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

In his own words: Girardi’s opening press conference

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Misc on Feb 12, 2013 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Here are Joe Girardi’s answers to some of the biggest topics of the day, and the biggest topics of the spring.

On the new look offense…
“I anticipate it’s going to be different, because we don’t quite have the home run hitters we’ve had in the past. So we’re going to have to find different ways to score runs. I think when you look at our club this year, there’s more speed. You have one outfielder who has the potential of stealing 50, 60 bases if he stays healthy the whole year. So I think our offense is going to be different, but I believe that we’re going to score runs. It’s just going to be in a different fashion than it has been in the past.”

On the center field situation…
“If you were going to make a change, you would make it pretty early in spring training. As of today, we haven’t really decided that we’re going to make a change. We haven’t had a lot of discussions about making a change. The reason I talk about it is that now you’ve got two guys (who have to change) — well, Gardy doesn’t really have to learn the position — but you’re moving two guys, in a sense. So it’s something that I’m sure will be talked about a little bit, but as of right now, Ichiro’s in right, Curtis is in center, and Gardy’s in left.”

On the catching situation…
“Chris (Stewart) is probably going to play a bigger role this year. It’s an opportunity for a young guy like Austin Romine. I know he missed a lot of last year, but he still has an opportunity here. Cervy has a big opportunity in front of him. A lot of times you can look at a catcher and say, here’s a guy who can hit 20 home runs and drove in 60 runs or 80 runs. It’s hard to quantify how many runs a catcher can save. I believe we have two catchers that can do a lot of that, the two that we take will save a lot of runs for us.”

On Mariano Rivera…
“I would be more concerned with Mo if it was his arm than his knee. He’s had ample time to heal, and I believe he’s a great athlete, and I don’t believe it should affect his pitching. But if he would have had a shoulder surgery, or if he would have had an elbow surgery, I would have been concerned. But I feel pretty good about Mo, and my guess is everyone in that room does.”

On Derek Jeter…
“I think he can (come back and be productive). Just knowing Derek, I think he can. But I think you have to see it to take away that trepidation you might have about it. And that’s true for any injury, when a guy comes back from a hamstring, there’s concern until you see him go through a week, maybe two weeks. There’s concern about him coming back for me until I see him go through a week, two weeks, and how he responds. If he plays three days in a row, does he get sore? In my mind, I believe he’s going to be an everyday shortstop for us, but you still want to see it.”

On Michael Pineda…
“He’s throwing now for us. He’s still in the early stages. I don’t think we’re going to see him in a game in spring training, anything like that. He is throwing, we’re happy with the way he’s progressing, and sometime during the summer we hope to see him. ”

On the batting order…
“There’s some things that we’re going to have to navigate through, how it’s exactly going to work, to try to break up some of your left-handed hitters. That’s something that we’re going to have to iron out in spring training. Sometimes it’s strange because in the first part of spring training, you usually don’t have your nine players playing together on an everyday basis, so you don’t know exactly how it works. It’s something that I’m going to think about during spring training. I’m going to play with some different ideas during spring training. And then we’re going to have to have something for Opening Day.”

On Alex Rodriguez not coming to camp…
“I think Alex had somewhat of a special surgery. It’s not a hamstring. It’s not something we’ve done a lot of. We feel at this point the best place for him to be is New York rehabbing under the doctor’s supervision. There will come a point where he’s able to do more and that will change. But at this point, I spoke to him last week and he was still barely on crutches. He was almost off them. There’s not a lot that he can do here.

On players seeking outside medical advice (from, say, Anthony Bosch as an example)…
“I had a physical trainer that I went to for 15 years (as a player), and it worked for me, so I stuck with him. I always followed exactly what the Yankees prescribed that I do in the winter. I had my issues that I had to make sure that I was healthy, whether it was my back, or I was coming back from a minor knee surgery, so I went to my guy. I want our players to go to our people as much as they can. But you know that’s not always going to happen, so the important thing is, if you seek outside opinions they need to be wise opinions, and you probably need to discuss it with your club.”

On the age of the roster…
“It’s always a concern, but that’s been something that we’ve been talking about for the last 10 years is an old roster. The last 12 years. Last year we were old and we won 95 games. This team has a lot of character. When I think about some of the age on the club, you might have to manage a little bit differently than you would with a younger club. You might have to give a day off here and there more than you would if you had a bunch of 25 year olds. In saying that, I know we have a lot of guys that are extremely experienced, understand what it’s like to play in this division, understand that it’s like to play in New York because of their experience. And I like that.”

On the club as a whole…
“This team could win 95 games and get to the World Series. There’s a lot of talent in that room. I’ve heard a lot of discussions about the Yankees didn’t make a big free agent splash this year. We didn’t necessarily outside of the people that we’re all very aware of that were parts of our club. If Hiroki Kuroda was a Dodger last year and signed with us, we’d say that’s a pretty good signing. If Andy Pettitte was an Astro and we signed him back, that would’ve been a pretty big signing. If Mariano Rivera was — I don’t know where Mo would have been — but if he was somewhere else and we signed the greatest closer of all-time, that’s a pretty big signing. Sometimes the people that we signed, we kind of overlook because they’ve been around here so much. Those are pretty big signings. I know they’re not long term deals but they’re extremely important to our club. I believe we’re still a very talented club.”

Associated Press photos (no formal workout, but obviously Pineda threw today)




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