Before Joe Girardi said a word during today’s pregame interview, the turned the floor over to media relations director Jason Zillo for a four-part injury report.
Already mentioned that Thames could be back with the Yankees as early as tomorrow. The timing is a bit odd considering the Yankees face right-handed starters in the next three games, but at the very least Thames gives the Yankees a veteran on the bench. Last night he played seven innings in the field for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, and he’s scheduled for nine innings today.
After a 10-pitch inning yesterday, Mitre went to the Tampa bullpen to throw 10 more pitches. He’s scheduled for a two-inning outing with Tampa on Monday. Girardi said it’s “reasonable to assume” that Mitre will be ready to join the team after the all-star break. Doesn’t seem likely to happen before then.
Monday will be his first “advanced” bullpen session. Aceves is scheduled for 40 to 45 pitches off a full mound. He will throw all of his pitches. It’s a significant step, but Aceves remains behind Mitre and the team is still planning to move slowly because of the nature of the back injury and because Aceves has already missed so much time.
Remember him? Johnson is scheduled to take dry swings with a light fungo bat this afternoon. It’s possible he’ll hit up to 20 balls of a tee. If that goes well, Johnson will leave for Tampa to continue his rehab down there. He’s not ready for games — not even close — but this is the beginning of baseball activities. Girardi said Johnson is “weeks” from rejoining the team. “This is a process we understand is going to take a while,” Girardi said.
• Hardly a surprise to hear him say it, but Girardi said he remains confident that Joba Chamberlain can handle the eighth inning.
• Girardi said his role is “pretty much done” in picking the all-star team. Because of teams not represented, he was only able to freely select a handful of players.
• Any pitcher who starts on the Sunday before the All-Star Game will not be eligible for the game. Girardi, though, said he did not hesitate to pick a Sunday starter. If a guy pitches that day, he will simply be replaced. “I don’t think a player should be punished for pitching on Sunday,” Girardi said. “If he’s an all-star, he’s an all-star.”
• Yankees who made the team will find out from Girardi tomorrow, right around the same time the rosters are announced publicly. Girardi wouldn’t tell us who made it. Jerk.
Associated Press photo of Mitre