Results tagged ‘ Nick Johnson ’
Nick Johnson left tonight’s game with soreness in his right wrist and all indications are that he’ll be placed on the 15-day disabled list tomorrow.
Curtis Granderson departed the stadium before we could talk to him about his afternoon in left field, but from an observer’s point of view, it didn’t seem like he had much trouble at all out there.
Granderson made a nice play in the third inning running toward the seats to snag a Nick Markakis ball near the foul line, and on the next play he had to run back to track down a Miguel Tejada fly. Granderson also snagged a Cesar Izturis fly ball in the fifth inning.
“It was a tough wind & sun day,” Joe Girardi said. “It wasn’t an easy day to play left field. I thought he looked good.”
Girardi said that he’ll mix Granderson and Brett Gardner between left field and center field the rest of the spring.
- When the clubhouse opened to reporters in the fifth inning, Nick Johnson was sprawled on the carpet in a deep stretch, trying to keep flexible between at-bats. He’s looked pretty good so far to Girardi, who says that Johnson “really fits that bill” for the No. 2 spot.
“I’m extremely pleased with what he’s doing,” Girardi said. “A lot of long counts, he’s pulled balls, he’s hit balls over the left fielder’s head and the right fielder’s head, through the middle – quality at-bat after quality at-bat.”
So much for that Johnny Damon vs. the Yankees matchup we were talking about. He’s going to sit today’s game out with a case of turf toe. But Curtis Granderson is still in the lineup for the Yankees today at Lakeland, and he’s looking forward to seeing his old Tigers mates:
“I’ve already seen a few of them,” Granderson said of the Tigers, “but
to get a chance to go over to Lakeland, where I trained since 2003, is
going to be exciting. I’m not sure how many people they’re going to
have there tomorrow, but that’s one of the days on the calendar that is
This from yesterday – how would you have liked to get this text message from Nick Johnson: “I was awful. I was embarrassing.” After going 0-for-2 with a walk in an exhibition game? Well, Kevin Long did.
“That’s the type of guy Nick is. He’s hard on himself,” Long said.
“He’s got a little Larry Bowa to him. That’s part of that family, which
I like. He’s going to expect a lot. I think the great ones do that.
That part of him, I wouldn’t change a thing.”
- Also, this note to pass along: YES Network broadcaster and former Yankee John Flaherty will be honored at a March 15 luncheon at Gallagher’s Steak House in New York to benefit Fordham University. Tickets are priced at $75, and include a three course luncheon menu and a donation. For information and tickets call Cirillo World at 212-972-5337 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Some final notes from George M. Steinbrenner Field, where the sun is going down and the sprinklers are giving home plate a good soaking …
- I don’t remember how I celebrated my 24th birthday, but anything has to be better than taking a fastball off the noggin. Thankfully, Francisco Cervelli’s CT scans came back negative, but he’ll take it slow getting back to duty. A doctor visit is set for tomorrow, with a neurologist on Monday, and the earliest he could play is Tuesday. Bet that Joe Girardi gives Cervelli the Nick Johnson treatment and gives him a few more days beyond that, though.
- Speaking of Johnson, he took 50 swings of BP in the cages today and felt good. He’d play tomorrow if the Yankees had a home game, but they’re playing in Fort Myers, and it makes no sense to put a guy with a tweaked back on a 2+ hour bus ride. But in case you’re keeping score at home, yes, Johnson will have missed four games because he wore the wrong pair of shoes.
- I didn’t get to it in a news story, but Jose Molina (“The Panda”) was here and spoke to reporters a little bit about why he and A.J. Burnett seemed to click so well last season. One thing Molina said was that communication was a key – “I talked to him about a million times,” he said.
“There’s a lot of pitchers like that,” Molina said. “He’s one of those guys that can be pitching a nice game, seven innings and no runs or anything, and then he gives up a home run. Then he’s just lost. That’s when you realize you need to talk to him.”
- One final thought that I had this morning and chuckled about, promising to blog today — the day I was part of Mariano Rivera’s ‘security entourage.’ When I was in college and living in Rockland County, N.Y., I spent a few summers working in a sports memorabilia store at the Palisades Center mall, and one day we had Mo come in for an autograph signing.
The two hour session went by rather uneventfully, but what I was laughing about was the few minutes after the signing, when Mo needed to get back to his car (maybe the Yankees had a night game; I don’t remember). I guess he didn’t have anyone with him, so I was asked to escort him — must have been my intimidating plastic nametag — out to the parking lot.
I wish I could tell you that I beat down some nasty looking thugs trying to inflict harm on No. 42, but it all went about as smoothly as a three-pitch inning. We ducked out a side entrance near the Macaroni Grill trash dumpsters, where a few of the waiters were on their smoke breaks, and found his SUV parked somewhere nearby.
