Settling into his locker in the corner of the Yankees clubhouse, Steve Garrison was asking Brandon Laird questions about stretch and batting practice and the usual pregame schedule in the big leagues. Laird had to explain to him that his flight was delayed yesterday, so this was his first pregame experience as well.
“It hasn’t really hit me yet,” Garrison said. “I’m sure tonight it really will once I put on everything and go out there for stretch and everything. I haven’t stopped sweating since I woke up this morning.”
Garrison is from Trenton, so he’s been living with his mother this season. He had his phone on silent this morning and missed seven calls before the Trenton trainer finally got in touch with him. It was 10:30. Garrison showered, packed, got his stuff from the stadium and got on the road to the Philadelphia airport by 11:15. He had to run through the terminal to catch his flight and didn’t eat a thing until he landed in Tampa not too long ago. His mother drove him to Philly.
“She’s usually a really slow driver, but she actually drove the speed limit this morning, so that was saying something,” Garrison said. “She was actually going pretty quick.”
More than anything, Garrison is here to serve as a long man. Girardi said he might use him if a few lefties are due up, but mostly he’s here to give the Yankees length if they need it. He was scheduled to start tomorrow, so he’s rested and available tonight. The only other long relief-type on the 40-man is Lance Pendleton, who started for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on Saturday. The other Triple-A starters have no relief experience.
“We saw (Garrison) in spring training,” Joe Girardi said. “We liked what we saw in spring training. He threw good the other night. We’ve used him out of the bullpen before, where some of these other kids haven’t been used out of the bullpen.”
• Rafael Soriano is schedule for one inning or 20 pitches for Tampa tonight. Eric Chavez will be the DH, and he’ll continue to DH a few more games while doing defensive work before each game. “Both of them, if everything goes well, we could see them in the near future,” Girardi said.
• Girardi didn’t want to commit to Soriano’s role when he comes back. Girardi has previously said Soriano would take back the eighth-inning role. “He has been out eighth-inning guy,” Girardi said today. “We’ve got to see how he’s throwing and how he’s feeling before I can make any determination. The big thing is we’ve got to get him back healthy and throwing the way he’s capable of. We’ll just see what happens, but we’ve got to get him back first.”
• Do personal feelings matter when deciding who gets the eighth inning? “No. I’ve got to do what’s best for our team. That’s what I have to do. Let’s see how he’s throwing the ball, let’s see how he feels and how he bounces back, and then we’ll make decisions. Right now, it’s just hypotheticals. My favorite. Makes for good news and stories.”
• Girardi’s explanation of his decision to pinch hit Andruw Jones for Jorge Posada last night: “The way that Andruw has swung against left-handers had a lot to do with it, and knowing they didn’t really have another right-hander in their bullpen made it pretty easy for me.”
• Laird said he didn’t notice it until today, but his locker is in a section of the clubhouse that has five players: Jorge Posada, Derek Jeter, Laird, Andruw Jones and Mark Teixeira. Not a bad locker assignment for his first call-up.
Johnny Damon DH
Ben Zobrist RF
Evan Longoria 3B
Casey Kotchman 1B
B.J. Upton CF
Robinson Chirinos C
Sean Rodriguez 2B
Sam Fuld LF
Reid Brignac SS
Associated Press photo