Joe Girardi decided a few days ago that Curtis Granderson would get a day off in Toronto, so he approached Ichiro Suzuki about playing center field for the first time since 2008.
“He went out and took fly balls,” Girardi said. “I don’t know if anyone saw that.”
I didn’t notice him taking balls in center, but Ichiro is clearly the Yankees backup center fielder now that Dewayne Wise is off the roster. If not Ichiro, who? Andruw Jones? Nick Swisher? Ichiro has made the transition to left field with no obvious problems, and he said moving to center field will be a much smaller adjustment.
“Obviously, it just all depends on what the team needs,” he said. “The team needs me to play center. Playing left to right is more of an adjustment. Obviously it’s a little bit of an adjustment going right to center or left to center. If they said, can you play catcher, I’d probably have to say no.”
What’s the biggest adjustment to left field?
“The biggest thing is, in right field, I don’t have to think about it,” Ichiro said. “It’s just kind of there, and I know exactly what to do and where to go. In left, I kind of have to think, and I have to make sure I’m in the right spots or going to the right places.”
• Ivan Nova starts tomorrow, and he doesn’t think there’s anything mechanical causing his recent struggles. “I was watching my video and I don’t think it’s mechanic,” Nova said. “We’ve been working on changing grips on the slider. I threw a lot of good ones in the bullpen. Now we’ll see if it’s a mental problem, because I feel really good. My mechanics are good. I threw well in the bullpen, so now it’s time to do it tomorrow.”
• Alex Rodriguez has been playing catch and hitting off a tee with his top hand. “The next x-ray will probably give us a better idea how close we are to getting him back,” Girardi said. Not sure when that x-ray will be.
• Girardi said Ichiro will also get one game off during this series. I have to think Derek Jeter will also get a DH day. Tonight it’s Mark Teixeira getting the half day. “It gets me a chance to get Tex off the turf one of the days because it can wear on your legs a little bit playing on this turf,” Girardi said.
• Pedro Feliciano threw 17 pitches in a rehab assignment today. The lefty reliever has not thrown a single pitch for the Yankees since signing a two-year deal, but the Yankees believe he could be a September call-up. “That’s our hope,” Girardi said.
• By the way, Feliciano pitched one scoreless innings with three strikeouts in the Gulf Coast League.
• First baseman Russell Branyan has been released from his minor league deal with the Yankees. He was hitting this season, but he was also hurt for a while and — much like Steve Pearce and Jack Cust — it was clear the Yankees didn’t have a spot for him in New York. The Triple-A roster also placed Gustavo Molina on the disabled list and called up pitcher Kelvin Perez from Trenton.
• Scoring change from Monday’s game: Russell Martin has been credited with a hit on what was originally ruled an E-5. Batting average climbing!
• Girardi talked to Joe Torre in the league office today. “Just told him my side of the story,” Girardi said. Of course, Girardi is still expecting a fine for yesterday’s ejection.
Associated Press photos