Jorge Posada has some of the same curiosity when it comes to Jesus Montero.
“I’m looking forward to seeing him back there,” Posada said. “I think it’s a kid that, no question about it, has a lot riding on his shoulders. He’s doing a helluva job hitting, so now it’s time for him to catch a little bit.”
Posada remembers his first start behind the plate. It was September 25, 1996, the second game of a doubleheader against Milwaukee.
“I think it was Kenny Rogers,” Posada said. “I caught a doubleheader, and he’s telling me he’s going to add and subtract (signs). If I call a fastball, he’s going to add and subtract (to signal a different pitch). I didn’t know what in the hell he was talking about. I’m glad he didn’t do it. I think Jimmy Key was there, and Jimmy Key said, ‘Don’t try it. Don’t do it because that kid is already nervous.’ So thank God for that.”
Today, Montero will be catching his own veteran starter. As luck would have it — “It was not my master plan,” Joe Girardi said — Montero first act as a big leaguer was to catch Freddy Garcia’s bullpen in Boston. Montero also caught Garcia’s rehab starter earlier this season in Scranton.
“I’m not going to make too much of today,” Girardi said. “You think about the situation he’s playing in, he’s shown he can relax at this level as a hitter. I’m not going to make too much of today. He’s got Freddy who’s a veteran. I think that should be helpful because Freddy knows what he wants to do, and they speak the same language, so that should be helpful. I thought he had improved (when watching video of Montero catching in Triple-A), and we’re going to get a chance to watch him.”
• The Yankees will stick with a six-man rotation, letting Phil Hughes, A.J. Burnett and Ivan Nova start this week in Seattle. “It’s still something we could possibly change,” Girardi said. “But now we’ve got that doubleheader coming up. Do you want a guy to sit for two weeks? I don’t know.”
• Another factor in sticking with six starters is that the Yankees don’t need another pitcher in the bullpen right now. “Our bullpen, right now, is OK,” Girardi said. “We’ve kind of caught up a little bit with the guys in the back end.”
• No update on Nick Swisher or Alex Rodriguez, but Girardi said he is hopeful that Swisher will be able to play tomorrow. Rodriguez is still going to miss a few days.
• Austin Romine is traveling here from Scranton. Not sure why he was still there, but apparently he was. Girardi said he hopes to have Romine at the stadium by the start of the game.
• When Romine gets here, he’ll be the No. 2 catcher. Posada is still considered an emergency-only option.
• On Russell Martin: “Russell is probably day-to-day,” Girardi said. “I don’t know if we’ll have him tomorrow. My hope is that we’ll have him on Tuesday. We’ll just have to wait and see.”
• As part of a September 11 pregame ceremony, members of the military and some first responders will throw a series of ceremonial first pitches. Members of the Angels will catch some of them, but the Angels also asked Posada, Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera to catch three of the pitches.
“I think everybody came together during 9-11,” Posada said. “I think that’s what we’re doing again… I wish we were home, though. I wish we were home and with people in New York, but we’re here and I’m happy for the first pitches today.”
Erick Aybar SS
Howie Kendrick 2B
Bobby Abreu DH
Torii Hunter RF
Mark Trumbo 1B
Peter Bourjos CF
Mike Trout LF
Bobby Wilson C
Alberto Callaspo 3B
Associated Press photos