Based upon the weather information the Yankees were getting last night, Joe Girardi seemed to think there was no way that there would be baseball tonight at Progressive Field.
Guess what? The skies seem to be clearing over Cleveland, so Phil Hughes and Zach McAllister may get to pitch tonight as the Yanks and Indians wrap up a four-game series that was shaved to three games by last night’s rainout.
It’s raining, but the Indians say the game is scheduled to start at approximately 8:30 p.m. ET.
Hughes is feeling better after battling a stomach virus yesterday and should be able to get on the mound; if not, Ivan Nova is on call out of the bullpen.
The forecast still isn’t wonderful, but it’s improving, and we’ll keep you posted if they’re able to get on the field. Girardi said that his feeling is “once the rain starts, it’s probably not going to stop,” so we’ll see what happens.
- A few notes to pass along — Curtis Granderson posted a photo to his Facebook page showing that the brace has been removed from his right wrist and that he has been cleared for non-baseball activities. Girardi said that Granderson resumed throwing on Thursday. … Mark Teixeira will have his right wrist looked at by Dr. Melvin Rosenwasser on Friday in New York and believes he’ll be cleared to start swinging a fungo bat. … Derek Jeter had the day off down at the Yanks’ training complex.
The Yankees decided to keep their rotation on track after Wednesday’s contest against the Indians was rained out, naming Phil Hughes as their scheduled starter for Thursday and skipping Ivan Nova.
New York and Cleveland are planning to play their originally scheduled 7:05 p.m. ET contest on Thursday. No makeup date for Wednesday’s postponed game was immediately announced, but manager Joe Girardi suggested that May 13 – an off-day for the Yanks following their road trip to Colorado and Kansas City – could mark a possible return to Progressive Field.
Hughes has been fighting a stomach virus, but his health is improving enough that the Yankees are comfortable planning on giving him the ball for Thursday’s game.
“He feels better,” Girardi said. “If he doesn’t feel good enough to make his start, it will be Nova.”
Girardi said that the plan is to have Nova, who was scheduled to pitch on Wednesday, available to pitch out of the bullpen for a few days and then slot him in to rejoin the rotation next week.
“I know that CC [Sabathia] and company have to pitch every five days,” Nova said. “I understand that part and I’ve just got to be ready when they tell me to go out there.
“I feel really good when my day to pitch is coming. All I want to do is go out there and pitch. Now I’ve got to wait five more days. It’s going to be like, for me, a month.”
The Indians are planning to start Zach McAllister as originally scheduled in Thursday’s game.
Girardi said that he did not want to push his rotation back because Monday’s off-day would create a scenario where Andy Pettitte would receive seven days of rest. Girardi acknowledged that Thursday’s forecast for the Cleveland area is also ugly.
“We’re going to probably get banged tomorrow too,” Girardi said. “Hopefully we don’t.”
Robinson Cano connected for his third home run in the last two games and Indians starter Carlos Carrasco was ejected after drilling Kevin Youkilis in the back as the Yankees opened up an early seven-run lead on Tuesday at Progressive Field.
Cleveland manager Terry Francona didn’t appreciate the ejection and made that clear to home plate umpire Jordan Baker, but there’s not much they can do about it now. The way Carrasco was pitching, he wasn’t long for this one anyway.
Ichiro Suzuki also has a home run and Brett Gardner picked up a two-run single for the Yankees, who are leaning on Andy Pettitte to hold the big advantage and deliver New York’s third consecutive victory. There’s a much smaller crowd on hand here in Cleveland after yesterday’s Opening Day festivities, and the way things are going, the tally of those in attendance will probably thin a little bit more as we head into the late innings.
There is always a lot of attention on pitch velocities, especially when they correspond with any hint of trouble, but Joe Girardi said that he won’t be glued to the radar gun readings when CC Sabathia takes on the Tigers this afternoon.
“This is typical for CC,” Girardi said. “In the seasons that we’ve had, his velocity in April is not the same as it is in June, July, August. That’s been his DNA. I can’t tell you how high it’s going to go, but I know it’s going to go up. I believe it’s going to go up, just like it did last year.