On the way, I dug into my pocket and pulled out a baseball for Mariano, and asked him to show me how he throws his cutter. I mean, I’m 20 years old, I might never get this chance again, right?
So he wraps his fingers around the ball, shows me his Hall of Fame grip, and then flips it back to me with these words: “Now don’t forget.” Don’t worry, Mo, I still haven’t. (By the way, I tried throwing it with almost no discernable results. Lesson of the day – I’m not Mariano Rivera.)
That definitely wasn’t Joba Chamberlain’s best out there this afternoon, and there was a reason for it. After spending two days this week laid up in bed with flu-like symptoms, Chamberlain guessed he was at 60 percent when he took the mound today against the Rays. The results weren’t pretty, as he was rapped for five runs on three hits in 1 1/3 innings.
Chamberlain said that he had barely eaten in three days and almost felt “scared to eat” – yesterday he choked down a Subway sandwich; tonight he planned to dine on mostly Gatorade. It’s a drastic change after being on a daily weightlifting regimen since last month. In all, he said he’s lost eight pounds since this ordeal started, but skipping the start wasn’t an option in his mind.
“You’d probably have to chop my legs off,” he said. “I’m going to take the ball as much as I can and try to get better. I felt strong enough and I felt like I did enough inbetween to try and get ready.”
- Phil Hughes thought he was “OK” in his two innings of one-run ball. That homer he served up to Sean Rodriguez might have been wind-blown a little, and Hughes thought Curtis Granderson had it lined up until it carried over the wall.
“It was all right,” Hughes said. “It was nice to finally get out there in real game situations. My fastball command was all over the place, but I felt like I threw some good changeups. They were swinging early and often, which was good. I got a read on some things.”
- Joe Girardi said that he’ll probably give Nick Johnson until Monday now to rest his stiff lower back. He didn’t want to play Johnson tomorrow vs. the Blue Jays and he definitely doesn’t want him making the long bus ride to Fort Myers for the Twins on Sunday. So, Monday it is.
- Girardi said that he thought Curtis Granderson had “two really good at-bats” vs. left-handed pitching. No hits yet for him, though. … Nick Swisher (wrist) is fine after hitting the ground running the bases.
Some closing thoughts from Bright House Field, where the Phillies defeated the Yankees with two runs in the ninth inning off Wilkins Arias…
- Nick Johnson is well aware of what the public perception is of his injury problems, and he grinned widely when somebody brought up how – no matter how trivial this back tweak might be – the bottom scroll on the TV news is still going to say that Johnson was scratched with a stiff lower back, and someone will inevitably say, ‘Here we go again.’
“It won’t be too long,” he said. “I’m not really worried about that.”
- Joe Girardi was mentioning how under conditions on a day like today, sometimes the ball can feel a little bit slick – perhaps a hint to not put all that much stock in the pitching. This may not get much sympathy from those of you up north, but some of the Yankees were feeling the chill out in that left-field bullpen. Put it this way – at first pitch, it was 49 degrees. Phillies.com’s Todd Zolecki checked the weather for Philadelphia at the same time and it was 40 degrees. So basically we could have played this one at Citizens Bank Park, as long as they cleared the snow.
- Girardi mentioned Zach McAllister (scoreless fourth), Ivan Nova (scoreless fifth) and Boone Logan (scoreless 1 1/3 innings) under the heading of “a lot of good things.”
- Roy Halladay should wind up being a pretty good deal for the Phillies. 24 pitches, 21 strikes. Girardi said, “He doesn’t change much, that’s for sure.” The Yankees saw him five times out of 18 games against the Blue Jays in 2009 and should be doing handsprings now that the good Doc has departed the American League East.
- Girardi’s message for tomorrow, when Phil Hughes and Joba Chamberlain will both pitch against the Rays: “No one’s going to be our fifth starter the first time through the rotation. It doesn’t happen that way. They’re going to be competitive, there’s no doubt about it. We’ll watch them closely, but all these guys need to get their arm strength back. Just try not to overthrow tomorrow. Try to stay within yourself.”
I know everyone giggles when they hear about the Yankees’ strict spending budget, but so far, Brian Cashman really is acting like he intends to keep the payroll under $200 million in 2010.
Take the Johnny Damon situation, for example. As Tyler Kepner details today in an analysis piece for the New York Times, Damon had offered to return for two years and $20 million, but only after the Yankees offered two years and $14 million. By that point, the Yankees had already come near the finish line on a $5.5 million deal with Nick Johnson and it was too late to turn back.
A Yankees official told the Times that Damon’s agent, Scott Boras, wanted a two-year, $26 million deal when he spoke with Cashman on Wednesday, but Boras disputed that in an interview.
So the Yankees have subtracted Johnny Damon and Hideki Matsui from the World Series roster and replaced them with Curtis Granderson and Nick Johnson. They’re a little younger and certainly a little less expensive. But do you feel like the Yankees are better today?