Joe Girardi said he came into the weekend planning to have Jorge Posada at designated hitter both Saturday and Sunday. That was going to happen with or without Posada’s six-RBI game on Saturday. After a rainout, though, Girardi had no need to rest anyone. The Royals starter has no significant track record against any of the Yankees. Girardi simply chose to put Posada back in the lineup.
“The next three days, we have three lefties, so we’ll see what we do,” Girardi said. “I like the way Jorge swung the bat. He’s going to play, and we need him to help us.”
Even after the big game on Saturday, Posada said he still showed up today and felt the need to check the lineup. He didn’t take it for granted that one big day was enough to earn himself another start.
“You feel pretty good about yourself going home, that’s about it,” he said. “You put yourself in a situation, and hopefully you try to do everything possible to stay in the lineup. I have to look at it like that, now.”
Looking ahead to next year, Posada said he hasn’t put much thought into whether he’ll retire, but right now he thinks he’ll come back for another season. Staying healthy, he said, is the biggest issue, and right now he feels good.
“It’s tough for me to tell you exactly what I’m going to do,” he said. “To tell you the truth, I really don’t know until the season’s over and I get home and see what happens during the offseason, all the workouts and stuff. I haven’t really thought about it, but I still think that I will right now.”
• Freddy Garcia will try to throw a full bullpen either Tuesday or Wednesday, depending on the progress of the cut at the top of his right index finger. Girardi said the Yankees have to be careful about when Garcia throws, because if the cut hasn’t healed enough, he could rip it back open and cause a setback. He’ll be slotted into the rotation after the bullpen. Right now there’s no date in mind for Garcia to pitch again.
• Garcia’s been able to throw, he just can’t throw his splitfinger. That one pitch, though, is too much of a weapon to go without it. “Hell yeah,” Garcia said. “That’s a pitch I use a lot.”
• Garcia’s cut is this year’s version of last season’s A.J. Burnett black eye: No one seems exactly sure how it happened. “Stuff in the house,” Garcia said when asked how it happened. Was he cooking dinner? “Something like that,” he said.
• Alex Rodriguez has today off. He’ll travel to Scranton and play Triple-A rehab games Tuesday and Wednesday. At that point, the Yankees will reevaluate. Thursday is the earliest Rodriguez could be back. It could be later depending on these two games for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
• Girardi said Rodriguez will play third base the next two days.
• Quite an unusual move: The Triple-A Yankees clubhouse will be closed to reporters before both the Tuesday and Wednesday games. Rodriguez will hold a press conference after the game. I can’t remember ever covering a rehab game when the clubhouse was closed because of the big league player in attendance. I know it didn’t happen with Jason Giambi, and I don’t remember it happening with Roger Clemens.
• For whatever reason, Burnett has been awful in August since he came to the Yankees. “There are pitchers that have some months that aren’t as good as others,” Girardi said. “You hear about it when you acquire them and you understand that. Is there a real reason that you can say he struggles in August? No, I don’t think so.”
• The Royals continue to bring kids up from their minor league system, but Girardi said they’re not necessarily playing a different style of baseball than when the Yankees saw them earlier this season. “They’re still playing the same way,” Girardi said. “They’re aggressive, they’re among the league-leaders in stolen bases and they score runs. Their pitching staff has changed because some people have been hurt. The guy we’re seeing tonight, Paulino, was not on the club when we saw them. They have changed, because they’ve brought some more young kids up.”
Alex Gordon LF
Melky Cabrera CF
Billy Butler DH
Eric Hosmer 1B
Jeff Francoeur RF
Johnny Giavotella 2B
Salvador Perez C
Mike Moustakas 3B
Alcides Escobar SS
Associated Press photos