Results tagged ‘ Derek Jeter ’
Yankees general manager Brian Cashman held court with the media for 51 minutes yesterday afternoon in his annual end-of-season press conference at Yankee Stadium.
You’ve probably already seen most of the headlines coming out of his session: the Yankees are interested in retaining manager Joe Girardi and could formally offer him a deal as soon as today, they want to keep Robinson Cano but not at any cost, and Hal Steinbrenner’s $189 million objective is a goal but not a mandate.
There are obviously a lot of chips that need to fall into place before we can get an idea of what the 2014 Yankees will look like. The Yankees have their pro scouting meetings scheduled for Monday, which is when they organize the chess board and decide which players to pursue. After Girardi’s situation is settled, they’ll wait to find out what Alex Rodriguez’s contract will look like for ’14 – if A-Rod’s 211-game suspension is upheld, that would knock about $25 million off the books for the ’14 budget, money that would likely go right into an offer for Cano.
They also need a solid answer from Steinbrenner about $189 million. Steinbrenner has articulated a few times that it would be a nice target to hit, considering it would set the Yankees up to use more of their future dollars to help the club rather than assisting other teams. But Steinbrenner has also said that the $189 million figure does not supersede the mission of fielding a World Series championship club. The ’13 Yankees obviously weren’t one, and after missing the playoffs entirely, scrapping the $189 million plan could still be in play.
Since I strongly doubt anyone wants to scour a 7,000 word Q&A, here are some of the most important talking points that were covered during yesterday’s press conference:
Opening thoughts: Your opinion of the 2013 season?
“It was a tough one. We didn’t get to where we wanted to be. Obviously it was a struggle all year; a lot of disappointment, whether it’s injuries, reoccurring injuries, underperformance, unexpected poor performance. We didn’t get where we needed to be and there were a lot of reasons for it. We obviously fought to the end. I appreciated the effort that our guys provided on a daily basis. Everybody that was healthy or even the guys that weren’t healthy that tried to get healthy and even those who failed in their efforts to return or their returns were brief. There was always effort. For that, I never saw that being an issue. We weren’t good enough, period. We are where we belong, which is on the outside looking in.”
Your opinion of Joe Girardi’s job performance?
“I think Joe has been consistent since we’ve had him here. The teams have changed, for instance, talent level, health, what he’s had to run out on a daily basis from year to year. The personnel has been different, but his effort and his efforts in pregame, in preparation for each series, how he runs Major League Spring Training as well as getting the 25 that are active competing on a daily basis, I think he’s been consistently tremendous at it. I know that because of the challenges this year presented to this organization, the amount of players that we had to use and find and replace on the run, there were more people to manage, people to welcome and let go. He has obviously gotten a lot of notoriety for keeping everything in check. I personally believe he has been exceptional ever since we’ve had him. I don’t feel this year was an outlier to other years. From your perspective, maybe that’s different, but I can tell you he’s been extremely consistent from day one with us. He’s been the same and has done a great job every year. Obviously the talent that he had to work with this year was significantly less than other years, but he still remained the same from my perspective. I thought this year was the same as other years. The job as a manager is to make sure these guys fight and compete on a daily basis, stay motivated, stay hungry. … This year was unique in a lot of different ways and he was able to still maintain that leadership, keep these guys hungry and motivated and not give up. They never did. I never saw that. Thumbs up. I thought he did a great job. Him and his staff.”
Why do you believe the 2014 Yankees can be better than this year’s edition?
“I think the intent is there. The ownership interest is there. But to talk about it right now, confidence or not, it’s what you do. There’s a reality of the situation that when you’re in a position of leadership, you have to attack areas of problems that develop over time. We will attack those. I’m not afraid of the reality. None of the people here are afraid of the reality. We recognize there are some challenges that we have to deal with – and we’re up for that challenge. But I can’t tell you at the same time and tell you, ‘Don’t worry, it’s going to be fine.’ It’s going to take some time. Some of it can be fixed sooner than later, others might take some time. But I can’t predict how free agency is going to work out, I can’t predict how we match up with other clubs yet. It’s just too early in the process. My confidence would be in betting on ownership here, because their intent is always to compete for a championship. What took place this year, for instance, it could have been easy for them to give up and say ‘There’s no chance.’ They had no interest in doing that. They obviously had every interest in trying to not only keep us relevant but qualify for the playoffs and make a run at the championship. From the injuries that occurred in spring training, whether it was Vernon Wells’ addition to [Alfonso] Soriano’s addition and every small little addition in between, it was a reflection of their interest and desire to, ‘I don’t care what it takes, we’ve got to fix this thing as we keep losing guys along the way.’ It led to a record Yankee franchise players that propelled us to 85 wins. We fell short, but their intent was to find some way to get us in regardless of what had happened. That’s what we tried to do, but obviously we fell short. The only thing I can confidently tell you is, when the last name is Steinbrenner, the effort is going to be there in terms of making a full push for having the best team on the field you can possibly have.”
