When Nick Swisher got the call this morning asking him to join the Home Run Derby, he made five phone calls before saying yes. He called his manager, his hitting coach, his general manager, his father and his brother. All five gave him the thumbs up.
“He said, The Swish is in, here we go,” Long said.
Swisher asked his dad to pitch to him, but Steve Swisher said he hadn’t thrown BP in a while and didn’t want to suddenly do it again on that stage. Instead, Tony Pena will pitch and Swisher will hit left-handed.
“There’s still the same concerns,” Long said. “If he goes deep into the thing, then there’s going to be some issues and things we’ll have to iron out. We’ve already talked about the day after going right back into the cages and working on his swing. He should be alright.”
Joe Girardi said the difference between Swisher and Robinson Cano is that Swisher is 100 percent healthy. Cano has the back issue, Swisher doesn’t. “Swish is healthy as he can be,” Girardi said.
He’s also pretty much as excited as he can be.
“I used to do this in my backyard when I was six years old,” Swisher said. “Now I get to actually do it on the big stage… I gotta hit (at least) one. I can’t come back in this locker room otherwise.”
• The Yankees rotation after the break: CC Sabathia, A.J. Burnett, Andy Pettitte, Phil Hughes and Javier Vazquez. “Just the way we’re going with it,” Girardi said. “Not a huge deal, but it’s the way we’re going.”
• Sergio Mitre pitched three innings in the Gulf Coast League today. He allowed one run, two hits and struck out three. The Yankees are still deciding what’s next for him. He will either join the big league team immediately after the all-star break, or he’ll make another rehab start on Thursday.
• Nick Johnson will see the Yankees hand specialist on Sunday. “I have no idea when he’s coming back, and I have no idea if he’ll come back,” Girardi said. “You keep your fingers crossed but it’s just to hard to predict.”
• Regular day off for Derek Jeter. “He’s never happy,” Girardi said. “He never wants to come out of a game. But that’s my job to make those tough decisions.”
• Girardi said he already knows the pitchers he will use to replace those all-stars who start on Sunday, but obviously he’s not ready to announce them. He’s already indicated Jered Weaver will be one of them.
• Cliff Lee is making his Texas debut today, so he won’t be replaced.
• Speaking of replaced, Rafael Furcal has replaced Jose Reyes on the National League team.
• How does Girardi want the Yankees to go after Felix Hernandez tonight? “For a guy that has so much movement down, I think the approach is that you look for a pitch up and hope that he makes some mistakes,” Girardi said.
UPDATE, 9:25 p.m.: Mariners lineup
Ichiro Suzuki RF
Chone Figgins 2B
Russell Branyan DH
Jose Lopez 3B
Franklin Gutierrez CF
Justin Smoak 1B
Michael Saunders LF
Rob Johnson C
Jack Wilson SS
Associated Press photos of Swisher and Jeter.