Joe Girardi met with the media a little closer to game time than usual, so I’ll try to make this quick.
Today’s lineup wasn’t exactly the plan when the Yankees traded for Ichiro Suzuki, but it’s become a viable option now that Alex Rodriguez is on the disabled list. Ichiro has a lowest on-base percentage than Russell Martin, but the Yankees are banking on his years of experience in the leadoff spot, hoping that he’ll produce closer to his career numbers now that he’s in a new environment.
“We just thought we’d give this a shot and see how it works out,” Joe Girardi said.
Girardi would not commit to this being his regular lineup throughout Rodriguez’s disabled list stint, but it’s what they’re going with for now. Girardi said the lineup “could change a little bit” when Nick Swisher gets healthy, but he didn’t say that change would come at the top of the order.
Today’s lineup did not come as a surprise to any of the key players.
“We talked to all the parties involved, just letting them know what we were thinking about doing,” Girardi said.
• Joba Chamberlain is making a second minor league rehab appearance today. He will then fly to New York to throw a bullpen for the big league staff, but Girardi said the team is not planning to activate Chamberlain right away. “That has not been in the plan, no,” Girardi said.
• Ramiro Pena has been called up and should get here close to game time. If he’s not here in time for first pitch, he should be here soon after. “Just to backup our infield positions,” Girardi said.
• For now, Girardi is expecting a platoon of Eric Chavez and Jayson Nix at third base.
• Eduardo Nunez is moving back up to Triple-A today. He’s just now coming back from a thumb injury, which could explain why he wasn’t given the call-up. Girardi did not rule out the idea of Nunez rejoining the team at some point. “We’ll talk about all our options going forward,” Girardi said.
• Swisher is hitting in the cage today, but Girardi said he’s not available at all as a pinch hitter or defensive replacement. It sounds like Saturday is the earliest the Yankees are really considering using Swisher. Asked about playing him Friday, Girardi said, “We’ll see” but didn’t sound optimistic.
Associated Press photos