Alex Rodriguez admitted last night that he still feels hesitant on that surgically repaired knee. Taking that into account, the Yankees still plan to bring their third baseman to Minnesota, but they might wait a few more days before activating him.
“Our plans right now are still to bring him to Minnesota tomorrow if everything goes OK,” Joe Girardi said. “We may not activate him. We may have him just go through some things for a couple of days and wait a couple of days to activate him. But our plans are for him to come tomorrow, and we could activate him. We’ll see.”
Girardi said Rodriguez will stick with the plan of playing third base tonight, but it’s entirely possible that he’ll initially DH when he’s activated for the big league roster.
“He said he felt good, but he was just tentative,” Girardi said. “And I don’t really think that’s so abnormal because as I said, he ran probably two or three weeks tentative, and you get used to running a certain way. He’s been this way for probably the last eight weeks now, and he has to get that out of his mind.”
Girardi said he’ll wait until Rodriguez goes through some drills with Kevin Long and visits the Yankees training staff before deciding whether to activate Rodriguez tomorrow.
“A couple of days, if you rush, could cost you a couple of weeks,” Girardi said. “You could end up hurting something else. That’s why we want to take a look at him with our own eyes tomorrow and see how far he is away, and see if he’s ready for tomorrow.”
• Freddy Garcia did not throw his splitfinger today, but the Yankees believe there’s a chance he’ll throw it tomorrow. Girardi didn’t rule out using Garcia for Saturday’s start, but it sounds more likely that A.J. Burnett will start that game and Garcia will be bumped back to Sunday.
• The DL isn’t completely ruled out for Garcia: “At this point, if he can’t make his start Sunday, you could definitely do that because it’s two weeks.”
• When Rodriguez is activated, the Yankees plan to drop a pitcher, but they’ll stick with a six-man rotation through the doubleheader in Baltimore. When Rodriguez is activated, the Yankees will carry a six-man bullpen for a few days. “Going to have to,” Girardi said.
• Speaking of a six-man bullpen: Girardi said he could get two to three innings out of Cory Wade and Luis Ayala, and he believes Hector Noesi would be good for about 50 pitches (probably closer to four innings). Distance might be necessary if the bullpen is short-handed for a few days.
• Girardi said he’ll have to check with his late-inning relievers to determine whether they’re available today. Boone Logan, Rafael Soriano, Dave Robertson and Mariano Rivera have all pitched back-to-back games.
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