Joe Girardi just did a conference call with the beat writers and said that while the team won’t have its roster/scouting meeting until tomorrow morning, “We are definitely considering going to a three-man rotation in this round.”
Girardi pointed to the lighter workload that CC Sabathia faced in September, as well as the longer layoff he’s getting now since the Yankees swept the first round. Girardi said that the team would like to have plan in place for the rotation going into the series, as opposed to just waiting to see where the team stands when Game 4 rolls around. Remember, too, that because of off-days Sabathia could pitch Games 1, 4 and 7 and only have to pitch on short rest once instead of twice.
In other news to come out of the call:
• Johnny Damon chose to join a group of four bench players who took live batting practice today at the Stadium (Jerry Hairston, Eric Hinske, Brett Gardner and Francisco Cervelli were the others), though Girardi said he is not concerned about Damon’s rough ALDS. He said Damon will absolutely be the starting left fielder in Game 1.
• Chad Gaudin, Dave Robertson, Alfredo Aceves, Phil Coke and Damaso Marte all threw simulated games/BP today as well in an effort to stay sharp. Sabathia was also there to throw his side session.
• Girardi doesn’t expect “a ton of changes” to the roster for the ALCS. He said three catchers again are a possibility and that the decision will be tied to whether they keep Jose Molina catching A.J. Burnett. Girardi wouldn’t commit, but it certainly seems that he’s leaning to keeping that pairing. Girardi also said dropping a lefty out of the pen is possible, and said Brian Bruney and Freddy Guzman could be considerations for the spot.
• When asked about whether he could foresee using Joba Chamberlain in the eighth inning and Phil Hughes in the seventh at some point, Girardi hedged, saying “it’s possible” but that Hughes has been the team’s eighth inning guy for most of the season. “Sometimes you look at match-ups,” Girardi said as a way of mentioning a scenario where it could happen, but added, “I’m not concerned about Hughsie.”
• The Yankees will talk to their pitchers about ways to try and contain the Angels running game, but they don’t want to over-stress it. “Yes, we will do things to curb their running game but they are going to run,” Girardi said. “You’ve got to focus on the hitter.” Pitch-outs, slide steps and pickoff plays are among the things that will be used to try and keep the Angels from running wild.