Bartolo Colon is on his way back to New York and will be evaluated by the Yankees tomorrow. After a four-inning simulated game on Monday, the Yankees believe there’s a chance Colon could be ready to pitch this weekend against the Mets.
“That’s what we have to evaluate,” Joe Girardi said. “Do we feel that he is ready? We’ll get a chance to look at him tomorrow and make that decision.”
Colon threw 60 pitches yesterday, then went through a series of drills — including bunting — today in Tampa. Girardi said he’s not concerned about hitting and running the bases putting Colon at greater risk of re-injuring his right hamstring. The injury happened in the first place when he was covering first base on a play that might happen in any park. As Girardi put it: “If he’s ready to go, there’s a chance he’s going to pitch.”
So why would Phil Hughes need a series of rehab starts, but Colon would need nothing more than a simulated game?
“He’s really only missed two starts,” Girardi said. “It’s not abnormal to skip a pitcher a start and then for him to come back and make the next start. You see that happen all the time, where a guy might pitch on 10 days rest. He did somewhat make a rehab start yesterday: 60 pitches, four innings for Bartolo. He said he felt great, and he could have went more. I believe him, because he was built up. I don’t think missing the two starts was really that much, because he was playing long-toss in that time and keeping his arm in shape. The concern for me is not his arm, it’s making sure his leg is healed. That, we’ll check out.”
• Derek Jeter took batting practice, fielded ground balls and ran the bases at about 50 or 60 percent effort today. Girardi said it’s “probably fair to say” that Jeter would need at least two rehab games before being ready to return. When he might be ready for a rehab assignment is still uncertain. “The one thing you have to see is you have to see him run at 100 percent,” Girardi said. “And you’ve got to see him recover and maybe do it a couple of days in a row before you possibly send him out on a rehab.”
• Will the schedule and 3,000 hits play into when Jeter is activated? “When he’s ready, that’s when we want him back,” Girardi said. “We can’t get caught up in scheduling and trying to get his 3,000 th hit at home. He’s a part of this club that we need, and when he’s ready, he’s ready. That’s the way we look at it.”
• Rafael Soriano played catch today — Girardi said he was pretty sure it was a regular long toss — and reported no problems.
• Update on Eric Chavez: “He’s just continuing to move along,” Girardi said. “He’s taking ground balls, he’s hitting and he’s lightly running. He’s still not where he needs to be, though.”
• Phil Hughes will make a Double-A rehab start tomorrow. It seems likely that he’ll need one more — Brian Cashman has said as much — and Girardi said he’s not sure whether Hughes could do enough tomorrow to show the Yankees he’s ready. “I can’t tell you that,” Girardi said. “I’m looking forward to his start to see how he does, I can tell you that, and to make a determination if we think he’s ready.”
• Talked to Jeff Marquez a little bit this afternoon. He was diagnosed with a very slight strain near his rotator cuff. He’s scheduled to start throwing in three days, and he’s not sure whether he’ll do that here or in Tampa.
• No change among the leaders in today’s latest American League all-star voting update. Robinson Cano, Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez and Russell Martin are still leading at their positions, and Curtis Granderson is comfortably in second place among outfielders.
Rickie Weeks 2B
Nyjer Morgan CF
Ryan Braun LF
Prince Fielder 1B
Casey McGehee 3B
Corey Hart RF
Mat Gamel DH
Yuniesky Betancourt SS
Jonathan Lucroy C
Associated Press photos