I saw a lot of rehab assignments during my time in Scranton. It’s pretty standard to have the big leaguer play four or five innings in his first few games, then seven and finally nine. There might be some DH days before he even gets on the field. It’s a slow process.
It’s a process Alex Rodriguez didn’t go through.
“Had he only taken like five or six days off, he would have been in there today,” Joe Girardi said. “Or maybe 10 days off (he would be in there), but having three weeks off and then going and playing two days without really doing a rehab, I just felt the one thing I don’t want is him to be a little bit fatigued at this time and then go out and injure something. We have to balance it.
“Could I have run him through four days? We could have thought about it, but I didn’t think it was a good idea. Could I have played him tonight and not tomorrow? Could have, but I’d rather have him not take two days off where he would have Wednesday and Thursday off, and then go play Friday. So I thought it was best to give him today.”
Rodriguez came off the disabled list two days ago, so this seems incredibly early to give him a day off. He has shown no signs of trouble, but that’s not the point. The point is to be cautious, which is standard.
Was there consideration of a rehab assignment? “We talked about it and we felt he would be ready to go, that we could put him into games and we felt he would be productive,” Girardi said. “He has been.”
Will he play six days in a row in Texas and Tampa? “I don’t know,” Girardi said. “We’ll have to wait and see, and see how hot it is in Texas and how we’re doing. I would think when we get through that next day off (the Thursday after the Tampa series) I should be able to play him six or seven days in a row.”
Can Rodriguez play at 100 percent effort right now? “My guess is if Alex had to go 100 percent, he would go 100 percent,” Girardi said. “We didn’t bring him back thinking he wasn’t healthy. We brought him back thinking he was healthy and ready to go, but there hasn’t been a ball hit in the gap where he’s had to go from first to home or a hard single hit where he’s had to go from second to home. We just haven’t had that situation. I feel pretty good about him running at 100 percent.”
• Yesterday, Girardi seemed certain Andy Pettitte would need two rehab starts. Today he hedged a little bit. “I would like him to show me that he’s ready to pitch, but then I still have to make a decision,” Girardi said. “I would prefer that he pitches extremely well and then my decision is difficult. It’s just something that we’ll talk to our training staff and everyone involved to see what we believe is best.”
• Girardi was asked about using Mariano Rivera for more than three outs down the stretch: “We’ve used him more than three outs during the course of the season,” Girardi said. “Ao I wouldn’t be opposed to doing it during the next three and a half weeks we have left. If we feel there’s a need to do it, I’ll do it.”
• Is Girardi surprised his ace has never reached 20 wins? “A little bit,” he said. “There’s a lot of things that have to go right to win 20 games; it just can’t be dominant pitching. When you’re a guy like CC, most of the time you’re going to be matched up against the ace and you’re going to lose some games 2-1, 3-2 or 1-0 in some difficult contests. You also have to remain healthy, and he’s been able to do that. I am a little surprised he hasn’t won 20 games before.”
• Mark Teixeira was named the AL Player of the Week. From the MLB announcement: Teixeira reached base safely in each of his seven games played last week and guided the Yankees to six wins as the team maintained its lead atop the A.L. East standings. The 30-year-old switch-hitter led the A.L. with a .476 (10-for-21) batting average, eight RBI and a .633 on-base percentage, and tied for the league-lead with three doubles, 19 total bases and a .905 slugging
• Pretty interesting pitching matchup for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre’s second game of the postseason: SWB David Phelps (4-2, 3.07) vs. COL Zach McAllister (9-12, 5.29).
• Donnie Collins has the full Triple-A playoff rotation.
UPDATE, 6:23 p.m.: Orioles lineup
Brian Roberts 2B
Felix Pie LF
Nick Markakis RF
Ty Wigginton 1B
Adam Jones CF
Nolan Reimold DH
Craig Tatum C
Robert Andino SS
Josh Bell 3B
Associated Press photo of Rodriguez