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Pregame notes: “He seems to really like that moment”

Posted by: vmercogliano - Posted in Misc on Jul 15, 2012 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

While the day certainly came sooner than expected, life after Mariano Rivera has been a pretty seamless transition so far for the Yankees. The entire bullpen has been outstanding all season, but it has been Rafael Soriano’s ability to step into the closer role and not miss a beat that has been the biggest key.

“I think Sori doesn’t get rattled, No. 1,” Joe Girardi said before Sunday’s series finale with the Los Angeles Angels. “He’s pretty calm out there, and he’s able to move on from day-to-day. He’s durable. He’s a guy that I think you can throw three days in a row, more than our other guys. He seems to really like that moment.”

Girardi talked about being comfortable with Soriano’s workload — something that he traditionally monitors very closely. So far, Soriano has handled it very well, picking up the save in 22 of 23 chances while pitching to a 1.51 ERA and striking out more than a batter per inning. He’s only allowed one hit in his last seven appearances.

“You kind of watch, if you do it once, how they respond,” Girardi said of using a guy three days in a row. “Then maybe how they respond a day or two later, physically. Sori seems to do a pretty good job with that.”

There was some talk last season that Soriano seemed uninterested at times due to the fact that he wasn’t pitching in the ninth inning. Whether or not that was actually the case, the right-handed fireballer certainly seems to be locked in right now. His demeanor on the mound is deliberate and lethargic, as he slows down the game and seems lure hitters to sleep. Even the way that he walks around the mound in between each pitch resembles a hunter stalking its prey.

Soriano’s quirkiness is well-documented (he’s received quite a bit of attention for his jersey un-tucking ritual at the end of each game), but Girardi was asked about another one of his odd mannerisms. Soriano often peers into his hat and appears to be reading something, but both Girardi and pitching coach Larry Rothschild have no idea what it could be.

“No, I don’t think so,” Girardi said with a laugh when asked if anyone knows what it is. “Maybe some of his bullpen mates do. I’ve always contended that it’s the scouting report in there, and I’m sticking to it.”

• The Yankees should be adding another key piece to the bullpen in the coming weeks, as Joba Chamberlain’s rehab continues to progress. In his second outing in the Gulf Coast League yesterday, the right-handed reliever struck out two and didn’t allow a hit in two scoreless innings. He threw 19 of 28 pitches for strikes, and his fastball reached 97 MPH. He’ll get a few days off now, but should be in line to move up to a higher level soon. “He threw well,” Girardi said. “He went the two innings, his stuff was good. I think he went 3-0 on the first hitter, and then really locked in after that and threw strikes. He’ll have two days off, at least.”

• Girardi was asked about Joba’s potential role when he is added to the big league club. His presence will certainly lengthen the bullpen, giving Girardi plenty of options for late in the game. “No, not really,” Girardi said when asked if he’s thought about it. “I know what he did for us before – he pitched in the later innings. If he’s throwing the ball well, you can have somewhat of that expectation… I wouldn’t be afraid to use him at any point.”

• I don’t know if you any of you have heard, but this guy Robinson Cano is pretty good. He has a 17-game hitting streak, and will tie the longest streak of his career with a hit today. “I think it’s been a big part of our run, what he’s done offensively for us and how productive he’s been,” Girardi said. “He had the three RBI yesterday and it’s been nice, because we’ve been getting contributions all throughout our lineup.”

• Curtis Granderson also hit a big homer yesterday, extending his team-leading total to 24 on the season. Granderson’s power production has been huge for the Yankees in the last year and a half, but he’s also striking out at an alarmingly rate (just about once every three at-bats), and only has 13 non-homer extra-base hits. His on-base percentage is over 100 points higher than his batting average, so he’s still getting on, but Girardi was asked if he’s concerned about Grandy’s pull-happy, all-or-nothing approach. “It’s pretty hard to change your swing,” Girardi said. “I think a lot of guys tailor their swings around their home ballparks, because that’s where they are the most. Some ballparks it’s going to work in, some it may not work as well.”

