There were three key parts of the Yankees lineup missing this afternoon. Joe Girardi was already planning to sit Alex Rodriguez and Brett Gardner, but just before the game he had to also scratch Nick Swisher. For the past week, Swisher has been clearly bothered by a sore left knee that has shown no structural damage, but has left him hobbling around the bases and in the outfield.
“It’s just not getting any better,” he said. “I can’t go out there chasing after a ball in the gap with one leg. That’s not going to do anybody any good. I thought it would get a lot better a lot faster than it has.”
An MRI has shown no break or tear, but Swisher has been in noticeable discomfort. He sat out a few games earlier this month and believed it was getting better, but he said he aggravated the injury on Wednesday — the same game when he hit the walk-off homer — when he took a swing that made him fall down in the box.
Whether Swisher can play tomorrow is uncertain.
“That’s a good question,” he said. “I don’t know. I come here to the ballpark every day ready to play. Whatever is going to happen is going to happen.”
Girardi said he was planning to give Gardner a day off today anyway, but that certainly became the case when Gardner complained to Kevin Long about lingering soreness in his right wrist and was pulled from Saturday’s game. It might help explain Gardner’s .207 batting average this month. The Yankees are planning an MRI this week in Tampa.
Another day off that has been in the works for a while. Girardi said during the previous home stand that Rodriguez would take a day off either in Texas or in Tampa, and he said last night that the day off would likely come this afternoon. Basically, the Yankees pushed Rodriguez back from the disabled list as soon as possible, giving him no rehab assignment but knowing they would have to ease him into everyday duty. Frustrating as it may be, this was the safest way to get Rodriguez back quickly without rushing his recovery.