Joe Girardi made three announcements about his division series roster.
1. CC Sabathia will start Game 1.
2. Mariano Rivera will be on the roster.
3. Ivan Nova will start Game 2.
“We haven’t completely made our roster, and some of it’s going to depend on who we’re going to play, and we still don’t know that,” Girardi said. “We’re fairly close, but there are some decisions that have to be made depending on who we play.”
I guess locking Nova into Game 2 is a mild bit of news, but that was pretty much the assumption. Girardi said his Game 3 starter doesn’t really depend on the opponent, but he’s still not ready to announce it. He said there are “two or three” decisions that still have to be made.
And there’s a good chance nothing will be official until tomorrow’s workout at the stadium.
“I should know who we’re playing,” Girardi said. “Hopefully they don’t pay until 4 tomorrow afternoon. We’ll talk about it when we come in tomorrow and I’ll probably have most of the decisions made.”
• Girardi said he chose Dellin Betances to start today’s game largely because he expected to use Betances anyway, and he’s used to being a starter. “We probably won’t go long with him, I mean, we’re not asking him to give us five or six innings,” Girardi said. “We just figured it was the best time to pitch him.”
• Girardi said he’s expecting two or three innings out of Betances. Ultimately, he’s expecting to use a lot of young relievers. Boone Logan, Luis Ayala and Phil Hughes are the big league guys expected to pitch.
• Hughes didn’t start because Girardi wants him to once again get loose and get in the game. It’s one more chance to readjust to life in the bullpen.
• Girardi said he’s planning to stick with this heart-of-the-order against lefties. He likes having Rodriguez hitting behind Cano for protection.
• Why Montero behind the plate? “With some of the younger kids throwing, Montero has a better idea of what they’re doing,” Girardi said. “He caught most of these guys at Triple-A this year.”
• Montero would DH more often against Texas, making Romine more necessary if that’s the opponent? “That’s a pretty good assumption,” Girardi said.
• Will the regulars play all game? “We’ll just kind of see how it goes,” Girardi said. “We’ll go along with the game and see how it goes. Will I play them all nine innings? Maybe not. My first priority is taking care of my guys, and I’ve got to do it.”
• If Derek Jeter gets his batting average above .300, would Girardi pull him? “That’s something I’ll talk to him about,” Girardi said.
Associated Press photos