Results tagged ‘ Brett Gardner ’
TORONTO — Today, Joe Girardi will call Bartolo Colon into his office to ask him if his strained left hamstring is healthy enough for him to pitch and, most importantly, be effective. And Colon, in typical Colon fashion, will likely tell him he’s perfectly healthy and it’s just a mental block he has to overcome.
But is that entirely true?
He did hurl six shutout innings against the Mets in his first start back from the disabled list. But he was hit around against the Rays after that, then couldn’t get through a nightmarish first inning against the Blue Jays last night. Girardi says the Yankees simply didn’t play good defense behind Colon (which is true, considering Brett Gardner‘s bad read on an eventual double and Eduardo Nunez‘s error on an inning-ending chopper). Russell Martin says the Blue Jays were stealing signs from the get-go (which, if true, would definitely give opposing hitters a big advantage). And Colon (pictured left by The Associated Press) says he’s pitching scared with his left leg; meaning he’s not landing firm enough in order to get enough life on his pitches.
That’s a whole lot of explanations (some would call them excuses), but the reality is quite simple: Colon hasn’t been as good lately as he was throughout the year. And when you consider he’s 38, only made 19 big league starts from 2008-10 and (let’s face it) isn’t in top-tier physical condition, it’s concerning, even if the sample size is quite small.
The Yankees at least know they have options if they decide Colon can’t start for them, with Ivan Nova in Triple-A and having the experience of pitching in the big leagues this year. (Nova gave up three runs in seven innings for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre last night, by the way.)
The question is: Should the Yankees give Colon another shot and allow him to make his next turn in the rotation? Or do you recall up Nova and put Colon in the ‘pen?
We may know more about Colon’s situation pregame, and we’ll definitely have some lineups then.
For now, here are some links from last night you might’ve missed …
* Colon, Yankees endure tough night in Toronto
* Martin accuses Blue Jays of sign stealing
* Yanks ink lefty Romero to Minors deal
* Yankees Notebook, on Jeter’s reaction to All-Star Game criticism, Colon’s surgery documents, Golson’s call-up, Soriano’s future and the record Jeter and Posada now share
The Yankees have decided how they want to stack the top part of their lineup, planning on having Brett Gardner lead off against right-handed pitchers with Derek Jeter batting second, beginning with tomorrow’s opener against the Tigers’ Justin Verlander.
Yankees manager Joe Girardi has said that “you can bank on” having Jeter in the leadoff spot against left-handed pitching.
Gardner hit .287 (97-for-338) off righties last year, posting a .387 on-base percentage and .391 slugging percentage. Jeter hit .246 (111-for-451) off righties, with a .316 on-base percentage and .317 slugging percentage.
“It possibly gives him 50-60 more at-bats during the course of the year. Maybe 70,” Girardi said of Gardner. “If he’s on close to 40 percent of the time, he’s going to score more runs. It doesn’t take a lot. Maybe he can steal second and steal third, [and score on a] sac fly. We think he’s going to score more runs, and that’s why we’re doing it. And just how he’s able to disrupt pitchers.”
Off lefties in 2010, Gardner was .252/.373/.353, while Jeter was .321/.391/.481. Jeter’s career numbers against lefties are .335/.408/.498, compared to .307/.377/.437 against righties.
Assuming Curtis Granderson comes through his Minor League game fine in Tampa this afternoon and joins the team in New York tonight, this could be the Yankees’ Opening Day lineup:
Brett Gardner LF, Derek Jeter SS, Mark Teixeira 1B, Alex Rodriguez 3B, Robinson Cano 2B, Nick Swisher RF, Jorge Posada DH, Curtis Granderson CF, Russell Martin C, CC Sabathia LHP
If Granderson needs to be scratched, the Yankees would probably start Andruw Jones in left field, moving Gardner to center field.
- Also, righty Luis Ayala will be the 12th man on the pitching staff, replacing lefty Pedro Feliciano, who is headed for the disabled list. The Yankees announced the Ayala move this afternoon, but Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News got the heads-up hours earlier. How? This one’s a case of right place, right time: Ayala was sitting next to Feinsand on the flight to Newark this morning.
Good stuff from Pete Caldera today in the Bergen Record, who caught up with Yankees hitting coach Kevin Long via telephone:
The Yankees announced Wednesday that Brett Gardner has been scheduled for surgery next week in New York, addressing tendinitis in his right wrist.
Back in 2005, I was dabbling with shooting photos at the Minor League games I covered. I’m no professional and the camera certainly wasn’t great, but typically we’d be able to use them online. Sometimes they’d even make it into the magazines we produced. Anyway, I was going through some old files last night and plucked out a few faces that are now very familiar.
Brett Gardner still hasn’t seen the huge, grinning picture of him that the Yankees video crew doctored to look like wrestler Bret ‘Hit Man’ Hart, though he’s heard rave reviews about it from Nick Swisher, who just might be jealous that he doesn’t have a cool one like it.
