The Yankees are officially banged up again. These seem to be nagging injuries more than anything else — depending on Alex Rodriguez’s MRI results, of course — but it’s obviously a concern that Rodriguez, Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera and now Nick Swisher have been forced to miss time recently because of health problems.
“I’m going to have to manage them carefully, but I don’t think it’s anything I haven’t done in the last couple of years,” Joe Girardi said. “We’ve had to do that. Alex coming off the hip. Mo. Had to manage Matsui that way, in a sense, and Jorge when he was catching. It’s just kind of the nature here and you have to be smart about it.
“And we’re going to open up with eight games on turf (after the all-star break), which is probably not the greatest thing for some of our guys.”
Jeter’s calf has healed, but he’s still less than a week removed from the disabled list, and so far he hasn’t had the day off that Girardi hoped to give him this week. Jeter said nothing has popped up in the past few days to cause him concern, but he’s trying to play it smart by skipping the All-Star Game.
“It’s just a situation where after talking with Joe and Cash and Geno, it would probably best not to push it,” Jeter said. “Be ready for the second half. That’s where my focus has to be. It’s unfortunate because I know you guys know how much I enjoy going to All-Star Games. I love playing in All-Star Games. Especially getting voted in by the fans, it’s something I would like to do. I try to be smart about it. I know I can be stubborn a lot of times when it comes to injuries, but I’m trying to be smart.”
The Yankees cleanup hitter has been hitting for average and drawing walks, but his power had evaporated. He had three homers in four days in early June, but since June 12 he’s hit .333 with just seven extra-base hits, none of them home runs.
“He’s not moving well,” Girardi said. “He’s been sore. His leg has been a little sore, and we’re doing a precautionary MRI just to make sure. It wasn’t anything yesterday that showed me that he was moving totally different to do the MRI, but he’s not playing, we’ve got time, we might as well do the MRI.”
The team announced just a few minutes ago that Rodriguez will also skip the all-star game.
Chasing down Ben Zobrist’s triple last night, Swisher tried to stop the ball with his foot. He kind of kicked at the ball — I didn’t see it, but that’s how he described it — and he felt something in his left quad. Swisher called it a slight strain, and he’s hopeful that he’ll be able to play tomorrow.
“I thought it would feel a lot better today than it was yesterday,” he said. “… “I know Geno and I are going to be buddies today. It just didn’t feel any better.”
Here’s Girardi, talking a lot about his banged up players.
• Without Rodriguez, Swisher or Martin, the Yankees shuffled their lineup to keep their six regular hitters in the top six spots. That meant Brett Gardner back in the leadoff spot. “If not, you’re going to hit Gardy sixth probably, and that wasn’t something I necessarily wanted to do,” Girardi said. “I think he’s probably more comfortable hitting first or ninth. And then you’re putting him behind — trying to be nice here – Tex or Robbie and Jorge, and if he gets on base, that can become a situation too.”
• Day game tomorrow, which mean Martin was going to sit out one of these two games. Girardi chose to give him tonight and play him tomorrow.
• The radar doesn’t look good and the tarp is on the field. Right now the rain is light, but the forecast suggests it’s going to keep raining well into the night. If there’s a double header tomorrow, would Jeter play both games? “You could possibly DH him one if you can,” Girardi said. “I’m not crazy about anyone playing a double header, I don’t care if you’re 25 years old, but I’ll have to see what guys I have available, then I’ll have to make a decision.”
• The Yankees got cash considerations from the SK Wyverns of the Korean Professional League in exchange for releasing Brian Gordon and letting him sign overseas. That’s a nice deal for him. Probably making a ton more money over there than he was making with the Yankees, and obviously he’s behind Ivan Nova in the call-up pecking order.
• Girardi said he’s not overly concerned in the wake of Bartolo Colon’s struggles last night. “I just think it’s a blip,” he said. “I think if he was 27, people probably wouldn’t ask that question, but I understand when you’re older and you come off an injury. I really believe it’s a blip, but time will tell.”
Associated Press photos