“There were a lot of pitches he threw 89, 90 mph early in the season. But I think, because of what he went through last year, I think people are paying closer attention to it. But this is not abnormal for CC.”
Sabathia has said numerous times that he does not get caught up in marquee pitching matchups – a lesson he learned the hard way in his young Indians days, when he tried to match Pedro Martinez pitch-for-pitch and wound up heading to the showers early – but this promises to be a good one with Sabathia and Justin Verlander locking up. Girardi said his hitters don’t need any reminders about the mission here today.
“They know what they have to do,” Girardi said. “The thing about Justin is, he has four swing-and-miss pitches. You have to be patient on him. You have to hope he’s having a hard time commanding a few early in the game, because once he gets on a roll, he’s pretty tough.”
There was a nice pregame ceremony to honor Mariano Rivera. Tigers manager Jim Leyland shook hands with Rivera behind home plate and unveiled the team’s gift to the retiring 43-year-old, a photo display of Rivera pitching at both Tiger Stadium and Comerica Park. The display also included glass bottles containing dirt from the pitcher’s mound at both ballparks. Rivera doffed his cap to the cheering crowd and raised both hands in appreciation, offering Leyland a hug.
The Yankees and Tigers are underway. Lineups for both teams and expanded game information is available via MLB GameDay.
In a perfect world, the Yankees would have received a report sometime today about Phil Hughes’ outing for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. This is not a perfect world, so they’ll be able to watch Hughes get his work in against the Tigers right here in Detroit.
Manager Joe Girardi said that the team’s overtaxed bullpen left them with little padding if anything were to happen with David Phelps, who’d originally been the Yankees’ scheduled starter today, so they changed Hughes’ travel itinerary coming from Florida and told him to skip the extra Minor League outing.
“We don’t really have a long guy if we start Phelpsie today, so we felt if something were to happen with Phelpsie we’d have a little trouble there,” Girardi said. “It was kind of out of necessity. We wanted him to make one more start, but he’s going to make it here.”
If you’re wondering what Derek Jeter is up to, he took 41 ground balls this morning on the outfield grass standing near the left field fence. If this update sounds at all familiar, it’s because Jeter basically was doing the same thing on Feb. 11.
Jeter tried to suggest on March 24 that he hadn’t actually had a setback, but the fact that he seems to be starting Spring Training over points to that he is still weeks and not days away from being in a big league game.
That increases the importance that the Yankees get Eduardo Nunez back as soon as possible from his bruised right biceps; he is expected to only be available as a pinch-runner today but said he could play tomorrow.
The Yankees and Tigers get started here at Comerica Park at 4:05 p.m. ET. Lineups for both teams and expanded game information is available via MLB GameDay.
Greetings from Detroit! After last night’s vintage turn back the clock experience with Andy Pettitte and Mariano Rivera leading the Yankees to their first victory, the Bombers are here in the Motor City on a quick turnaround to try and spoil the Tigers’ home opener.
One interesting note from the last few days has been the defensive overshift on Robinson Cano, who has been limited to one hit in his first 12 at-bats of the young season. The Red Sox saw some success with it, and you’d imagine other teams may also give it a try as the year goes on, daring Cano to hit ground balls to the left side.
As Boston manager John Farrell explained back in New York, “He can hit to the opposite field a lot of times, but that’s typically in the air. When you see the spray charts, it’s pretty evident where a high number or high percentage of the balls on the ground will travel. We look to defend those areas.”
Joe Girardi said this morning that he hasn’t seen teams shift against Cano much, but teams are already doing it with Travis Hafner and (when he returns) Mark Teixeira. It’s not clear if Cano is really going to be in that group — the Tigers didn’t use the dramatic overshift during his first at-bat on Friday — or if he can make the adjustment to stop teams from trying it.
“Robbie’s a guy that has the ability to hit the ball the other way, so I’m curious to see how it’s going to play out,” Girardi said. “Robbie hits the ball the other way. A lot of times for a lot of guys, when they hit the ball on the ground it’s more to the pull side. That’s just the way it is for a lot of guys. We’ll see how it works out.”
The Yankees have lost their first two games at home for the first time since 1982, a stat they’ll try to do away with tonight by looking to salvage the final game of a three-game series with the Red Sox.