In any event, they had a great opportunity to flash it for an extended period on Saturday, as Gardner blasted a grand slam – the first of his life, he believes, and certainly his big league career – to chase the Blue Jays’ Ricky Romero in New York’s 11-run third inning. It was Gardner’s fourth homer of 2010, and while he won’t be challenging for the American League lead anytime soon, Gardner does enjoy reminding people that he’s got some power in there.
“I think it’s always been there. I hit five in short-season in 2005 in  at-bats, so it’s not like I have a bunch of power. I think I have a little bit different approach at the plate now. I’m trying to be more aggressive and take some better swings. The last few years, I kind of got stuck in the mode of trying to trying to slap the ball the other way and run and get on base. I’m obviously not trying to develop into a home run hitter or anything like that. I’m just trying to use the whole field and be aggressive.”
Brett Gardner is wearing a wrap on his left thumb and is scheduled to have X-rays before tonight’s game at Camden Yards. He was disappointed to feel discomfort in the thumb this morning and says he does not expect the thumb to be broken – of course, Gardner admitted he didn’t expect to hear that last July, either.
Two quick notes before I hit the highway and head over to Blue Jays camp:
The Yankees have their outfield alignment set for Opening Night and the beginning of the 2010 season, officially deciding that Curtis Granderson will play center field and Brett Gardner will play left field.
Though the moves had been expected for some time, Yankees manager Joe Girardi announced that his choices had been set on Thursday, sending both players to start in their respective positions in a 1:05 p.m. ET game against the Blue Jays in Dunedin, Fla.
“They both did a very nice job in both spots,” Girardi said. “Grandy has played a lot of center field in his career, and so has Gardy. We just decided that we were going to go with Grandy in center, try not to move him around and put him in one spot.”
Backup catcher Francisco Cervelli has been diagnosed with a Grade 1 (mild) left hamstring strain and may not play for the remainder of Spring Training.
Girardi said Thursday that Cervelli will be continually re-evaluated and is listed as day-to-day. With Opening Day approaching on Sunday, the Yankees will have to hope that the pinching sensation in Cervelli’s left leg can abate quickly.
“Right now, if I was to guess, he is not a DL guy,” Girardi said. “But we may not play him the rest of Spring Training.”
Cervelli felt something tweak in his left hamstring during Tuesday’s home game against the Blue Jays and was sent for a precautionary MRI on Wednesday, which revealed the strain.
Should Cervelli begin the season on the disabled list, it is possible that Mike Rivera – a veteran non-roster invitee who also battled a hamstring issue this spring – could head north with the club for Opening Night on Sunday at Fenway Park.
“I want to be there,” Cervelli said. “I think I will be there.”
That didn’t seem like a good consolation prize after he was charged with five runs in 4 1/3 innings against the Astros in Kissimmee, Fla. on Saturday, though, leaving a bases-loaded mess for Mark Melancon and watching the carousel progress.
“I just missed pitches,” Aceves said. “They’ve got good hitters. … I’m not happy with that.”
Regardless, this shouldn’t torpedo Aceves’ chances of helping the Yankees in 2010, at least not based upon Girardi’s glowing scouting report of the righty pre-game.
“He knows how to change speeds, he knows how to change eye level, read
swings,” Girardi said. “He knows how to pitch. He was a big part of our success last
year – 10 wins out of the bullpen. He held teams down and gave us a
chance to come back. I’ve always had a lot of confidence in him.”
Next up in the great fifth starter pitch-off is Phil Hughes, who throws in relief of A.J. Burnett tomorrow. Joba Chamberlain gets a start Monday against the Phillies in Clearwater, and then it’s really time to start hashing things out. Joe Girardi isn’t surprised that the decision is receiving so much attention.
“I think people are interested, that’s why,” Girardi said. “Once that’s set, then you
iron out your bullpen from there. There’s a lot up in the air because
you don’t know exactly who’s going to be in your bullpen because of the
fifth starter [competition].”
A-Rod on the scene: Alex Rodriguez had two doubles and two RBIs in three at-bats Saturday, continuing to heat up in Grapefruit League play.
“He’s starting to swing the bat,” Girardi said. “He’ll play again tomorrow. I talked to him today and physically he feels good. That’s obviously good to hear.”
Go, speed racer: Brett Gardner’s wheels earned him a bunt single on the first pitch of the game, and in the third inning, he tripled to the left-field corner – someplace you don’t usually see three-base hits from.
“That’s what speed does for you,” Girardi said. “I tell him all the time, just get on base, you can make things happen. He has that ability. We see him hitting the ball on the ground a lot harder, bunting for base hits. It’s great.”
The only minus to Gardner’s day was a pickoff after that bunt single, as Astros catcher Humberto Quintero made a snap throw to first base behind the left-handed hitting Nick Johnson and caught Gardner leaning.
- Notes & quotes: Assistant trainer Steve Donohue’s report on OF Curtis Granderson was “minor stiffness” in his right hand. He’ll play Sunday vs. Detroit … It’s still too early on a decision for OF Jamie Hoffmann (3-for-23, .130) vs. OF Marcus Thames (3-for-28, .107) in that battle to be the right-handed hitting 25th man on the bench. “We’ve still got time with that,” Girardi said. “That we’re not in such a big hurry to make.”