Although it hasn’t happened yet, Joe Girardi said this afternoon that it’s entirely possible he’ll shuffle the Yankees lineup against right-handers so that Brett Gardner moves back into the leadoff spot.
“I might,” he said. “He’s going so well, it’s something I’ll definitely consider. Just wait and see what happens.”
Girardi said that since Alex Rodriguez went down with the knee injury, he’s spent some time thinking about new ways to configure the lineup. He’s thought about moving Gardner back to the top, and he’s considered moving Curtis Granderson into a run-producing spot in the middle of the order.
Before he makes a change, though, Girardi said he would discuss it with everyone involved. There will be no lineup surprises in the clubhouse.
“I think guys like knowing where they’re going to be,” Girardi said. “I think you can get caught up sometimes trying to catch lightning in the bottle. You move a guy up because he’s hot, then you disrupt your whole lineup just because a guy’s hot. I think you can get caught up in that too. There’s something to be said about the consistency of your lineup, and a lot of times it’s how it all works together.”
Would Girardi be afraid to have that conversation with Jeter?
“No,” he said. “I have to do what I feel is best for the team. When you look at a lineup, you look at how it works together, not independent of one guy. No, I’m not afraid to have that conversation.”
• Nick Swisher has been moved from right field to DH, and Andruw Jones has switched from DH to right field. Girardi said it’s strictly to give Swisher a day off his feet. There’s nothing physically wrong, he just changed his mind after the lineup was posted.
• Tests on Ivan Nova’s ankle came back negative. Girardi talked to Nova this afternoon, and Nova said he feels much better today than yesterday. Turns out, he didn’t exactly role the ankle, he just felt some pain in the spot where he was hit by a line drive in his first Triple-A start back on July 7. Donnie Collins texted me to say Nova’s been placed on the disabled list, but Girardi said this doesn’t necessarily rule out Nova starting one of those double header games on July 30.
• The Yankees were encouraged by Eric Chavez’s day in Tampa. “The positive thing there is that he was able to give you five at-bats where the foot didn’t get sore,” Girardi said. “That’s the positive thing for me. Obviously the hits are positive as well. He’s getting his timing back, but that he can continue running the bases and not get sore, that’s important to me.”
• Rafael Soriano is scheduled to pitch again either Thursday or Friday. Girardi said his reports had Soriano at 91-93 mph on Tuesday, and he considered that encouraging velocity for a guy making his first rehab appearance.
• Still no word on when Chavez might play the field. Girardi said he wasn’t sure.
• Girardi on Granderson’s left foot: “I told him to let me know if he could play today. I saw him, and he didn’t say anything.”
• Girardi wasn’t certain, but he thought Alex Rodriguez had started doing some pool work in his recovery from knee surgery.
Associated Press photos