Brian Heyman here for Chad today. Joe Girardi was asked about a number of subjects during his pregame media session, including about his sit-down with tomorrow’s starter, A.J. Burnett, the subpar season for Derek Jeter and Curtis Granderson’s power surge.
Burnett is 1-1 with a 4.50 ERA in September, better than his overall ERA, which is rather high at 5.08. He’s 10-13. Girardi had a talk with him last week.
“I like the way he’s been throwing the baseball, and I didn’t want him to forget that I’m looking at what’s ahead of us, not behind us,” Girardi said. “You can learn from what’s behind you, but you can’t really change it. (I said), ‘So don’t try to make up your season in the last few starts. Just go out and pitch and be yourself and continue to work and continue to attack hitters.’ I just thought it was time.”
Jeter is 9 for his last 25. But the 36-year-old captain’s numbers are going to wind up way down. He’s at .264 with 10 homers and 64 RBI in 146 games.
“But if you look at the last seven, eight days, he’s swung the bat pretty good,” Girardi said. “There’s a right time to get hot. This is the time, the end of the year and hopefully in the postseason. … He’s went through a tough year. Sometimes it happens with guys. People are always going to debate, ‘Is it a tough year or is it age?’ None of us really know. I guess we’ll probably find out next year.”
Granderson’s numbers are so much better since he began to make his swing more compact during that session in Texas on Aug. 10 with Kevin Long. Granderson had 10 homers, 33 RBI and a .415 slugging percentage in 88 games before the change. He has 11 homers, 26 RBI and a .578 slugging percentage in 37 games since then.
“I think when your swing is short, you have a chance to have more power because you get to the ball so quick and you can wait and you can hit within your body and you usually don’t get jammed,” Girardi said. “Usually the best hitters are short to the ball.” …
The Yankees would only confirm that prospects Dellin Betances and Jesus Montero are coming tomorrow to be around the team and go through the pregame workouts. They haven’t confirmed Andrew Brackman as yet. …
Here’s the Rays’ lineup:
1. John Jaso C
2. Ben Zobrist 2B
3. Carl Crawford LF
4. Evan Longoria 3B
5. Dan Johnson DH
6. Matt Joyce RF
7. Carlos Pena 1B
8. B.J. Upton CF
9. Jason Bartlett SS
James Shields P