Results tagged ‘ Joe Girardi ’
Yankees manager Joe Girardi said last night that he has no plans to alter anything with his late-inning relief situation, which will continue to have Soriano manning the eighth innings more times than not.
“You’ve got to fight your way out of it,” Girardi said. “You keep using the guys. You get them on track. I haven’t lost any confidence in Rafael Soriano. This is a very good pitcher that just happened to give up a two-run homer.”
Soriano missed time recently with a sore lower back, though he said that wasn’t an issue on Tuesday, when he served up a go-ahead blast to the White Sox’s Paul Konerko. But he did say that it has been difficult moving into a setup role after saving an American League-leading 45 games for the Rays last season.
“It’s not easy for me,” Soriano said. “I’m trying to figure it out, how that I can do the same that I did last year. I’m struggling right now. I’ll take it and forget about it, and come back tomorrow.”
Alex Rodriguez said after the game that he believes Soriano is feeling out an adjustment process to New York, and Girardi said that he believes Soriano is equipped to get through it.
“It’s a different animal here,” Girardi said. “Some guys come in and the transition is easy. Other guys, it can be difficult. I haven’t found the transition to be really difficult for him, I just think at times he hasn’t thrown great this year. I haven’t seen anything to tell me he can’t handle it.”
Girardi also rejected the suggestion that Soriano might not adapt to the pressure of pitching in pinstripes.
“Let’s not forget that he closed 45 games in this division last year,” Girardi said. “It was a tight race. There was pressure in our division the whole year.”
Soriano’s likely not available for the Yankees tonight, having pitched on back-to-back nights.
It was a busy Wednesday morning in the Bronx, as the Yankees introduced Rafael Soriano to the New York media, a signing that Brian Cashman acknowledged makes the team better but one that he had still vocally opposed because of the contract value and a lost first-round Draft pick.
Then, just for good measure, Cashman acknowledged that he indeed had several discussions about bringing Carl Pavano back to the Yankees, looking for someone to upgrade a rotation that still figures to include both Ivan Nova and Sergio Mitre if the season started today.
Pavano signed a two-year deal with the Twins later in the day, but like we said, it was a busy morning. Here are some of the other tidbits that might have been overlooked:
Cashman: “Joba’s in the bullpen, for the 200th time” – a.k.a., The Debate is Over
Joba Chamberlain will be in the bullpen and there is no chance of him starting for the Yankees in 2011, both Cashman and Girardi said.
Here’s Girardi’s explanation: “I think Joba is going to be an important part of our bullpen. For me, I like to shorten the game as much as I can. He has a chance to be an outstanding reliever for us and I think his second half was better than his first half. I think we could really have a close down bullpen where the game gets really short. When you’re called upon to pitch, your inning is just as important. If you give up runs in the sixth, you never get to the eighth. Sometimes in the seventh you might face a tougher part of the order than the eighth.”
Asked if there was some physical reason the Yankees wouldn’t consider starting Chamberlain, Girardi answered, “No, not necessarily. It’s probably hard to bounce back and forth all the time. Then you end up with an innings limitation again. I think it’s really important that you have an awesome bullpen and I think he can be a big part of that. … We just decided at this point that’s where he fits the best and that’s where we’re going to put him.”
Responding to a similar question, Cashman said, “I think we’ve seen over time now that his stuff plays so much better as a reliever than as a starter … As a result of everything leading up to and including last spring.”
A reporter then tried to float the case that Chamberlain’s numbers as a starter compared favorably to what Ivan Nova or Sergio Mitre might provide.
“He’s in the bullpen,” Cashman said.
Did Boston’s big winter push the Soriano deal?
Cashman said he never heard that the Yankees needed to react to Boston’s moves specifically, but Hal Steinbrenner felt that there needed to be an upgrade of some kind for the fan base. The decision went beyond just the baseball operations department, he added.
“I think [Steinbrenner] just felt we needed to do something, regardless,” Cashman said. “That’s how it was conveyed; ‘We’re not going to go into Spring Training without us doing something big.’ And this is big.”
