It was kind of a random question, just a small bit of conversation in the back of the Yankees clubhouse. We’d just seen Jesus Montero throw out a couple of runners, so I asked Dave Robertson how Montero looked as a receiver behind the plate.
“He looked good,” Robertson said. “He looked real good.”
Maybe some of that was because Montero threw out one of those base runners to get Robertson out of his only inning, but Robertson also struck out two hitters while throwing to Montero, and Robertson’s emphatic support seemed to be perfectly in line with what we’ve been hearing all spring.
“I can’t tell you how many strides he’s made since last year,” Joe Girardi said.
The first runner Montero threw out today came on a 3-2 pitch where the hitter tried to check his swing but didn’t. The runner thought it was ball four, so he slowed up and was thrown out. It was such a strange situation, the Yankees didn’t get get a pop time on Montero (measuring how quickly he got the ball to second base). But the second thrown out base-runner was legitimate, and the Yankees had Montero under two seconds.
“He has a lot of arm strength,” Girardi said. “A lot of it’s footwork and staying down and short arm motion. He’s been able to shorten up his arm motion. He stays down. He’s made so many strides.”
• Girardi said his only real complaint with Hughes’ outing was that he was up a little bit with his fastball. Otherwise, Girardi was pleased. “First time out, I was happy,” Girardi said.
• Still no game set in stone for Russell Martin to catch, but he’ll probably DH the second half of tomorrow’s game. Jorge Posada will get the start.
• Girardi explained the injury status of Andrew Brackman, Ronnie Belliard and Greg Golson this morning, but he said there are no other pressing issues as far as health. “Everyone else is good,” he said.
• The big hit of the day was Curtis Granderson’s first-inning triple. Otherwise, the Yankees had only two hits, an infield single by Nick Swisher and two bloop singles by Eric Chavez.
• Robertson had a two-strikeout inning. Steve Garrison pitched two innings after Robertson, both scoreless. The Yankees lost 2-0 with the runs charged to Brian Anderson and Andy Sisco.
• Boone Logan made the trip but didn’t pitch. That’s a big unusual for a big leaguer, but I’m sure he’d rather make this trip than Thursday’s, which is pretty far away.
Associated Press photos of Robertson and Brett Gardner