Evaluation of the player development system
“In terms of changes, we’re always looking at that kind of stuff, and if there’s any changes to be made, we’ll make them. We have struggled out of the draft here the last number of years, some of it signability, whether a Gerrit Cole, some of it was injuries, like last year’s number one pick Ty Hensley having double hip surgery, so he hasn’t even been available to us. Some of our picks haven’t panned out. I think this last year we did really well, but in fairness, you always feel that when you make the selections, so we’re evaluating that as well. I think we’re obviously starting top to bottom. We typically do it every three years. We started maybe two months ago evaluating the decision making process and the expected value from where you pick in the draft, and comparisons to other organizations, and so, you try to determine what is accurate and true and what is not as accurate and more perception. So first and foremost we’re going through that process, but yeah, we haven’t had as fruitful results from the draft here recently as we had hoped and anticipated. In terms of development, we’ve had guys three years ago ranked in the top seven in farm systems in the game and I think in the last two years, our players have either got injured that have taken them out, Manny Banuelos for instance, or we’ve had guys go backwards, like a Dellin Betances for instance, was considered a high-end starter and has now been converted to the bullpen because of the failure there in finishing it off. He’ll be competing for a spot out of the bullpen next year as he’s out of options, so those are examples of injuries, performance going backwards, or unexpected return.
How vital is keeping Cano?
“We’d love to have Robbie back. There’s not much more for me to say about that, but our intention is to have him back, if we can. He’ll receive without question, or has received, whatever, a significant offer to stay, so he’ll have something legitimately to ponder. We’ll have to again, play that one out as well, see where it takes us. He’s been a great Yankee. I think if he stays he’ll have a legitimate chance to experience what you just saw, for instance, for Mariano. Maybe he has the chance to be the first Dominican-born player in Monument Park. A home-grown Yankee. But at the same time. It’s a business. He has comported himself in a tremendous way both on and off the field for the New York Yankees and we’ve been extremely happy to have him and we hope to extend that relationship, but we have a process to still go through on that, and he will certainly be in a position to entertain offers from other clubs in the process.”
The Alex Rodriguez situation
“I operate on the assumption that I have him until they tell me otherwise. I’m not really in a position to talk about the Alex stuff. We’re not a party to it. … It’s not something that’s in our control, so I’m not focused on it. I have Alex plugged in unless I’m told something different. so there’s nothing else for me really to say on that.”
Derek Jeter’s 2014 outlook
“I certainly hope to get Derek back to the Derek that we’re all used to. He’s one of those guys that did everything in his power to fight through something that turned out to be pretty significant. And so now he’ll have some time to back off, get some rest, some more flexibility back, and get every aspect of that ankle in line, as far as the kinetic chain. So it’ll put him in position to have the typical training regimen he’s used to as he prepares for the season. He’ll be able to do that. The expectation is that when that happens, and does occur, he can put significant distance between what we saw and all lived through with him, the last year, where obviously it was something that was really limiting him to being the player he’s capable of being again.”
Is Jeter your shortstop? Is a position change possible?
“The options for him are shortstop and DH. I think the DH spot is utilized like it is for all our other guys too, for rest. It’s one of those things where we can’t run somebody into the ground, but hey, your bat’s too important not to have to in the lineup. So on a given day, as we were planning do this year, against left-handed pitchers, if it gives us a chance to rest him but still give him four at bats so can benefit from the bat, the DH spot, depending on how the roster is constructed, would be available. That was the plan this year, and it would benefit him, whether it was Alex, [Kevin] Youkilis if he was healthy, that there were going to to be situations, with [Mark] Teixeira and all those guys, that it would be utilized to give guys a breather but still maintain the offense. That’s our hope and expectation as we move forward into next year.”
