When Alex Rodriguez came back from knee surgery, he was immediately inserted back into the cleanup spot. This time, coming back from his sprained thumb, Rodriguez is sliding down a spot to fifth in the order.
“It’s more that he’s just missed time,” Joe Girardi said. “Really, he hasn’t played much in the last two months, so I figured we’ll just keep Robbie there for right now, and if Alex gets going, we can adjust our lineup as we see needed.”
Rodriguez plans to play with a ring of tape around the handle of his bat, and that ring will keep his top hand from driving into his sore thumb. He tried it yesterday and liked the results.
“Just to have the authority to get through the zone the way I’m used to is the most important thing,” Rodriguez said. “I think timing takes a little adjustment, but not as bad as the other thing.”
Whether he has that authority through the zone will determine which version of Rodriguez the Yankees have these last two weeks and into the postseason.
“We don’t know what version we’re going to get,” Girardi said. “We might get the version we had at the beginning of the season when he was healthy. If that version is in there, that’s really good.”
• Girardi said it’s “fair to say” he wants CC Sabathia to start Game 1 of the division series, but right now, Sabathia’s not lined up for that game. Getting him on regular rest for Game 1 seems to require that he start next Sunday on short rest, but Girardi said he hasn’t decided what to do with Sabathia leading into the postseason. “We’ve got to see after his next start how he feels,” Girardi said. “You’re asking a hypothetical question and I can’t answer it, because I don’t know where we’re going to be and I don’t know how he’s going to feel after his next start. Let’s just wait and see after he starts on Wednesday, then we’ll look at Friday and Saturday and decide what we’re going to do.”
• Kind of surprising, but Girardi revealed that Sabathia actually asked for an extra day of rest heading into his Sept. 10 start against Anaheim. “I think pitchers prefer to pitch every fifth day, but we’re in a situation where we’ve had some off-days and we’ve had to (give Sabathia extra rest),” Girardi said. “There was a time he asked for an extra day one time, so we gave it to him. We’re just doing the best with what we’ve got.”
• Part of the reason for starting Austin Romine is the fact he faced Toronto starter Henderson Alvarez earlier this season. “Romine saw this kid in Double-A and hit a couple balls hard off him,” Girardi said. “He’s familiar with him.”
• Speaking of Romine, he was studying scouting reports in the clubhouse long before a lot of players arrived at the ballpark. The kid seems to be doing whatever he can to be ready.
• Girardi said Romine’s not necessarily his regular No. 2 catcher. “I’ll look at that individually each day,” Girardi said. As for the possibility of carrying both Romine and Jesus Montero in the postseason, Girardi said, “We’ll worry about that when we get there.”
• Boone Logan was really sharp for a while, but he’s taken a step back recently. “He’s just not quite as sharp,” Girardi said. “He’s making a mistake and they’re hitting it. He threw some really good sliders to Adam Lind (last night), and the one that he hit, he left it up in the middle. Good hitters are going to put that in play and usually hit it hard.”
• With three straight day games, Girardi said he expects some regulars to get time off Sunday and Monday. “I’m going to rest a couple of the guys,” Girardi said. “It is what it is. We’re going to have to give the guys a little bit of rest. It’s not what we want, but our schedule has just been bad.”
Mike McCoy SS
Kelly Johnson 2B
Jose Bautista RF
Adam Lind 1B
David Cooper DH
Colby Rasmus CF
Brett Lawrie 3B
Adam Loewen LF
Jose Molina C
Associated Press photos