Brett Gardner had an MRI and a cortisone shot today. Nick Swisher will have an MRI tomorrow and is out of the lineup tonight. Heading into their biggest series of the year so far, the Yankees aren’t sure when the cornerstones of their outfield will play again.
“It’s a little concern,” Joe Girardi said. “You would think that over time they’ll get healthy. How many days off? I can’t tell you what each guy will need. There’s really nothing structurally wrong, which is a good sign. Short-term it’s a concern.”
The Yankees have Curtis Granderson, and the next two nights are against right-handed starters, so center field will remain the same as ever. Tonight Austin Kearns is a natural fit in left field against the lefty David Price. The third outfield spot could be a mix-and-match of the righties Greg Golson and Kevin Russo and the lefty Colin Curtis. The past two nights it’s been Golson.
Gardner said he literally could not have swung a bat today, but he also said he’s had one cortisone shot in his life, and it alleviated the problem overnight. From not being able to swing to starting a major league game in a span of 24 hours seems next to impossible, but Gardner didn’t rule it out. He didn’t promise it either.
Swisher has been clearly bothered by that left knee inflammation for a few days now. He’s already had one MRI which showed no structural damage, and he seemed to be getting better, but things got worse last week and he’ll have the knee checked out again.
“You could see at times that he would limp a little bit, but I would see at times that he would go after balls and not limp,” Girardi said. “Sometimes you wonder how much guys are conserving themselves, and that’s why I checked with him every day to make sure he was alright. Yesterday he didn’t feel good and today he didn’t feel good either… The turf might make it a little worse, but he might wake up and feel great one day too.”
• Everything remains on track for Andy Pettitte to pitch tomorrow in Altoona. “I don’t think it’s supposed to rain there,” Girardi said. “But it’s usually not one of the cities that I check if it’s going to rain.”
• Girardi is still not committing to a rotation beyond this series. “We’re just going to wait and see how everyone does here and what we need,” he said.
• Robinson Cano batting second: “We just thought it was our best bet,” Girardi said. “We went over the names.”
• Jorge Posada came through yesterday’s game so well that Girardi didn’t even check with him before making out today’s lineup. “I just assumed that he was fine,” Girardi said. “Jorge would tell me or let somebody know if he wasn’t.”
• Boone Logan remains the only lefty in the bullpen, but Girardi said he doesn’t plan to use him all three days of this series. Probably just two out of three. “Probably not because it would be five out of six,” Girardi said.
UPDATE, 6:09 p.m.: Rays lineup
B.J Upton CF
Jason Bartlett SS
Carl Crawford LF
Evan Longoria 3B
Ben Zobrist RF
Carlos Pena 1B
Sean Rodriguez 2B
Willy Aybar DH
Kelly Shoppach C
Associated Press photo of Gardner, Swisher and Granderson.