Brett Gardner had three hits and a walk in the leadoff spot last night with righty Alexi Ogando going for the Rangers. Joe Girardi has decisions to make at the top of the order now with Derek Jeter down. And he had Gardner on the bench and Nick Swisher in the leadoff spot tonight with lefty Derek Holland going for Texas.
Swisher has a .438 on-base percentage against lefties.
“It seemed like a pretty good fit,” Girardi said.
Asked if he found it odd that he was out of the lineup after the night he had, Gardner said, “I don’t know. I don’t know. You tell me.”
Gardner did say he had a good track record for against lefties dating back to his Double-A and Triple-A days. Girardi said he wasn’t necessarily married to the idea of sitting Gardner against all lefties. Asked about sitting him at the start of this game, Girardi said, “It was tough. But I don’t think it necessarily hurts to give him a day as much as he uses his legs.”
*Girardi said Phil Hughes would go 65-70 pitches in his next rehab start Sunday. It will be his first in an actually minor-league game after two other outings, the last one a minor-league intrasquad game Tuesday. Girardi wants Hughes to get five or six starts in all before returning in July (barring any setbacks, of course).
*Rafael Soriano played catch on Tuesday, but it was determined that his elbow wasn’t ready yet for him to continue his throwing program this week. He will have more therapy and then try to throw again next week. “He’s close, but he’s not quite there,” Girardi said.
*Girardi said that Brian Gordon will be added to the pitching staff tomorrow, but he wasn’t ready to name the 32-year-old righty – who opted out with the Phillies after being with their Triple-A Lehigh Valley team – as the starter in the series finale. He said it will be Gordon or Hector Noesi. He wants to get through tonight’s game first. He also said that he doesn’t just consister Noesi a long man, that he’s willing to use him in the middle innings as well.
*While the Yankees will be headed for Chicago after tomorrow’s game, Derek Jeter will be headed to Tampa to continue his rehab.