Does this lineup need to get back to power?
“Players I like to gravitate to, clearly, are on-base percentage. I was taught by Gene Michael, as the guys who take — they’re are selective at the plate and can beat you with their bat. The long ball. I love the big long ball. Stick always believed in the old Earl Weaver way. That’s what I was taught and raised in, so the players I typically gravitate to are those type of guys. And it was certainly hard to find those type of guys on the run, as the roster choices, as we went from March on, trying to cushion blows, it’s not easy to find power guys, as much as maybe as in years past. Certainly it wasn’t easy for us to plug the holes. I wasn’t able to do that; failed in my efforts to get that done. Power is a big piece of this franchise, and something I believe in.”
Are these four outfielders – Wells, Ichiro, Brett Gardner, Soriano – your starting outfielders?
“We’ll see. It’s hard for me to get ahead of. That most important meeting for me is that pro scouting meeting. That’s something we’ve had a great deal of success with over the years, with that meeting setting up the chess board for ourselves. A lot of things can run interference about how we are able to execute that, whether it’s negotiating, being able to secure the trade, but these guys are I think some of the best scouts that are in the game. That pro scouting meeting sets the tone of what really is available to us. What players we really should be gravitating to and who we should stay away from. It’s hard for me to really say. Ultimately the truth of the matter is it’s my job to always – I mean, I’ve sat there in front of our players in the minor leagues, it’s my job to always find better than what we already have. I remember turn the clock back meeting with Melky Cabrera saying hey man I’ve got a guy named Brett Gardner and he’s coming fast. Don’t let him take your job. Those are many examples of hey it’s our responsibility to always look for better than what we have at those positions as a team. Then you hope it stays healthy and plays up to your expectations. Unfortunately this year we had a lot of all of it; which is players that we expected to perform better and they didn’t, or they went backwards with their performance, or maybe we misevaluated that effort on their performance, or the injuries. It’s my responsibility in all aspects of it.
“Bottom line is, we will continue that process. I cannot get ahead of it. I can’t tell you all those jobs are secure. I can’t tell you all those guys are satisfactory. I can’t tell you any of that stuff. I’ve got to look at what the options are available to us, what the costs are associated with acquiring those players, whether it’s free agent dollars, and we’ll just have to go through that process first. Once I secure that and have that knowledge, it’s definitely not in my best interest to share what it would be anyway until you go to marketplace and try to pull down what’s necessary.”
Here are the early notes as the Yankees (76-67) and Orioles (76-66) get set to kick off a four-game series here at Camden Yards. CC Sabathia (13-11) has the ball for New York, while the Orioles counter with Chris Tillman (15-5, 3.71). It’s a nice September night here in the Inner Harbor, temperatures in the 70s and – somehow – low humidity. That won’t last all week, so let’s enjoy it while we can.
Alex Rodriguez is hitting second tonight, the first time he has done so since Aug. 26, 2006, when Joe Torre tried him there in a 12-7 loss to the Angels. Joe Girardi said that since Alfonso Soriano has been productive hitting behind Robinson Cano, he wanted to keep that alignment intact.
“[Rodriguez has] done a really good job of getting on base against right-handers and swinging the bat well against right-handers,” Girardi said. “I’m trying to break up our left-handed hitters.”
Hey, was that Derek Jeter? It was — briefly. Jeter stepped out of the trainer’s room for only a moment, and did not return the rest of the time that reporters were allowed in the clubhouse. Jeter hasn’t spoken publicly since he left Saturday’s game to have a CT scan performed.
Girardi said that he wanted to keep Jeter from doing any baseball activity on Monday, but added that Jeter could be pressed into duty on his sore ankle if anything happened to shortstop Eduardo Nunez.
“I might use him in an emergency if I had to use him tonight,” Girardi said. “That’s kind of the situation we’re in. It’s not like I have a number of shortstops lying around.”
Where have you gone, Reid Brignac? Oh, right.
The team forwarded Jeter’s CT scan results to Dr. Robert Anderson – who performed Jeter’s ankle surgery last October – but Brian Cashman said that Anderson has not yet responded with his diagnosis. Cashman added that there has been no consideration given to the idea of shutting Jeter down for the rest of the 2013 season.
“No, no, no, no,” Cashman said.
