After running the bases this afternoon, Mark Teixeira told Joe Girardi and Steve Donohue that he felt healthy enough to play tonight.
“Joe and Steve Donohue agreed that when you say you’re OK, you’re probably saying it too early,” Teixeira said. “Give it one extra day. I would have loved to play today but they just want to be smart. … If I don’t play tomorrow, then we’re going to have a lot of conversation. Today I just said, OK, whatever you guys think is best. Tomorrow I definitely want to play.”
Teixeira said his strained calf still feels a little bit tight, and despite the state of the division race, that tightness was enough to leave the Yankees a little hesitant.
“I think the tightness lets me know that the injury is there, and so I’m not going to give it that extra burst,” Teixeira said. “Speed is not my game anyway, as you guys know. It’s not like I need to go out there and run balls down in center field. If I don’t steal any more bases this year, it’s going to be OK. If I don’t leg a triple out that could have been, it’s not going to kill the team. I think we’d rather just be safe and make sure that I could run at 85 to 90 percent and be OK.”
Teixeira said he expects to return as a first baseman, not a designated hitter, because it’s easier to stay loose when he’s playing the field.
“I know what he’s been through the last 10 days and how he’s felt,” Girardi said. “He was able to run today, and I wouldn’t even call it 100 percent, but he was able to run better than he did on Tuesday and than he did yesterday. Our thought is, see how he feels tomorrow and if he feels OK, we’re going to put him in there.”
• No word on Ivan Nova, who wo’nt be activated tonight but could be activated tomorrow. Girardi said the Yankees still haven’t settled on a role for Nova, and it seems fair to wonder whether Nova could start in place of Freddy Garcia on Sunday or take David Phelps’ next start in Boston. “Right now we haven’t made any decisions,” Girardi said. “We’re on rotation.”
• Andy Pettitte will throw another simulated game tomorrow. Under normal spring training circumstances he would likely throw roughly 30 pitches, but it seems he could throw more than that. “We’re speeding it up a little bit,” Girardi said.
• Pettitte will see the team doctor in New York on Monday.
• Went back to Dave Robertson for further clarification on his recent pitch selection. First thing to know is that he does not throw a cutter. When you see “cutter” listed on PitchFX charts or on MLB.com’s GameDay, that’s just his four-seam fastball which has always had natural cut to it. I remember that being the case when he was in the minors. He’s doing nothing to make it cut more or less from pitch to pitch, it’s just that it’s often listed as a cutter these days. As for using his curveball less often, Robertson said he’s just been really happy with his fastball lately, and when that pitch is effective, he tends to stick with it. He said he’s gone through fastball-heavy stretches as far back as 2008.
• Against this home run hitting Orioles lineup, Phil Hughes will be faced with a challenge of keeping the ball in the ballpark, or at least limiting the homers to solo shots. “For him it’s always that fastball command and using his other pitches,” Girardi said. “That’s how he gets a lot of people out is with his fastball, so he has to use his other pitches to make it better.”
• Asked about Eduardo Nunez’s playing time, Girardi said once again that the Yankees are only planning to use Nunez as a shortstop these days. With Jeter at short and Alex Rodriguez getting a DH day, that left no spot in the lineup for Nunez.
Associated Press photos