Brian Heyman here at Yankee Stadium again for Chad.
Dave Eiland finally had a chance to work with A.J. Burnett in the bullpen again. The pitching coach wants Burnett to keep his left side from flying open. Burnett went 0-5 with an 11.35 ERA in five starts during Eiland’s leave of absence. Mike Harkey couldn’t get Burnett to do it right while serving as the interim pitching coach.
“It’s not like I gave him anything new today,” Eiland said. “Mike Harkey was telling him the same thing.”
Brett Gardner again isn’t starting, but his bruised right wrist is feeling better and he is again available as a pinch runner and defensive replacement. Chad Huffman started for him Tuesday against lefty Cliff Lee and fellow rookie Colin Curtis is starting for him tonight against righty Felix Hernandez. Joe Girardi has three rookies on his bench right now, but he sounded like he’s more comfortable starting them than using them as pinch hitters.
Marcus Thames is supposed to begin his rehab assignment as the DH with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, but Girardi said he would also need to play some games in the outfield before he returns.
Girardi also said he doesn’t expect Sergio Mitre back in the bullpen before the All-Star break and Alfredo Aceves is behind him on the comeback schedule. Both were supposed to throw off a mound in Tampa today.
Here’s the Seattle lineup:
1. Ichiro Suzuki RF
2. Chone Figgins 2B
3. Russell Branyan 1B
4. Milton Bradley DH
5. Jose Lopez 3B
6. Franklin Gutierrez CF
7. Jack Wilson SS
8. Rob Johnson C
9. Michael Saunders LF
Felix Hernandez P