Today would have been a normal side day for Javier Vazquez, and so the Yankees have made him available about of the bullpen for the afternoon. Joe Girardi said he doesn’t plan to use Vazquez for more than one innings.
That said, Girardi would not commit to Vazquez making his next start. He actually would not commit to any sort of rotation beyond the next three games in Tampa when the Yankees will go with CC Sabathia, Ivan Nova and Phil Hughes.
“There’s no urgency to announce the rotation,” Girardi said. “We have to see how Andy (Pettitte) does on Tuesday and then we’ll go from there.”
Essentially, Girardi has seven pitchers for five spots. That may very well leave Vazquez as an odd man out when Pettitte returns.
“If I was pitching great, then I wouldn’t be in this situation,” Vazquez said. “I’m to blame for not throwing the ball well. I know I can help them in the pen too, so whatever they want to do, I’ll do.”
• Alex Rodriguez is available to pinch hit.
• Nick Swisher was in the lineup when Girardi talked to the media, and Girardi has not spoken since Swisher came out. “I check with him every day, ‘Are you OK?’” Girardi said before the lineup change. “And he tells me he’s OK.” It’s worth noting, though, that Swisher has not appeared to be moving especially well on that banged up knee.
• Brett Gardner can play defense and pinch run this afternoon. Girardi said the same thing Gardner said last night: It’s likely he’ll get an MRI on his wrist while the team is in Tampa.
• If the can, Girardi might try to get Jorge Posada out of the game in the late innings, just as another precautionary step because of that possible mild concussion. “Depends on how the game goes, but yeah, there’s somewhat of that temptation,” Girardi said.
• After catching a 6 a.m. flight out of Scranton and connecting in Detroit, Kevin Russo and Juan Miranda actually arrived before most of the other Yankees this morning.
• Girardi indicated there might be another September call-up coming. “There might be one more,” he said. That could be a player already on the 40-man — someone like Noesi, Huffman or Brackman — or it could be that the Yankees are going to make a move to add a player to the 40-man. As I’ve said before, I think Royce Ring might make some sense as a second lefty. They also have recently claimed young left-hander Steve Garrison.
• No definite plan for the ninth inning tonight, but Girardi said he will avoid using anyone who pitched the past two nights. That includes Mariano Rivera. “We’ll just look at is as we get there,” Girardi said. “That would be the best thing that could happen.”
• Sitting Rodriguez, Girardi said, was not a difficult decision. He had previously committed to not using Rodriguez in six straight days — largely because he wasn’t given a rehab assignment — and giving him today off makes it likely he’ll be able to play all three games in Tampa.
Associated Press photo of Vazquez