“I don’t think anyone wants it to go too far, no matter who you have in that clubhouse,” manager Joe Girardi said. “I don’t think you ever want to get off to where you feel like you dig yourself a hole. I think this is a pretty important game for us tonight. I don’t think it’s a do-or-die game for us, but I think it’s important.”
If you have to be in an 0-2 hole to begin the season, there’s at least some comfort in knowing that Andy Pettitte is a reliable option on the mound. Pettitte is making his first April start since the 2010 season tonight, since he was retired for the ’11 campaign and was working toward returning to the big leagues at this time last year.
“It’s real nice because he has been in so many big situations,” Girardi said. “Andy has pitched in games that were must-win situations or as close to it as possible. You don’t worry about his emotions going into tonight that you might worry about if you have a young pitcher on the mound.”
NEW YORK – Yankees right-hander Hiroki Kuroda was forced to leave Wednesday’s game against the Red Sox with a contusion to his right middle finger. Additional tests, including an X-ray, will be performed.
Kuroda reached up and made contact with Shane Victorino’s hard line drive to open the second inning, which glanced off the hurler’s hand and landed in center field.
He was seen on the mound by manager Joe Girardi and head athletic trainer Steve Donohue, throwing several warmup pitches to prove he could stay in the game, but Kuroda’s command appeared to suffer as the inning continued.
Kuroda hit Jackie Bradley, Jr. with a pitch before inducing a fielder’s choice for the first out of the inning. A walk to Jacoby Ellsbury followed and Kuroda drilled Daniel Nava to force in Boston’s second run of the evening.
That was all that Girardi would see, as he removed Kuroda following his 41st pitch of the night. Kuroda was replaced by right-hander Cody Eppley, who was given as much time as needed to warm up because of the injury.
MLB.com’s Mark Newman has passed along some quotes from Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano, who appeared this afternoon at a Victoria’s Secret VS PINK event in Soho.
Having announced his new partnership with CAA and Jay-Z’s Roc Nation venture, Cano was asked: is he ready to celebrate?
“Not yet,” Cano said, with a grin. “We’ve got to focus on the games first and then we’ll celebrate, how about that? Yes, I’m excited, of course. When you make that kind of a decision, you have to really be with that kind of company.”
Cano was then asked if today’s news means he will stay with the Yankees, but said: “Right now, this is about Victoria’s Secret and not about contracts.”
VS model Jessica Hart, who was standing next to Cano at the time, said, “He’s diverting questions very well. I should take some lessons – you’ve been trained.”
Cano offered a terse “no” when asked if he would comment on Boras reportedly being caught unaware of his decision to switch agencies. Cano is expected to address his choice in more detail tomorrow at Yankee Stadium.
— Robinson Cano (@RobinsonCano) April 2, 2013
NEW YORK – As he approaches what figures to be a lucrative contract payday, Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano has switched agents, leaving Scott Boras to sign with CAA Sports.
Cano’s marketing endeavors will be handled by Roc Nation, an entertainment company founded by Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter, while his baseball activities will be represented by a team of agents led by CAA Sports’ Brodie Van Wagenen.
“At this point in my career, I am ready to take a more active role in my endeavors both on and off the field,” Cano said in a statement released by CAA. “I am confident that the pairing of Roc Nation Sports and CAA Sports will be essential in helping me accomplish my short- and long-term goals.
“I am making this important decision now so I can keep my focus on helping the Yankees succeed in 2013, while minimizing any distractions for me and my teammates.”
Van Wagenen added in a statement: “Robinson Cano is an extraordinary all-around talent who has established himself as one of the game’s best and most consistent players. Our mandate is to minimize his distractions while helping him achieve his goals on and off the field in both the short and the long term. His immediate concern is continuing to show respect for the Yankees organization, his teammates and the fans.”
Cano had been with Boras since 2011, when he dismissed Bobby Barad, the agent who negotiated Cano’s current deal with the Yankees that expires after this season. Cano is set to earn $15 million this year, a club option that was triggered by the Yankees last October.
In late February, general manager Brian Cashman revealed that the Yankees had tendered a “significant offer” to Cano and Boras with the hopes of signing the four-time All-Star to an extension, but those negotiations did not appear to be moving quickly.