• While Alex Rodriguez’s production has been relatively sub-par so far this season, he has had tremendous success in his limited time as a DH. A-Rod went 2 for 4 with a double and a run scored yesterday, upping his season average to .353 with a .946 OPS when serving as the designated hitter. He’s DHed in 22 games (96 plate appearances), which is enough of a sample size to start paying attention to. Girardi admitted that it has caught his eye, and it sounds like he may look to DH A-Rod more often. He said he has not discussed it with A-Rod yet. “It could be a weird coincidence, or there could be something to it – I’m not sure yet,” Girardi said. “It is a small sample size, but I’m well aware of it… I’m not to that point yet, but there’s a chance he DHs again on this homestand. If and when we do get Gardy back, that could change things around here.”

• Speaking of Brett Gardner, he’s scheduled to play in a three-inning simulated game today. We should know how it went after the game.

• Andy Pettitte was also hanging around the clubhouse this morning, and he didn’t show any signs of being injured. There was no cast or bandage on his injured leg, and he is scheduled for an X-ray at some point today. To be clear, though, he is still a long way from thinking about a return.

• Here is the Angels’ lineup: 1. Trout (LF); 2. Aybar (SS); 3. Pujols (1B); 4. Morales (DH); 5. Trumbo (RF); 6. Callaspo (3B); 7. Izturis (2B); 8. Bourjos (CF); 9. Wilson (C); RHP Weaver.

Associated Press photos





24 Responses to “Pregame notes: “He seems to really like that moment””

  1. MLink July 15th, 2012 at 11:30 am

    is the gwb closed today?

  2. Tar July 15th, 2012 at 11:43 am

    Untuck is pretty cool. It makes me miss the Jorge/Mariano stroll to touch second base, just a little less.

    Just a little :sad:

    Great job Sori. BTW who is the genius who wanted to sign him :shock:

  3. Against All Odds July 15th, 2012 at 11:44 am

    MarcCarig profile

    MarcCarig Cashman not diggin the prices as the deadline looms.

  4. CountryClub July 15th, 2012 at 11:46 am

    Cashman did an interview with Bowden this morning on SiriusXM and told him that he’s going to focus on extending Cano and Grandy this winter. He said no conversations have taken place yet.

    He also said that the price to marginally improve this yr’s team is so high that it makes him want to run and hide.

  5. jacksquat July 15th, 2012 at 12:05 pm

    Cashman did an interview with Bowden this morning on SiriusXM and told him that he’s going to focus on extending Cano and Grandy this winter. He said no conversations have taken place yet

    No mention of Swisher? I guess that would mean he is gone.

    More than a few years extension of Granderson would be a mistake imo.

    Cano has Boras as an agent so an extension would very likely have to be the equivalent of a full, huge contract. I guess maybe they could save a year by doing it a year early.

  6. DONNYBROOK July 15th, 2012 at 12:08 pm

    Cashman does this “high price” song-and-dance at the Winter Meetings also. He’s gonna try to get an established Set-Up guy, and bring back Nunez, (if healthy), or add a utility\speed clone. If I am Cashman, I bite-the-bullet, and call the R\Sox to inquire as to what they want for the road blocked Scott Podsednik.

  7. luis July 15th, 2012 at 12:08 pm

    Good morning,

    And Cashman is right no to overpay for marginal improvements. Just read Arod’s numbers as a DH as opposed as a third baseman. Could it be that he no longer can play the field in order to stay productive?..Yesterday I noticed in his double swing that he no longer uses his hips to drive the ball.

  8. mick July 15th, 2012 at 12:14 pm

    Could it be that he no longer can play the field in order to stay productive?.
    might have been what they were thinking all along..

  9. LGY July 15th, 2012 at 12:16 pm

    WoW. Carmelo Anthony calling Jeremy Lin’s contract ridiculous. Talk about a lack of self awareness.

  10. GreenBeret7 July 15th, 2012 at 12:18 pm

    That double was crushed. Any time a player hits a liner that splits Trout and Bourgos has to be crushed. The only thing Rodriguez isn’t doing is getting his usual elevation. The power is still there. Look back at the triple and the blast to the center field track in the same game. He’ll figure it out.

  11. GreenBeret7 July 15th, 2012 at 12:19 pm

    So, it looks like Lin’s HOF career may be over in NY

  12. CountryClub July 15th, 2012 at 12:20 pm


    That is correct….cano won’t take a discount. But if you’re going to give him a 8/160 contract (I’m not sold that they shoul), it’s better to have it start in 2013 instead of 2014.

    Same thing with Granderson.

  13. Against All Odds July 15th, 2012 at 12:22 pm

    He also said that the price to marginally improve this yr’s team is so high that it makes him want to run and hide.


