The LoHud Yankees Blog

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

Pregame notes: “A lot of success off of left-handers”

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Notes on Aug 27, 2012 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Steve Pearce won’t be here tonight, but then again, the Yankees didn’t acquire him for a game like tonight.

Pearce is a career .277/.347/.484 hitter against left-handed pitchers. Even this season, when he’s gone through three different organizations only to land right back with the Yankees, he’s hit big league lefties to the tune of a .275/.345/.490 slash line.

“I don’t have the exact date (that Pearce will be here),” Joe Girardi said. “I don’t know if it will be tomorrow or the next day. It won’t be today. And he’s been a guy that’s had a lot of success off of left-handers.”

Success off left-handers is a need for the Yankees. Derek Jeter is destroying lefties, and Alex Rodriguez was having a lot of success against them before his injury, but the Yankees lineup takes a significant hit against left-handers these days.

Mark Teixeira and Russell Martin have been better against them than you might expect, and Curtis Granderson has 12 homers against lefties, but Robinson Cano is batting .237/.293/.342 against left-handers this season. Nick Swisher’s not hitting for much power against them, Andruw Jones has hit them for power and nothing else, and the trio of Eric Chavez, Raul Ibanez and Ichiro Suzuki haven’t hit left-handers at all this season. Recently acquired platoon infielder Casey McGehee has been a .233/.303/.400 hitter against them.

And so, Pearce is back in the Yankees organization, able to play the first base, the outfielder corners, and third base in a pinch (though Girardi sounded like third base would be a last-resort option). The Yankees didn’t have a big league spot for him in June — when his Triple-A numbers were terrific and the Orioles gave him a big league job — but they’ll add him now, in hopes that he can bring a right-handed bat to a left-leaning lineup.

The Yankees face left-handed starters the next two games

• The Yankees designated Brandon Laird to open a spot on the 40-man roster, but they won’t make a 25-man roster move until Pearce actually shows up. Girardi seemed to dismiss the idea of optioning a pitcher. “You hate to short your bullpen this time of year,” Girardi said. “September 1 is Saturday so we’ll have to talk about the move we’re going to make.”

• Could the Yankees option David Phelps after today’s game, then skip their fifth starter next time through the rotation? I guess it’s possible, but the previous Girardi quote came in response to a question about optioning a pitcher — any pitcher — and he seemed to dismiss the idea.

• Andy Pettitte and Alex Rodriguez won’t meet with Dr. Ahmad for X-rays until closer to game time. Probably won’t have an update on them until postgame at the earliest.

• Dave Robertson’s wife, Erin, gave birth to the couple’s first child today. Robertson is expected to be here in time for the game and should be available tonight. “Really good timing on Erin’s part,” Girardi said.

• Speaking of available out of the bullpen: Rafael Soriano is fine after that line drive that hit his pitching hand yesterday. “He said he’s fine,” Girardi said. “Actually shook his hand and no issues.”

• Ivan Nova believes his DL stint will be only a 15-day thing. “The other day I was scared because I didn’t know what I had,” Nova said. “After they gave an MRI and everything, the doctor told me it’s not anything I had to be worried about too much. I feel more better.”

• Pedro Feliciano’s rehab moves to Double-A today. He remains very much in the mix for a September call-up. “I think Pedro probably depends on how he’s doing,” Girardi said. “If he can help us, I’m sure we’ll bring Pedro Feliciano.”

• Mark Teixeira has been a little beat up lately, but Girardi said the Pearce move has nothing to do with a Teixeira injury. “No, it was not,” Girardi said. “He’s fine. As good as you expect him to be August whatever day it is.”

• This is a fourth straight game for Eric Chavez. Last time he played in four straight, he needed three days off. “First guy I checked with today,” Girardi said. “We have two lefties coming and then a day off. There’s my three days.”

• As of yesterday, the Blue Jays upcoming rotation listed lefty Ricky Romero as today’s starter. Instead Henderson Alvarez is starting tonight, with Romero and J.A. Happ the next two games. I was very confused when I saw the lineup, and I’m sure many of you were as well.

• It’s been a week since Joba Chamberlain last pitched in a game. “We’re trying to put him in low-leverage situations to get him going and we’ve been in a lot of close games lately,” Girardi said. “He’s physically okay. “Until we feel like his stuff is where it needs to be and the consistency is where it needs to be, it’s probably not fair to put him in those (close-game) situations.”

Associated Press photos




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