Freddy Garcia threw a bullpen today, but that bullpen included no splitfingers. Essentially, the Yankees are keeping Garcia stretched out and ready to pitch, but they won’t put him in a game until he’s ready to throw his best offspeed pitch.
“We’ll look at it every day to make an evaluation if we think it’s ready to throw it,” Joe Girardi said.
Right now, Girardi said he’s thinking Garcia will be ready to start Saturday. If not Saturday, maybe Sunday. The Yankees are just trying to be careful with that cut, making sure they don’t test it too early. Girardi said he wouldn’t rule out Friday for Garcia, but that seems unlikely.
CC Sabathia will start Thursday’s series opener against the Twins, and Girardi said it’s likely Phil Hughes will start Friday.
“See how (Garcia) is tomorrow and then probably try to give a rotation,” Girardi said.
• Alex Rodriguez begins his Triple-A rehab assignment tonight. He’s batting third and playing third for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. He’ll be playing these two games behind prospect starters Adam Warren and Manny Banuelos. Of course, my great friend Donnie Collins is on the scene to keep you informed.
• Girardi on what he hopes to hear about Rodriguez: “I’m most anxious to see how he’s moving and how he feels playing defense. Sitting down, going back out. Sitting down, going back out. Running the bases. If he feels 100 percent.”
• You’ll be shocked — shocked! — to learn that Girardi would not announce a planned lineup for when Rodriguez returns to the big league roster. My guess is that Brett Gardner will fall back to the bottom of the order against right-handers and stay there against left-handers, but I can’t say for certain.
• If you’re curious, Derek Jeter said last night’s decision to bunt in the first inning was all on his own. Girardi said he had no problem with it because it wasn’t a straight sacrifice. Jeter was bunting for a hit, with a sacrifice being the alternative if he didn’t beat the play. “That’s part of his game,” Girardi said.
• The Yankees are facing lefties in three of their next four games (counting this one) and Girardi said he’s not sure what he’ll do about the DH when they see another right-hander. It’s entirely possible, he said, that Rodriguez will DH in his first game back with the team.
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