David Robertson was scheduled to play catch on Monday, testing his right arm after he was diagnosed with shoulder inflammation last week. He’s considered ahead of Boone Logan, who had a a cortisone injection administered over the weekend. Girardi seemed to be doubtful that Logan would be available until Friday against the Red Sox, but they’re hopeful Robertson could pitch in the Orioles series.
Chris Stewart is “probably not” available to play, according to Girardi. Stewart sustained a left foot contusion when he was hit by a pitch in the third inning of Sunday’s 4-3 win over the Red Sox at Yankee Stadium.
Left-hander David Huff continues to be listed as the Yankees’ probable starter on Thursday against the Orioles, though that seems less than a certainty after Huff allowed nine runs in 3 1/3 innings to the Red Sox on Saturday.
“We’re going to get through these three days and see where we’re at,” Girardi said. “I’m not saying I’m changing anything, but if we need Huff [in relief], we need Huff.”
Phil Hughes, who lost his rotation slot to Huff, could be reinstated to starting duty under that scenario.
Cashman’s state of the Yankees: “Well, I certainly don’t like where we’re sitting because you want to be in the driver’s seat and we’re not in the driver’s seat, But I know we’re going to fight and give it everything we’ve got, as simple as that.
“We’ve been fighting for this thing all year long and they’ve put themselves in a position to kind of see a line that crossable. But we’re all bunched together here, so this is a big series. It’s the obvious thing to say but it’s true.
“We’ve caught enough breaks this year. Like anything else, every time someone has a problem it gives an opportunity to either take advantage or not. It’s hard to find anything at this time of year now.”
My Beat The Streak pick today: I’d better start doubling down if we’re going to make this streak respectable — forget matching Joe D., I can’t even get to Wee Willie Keeler with just 19 games left. So let’s make two picks tonight: A-Rod (4-for-7 lifetime vs. Tillman) and Cano (11-for-22 lifetime vs. Tillman). The streak is at one after Ichiro Suzuki had two hits in yesterday’s win.
Here are the early notes as the Yankees (75-67) and Red Sox (86-58) prepare to meet here at Yankee Stadium for the finale of a four-game series. Hoping to avoid the sweep, the Yankees give the ball to Hiroki Kuroda (11-10, 2.99), while the Red Sox counter with Jon Lester (13-8, 3.88). It’s a gorgeous Sunday afternoon in the Bronx; partly cloudy and temperatures in the low 80s.
We haven’t yet heard from Derek Jeter, but Joe Girardi said the working plan is to shut Jeter down for at least two days due to a sore left ankle. The CT scan came back negative and that’s an encouraging sign, so the Yankees haven’t yet given any thought to shutting Jeter down for the rest of the season.
He hasn’t looked quite right on either side of the ball, though, so Dr. Robert Anderson is taking a look at the scan results down in Charlotte. Bottom line for Jeter: the ankle problem is something that is continuing to linger. No wonder he called this season a “nightmare” last month.
“[This season is] probably his worst one ever for him, to have to live through this, and you can probably go back to when he started when he was six years old,” Girardi said. “He loves to be out there and he loves to compete. And this is the time that he probably loves being out there more than any. It’s been difficult.
“… He’s been dealing with it. He understands. I know he’s frustrated and he wants to be out there. It’s tearing him up inside. As much as he doesn’t like it and he wants to be out there, I think he understands our point of view about trying to give it a couple of days to calm down.”
Brett Gardner is on the bench today, but there’s no injury problem with him. Girardi said he is sitting Gardner because he is 2-for-11 lifetime vs. Lester.
Shawn Kelley is available in the Yankees bullpen today. David Robertson and Boone Logan are not; they feel better but aren’t able to play catch yet.
The Yankees have not made any changes to their rotation, so for the moment, David Huff is still on track to start Thursday against the Orioles in Baltimore.
Girardi’s take on the Red Sox’s improvement in 2013: “They’re healthy. That’s the biggest difference. They’re healthy. They had to deal with a lot of injuries last year to all parts of their club. It wasn’t like, when you look at them offensively, they had guys who forgot how to hit. You had guys that were not in the lineup a lot, and that’s the biggest difference.”
