Derek Jeter will not be here today, and there’s a good chance he will not travel with the team to Detroit. Right now he’s going through more tests on his ankle to determine whether surgery is the proper route. Joe Girardi said it was no coincidence that Jeter did not want to be carried off the field last night.
“That’s who he is,” Girardi said. “He sends messages through the way he plays a lot of times, the way he goes about his business. He’s going to have his conversations one-on-one with people, but he sends a message every day by the way he goes about his life. He was sending a message, ‘We’re going to be fine.’”
Girardi seems to be sticking with the same basic idea. Despite the lineups postseason struggles, he’s sticking with his regulars. These were his everyday guys in the regular season for a reason — they’re supposed to be the most talented options — and Girardi is putting his faith in the idea that they will be fine.
“I feel good, I really do,” he said. “I’ve seen the resolve in that room so many times where they’ve been questioned, people thought we panicked — we laugh about it in there when people say that — and they’ve gotten it done. I feel good. This is a great chance for a lot of people to show their mettle. Those are the things you want. This is a challenge. It was a challenge with Derek, and now these guys get a chance to show how great they are.”
• On the decision to bat Cano second: “You got to move somebody up, right?” Girardi said. “When you lose your number one guy, everyone kind of has to move up a little bit, so that’s kind of what we did.”
• Jeter had been playing with a bad left foot/ankle for about a month. Girardi does not suspect that there was a stress fracture in there, but he acknowledges that all of the injuries might have contributed to last night. “I don’t think he was playing on a stress fracture, but I think the weakness in his ankle, and the foul tip off his foot, contributed to that,” Girardi said. “You heard a lot of guys talk about when they sprain one ankle, they usually hurt something else. I really believe, what is it last year? Two years ago, when Tex was favoring his toe, I think it’s inevitable, if you continue to play with something hurt, you’re probably going to end up hurting yourself somewhere else.”
• Short leash with Hiroki Kuroda today? “Not necessarily,” Girardi said. “I think my leash is, when I think he’s done, he’s done.”
• As for last night’s bullpen usage, Girardi said he might have done things differently if it were a one-run game, but he stuck with Derek Lowe in the eighth because he didn’t want to use either Dave Robertson or Rafael Soriano. “These guys have been overworked, our bullpen — the Robertsons, the Sorianos – and I’m not so sure their stuff when I brought them in the last two innings wasn’t on grit,” Girardi said. “I know it’s a long series, and physically I just felt if we weren’t tied or within one run, I can’t blow them out.”
• Girardi said he’s not sure he’ll have either Robertson or Soriano available tonight. “I’ve got to see how they feel,” Girardi said. “I don’t even know if they’re available to me. Robby had thrown four out of five days, then was up on the day we didn’t use him against Baltimore. Soriano was up on the day we didn’t use him, threw two innings the day before, an inning and a third (before that). I have no idea what I have.”
• Joba Chamberlain was not available last night, but the Yankees think he will be tonight.
• Does an injury further justify rules about bullpen and position player workload?
“Sometimes you treat position players a little bit different than you do pitchers,” Girardi said. “Overworking sometimes a calf or a leg is a little bit different than overworking a shoulder or an elbow to me. For the most part you believe, if someone hurts a calf like Tex did, we were cautious and we were concerned. I look back on it and, should we have waited more, maybe? But we ended up in the same spot that we would have been. But you know that calf is going to heal.
“You don’t know that a shoulder or elbow is ever going to heal. Not that I’m saying I care about one portion of a team more than others, but blowing a rotator cuff or tearing a labrum, you’ve got a real good chance that guy’s never going to be the same. If you blow a calf or you break an ankle, that’s going to heal. You break a hand, that’s going to heal.”
Associated Press photos