Will Soriano fit in the clubhouse? Sure, Girardi says
There have been whispers that Soriano has had trouble with previous managers, including being upset with coming into non-save situations and being asked to pitch more than one inning. You would think that will be different with Mariano Rivera in New York.
Girardi said that reputation won’t be a problem, as he wants to “give everyone a clean slate” and tries to get to know each of his players as much as possible.
Are the Yankees a better team today?
Girardi figures the ’11 team is better than the one that walked off the field after Game 6 of the 2010 ALCS. “I think we’ve added to our bullpen, added another left-hander (in Pedro Feliciano), and I think we’re a better club because we’ve been through it,” he said.
More pitching on the way?
There has been buzz on the Hot Stove about the Yankees potentially showing interest in the Tigers’ Armando Galarraga – he of the imperfect Jim Joyce game – who was designated for assignment. He’s easily one of the more appealing options out there, given the marketplace.
Regarding another possible upgrade to the rotation, Cashman said: “I hope so. The starter might have to come from within. Hopefully we have some of these young kids answer the bell for us. In the meantime, we’ll still keep our eyes and ears open to the remaining market, which is very limited.”
He added: “It’s a difficult market to choose from. Listen, if you’re still on the board, there’s a reason for it.”
Captain leading off
As of this moment, Girardi says he has Derek Jeter penciled in to be the Yankees’ leadoff hitter. Hitting coach Kevin Long has said that he’d like to use Spring Training to experiment with different combinations.
Yankees manager Joe Girardi shed more light on why Andy Pettitte couldn’t pitch Game 2 of the ALCS today, and why the team instead went to Phil Hughes for Games 2 and 6 against the Rangers. Here’s the transcript:
(Any second thoughts about how he set up Pettitte and Hughes?) Sometimes as a manager you have to do things for certain reasons. As I said before, we lined up our rotation, there were a lot of factors that went into our rotation. Sometimes you’re going to take heat or people are going to question things that you do about it because you’re trying to protect a player or protect a strategy.
Let me take you back. Andy Pettitte pitched Thursday against Minnesota. In the seventh inning, Andy’s back started locking up a little bit. His hamstrings got really tight. He gutted it through the seventh inning for us and got through it. He wanted to go back out for the eighth. I think he had about 88 pitches. And I said, ‘No, you’re not going back out. You’ve done your job.’
He came in on Friday and his back was locked up. Saturday was his bullpen because he basically had to prepare for Game 5. He got about halfway through his bullpen and had to walk off because his leg grabbed at him. A little different spot, his adductor. So we thought it was in our best interests, and I thought talking to the trainers and the doctors, if we could give him a couple of extra days he might be able to get through that series. He didn’t throw a light bullpen until Wednesday because we were fearful.
The last time Andy walked off a bullpen, it became a couple of weeks. If I only had Andy for one game in that playoff, I was willing to take the risk to make sure he was healthy. In talking to doctors, trainers, our staff, Cash, we thought we had to give him those two extra days. Andy had some leg problems down the stretch, he had some back issues. It was unfortunate and he pitched a great game.
Who knows what would have happened if he was able to pitch Game 2? We just felt that after having that issue on Saturday, we’d better give him a couple of extra days.
(If Andy was healthy, would he have pitched Game 2?) We might have lined up our rotation a little different if he was healthy, yes.
(Andrus’ tapper on the first play of Game 3) Yes, I held my breath. He seemed to be OK through that start. He talked about a little back stiffness but nothing like he had in Minnesota or when his leg grabbed. Every time he went after a ball, I was concerned. If you share that knowledge, maybe they bunt more. Maybe they try to do more things. And that was a concern of mine.
(Would Andy have pitched ALCS Game 7?) He was OK. At that point, he felt OK, so if I did have concerns, he was going.
- With a postseason berth still out there to be locked up, the Yankees will indeed start CC Sabathia tomorrow against the Blue Jays.
The Yankees will enter September in sole possession of first place in the American League East, their 82-50 record good enough to advance one game in front of the Tampa Bay Rays, who lost to the Blue Jays in a 13-5 decision at Tropicana Field.