As noted yesterday, the Yankees have lost three straight games in which they have scored seven or more runs for the first time in franchise history, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. Here’s some more historical factoids, if you can bear them, as provided by the Yanks:
PITCHING NOTES: The Yankees have allowed at least 12R in consecutive games for the first time since 7/17-18/96 (12R on 7/17 at Boston and 16R on 7/18 at Milwaukee) and in back-to-back games vs. one opponent for the first time since 8/27-28/88 at California (12R on 8/27 and 13R on 8/28)…have done so in consecutive home games for the first time since 8/3-12/60 (12R on 8/3 vs. Detroit and 12R on 8/12 vs. Washington)…marks the first time doing so in consecutive home games on the same homestand since 8/4-6/29 (14R in Game 2 on 8/4 vs. Cleveland and 13R in Game 1 on 8/6 vs. Washington)…since the Yankees began calling New York home for the 1903 season, the only other time they had allowed at least 12R in consecutive home games to the same team in the same series was 6/28/1907 (16-5 loss) and 7/1/1907 Game 1 (16-15 win) vs. Washington.
My Beat The Streak pick today: Ichiro Suzuki, who is leading off today and is 14-for-41 (.341) lifetime vs. Lester. The streak is at zero after Curtis Granderson went hitless yesterday.
Derek Jeter was sent for a CT scan on his surgically repaired left ankle, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said. The team announced that the results of that scan were negative. As a precaution, the results will be sent to Dr. Robert Anderson in Charlotte, N.C., who performed Jeter’s left ankle surgery last October.
Jeter was removed for a pinch-runner after his sixth-inning RBI single in New York’s 13-9 loss to the Red Sox. Manager Joe Girardi said that he did not like the way Jeter was running and made the move to send in Mark Reynolds to run for him.
“Obviously he’s been through a lot this year,” Yankees GM Brian Cashman said. “Joe didn’t like the way he was running around there, and D.J. is obviously never very forthcoming with anything on that type of stuff. We’re just going to take a look under the hood and make sure everything is OK. If it is, you’ll see him back here tomorrow.”
Girardi said that he did not know if the issue would keep Jeter out of Sunday’s lineup against Boston.
“It’s not what you want,” Girardi said. “It’s what we’ve had to deal with a lot this year. Hopefully he’s OK tomorrow and he can play or somehow contribute.”
IN TWO PARAGRAPHS: How much length is left in Phil Hughes’ leash? That’s the big question tonight, and Joe Girardi only gave Hughes a lukewarm endorsement. No, Hughes wasn’t terrible, and an Ichiro Suzuki error surely dented his line a bit, but the Yankees seem to be running out of patience. Hughes allowed five runs (three earned) and seven hits in 4 2/3 innings to a Blue Jays team that is very clearly playing spoiler, and Toronto posted a 5-2 victory over New York on Monday at Rogers Centre.
Hughes’ record fell to a nightmarish 4-13 with the loss, but the Yankees have been reluctant to make a change in their rotation because they haven’t been sure there are better options in the system. David Phelps, Michael Pineda and Vidal Nuno all could’ve been in that mix, but injuries have taken them out of the running. Maybe David Huff (3 1/3 hitless innings with five strikeouts) has vaulted into play. Just because they haven’t talked about it doesn’t mean they won’t.
MANAGER’S TAKE: “Right now [Hughes is] in our rotation. We haven’t talked about taking him out of our rotation. I think he had a walk that scored; a couple walks hurt him today. We didn’t make the play behind him and it looks a lot different if it’s three runs in five innings.” – Joe Girardi
Ichiro: “If I could’ve just gone straight home from right field, I would have. I was that embarrassed.”
Hughes: “It’s been very difficult. Every time I feel like I make some progress the last couple times out, it seems like you have these hiccups and it’s the way the whole season has gone. It’s been difficult, it’s been a struggle. I guess every time you have one of these outings I try and look at the positive. I still have the opportunity to pitch in big games where it really matters and that’s all I can do. I can’t get down on myself or negative all the time. I just have to stay confident and aggressive every time they give me the ball.”
Derek Jeter: “All the games are important, but Toronto’s got a good team. They’re not just going to lay down and let us walk all over them. They have a lot of pride over there, they have a great team. Remember, coming into this season, they were supposed to run away with the division, so they have a good team. Unfortunately for us, we couldn’t figure out the knuckleball today.”
