Roger Kahlon is Hideki Matsui’s translator. He’s a terrific guy who has a great relationship with Joe Girardi, the players and the beat writers.
With Matsui recovering from knee surgery and not playing until this past week, we had been kidding Roger about not having much to do. But that has changed in the last few days as we’ve been interviewing Matsui on a fairly regular basis.
When today’s session broke up, I asked Roger if he needed a rest from all the translation he has been doing.
“That’s right, you better give him a break,” Matsui said in perfect English as everybody laughed.
Meanwhile, Matsui went from first to third today when a low liner off the bat of Cody Ransom to right skipped past Marcus Thames. He seems to be getting his legs under him along with getting his eye back at the plate.
Matsui is probably done as an outfielder, at least on any regular basis. But if his knees allow it, he will be a presence in the middle of the lineup.
Girardi said this afternoon that he is inclined to leave Mark Teixeira hitting third even when A-Rod is out. That could mean Matsui bats cleanup.