The LoHud Yankees Blog

A New York Yankees blog by Chad Jennings and the staff of The Journal News

Yankees pregame: The injured come into focus

Posted by: Brian Heyman - Posted in Misc on Aug 05, 2012 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

The injured Yankees were dressed in their pinstripes again this morning to say hello, pose for pictures and bump fists with season-ticket holders filling the warning track. Those players included Alex Rodriguez, Mariano Rivera, Andy Pettitte and Brett Gardner.

Joe Girardi said Andy Pettitte has been frustrated with the healing rate of his fractured fibula. There was talk of a setback recently. The Yankees are still thinking September for him.

“That’s our hope,” Girardi said. “I think Andy thought with his broken leg that he was going to be on the mound in two weeks. That’s just Andy. I think you have to hold players back and they have to understand that it’s a process. But as players, we get anxious to come back. That’s the bottom line. I think that’s what happened with Andy.

“It takes time. When you miss as much time as he has, you have to build a guy up. You can’t rush him and make him come back too soon when he’s not ready. We’ll just take it day by day.”

As for Rivera and his mending ACL, is it 100 percent that he isn’t coming back this season as Brian Cashman has said?

“Nothing is ever 100 percent, but I would say it’s 99 percent, 99.9,” Girardi said. “But nothing is ever 100 percent in life. There have been a lot of people that have said that they’re done playing and they find a way back. We will die, though. I can tell you that for sure.”

As for Gardner possibly returning in September from his elbow surgery, Girardi said, “If there’s a way he can help us, we’ll definitely use him, especially in the month of September when you can expand rosters. If there’s certain things that he can’t do and it’s during the month of August, then you’re kind of limited and you limit your roster. But with an expanded roster, if he can help us, we’ll definitely use him, if it doesn’t jeopardize him getting back next year.”

So it’s the homestand finale and Curtis Granderson is leading off again, breaking up two righty batters, Chris Stewart in the nine hole and Derek Jeter in the two hole.

“Grandy falls in the category of he’s one of our higher (on-base) guys, so that’s why he goes there,” Girardi said. “Well, you could say, ‘Grandy is a power hitter.’ Well, so is Cano. So is Tex. So is Swish. So is Ibanez. So you say, ‘Why don’t you move him back?’ Well, then who do I move up to the front with speed? You might say, ‘OK, why don’t you move Ichiro up?’ Well, his on-base is not as high as it’s been in the past. So then you try to break up your left-handers with your switch-hitters and your right-handers, so it’s not easy for them to get through the lineup.

“If we had all of our hitters present, Granderson wouldn’t lead off. But with the injury to Alex, you have to make some adjustments.”

Derek Jeter comes in leading the AL in hits with 138.

“It’s pretty incredible,” Girardi said. “It just shows you the type of player he is, the type of worker that he is and what he brings to the park every day. He’s a special player and he’s been a special player for a long time.
“I think if you were to look at Derek Jeter when he was 25 and say he’d be playing every day at 38 and hitting .310 or whatever he’s hitting with a chance to have 190 to 200 hits, you’d probably say, ‘Thirty-eight, I don’t know if a guy could do that.’ But knowing Derek and the way he handles himself and takes care of himself, am I surprised? A little bit, but not much, just because of the type of person he is. I don’t know when it’s going to end for Derek. This guy’s playing at a high level and I think it’s because of what’s inside of him.”






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