The Yankees made one rotation decision today. The rest remains as unsettled as ever.
“Our plans right now are to keep Phil on rotation for Tuesday,” Joe Girardi said. “We want Nova to throw well, and if he continues to throw well, we’re going to have to answer some questions of exactly what we’re going to do, but Phil was real good last night.”
As he’s done the past few days, Girardi ruled out nothing for Ivan Nova. The Yankees could stick with some sort of six-man rotation for another turn. They could move Nova to the bullpen. They could option him back to Triple-A, with plans to have him start a doubleheader later this month. Girardi ruled out nothing today, but he did acknowledge that Monday’s off day would make it difficult to keep a six-man rotation going without significant changes. As it is, Hughes’ start on Tuesday is coming with six days rest.
It’s easy to point to tomorrow’s start by Nova as a significant turning point one way or the other, but Girardi said it’s more complicated than that. What happens this weekend could also play a role, as could the desire to keep the other guys on a fairly regular schedule.
“I always say, the big-leagues is the big-leagues,” Nova said. “Nobody wants to be in the minor leagues. If they need me in the bullpen, I’ll go to the bullpen. I’m not saying I want to go there, but any decision that they make, that’s what I gotta to do.”
• Alex Rodriguez remains on schedule to begin baseball activities tomorrow in Tampa, but there’s still no schedule in place for when he might begin a rehab assignment or return to the big leagues. “I’m not exactly sure what he’s going to do,” Girardi said. “I would think he would start with tee and toss. That would be my guess… I think you’ve got to see how he’s doing tomorrow and the next couple of days before you can say he’s this many days away.”
• As you might expect, Girardi had nothing to say about the Rodriguez gambling story.
• The most significant big leaguer still rehabbing in Tampa is probably Damaso Marte, but Girardi said he had no update on him. The assumption seems to be that he’s still just throwing bullpens.
• A.J. Burnett went winless in July. He made five starts, allowing either three or four runs each time, but he never got a win. That’s not a great month, but it’s not a terrible month either. “I think it’s important (that he get a win) because I think everyone wants to feel like they’re contributing,” Girardi said.
• Girardi on Mark Teixeira’s recent hot streak: “This guy has put up big numbers for a long time. That’s what he does. You look at his RBIs, his homers, they’ve very good. You hope he can carry it out, what do we have, eight weeks left? That would be awesome. The chances of a guy staying hot for eight weeks, sometimes you’re going to go through some little blips, but this guy’s a good hitter and he’s capable of doing it.”
• I guess because the game is on ESPN, first pitch is actually scheduled for 8:20 ET tonight.
Juan Pierre LF
Omar Vizquez 2B
Carlos Quentin DH
Adam Dunn 1B
Alexi Ramirez SS
A.J. Pierzynski C
Alex Rios CF
Alejandro De Aza RF
Brent Morel 3B
Associated Press photo