Brian Heyman back here at Yankee Stadium for the series finale. After batting seventh the last two nights, Mark Teixeira is in the three hole with Kansas City switching to lefty Will Smith, who will make his big-league debut.
“You look what Mark has done over his period as a right-handed hitter, he’s been outstanding,” Joe Girardi said. “He’s done a lot of damage here the three years that we’ve had him. We have not swung the bats particularly well against left-handers as a club this year, so I’m going with some track records and putting some guys where they’ve had a lot of success, and I put him there.”
Teixeira bemoaned his lack of selectivity so far, saying he has put too many balls in play. But he’s hopeful about the move up to No. 3.
“We’ve had a lot of success the last three years with me hitting third,” Teixeira said.
David Robertson has indicated that he hopes he’s about a week away from returning, if all goes well from here with the oblique. But will he be going back to the eighth inning or remaining as Mariano Rivera’s primary stand-in for the rest of the season? Girardi opened up the possibility of sticking with Rafael Soriano.
“Let’s just see where we are when Robbie gets back and how Robbie’s doing and how he feels,” Girardi said. “I’ll cross that bridge when the time comes. But I’ve been comfortable bringing in Sori where we’re bringing him because of his experience and what he’s done.
“Obviously he’s had a track record as a closer that’s been very successful, and I expect him to do that here, too.”
Who would you like to see as the closer, Robertson or Soriano?
Meanwhile, with Alex Rodriguez’s lack of productivity, the questions are starting over whether he can live up to his track record and be as productive anymore (with five more years on his contract after this one, we might add).
“I’m sure because he’s (almost) 37, I’m going to be asked that a lot more,” Girardi said. “Only time is going to tell.
“Do I think seven or eight home runs in a month is possible for Alex Rodriguez? Absolutely, I do. Now will you carry that over six months? I don’t know. That’s pretty tough for any hitter to do. But is Alex the kind of guy who can carry us for a month at a time? Yes, I believe that.”