I really hope no one has been anxiously awaiting rich, detailed pregame notes. Truth is, there was hardly anything going on this morning in Kansas City. The entire Yankees beat stood around waiting for Kevin Long, hoping for some more details about that minor tweak to Alex Rodriguez’s swing, but Long seems to have been in the cage the whole time.
How dare he do his job when notebooks need to be filled!
It’s mid-August, the Yankees are in first place and they’re playing the Royals in an afternoon game on getaway day. Pretty much the perfect storm for a slow, slow Sunday.
• Joe Girardi did layout a few details about the Yankees plan for Andy Pettitte. On Tuesday, Pettitte will first play catch. If he feels good doing that, then he’ll move to the mound that very same day. If that bullpen goes well, he’ll throw a simulated game later in the week, probably on Friday.
• There’s no definite location for Pettitte’s simulated game. Girardi said there are several things the Yankees do. Tampa is a possibility but, “you’d like to keep him off a plane if you could,” Girardi said. It would be unusual for Pettitte to throw his sim game to guys on the big league roster, but I suppose that’s possible. Friday is a road game for Scranton, Trenton and Staten Island.
• Damaso Marte was supposed to throw off a half mound today. That hadn’t happened by the time we had to leave the clubhouse. Girardi said it’s unlikely Marte would be ready to rejoin the team before rosters expand in September.
• It seems more possible that Alfredo Aceves could rejoin the team before September 1. “That’s something we would have to discuss,” Girardi said. “It could be based on need. There’s a lot of things you have to look at. We’d like to get him back, I’ll tell you that.”
• The Yankees have never faced Royals starter Bryan Bullington, a former first-round pick who flamed out with Pittsburgh. I’ve seen him pitch in Triple-A, but I honestly don’t remember much about him. The Pirates Triple-A team seemed to have a ton of guys just like him. Girardi said he has somewhat of a three-quarters delivery with a sinker, changeup and slider. The sinker has a lot of side-to-side movement that Girardi said the Yankees have to watch out for.
• The only Yankee with a major league at-bat against Bullington is Austin Kearns. He’s 0-for-1 with an RBI.
UPDATE, 1:28 p.m.: Royals lineup
Gregor Blanco CF
Willie Bloomquist 3B
Billy Butler 1B
Wilson Betemit DH
Alex Gordon LF
Mike Aviles 2B
Mitch Maier RF
Bryan Pena C
Yuniesky Betancourt SS