Two milestones – Alex Rodriguez hit his 650th homer and Brett Gardner picked up his 500th career hit in the loss … Derek Jeter went 0-for-3 with a walk and double play. … A-Rod has 35 homers at Rogers Centre, the most by any Blue Jays opponent. … The Blue Jays snapped a streak of 10 straight losses to the Yankees.
The Yankees give the ball to Andy Pettitte (9-9, 4.26) on Tuesday opposite the Blue Jays’ J.A. Happ (3-3, 5.10) in a matchup of lefties. First pitch is scheduled for 7:07 p.m. ET on YES. The Yankees have lost three of their last four games after carrying a five-game winning streak into this road trip.
Here are the early notes as the Yankees (69-61) and Blue Jays (58-73) prepare to meet with the roof open here at Rogers Centre. Phil Hughes and R.A. Dickey are matching up for the 7:07 p.m. ET start:
Will this time be the charm for Derek Jeter? Since this is already Game 131, the Yanks certainly hope so. Jeter said that he can’t change anything about the way this frustrating “nightmare” season has gone thus far, but Joe Girardi said that if he had to choose any stretch of the year to have Jeter on the active roster, this would obviously be it.
There’s more from the Captain here. In one telling moment, Jeter acknowledged that he has not been able to work out his legs regularly since last year’s ALCS, which he seems to think is one reasonable explanation for why he has had so many health problems.
“I’ll try to do as much as I can to keep them strong for this last month, but all I can do is go out and play and hope everything’s fine,” Jeter said. “I can’t change anything that’s happened. I wish I would’ve had more time to do things, but I didn’t, and we are where we are. So now let’s move forward, and hopefully there’s no more issues.”
Even now, coming off a three-game rehab stint at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, Jeter doesn’t seem to be 100 percent. The Yankees are saying things like they want Jeter to “run under control,” which boiled down means — please don’t go back on the DL for a fourth time. If he has to jog to first base on ground balls, as he was doing the last time he was active against the Rays and Dodgers in July, so be it. They’ll gladly make that trade.
Alex Rodriguez is hitting sixth in tonight’s lineup. Girardi said it was because he now has the ability to not stack so many left-handers in a row. A-Rod breaks up a group of Curtis Granderson (5), Lyle Overbay (7) and Ichiro Suzuki (8).
Eduardo Nunez, utilityman? That experiment is back in play with Jeter’s return. The Yankees don’t expect to get Jayson Nix back from his broken hand (remember how long it took Granderson?), so Nunez will be taking ground balls at shortstop, third base and second base. Girardi wasn’t sure if he’d play Nunez ahead of Mark Reynolds at third base.
The Yankees left Preston Claiborne behind in Tampa. He’ll be a Class-A Tampa Yankee for a week since their season ends on Sept. 1. You’d figure Claiborne would rejoin the big league club the next day.
Telling sign about where the Blue Jays are in their season: Girardi looked up during his press session in the dugout and was surprised to see Toronto was already finished with their BP. “We haven’t even stretched yet,” he said.
My Beat The Streak pick today: Robinson Cano. He’s 5-for-17 lifetime against Dickey. Streak is at one after Eduardo Nunez went 1-for-5 against the Rays Sunday.
Here are the light early notes as the Yankees (68-61) and Rays (74-53) prepare to meet under the roof here at Tropicana Field, with Ivan Nova and Alex Cobb matching up for the 1:40 p.m. ET start:
Alex Rodriguez is not in the Yankees’ lineup, this being a day game after a night game. The Yankees are also playing six straight games on artificial turf with the series at Toronto coming up, so that also went into the thinking. Lyle Overbay is back in the lineup after battling the flu for a couple of days. Joe Girardi said that the hope is that the illness is behind Overbay.
The plan is still for Derek Jeter to rejoin the Yankees in Toronto tomorrow. It raised a little bit of a red flag for me that Jeter left last night’s game at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre without speaking to reporters – seems out of character for him – but all reports are that he was fine. Girardi plans to put Jeter in the lineup tomorrow.
My Beat The Streak pick today: Brett Gardner. He’s 2-for-8 lifetime against Cobb. Streak is at zero after Alfonso Soriano went hitless last night.
The Yankees are looking to avoid the sweep. They’ve been swept five times this season, four coming on the road, most recently Aug. 5-7 at Chicago. They haven’t been swept by the Rays at the Trop since April 6-8, 2012.
