Joe Girardi created today’s lineup with an eye toward next week. The Yankees come home to a four-game series against the Rays, and then a three-game set against the Red Sox. Girardi did not want to play Alex Rodriguez 13 days in a row, and he wanted to give Mark Teixeira as much of a break as possible. Today, he said, seemed like the best day to give them a break, even though it meant losing two big bats at once.
“You have to be able to separate each guy,” Girardi said. “If you get caught up in not being able to separate each guy, that’s how you can get into trouble. You look at each case individually. Sometimes you have to do it. It’s hard, but as I said all along, you have to be smart about this and make sure these guys are healthy.”
Teixeira has been hurt for a long time now, and Girardi said it’s actually the bruised hand more than the broken toe that worries him.
“I’m hoping to not have to miss any more,” Teixeira said. “I think that’s why we’re giving it today.”
Rodriguez came off the disabled list exactly two weeks ago. You could argue that Rodriguez is hitting really well, which means Girardi is being too cautious. Or you could argue Rodriguez is hitting really well, which means Girardi’s plan is working.
“My thought process is we need him to be healthy, so we have to be smart about it,” Girardi said. “It’s hard to sit him because you want to see him out there every day, but right now that’s not something we can do, and we understand that. The big thing is that we keep him productive when he’s in there, and healthy.”
• Nick Swisher has another game at DH. “We’ll shoot for getting him in the outfield some time this week,” Girardi said.
• Andy Pettitte is scheduled for 80 to 85 pitches. “If we can get six innings out of him I would be thrilled,” Girardi said.
• With Pettitte back, the Yankees seem to have their five-man rotation for the rest of the year. “We’ll let the season dictate what we’re going to do,” Girardi said.
• As of right now there are “no plans” to have Phil Hughes skip another start.
• Although he’s been able to mix-and-match at the back of the bullpen, Girardi acknowledged what was becoming fairly obvious: He has a new setup man. “They’ve kind of settled in a little bit,” Girardi said. “We’ve been using Woody mostly in the eighth. The other guys are kind of interchangeable in the sixth and seventh, including Boone in there.” Girardi said he Kerry Wood as his eighth inning guy will “probably” continue from here on out.
Associated Press photo of Rodriguez