Upset that Mark Teixeira hasn’t been dumped to the bottom of the order? Blame Robinson Cano.
Last Sunday, Cano started the day hitting .255 with one home run and four RBI. In seven games since, Cano’s raised his season average to .299 while hitting two more homers and adding 10 more RBI. He’s expected to be a superstar, and for the past week, he’s been exactly that.
“You have to go on guys’ track records,” Joe Girardi said. “You can’t just juggle the lineup where you think a guy is going to hit this guy and not that guy, (then) you have inconsistencies all the time. You’re going to be asked those questions as a manager, do you make moves? You find out over the long haul it’s usually best if things just stay consistent.”
In some ways, dropping Teixeira from third to fifth seems to be an acknowledgement that he has not been the same all-around hitter — hit for average, hit for power, get on base — that he was in his first season with the Yankees, but he’s remained a steady source of power the past two seasons, and Girardi is trusting that Teixeira will eventually deliver that type of production this season. He quite often uses Derek Jeter as a go-to example of a hitter who he kept in place and (eventually) reaped the benefits, now Cano is another. Right or wrong, like it or not, this is the way Girardi is facing the current lack of production from Teixeira and — to a slightly lesser extent — Alex Rodriguez.
“I’ve seen some things that (Teixeira)’s done and the way he’s swung the bat,” Girardi said. “I think he’s going to start swinging it and being more consistent. We thought we got through it when we went to Boston those couple days, but he got back into it. We’ll get through it. … It’s real important because he’s such a big bat. It’s a guy that drives in over 100 runs. You look at his RBI, what is he, third or fourth on the team? We know he’s capable of doing more and I think we’ll see it. I think it’s coming soon. I really believe that.”
• Andy Pettitte said he felt better today than he did the day after some of his minor league starts. “I’m a little surprised, because I felt like I probably went harder yesterday than I did in my minor league starts,” Pettitte said. “Just because there’s a little bit of adrenaline or whatever in a big league game. But just from all the traveling I was doing, especially the last couple of starts (in the minors), maybe I came out of those starts in the minors a little sorer than I was today.”
• Pettitte said that, looking back, he tried to force his cutter too much. It wasn’t working, but he kept shaking to it. “The thing I was most disappointed about, was with my pitch selection,” he said. “I don’t think I made the adjustments I should have in the game. After being out of the game, and looking back at it now. Sometimes you can out think yourself out there, a little too much. If something’s not working, you feel like you have to make something work, and sometimes that’s a bad idea. … It’s also saying, after the game, ‘Russ, slap me upside the head. You wanted to go slow and I didn’t go slow.’ I was shaking him off on some pitches.”
• Brett Gardner is still roughly five days from trying to resume baseball activities.
• Joba Chamberlain continues to throw down in Tampa, and Girardi said he looks good — he actually saw video of him throwing — but Girardi said there’s no set date for Chamberlain to begin doing more. Just playing catch for now.
• Still no date for Mariano Rivera’s surgery.
• Tarp is still on the field, but the rain has stopped for now. We at least have a chance of seeing a game tonight. “You gotta approach it like you’re not going to have any delays,” Girardi said. “If you do, you have to deal with them and be careful with the guys. Your starter, how long he sits down if there is a delay. You just go at it.”
Associated Press photos