Nothing new to report on Alex Rodriguez. Media relations director Jason Zillo said his left shin is iced, elevated and swollen. As soon as an x-ray technician gets to the stadium, Rodriguez will be checked out.
Derek Jeter said he remembered the ball bouncing before it hit Rodriguez’s leg. Lance Berkman, who hit the ball, said he wasn’t sure whether it bounced, but he knew immediately that it was going to hit Rodriguez.
“I just remember hitting it and cringing,” Berkman said. “It was heading right for him. I hit it hard, so I hope he’s not out very long. I just told him as he was coming off the field, sorry about that. I clearly didn’t mean to. It wasn’t like I was trying to hit him in the teeth and missed low.”
Berkman said he’s been hit in the leg and once in the eye during batting practice. He remembered playing for Houston when Andy Pettitte was hit in the knee just a few days before a start in the NLCS. Berkman is also well aware that this sort of accident isn’t likely to make him a fan favorite.
“Berkman’s contributions to the Yankees so far have been not the greatest,” he said, imagining fans’ reactions. “And clearly this is not good.”
The plan for Andy Pettitte is in place.
Monday: He will throw a bullpen in New York. Similar to the one he threw yesterday. Assuming that goes well…
Thursday or Friday: Face hitters in a simulated game in Tampa. Depending on his stamina and how he feels afterward…
Next Monday or Tuesday: Rehab start. “Would we do it Monday in Tampa or wait until Tuesday to possibly do it in Trenton?” Joe Girardi said. “A lot of that, more important, is how he feels coming out of that Thursday.” The Yankees don’t want to send Pettitte to Ohio, so Triple-A is probably out for a rehab start.
Pettitte is hopeful that he’ll feel great when he faces hitters in Tampa and will need only one rehab start. He was able to run today with no problem. At this point it’s mostly about building strength and stamina.
• The Yankees don’t have a date planned for Pettitte to rejoin the rotation. They aren’t sure yet whether he’ll need one or two rehab starts. They are not going to line him up with Dustin Moseley. “When Andy is ready, Andy will pitch,” Girardi said. “If we have to give guys an extra day’s rest, that’s fine.”
• For the first time, Girardi acknowledged what has become fairly clear: He plans to stick with Francisco Cervelli catching A.J. Burnett and Javier Vazquez, while Jorge Posada catches the other three starters. “We’ve had a rotation here with our rotation and playing Jorge,” Girardi said. “It’s been successful and it’s pretty much what I’m going to stick to.”
• Last time Posada caught Vazquez was May 1. Posada caught Burnett on Monday, but otherwise had not caught him since June 21.
• Girardi on Cervelli’s offensive struggles: “In the beginning, he was extremely hot and we didn’t expect him to stay that hot. Offensively he’s holding his own. He’s doing OK.”
• On Granderson’s struggles: “I’m not alarmed that his at-bats aren’t great, I’m not seeing that. He seems to be a somewhat streaky and right now he’s not in one of those streaks when he’s getting a lot of hits. We need to get him on one of those streaks again.”
• When he hit Rodriguez, Berkman was taking BP right-handed. He said he takes swings from both sides before every game, regardless of whether the team is facing a lefty or righty.
Associated Press photo of Pettitte with Posada