Adam Warren has never been the type of pitcher who can get by on pure stuff. The 24-year-old right-hander was never touted as a top prospect, but with the Yankees needing someone to step into their suddenly injury-ridden rotation, it’s Warren who they’re turning to.
“From what I’ve seen, he’s a very hard worker who just really goes about his business,” Joe Girardi said. “I’ve never seen a ton of emotion out of the young man, and sometimes those guys who don’t have the big fastball or the great breaking ball are the guys who pitch a long, long time in the big leagues – because they know how to pitch. And that’s what I’ve seen out of him. He seems pretty calm out there.”
Warren will make his major league debut tonight as he gets the first crack at filling one of the voids left by CC Sabathia (left groin) and Andy Pettitte (left fibula). He works mostly with a fastball that sits in the low 90s and a relatively sharp slider, but he can also throw a curveball and a changeup. But as Girardi pointed out, Warren is not the type of guy who’s going to blow the ball by hitters at this level.
“He had really good location,” Girardi said of what he saw from Warren during spring training. “And as we all know, that’s very important when you face big league lineups.”
• Here’s Girardi on the advice that he gave Warren for today’s start: “I said, ‘You’re going to go through a lot of emotions, and this day is going to go really fast for you once it gets started, in a sense. I think you need to take a moment to reflect on what you’ve accomplished. This is what you’ve worked for your entire life, and you’ve realized your dream.’ ”
• In another roster move, David Phelps rejoined the team today to take over the role as long man. Ryota Igarashi has been sent back to Triple-A after one day with the big league club and no appearances. Hope you enjoyed the trip, Ryota. “He’s a guy that can give us some distance,” Girardi said of Phelps. “We’ve had two starters knocked out, and our long guy became one of our starters. He’s another guy that can give us 65, 70, maybe 80 pitches. We were trying to build him back up to be a starter, and we probably could have continued to do that if we didn’t have so many interruptions with our starting rotation.”
• Phelps said that he went 3 1/3 innings in his most recent minor league outing (50 pitches), which probably eliminates any chance of him starting in the near future. Girardi echoed those sentiments, saying that the plan for now is for Phelps to be used in relief. Phelps seemed prepared for the role. “It’s not too bad,” he said. “I did it earlier in the season. You still have to come in and get guys out.”
• For the second consecutive game and fifth in six days, Russell Martin is not in the lineup. Martin repeatedly told us in the clubhouse today that, “I feel good,” but he feels that Girardi is being, “extra cautious.” He actually just finished taking BP, and didn’t seem to have any issues. He said the most pain comes, “when I swing through a pitch,” noting that it would be difficult to do that in BP. He probably won’t know for sure how healthy he is until he gets in a game, but he said he fully expects to play tomorrow. “The last time he told me he felt good, I don’t think he was quite 100 percent,” Girardi said. “I’m hoping that him saying that he feels really good, maybe he’ll do some things and I’ll be able to watch it. Maybe then tomorrow or the day after.”
• Of course, Girardi was asked again about his handling of the bullpen in last night’s ninth inning implosion. Rather than use set-up man David Robertson to start the ninth with closer Rafael Soriano unavailable, Girardi tried to mix and match, which ended up backfiring. Robertson made it pretty clear after the game that he thought he was going to get a clean slate to begin the ninth, noting that he had not had a conversation with Girardi to discuss how he would be used in Soriano’s absence. “The thing about doing that is that he’s really my eighth inning guy,” Girardi said. “When we don’t have Soriano, sometimes I’m going to mix and match a bit. The thing about doing that is that if you tell him exactly what he’s going to do, then you kind of get stuck… Your mind might change, and I don’t want to necessarily be stuck in a situation. Not that I don’t like the matchup of Robby against anyone, but I liked the matchup (of lefty Clay Rapada against A.J. Pierzynski). I told you I still have concerns about (Robertson) physically a little bit – not that he’s shown anything of being hurt – but I’m being a little cautious. What did we miss him, a month? I don’t want to miss him for another six to eight weeks.”
• Girardi seemed very concerned about the type of injury that Robertson is returning from, which is why he’s been so cautious. “We’ve seen a lot of players that come back from rib injuries – whether it’s a pitcher or a hitter – and they’re not quite right for awhile,” Girardi said. “We saw what happened to (Tigers’ starter Doug) Fister, and he ended up going back on the DL.”
• Girardi said that Soriano will be available tonight, but Robertson will not.
• The Yankees have announced that they have claimed pitcher Chris Schwinden off waivers from the Cleveland Indians, and have assigned him to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.The 25-year-old is 4-7 this year with a 4.16 ERA in his 13 starts at the Triple-A level for Buffalo (Mets), Las Vegas (Blue Jays) and Columbus (Indians).
• Here is the today’s lineup for the White Sox: 1. De Aza (CF); 2. Youkilis (3B); 3. Dunn (DH); 4. Konerko (1B); 5. Rios (RF); 6. Pierzynski (C); 7. Viciedo (LF); 8. Ramirez (SS); 9. Beckham (2B); LHP Quintana.
Associated Press photos