Joe Girardi said he changed his rotation because he likes the idea of giving Bartolo Colon and Freddy Garcia a little extra rest. What the rotation looks like beyond this weekend is still a mystery.
“If (Phil Hughes and Ivan Nova) both throw the ball the way we want them to, then decisions will have to be difficult on what we do,” Girardi said. “Do you put one of them in the bullpen or keep one going as a starter knowing that you have another split double header coming up in, what, three weeks? Four weeks? You have to prepare for those things too, so it’s just some things we’re going to have to talk about.”
Girardi wouldn’t rule out anything, including sticking with a six-man rotation beyond this turn, but that’s clearly not the intention.
“We’ll see how it works, but it’s not my plan,” Girardi said. “But we’ll have to see how it plays out.”
GIrardi acknowledged that Hughes has more bullpen experience and is probably a more natural bullpen fit than Nova, but he also said he won’t make a decision on Hughes based on a handful of starts coming back from an injury.
“I think it’s too early to necessarily give up on Hughesy and say that he’s not going to be an effective starter for us after what he did last year,” Girardi said. “He’s just basically coming out of spring training for him, so, we believe in our guys. We believe in what he’s capable of doing and we’re giving him a shot to show us. That’s what we’re doing.”
• Derek Jeter told Girardi that he could play today, but Girardi decided to give him a day off. Jeter was hit in the middle finger of his right hand, and he can bend the finger with no problem. He said there will be some lingering soreness, but he could have played today and expects to play tomorrow.
• By the way, it’s not just Jeter who expects Jeter to play tomorrow. Girardi said the same thing.
• The plan is for Alex Rodriguez to travel to Tampa on Wednesday and begin baseball activities on Thursday. He’s clearly getting closer to coming off the DL, but Girardi still doesn’t have an expected return date. “I don’t think it’s 100 percent, but I think it’s to the point where they think he can start doing stuff,” Girardi.
• No surprise, but Girardi did say Rodriguez will likely need a rehab assignment.
• Girardi said he felt no need to address the team after the trade deadline: “I don’t think so. I think the guys understand we got to where we are with the guys in that room, plus some extra guys because we’ve seen a lot of people come through that clubhouse this year. So, no, I think they understand it.”
• Paul Konerko is out of the White Sox lineup, which leaves Adam Dunn and his shockingly bad numbers in the Chicago cleanup spot.
• Jeter on the start of a whole bunch of road games: “It’s not ideal. We do enjoy playing at home, but if you’re going to be a good team, you have to play well on the road, too. So I really don’t think it makes much of a difference, whether you’re at home or on the road. You play well, you’re going to win regardless of where you are.”
Juan Pierre LF
Alexei Ramirez SS
Carlos Quinton DH
Adam Dunn 1B
Alex Rios CF
A.J. Pierzynski C
Gordon Beckham 2B
Brent Lillibridge RF
Brent Morel 3B
Associated Press photos