“You had some momentum on your side,” Girardi said. “You want to keep that momentum.”
Here are the early notes as the Yankees (68-60) and Rays (73-53) prepare to meet under the roof here at Tropicana Field, with CC Sabathia and David Price matching up for the 7:10 p.m. ET start:
Brett Gardner is not in the Yankees’ lineup, but it has nothing to do with his right hand, which was hit last night by a 95 mph Chris Archer fastball. Gardner had X-rays this morning on the hand and they showed no break. Gardner said the hand is a little swollen, but manager Joe Girardi said he wasn’t planning on playing Gardner against the left-hander Price anyway.
Girardi also said he thought Ichiro Suzuki‘s at-bats were good against Price the last time the Yankees saw him.
Derek Jeter is scheduled to play tonight for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre against Pawtucket and then would be in the Yankees’ lineup on Monday at Toronto if everything goes well. The captain went 0-for-3 with a walk and run scored on Friday for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
Girardi’s scouting report on Price: “You look at him three or four years ago and you see he threw 80-85 percent fastballs. But now he’s developed his repertoire. He’s got a curveball, slider a very good backdoor slider to righties. He’s got a very good changeup. He’s just evolved as a pitcher is what he’s done. He’s always had the great fastball but his secondary stuff is now pretty good.”
And what Girardi is looking for from Sabathia tonight: “This is a lineup that if you make mistakes, they’re going to hit the ball out of the ballpark and you got to stay away from the mistakes. Your sinker has to be effective, your changeup has to be effective, and you go from there.”
Girardi was asked if Sabathia’s weight loss might have anything to do with his struggles this season: “I don’t think so. It’s not like he’s 210 pounds. He’s not Mr. [Edwar] Ramirez that we used to have here. He’s still a big man. He’s still strong. I think he’s in tremendous shape.”
Yes, that’s right, there was an Edwar Ramirez reference today. Bet you weren’t counting on hearing anything about the man they called “Flacco.” I do miss watching Mariano Rivera stuff Ramirez into the lockers at the old Stadium.
Two other random thoughts about Ramirez, since my memory has been jogged — Mark Feinsand of the Daily News once made Ramirez cry, asking him about a grand slam that he gave up to Mark Teixeira, who was then with the Angels. Watching Edwar mop his tears with his uniform was just about the saddest thing you can see in a clubhouse. And then there’s the great quote from Kevin Millar about Ramirez: “Cute little fella. That’s good hittin’.”
Other notes — Adam Warren should be available in long relief out of the Yankees’ bullpen. … Lyle Overbay isn’t having a fun trip; he’s still having some flu-like symptoms, and it’s uncertain if he would be available to play tonight. Hey, at least he’s doing better than Chan Ho Park was in Boston. … The Yankees were watching the California/Connecticut Little League World Series game on the clubhouse TVs.
My Beat The Streak pick tonight: Alfonso Soriano. Streak is at zero after Alex Rodriguez went hitless last night.
And we’ll wrap today’s pre-game notes with a Debbie Downer not-so-fun fact for the Yankees: they’re 5-15 in their last 20 games at Tropicana Field dating back to July 21, 2011.
Derek Jeter will begin yet another Minor League rehabilitation assignment on Thursday, joining the Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders for their 7:05 p.m. ET home game against the Pawtucket Red Sox.
Jeter is recovering from a Grade 1 strain of his right calf, and Yankees manager Joe Girardi said that Jeter is slated to play five innings at shortstop. Jeter worked out in Tampa, Fla. again on Wednesday and ran the bases, according to Girardi, who said that he expects Jeter will play at least two games for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
“As I’ve said, we’ll just go day-by-day and see how he responds each day,” Girardi said.
It is possible, but not a sure bet, that Jeter could re-join the Yankees on Saturday at Tropicana Field.
Derek Jeter has been diagnosed with a Grade 1 strain of his quadriceps and will not play through the weekend, Yankees GM Brian Cashman announced today.
That will permit him to rest through the All-Star break as well, which the Yankees are hopeful will allow him to avoid going back on the disabled list.
Cashman said that would be the best case scenario, but also cautioned there is still a chance he’ll need to be retroactively placed on the disabled list after the All-Star break.
A Grade 1 strain is the slightest, or least severe, of the three possible grades.