A lot going on pregame, which is why the note took some time. There was no huge news coming out of the Yankees clubhouse, just a lot of tracking down reaction to the manager situation in Los Angeles and checking on various bumps and bruises on the roster.
And then there was Brian Cashman. The Yankees general manager doesn’t come around all that often on the road, but he’s with the team in Baltimore having watched them lose eight of the past 10. Would he be here if the team had won eight of 10?
“Probably not,” he said. “My style, quite frankly, is out of sight out of mind unless we start to struggle. When we start to struggle, then you’ll see a little bit more of me… This is just to engage them and our staff. We’re fine. I honestly think we’re fine. It happens to be Baltimore. It’s a three or four-hour drive (from New York). I went to high school and college just down the block in D.C. There are a lot of reasons that I’m here. We’re struggling so it’s good for me to be around it.”
His assessment of the past week and a half or so…
“I feel that Joe’s done a lot of good things here in the last week,” Cashman said. “He had to make some tough choices with some guys dealing with some ailments. You can either push the medal to the metal and ask them to give a little more despite the ailments because of who we’re playing right now or because of where we’re positioned. The bigger picture is the ultimate goal of trying to become a world champion. Back off and give the Swishers and the Gardners the time necessary. Don’t overtax the bullpen. Hopefully still win your games because there’s a lot of talent here.
“Obviously the winning side didn’t work out here in this most recent stretch, but it’s September 17 and we’re a lot healthier today than is you asked me where we were on September 12. I think we’re healthier and in a better position to repeat going into tonight’s game than we were at any time last week. I think we’ll be better for it in the long run, even though short-term pain…”
It was at that moment that Cashman paused for a just a second, as if searching for the right word.
“Sucks,” he said.
• Andy Pettitte is with the team and ready to go on Sunday. He threw a bullpen yesterday, came through it fine and said he feels healthy and excited to get back on a big league mound.
• Nick Swisher is available to pinch hit. “We had Swish hit today,” Joe Girardi said. “He felt fine, so he’s available to me as a pinch hitter. We had him run the bases, and he’s still not 100 percent running the bases, so what I don’t want to do is I don’t want to go backwards again where we don’t have him for four or five days. He is a lot closer, though.”
• Girardi said the staff could see Swisher still dragging his left leg a little bit while he’s running.
• Brett Gardner took early batting practice and came through it with no problems. He’s more or less back to 100 percent.
• Romulo Sanchez is here. He could go more than one inning, but he wrapped up the Triple-A season in the bullpen and Girardi said the Yankees see him more as a short guy than a long man.
• Girardi said Jorge Posada will certainly catch tomorrow, and it sounds possible that he’ll catch Sunday’s day game after the night game. “I’ll talk to him about the next two games, to see what we do Saturday and Sunday,” Girardi said. “We want to get him back there, that’s for sure.”
• The Yankees are on rotation for the Tampa Bay series. Girardi said he’ll go with Ivan Nova in the opener, then Phil Hughes, A.J. Burnett and CC Sabathia.
• This is the first time I remember Dustin Moseley being listed once again as a reliever on the Yankees lineup card. Throughout the Tampa and Texas series, Moseley was still listed among the starter, unavailable out of the bullpen. Today he was listed in the pen.