    He says that every single yr.

  14. Against All Odds July 15th, 2012 at 12:23 pm

    LGY July 15th, 2012 at 12:16 pm

    WoW. Carmelo Anthony calling Jeremy Lin’s contract ridiculous. Talk about a lack of self awareness.


    Saw that earlier ppl trying to spit it as he’s talking about the contract not /lin.

  15. LGY July 15th, 2012 at 12:29 pm

    If the Isiah era left any doubt, not matching Lin would officially make the Knicks the most incompetent organization in professional sports.

  16. CountryClub July 15th, 2012 at 12:35 pm

    Half of what Cash says regarding the deadline is just GM speak. But we’ve all seen what teams have wanted from them over the past few years for a player that eventually gets traded to another team and it certainly looks like teams usually ask for more from NY. I think a lot teams truly do try to impose a Yankes tax.

  17. Against All Odds July 15th, 2012 at 12:35 pm

    spin not spit

  18. luis July 15th, 2012 at 12:38 pm

    Thanks for your takes.

  19. RS July 15th, 2012 at 12:42 pm

    Even though there’s no longer draft pick compensation tied to players that get traded mid-season, I’m sure every GM looking to sell is going to point to the Beltran-Wheeler trade last year as the mark for what they’re expecting.

    And with teams like Pittsburgh and Baltimore desperate to make the playoffs, and having a surplus of young prospects, there are definitely teams out there willing to pay such exorbitant prices.

  20. MTU July 15th, 2012 at 12:43 pm


    Saw your response to my comment from earlier in the AM.

    You’re welcome. I’m sure you’re just bein’ modest.

    I’ve been trying to donate to the USO each year.

  21. GreenBeret7 July 15th, 2012 at 12:50 pm


    The USO is a great cause. It’s tough on folks that far away from home when they get no letters or packages from home and that’s part of what they do. Nothing worse than going to mail call and never having something there. Trust me, it happens more than you think. what’s worse are the guys and gals at the rehab hospitals that families forget about after the first month or two. That’s tough to see.

  22. austinmac July 15th, 2012 at 12:57 pm

    I’m not sure how locking up Cano and Granderson aids the budget. Neither,particularly Cano and Boras, will take anything but absolute maximum value.

    Cashman sounds just like last year when he didn’t expect anything to happen. It didn’t and won’t again, in my opinion. They won’t take on money or deal the farm with hopes that it helps keep costs low.

  23. trisha - true pinstriped blue July 15th, 2012 at 12:58 pm

    “Great job Sori. BTW who is the genius who wanted to sign him :shock:

    I think it would be I to whom you are referring?


    Hey all. I did cartwheels when the Yankees signed Soriano. I wanted him so bad it hurt. And I didn’t care about the contract because I typically don’t involve myself in other peoples’ money, especially if it isn’t coming out of my pocket!

    Love him, love him, love him, love him, love him.


    I’ve been MIA for a bit, partly because I needed a break away from my total disgust at the way Ron Washington plissed away another ASG, partly because I was almost apopletic about all the new stuff coming out about Penn State, and partly because I was out of town a few days.

    mick, looks like we called it right on the money about the heroic “Joe Pa” didn’t we – despite all the crap we took for it. All I could think, from jump street, was that no matter what he was told, if his grandson was the one in the shower with Sandusky, his (in)actions would not have been the same. Now we find out he was up to his neck in it.


    I love Joba. These guys are almost magic. I guess I am never surprised that they come back as quickly as they do (well some of them – still waiting for poor Gardy). Ah to be young and athletic! :)


    Some church business today (I’m the parish attorney – not a paying position of course – benefits in heaven, if I ever get there, ha ha :) ) Today is their annual feast. So I get to go and bake outside in the heat and humidity. Hopefully I’ll escape in time to see some of today’s game.)

    GO YANKS!!!

    GO IVAN!!!

    GO RAYS!!!

  24. MTU July 15th, 2012 at 1:00 pm


    After watching “Act of Valor” I was surprised that they actually used real SEAL’s.

    I would have thought they would want to keep those guys as anonymous as possible.

    Other thing that surprised me was how many of them were KIA since the Gulf War. For some reason, even as dangerous as their missions are, I would have thought there would fewer.

    I’ll catch up with ya’ later.

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