Alex Rodriguez said he felt pretty good when he woke up this morning, and he went through hitting drills with Kevin Long without any significant problem. The Yankees training staff, though, recommended that Rodriguez take one more day off. If it were September, Rodriguez said, he would probably play. In the middle of April, the Yankees are trying to be smart.
“Geno thought it was best if we gave him one more day,” Joe Girardi said.
Rodriguez might be available to pinch hit. That will depend on how well he comes through his full set of pregame drills. Rodriguez said he’ll talk to Girardi right before the game and they’ll discuss his ultimate availability. He’s not going to start today, but he might become available off the bench.
The plan is for Rodriguez to play tomorrow.
Although Girardi often plays it safe on this Toronto turf, the manager said the playing surface had no impact on his decision. This is strictly about giving Rodriguez one more day to make absolutely sure he doesn’t suffer a setback.
• The Yankees are hopeful that Pedro Feliciano’s rehab will make him an available pitcher at some point this season, but there’s no guarantee that he won’t ultimately need surgery anyway. “This is the decision that he made and we’ll keep our fingers crossed,” Girardi said.
• Girardi said Colin Curtis is expected to miss the entire season after his shoulder surgery.
• Francisco Cervelli caught yesterday and he’ll DH today and tomorrow. Girardi wasn’t exactly sure of the dates, but he believes Cervelli could be added to the High-A Tampa roster by the weekend for a rehab assignment. He said the first of May is still a possibility for Cervelli’s return. “Everything is going according to plan,” Girardi said.
• Huge crowd of Canadian media met with Russell Martin pregame. Turns out, Martin forgot his phone in New York, so he actually has no idea how many people have asked him for tickets. His fingernail polish was honestly a lengthy topic of discussion. He was funny about it, said he thought about painting his fingernails white with tiny maple leafs.
• Bartolo Colon said his appearances have been so regular this season that he feels like he’s been pitching almost like a regular starter. He doesn’t seem to think tomorrow’s move into the actual rotation will be a significant change. “This is not my first start,” he said. “I’ve been pitching in the Major Leagues for a long time.”
• Girardi once again said that Brett Gardner’s struggles are a timing issue. He said Gardner’s been getting jammed on inside pitches and he’s been fouling outside pitches into the seats. “He just needs to do what he was doing last year,” Girardi said.
• More Canadian media news: Girardi was asked if he had a pick for the Stanley Cup. Girardi had absolutely no idea what to say. He doesn’t follow hockey, but he said he knew Vancouver was a No. 1 seed. That’s more than I knew.
Associated Press photo of Rodriguez, headshots of Feliciano and Cervelli