Happy Father’s Day everyone.
My dad is probably in a wheat field somewhere in Southeast Missouri, I’m here at a ball field in Northern Illinois and this afternoon Joe Girardi was down in Peoria visiting his own father. He said he drove down this morning, spent about two hours with his dad, then drove back to Chicago. Girardi’s dad has been sick, but today was encouraging.
“The morning was very good,” Girardi said. “Better than I expected after what I had heard. His eyes were open, he was moving and he ate well, so it was all good.”
Girardi said it was the first time since 2007 that he spent Father’s Day with his dad.
When Girardi got back to Chicago, his own kids gave him their Father’s Day gifts. His son gave him a new iPod, one daughter gave him a handmade toothbrush holder and the other gave him a big plate because — as she told him — the Yankees manager likes to eat.
“They know their daddy,” Girardi said.
• Girardi hadn’t checked with Russell Martin, but he was confident his catcher would be fine after yesterday’s collision. “It was just a check on the boards, right?” Girardi said, a rock-solid hockey reference for his Canadian catcher.
• The Yankees bullpen is largely built around the goal of getting the ball to Dave Robertson and Mariano Rivera. The rest of the bullpen has been pieced together, but the Yankees have seen encouraging signs from guys like Cory Wade and Hector Noesi who might be primed for larger roles. “I haven’t really looked at it about guys winning jobs, it’s just based on needs,” Girardi said. “Wade is a guy that I know I can use in the back end. I know that, just because he’s done it before. Noesi was the one that I talked to, I told him … I will use you for distance too, but your role’s going to change a little bit, so don’t be surprised.”
• Girardi said he still considers Luis Ayala his top option in the seventh inning. He wasn’t available yesterday because he’d thrown so much recently.
• With all of his new relievers, Girardi said he looks primarily at quality strikes. It was quality strikes that made him believe Noesi could be valuable in short stints.
• Still quite a bit of talk this afternoon about Eduardo Nunez’s defense. Nunez said he learned from Derek Jeter and Robinson Cano to move forward, not letting defense affect offense and vice versa. “It’s good to see him be able to turn the page,” Girardi said. “Players are going to make errors, that’s the bottom line. Yes, they’re frustrating and you don’t want them to happen, but I don’t see him taking it to his offense and I don’t see him taking his offense to his defense. I think he’s just playing the game, and that’s what we want.”
• Yesterday’s Nunez error came on a ball that never actually hit his glove. Nunez said the ball took a bad hop and actually hit him in his bare hand before shooting away. “It’s an error anyway,” Nunez said.
• Martin will be off either Tuesday or Wednesday (when the Yankees have a night game, then a day game in Cincinnati).
• Girardi guessed that he had Logan up and throwing in the bullpen five times on Thursday and Friday, which made him hesitant to use him on Saturday. He’s not hurt or anything, just hasn’t actually pitched in a while.
• I was writing and didn’t see it, but apparently CC Sabathia hit three homers in a row during batting practice.
• Phil Hughes went 4.1 innings, allowing one run on three hits and one walk in his rehab start for Staten Island. He struck out seven and gave up a home run to a catcher named Nelfi Zapata.
Reed Johnson CF
Starlin Castro SS
Jeff Baker 1B
Aramis Ramirez 3B
Alfonso Soriano LF
Geovany Soto C
Lou Montanez RF
D.J. LeMahieu 2B
Randy Wells SP
Associated Press photos