Sorry about the delayed and shortened notes this afternoon. Joe Girardi had some television stuff to do and didn’t meet with the writers until a little later than usual.
Really, most of the pregame buzz centered on two topics: Bartolo Colon’s hamstring and Russell Martin’s comments saying he believed the Blue Jays were stealing signs last night. There’s nothing new on Colon — he’s still on turn to start Tuesday and the Yankees believe his hesitation is more mental than physical — but the Martin stuff is interesting.
He noticed last night that the Blue Jays never seemed fooled, then he noticed a runner at second looking one way before a fastball, then looking the other way before a breaking ball, then looking the original direction again when Martin called for another fastball. That’s when Martin went to the mound and changed the signs.
“I’m not bothered by it,” Martin said. “I was more angry at myself for figuring it out too late and changing them too late. The game was almost out of hand at that point.”
Of course neither Martin nor Joe Girardi would admit to stealing signs with the Yankees — Martin said he did it when he was in college — but they both agreed that stealing signs is fair game as long as it’s done by the players on the field (no binoculars in the stands or signals from the bullpen).
“If you’re not cheating, you’re not trying,” Martin said. “I don’t know where that term comes from, but it might be from relaying signs at second base.”
• Girardi said he went through last night’s game film and found nothing to suggest Colon’s hamstring was a problem on his pitches. “You can see how high he’s lifting his leg, the way he’s landing,” Girardi said. “And when I looked at those two things, it was the same. I stopped it frame-by-frame, and I went to a game that he threw well, and it was the same.”
• Obviously Colon was hesitant coming off the mound, but Colon also assured Girardi that he’s felt no pain in the hamstring. Girardi believes it’s just a mental thing that Colon has to get past. “It’s a little bit of a concern,” Girardi said. “But you’ve got to see how a guy does in the heat of the battle when he’s got to make a play. Sometimes those thoughts leave his head.”
• Rafael Soriano is still on track to throw batting practice tomorrow. Girardi said he could make his first rehab appearance on Tuesday. He’ll pitch in more than one rehab game, and the Yankees would like him to throw back-to-back before being activated.
• Jose Bautista is out of the Blue Jays lineup and his return is uncertain — he’s day to day — after last night’s ankle injury. “That’s the huge bat in their lineup,” Girardi said. “But they still have some guys that can really swing the bat. They’ve been swinging the bat before the break and now still, so we’ve got to make pitches.”
• Day game tomorrow, but Girardi said he might not make any significant lineup changes to give players a break until Sunday.
• At one point last week, the Yankees posted a lineup that had Brett Gardner leading off and Derek Jeter batting second against a right-handed starter. Girardi said that was a special circumstance and he’s not likely to go back to that right now. “I think the day that we had it we didn’t have Swish, so that was a big part of it,” he said.
• No player move was made today, so the Yankees are starting this game with a bullpen that had to pitch almost a complete game yesterday. They need distance from Freddy Garcia.
• Random moment in the clubhouse: Gardner was taking small practice swings with two different bats, switching back and forth over and over again. He said he was trying to decide which one was lighter — by one or two tenths of an ounce — because Brandon Morrow throws hard, and Gardner would like a slightly lighter bat for today’s game.
Rajai Davis CF
Eric Thames DH
Yunel Escobar SS
Adam Lind 1B
Aaron Hill 2B
Travis Snider LF
Edwin Encarnacion 3B
Corey Patterson RF
Jose Molina C
Associated Press photo