Mark Teixeira said that the Yankees have been doing “a little bit” of scoreboard watching, sneaking peeks at the big out-of-town video screens between innings to see what’s going on down in St. Petersburg.
“At the same time, we have to win,” Teixeira said. “We have to take care of our own business. It doesn’t matter what everyone else does if we don’t win. You check the scoreboard every now and then, but we’re really concentrating on what we have to do.”
August wasn’t especially kind to the Yankees, who were one game up on the Rays when play closed on Aug. 1 and will be right in that same spot on Sept. 1. But treading water was pretty good considering what the Yankees had to deal with.
“I thought we battled through a tough month, with some injuries, an extremely tough schedule physically, some guys we expected to get back that didn’t get back,” manager Joe Girardi said. “I thought our guys played extremely hard and found a way to have a winning month. In our division, that’s extremely important.”
The work wasn’t done for most of the Yankees after the final pitch. Tonight is the team’s fantasy football draft, which was being conducted into the late hours behind the scenes in the clubhouse.
Joe Girardi said before Monday’s game that he would “probably lean toward” using Joba Chamberlain if presented with a tight spot in the eighth inning, but when that situation came up, Girardi steered away from Chamberlain and called on Dave Robertson and Boone Logan to help lock down the Indians lineup.
Joe Girardi provided an interesting view into the window of his thinking regarding the sixth inning Friday, where Jorge Posada was on second base and Curtis Granderson was on first base with nobody out against Brett Cecil.
Cervelli hit into a double play and the Yankees would be turned away on Brett Gardner’s pop-up, and Girardi was asked if he’d considered flashing the bunt sign for Cervelli instead of letting him swing away.
“That’s a legitimate question. You have a slow runner at second and you have a lefty on the mound who’s falling off toward third base. It’s got to be a perfect bunt. Cervi’s got two hits off of this guy. Lefties are hitting .180, there’s a left-hander behind him, the wind is blowing in. A sac fly is going to be difficult.”
Yankees pitching coach Dave Eiland will return Tuesday from his leave of absence, which began June 4. Joe Girardi did not offer details on where Eiland was during that time, but said he did keep tabs on the Yankees and watched some games.
Reporting day for pitchers and catchers is one of those things we all like to circle on the calendar when there’s two feet of snow on the ground and you think the winter is never going to end, but the dirty little secret of it all is that it’s actually pretty anti-climactic once it arrives.
For a date that is so synonymous with baseball — who amongst us hasn’t said something like, “Only 44 days until pitchers and catchers!” — there’s actually very little baseball going on. But you know that the end of winter is just hours away, and we can get back to doing what we’re supposed to.
For the Yankees, the technical definition of the P&C report date is that the players simply need to be within the city limits of Tampa and announce their arrival to the team, so they don’t necessarily even need to come to the stadium. A 30-second cell phone conversation of, “Hey, I’m here, see you tomorrow,” is just fine.
That said, a few guys wandered over to drop bags and check out their locker assignments before departing for one of their remaining days of freedom.
CC Sabathia, Phil Hughes and Joba Chamberlain all threw bullpen sessions at George M. Steinbrenner Field, Javier Vazquez said he was excited to be back, and Jorge Posada checked out some fresh shin guards that are destined to be destroyed by blocking drills and bouncing sliders all too soon.
Posada knows better than most that the demand of a World Series repeat will be an uphill charge.
“It’s probably the toughest thing to try to do it again,” Posada said. “Everybody plays you a little different when we come to town. You have to be ready, because they’re trying to get you. You’re the world champions and they’re trying to play a little better. It’s very challenging.”
The offseason was definitely quicker than it usually is, thanks to that little November Fall Classic, and in a strange way it almost felt like we’d never left this little perch overlooking the Dale Mabry Highway.
For the first time, Joe Girardi put on equipment that was marked with No. 28, as sure a sign as any that the new season is upon us.
“That’s basically just a message that we are not complacent,” Girardi said during a 30-plus minute chat with reporters. “We do want to move forward and try to win No. 28 for this organization and the great city of New York. We have a wonderful group here and wonderful fans, and it’s a reminder every day of why we’re out there.”