If questions about Derek Jeter were No. 1 on Joe Girardi’s list of things he was tired of talking about then questions about Russell Martin and how often he was playing was rivaling Phil Hughes-related queries for No. 2. That’s why Girardi laughed when Kim Jones asked him this morning if he expected big headlines since Martin was finally getting a day off.
“It’s been a question that’s been asked a lot,” Girardi said through a smile. “He’ll be back in their tomorrow.”
Up until today, Martin was the only player to catch every inning in the major leagues though he was supposed to have a day off earlier but the Yankees were rained out that night. Girardi said he hasn’t seen any indications from Martin that he’s tired, and the former Dodger has gotten off to a decent start with a .262 average and three home runs.
“For me, physically, he’s still very strong,” Girardi said. “I have seen no signs of fatigue.”
Martin’s replacement, Gustavo Molina (I like to call him “Gus”), will be playing his first game this season and will be catching a pitcher, Freddy Garcia, who is also making his first start. “I’m sure (Molina’s) a little anxious,” Girardi said.
• In terms of what to expect from Garcia, it’s pretty hard to say. Remember, the last time he started was March 29 so we’re talking 18 days since he last did any extended throwing in a game (he did have one relief appearance). Garcia was stretched out, obviously, at the end of spring training, but Girardi admitted it’s hard to know what to anticipate from him in terms of pitch count with such a long layoff.
• No word on the rotation for next week. Girardi said he wants to see how everyone comes through the weekend before committing to anything. Obviously CC Sabathia goes tomorrow night against Texas and I’d think A.J. Burnett will start Tuesday in Toronto. After that? Anyone’s guess.
• One pitcher who has no idea when he’s pitching is Bartolo Colon. He’s taking Phil Hughes’s spot with Hughes on the DL but said he doesn’t know when he’ll make his first start. Asked if he thought he should have been given a rotation spot out of spring training, Colon said (through a translator), “I thought about that but the more important thing for me was to make the team.”
• Sabathia was briefly wearing Knicks shorts in the clubhouse this morning. I mentioned to him that I was pessimistic about the Knicks’ chances against the Celtics in their playoff series and he agreed that Boston will probably knock them out. I have Celtics in five, I told him. “I got them in six,” he said.