankees could have a sixth starting pitcher available as they endure a stretch of 30 games in 31 days.
“It was difficult to send him down because he meant a lot to us last year and pitched well in Spring Training,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. “He understood why we did what we did. That doesn’t necessarily mean that as a player you want it to happen or you like it, but he went down there with the right attitude.”
Petit, 30, batted .208 (5-for-24) with five RBIs in 13 games for New York. His demotion indicates that infielder Jose Pirela is close to rejoining the big league club, perhaps as soon as Wednesday. Pirela is currently on a Minor League rehab assignment with Double-A Trenton.
Long before he put on his first big league uniform, Mark Teixeira was just one of the kids in the box seats at Camden Yards, munching on a hot dog and sneaking peeks into the Orioles dugout. The Maryland native said on Tuesday that he has been keeping a close eye on this week’s civil unrest in Baltimore.
“There’s some tough parts of Baltimore,” Teixeira said. “We don’t really see it that much going to the stadium and where we stay, but I’ve seen the tough parts of Baltimore. You never expect stuff like this, but you can see how it could happen.”
Baltimore has been at the center of national attention as protests over the death of 25-year-old Freddie Gray have grown violent in pockets of the city. The Orioles and White Sox cancelled two games and will play Wednesday afternoon at Camden Yards without fans in the building.
“Did you ever go to a Rangers-Rays game between 2003 and 2005?” Teixeira said. “I’ve played in games where there’s been a couple of thousand; two, three thousand fans. It’s a little weird, but literally nobody in the stands. I’ve never had that. That’s got to be difficult, but like I said, once the game starts, I don’t think it will be a big deal.”
Teixeira said that he has an uncle who is a Catholic priest in the city, and his church is currently being watched by the National Guard.
“I talked to my dad last night. He’s doing fine,” Teixeira said. “[If] people start attacking churches, it’s a good thing the National Guard’s there, because that’s the bottom of the bottom.”
(Andrew) Miller Time with a few friends; what could be better? Over the last 11 games going into Tuesday’s action, the Yankees’ bullpen has posted an 0.57 ERA in their last 11 games (31.2 IP, 2 ER, 9 BB, 43 K).
“I think it’s a big part of our success here, what our bullpen has done,” Girardi said. “It was kind of what we envisioned when we left Spring Training. I think the biggest thing for me was seeing exactly how the parts fit together. Going through some games and some situations, I think we have a better understanding now.”
Designated hitter and newly-minted assistant infield coach Alex Rodriguez was held out of the lineup this evening because he played third base yesterday and the Yanks have a day game tomorrow, Girardi said. If he’s needed off the bench, he is available.
Here’s A-Rod’s take on the season thus far:
“I think we got off to a rough start, a slow start, and then I thought this road trip was very important for us because it was long and good for us both on and off the field. On the field it gave us an opportunity to kind of jell together and play a little better, and I think we did that. Off the field, it gave us an opportunity to bond and start building the brotherhood that we need to reach our goals.”
Since Petit isn’t on the roster, where would the Yankees go if they need a backup second baseman tonight? Better way of phrasing the question: who would be this year’s Vernon Wells or Jorge Posada, randomly playing secod base out of position?
“I feel like I can put Head (Chase Headley) at second base if I needed to,” Girardi said. “Realistically, I could put Al there, I’m sure. I think he would say, ‘Yeah, I’ll go out there and try it.’ We’ve been there before the last couple years, so there’s not a situation that I’m too worried about. If it happens, we’ll handle it.”