Robinson Cano is going to have an X-ray performed on his left hand tonight in Toronto after he was hit by a sixth-inning pitch in the Yankees’ 11-4 win over the Blue Jays.
Cano finished the game, but he exited the clubhouse immediately after the game with assistant trainer Mark Littlefield, wearing an ice wrap on the hand.
Joe Girardi said he believes Cano will be fine and the Yankees tried to use a fluoroscope machine at Rogers Centre that revealed no issues, but the Yankees would prefer to have an X-ray done elsewhere to make sure. Results are expected in the morning.
“I feel like I look at Robbie and that dude’s made of steel,” Nick Swisher said. “It seems like he plays all the time. Anytime you’re talking about hands, you get a little concerned, but after I saw him staying in the game, I felt a little better.”
Derek Jeter SS
Ichiro Suzuki RF
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Robinson Cano 2B
Nick Swisher 1B
Curtis Granderson CF
Raul Ibanez LF
Russell Martin C
Eric Chavez DH
Hiroki Kuroda RHP
Brett Lawrie 3B
Colby Rasmus CF
Edwin Encarnacion DH
J.P. Arencibia C
Adam Lind 1B
Yunel Escobar SS
Kelly Johnson 2B
Rajai Davis RF
Anthony Gose LF
Chad Jenkins RHP
The Yankees and Blue Jays kick off a four-game series, the Yankees’ final road set of the season, tonight at Rogers Centre. From here, the Yankees will head home for three games at Yankee Stadium against the Red Sox and then … well, who knows for sure?
But if the season ended today, the Yankees would be taking on the Detroit Tigers in the American League Division Series. Here’s the complete playoff picture.
The Yankees head into play tonight with a 1 1/2 game lead over the Orioles and seven games left on the schedule following yesterday’s 8-2 pounding of the Twins at Target Field.
Here are the probable pitching matchups for the series against the Blue Jays:
Thur., 9/27 at Toronto
RHP Ivan Nova (12-7, 4.94) vs. RHP Brandon Morrow (8-7, 3.28) 7:07 p.m. YES
Fri., 9/28 at Toronto
RHP Hiroki Kuroda (14-11, 3.34) vs. RHP Chad Jenkins (0-2, 4.24) 7:07 p.m. YES
Sat., 9/29 at Toronto
LHP Andy Pettitte (5-3, 2.71) vs. LHP Ricky Romero (9-14, 5.76) 1:07 p.m. YES
Sun., 9/30 at Toronto
RHP Phil Hughes (16-13, 4.10) vs. RHP Henderson Alvarez (9-14, 4.91) 1:07 p.m. YES
According to the most recent numbers crunched by Baseball Prospectus, the Yankees have a 76.5 percent chance of winning the division and a 99.4 percent chance of making the playoffs.
New York’s magic number to clinch the division is eight, and the number to secure a postseason berth is five.
They have six more scoreless innings from Andy Pettitte to thank, as the lefty pitched them to a 6-3 victory over the Twins last night at Target Field — including pitching out of a bases-loaded jam in the first inning after the Yankees staked him to a three-run lead.
“Same old Andy,” was what Joe Girardi said last night. Pettitte still considers himself “a work in progress” (what else would you expect?), but said he was “able to stay out of the middle of zone, make some big pitches and get some big outs when I needed it.”
Curtis Granderson hit his 40th home run of the season in the win, one of four Yankees homers, as he became the fifth Yankee with back-to-back 40-homer seasons. He joins Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Mickey Mantle and Jason Giambi in that group. If that doesn’t get Granderson to admit he – maybe, just maybe – has become a home run hitter, nothing will.
Down in Tampa, Fla., Mark Teixeira ramped up baseball activity as he hopes to shake off his left calf strain, though it doesn’t sound like the Yankees will have Teixeira for the four-game series in Toronto that begins Thursday. A setback at this point would likely be season-ending, so the Yankees are going to be as cautious as possible to have him ready for the postseason.
David Aardsma has joined the Yankees in Minneapolis, with eyes toward being activated today and completing his long road back from Tommy John surgery. The Yankees also expect to activate Brett Gardner for pinch-running and defensive duty before the Toronto series.
Major League Baseball announced yesterday that Ichiro Suzuki has been named the American League Player of the Week, well deserved after he went 15-for-25 in six games.
Phil Hughes (16-12, 4.05) goes for his fourth consecutive victory tonight as the Yankees and Twins play the second game of three at Target Field at 8:10 p.m. ET. Hughes last faced the Twins on April 19 in New York, getting the win despite allowing six runs (two earned) in 5 1/3 innings. Minnesota counters with right-hander Esmerling Vazquez (0-2, 6.75), who has never faced the Yankees as a starter.
Let’s fire the blog back up on this Tuesday morning with a few thoughts about Eduardo Nunez, who might just be the biggest unsolved riddle for the Yankees fan base right now. Depending on whom you talk to, Nunez is either the clear-cut answer for any offensive sputtering or a huge defensive liability, waiting to cost the Yankees important games down the stretch. Hey, can we just agree that he might be both?
Alex Rodriguez said this weekend that there was no question Nunez is currently “one of the finest offensive players on this team.” That’s high praise coming from A-Rod, who – say whatever you want – knows the game between the lines as well as anyone in that clubhouse. So why did it take a hobbled Derek Jeter (who may or may not get back to shortstop duty tonight, weather permitting) to get Nunez into the lineup?
The Yankees raised the white flag on the experiment of making Nunez a utilityman; in May, frustrated by the fact that Joe Girardi couldn’t trust Nunez when he put him in the field, the Yankees set Nunez to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and committed to play him only at shortstop. That was seen as a move to improve his defense as well as to boost his potential trade value, but a thumb injury got in the way and cost him a good portion of the season.
Luckily, the American League has that little thing called the DH where a pure hitter doesn’t have to bring his glove into the field. Andruw Jones seems to have fizzled out, and perhaps that’s the price to pay after Girardi was forced to push Jones and Raul Ibanez so hard with Brett Gardner injured. A-Rod is probably going to still need DH at-bats down the stretch; Jeter too. The good news is, Nunez might just have pushed his way into that mix.
Big Blurb: 9/16/12: Joe Girardi discusses how his club’s patience at plate paid off and looks toward the final stretch after a 6-4 win vs. the Rays
9/15/12: Yankees manager Joe Girardi talks about Ivan Nova’s impressive return to the mound from the DL in the team’s win over the Rays
9/14/12: Yankees manager Joe Girardi breaks down CC Sabathia’s performance following a 6-4 loss to the Rays
9/14/12: Derek Jeter singles to collect his 3,284th hit, passing Willie Mays for sole possession of 10th on the all-time hits list
Derek Jeter promised that he’d be in the Yankees lineup on Thursday night, despite the bone bruise that forced him to leave in the eighth inning of Wednesday’s 5-4 win over the Red Sox. He wasn’t kidding. Rob Thomson slapped a lineup on the wall that featured Jeter leading off and serving as the designated hitter. The call came after manager Joe Girardi saw the captain earlier in the day, and Jeter told Girardi that he feels “great.”
Girardi doesn’t really believe that Jeter feels all that great — anyone who watched him hobble out of Fenway last night probably feels the same way — but he also isn’t willing to question his shortstop during this crucial stretch, so he’ll pretend not to notice Jeter’s sarcasm.
“I don’t know how much improvement he had overnight,” Girardi said. “I talked to him when he got here today and I said, “How do you feel?’’ And he says, ‘Great,’ like he always does. So I said, I’m going to put you in as DH, go through BP and let me how you feel. If I’ve got to change the lineup, I’ll change it. He’s a hard guy to read. My hope is we’re going to be able to leave him there.”
Eduardo Nunez gets the start at shortstop tonight in place of Jeter, who has played in 140 of the Yankees’ 142 games this year.