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Pregame notes: Yankees once again without a backup infielder

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Misc on May 07, 2013 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Eduardo Nunez

Eduardo Nunez said his sore rib cage feels “much better” today, but he’s still not cleared to do so much as tee and toss. He won’t pick up a bat today. Won’t throw a baseball. Won’t play catch.

Clearly Nunez is unavailable tonight, and Joe Girardi certainly sounded as if he’s not planning to have Nunez tomorrow. So how many days can the Yankees go without a backup infielder, especially in a National League park?

“That’s a good question,” Girardi said. “You kind of go day-by-day and see. If you really feel that it’s going to be close to 15 days, then I think you make a move. We’re on Day 2 here, so I think it’s too early. But we’ll see.”

The Yankees were in a similar situation earlier this year when Kevin Youkilis was hurt but not yet on the disabled list. They really have no backup, and the only extra infielder on the 40-man is Corban Joseph, who was just sent down and couldn’t be called up yet without Nunez going on the DL.

If you consider Alex Rodriguez and Derek Jeter the first stringers, and Youkilis and Nunez the backup plans, then the Yankees are officially on their third string for the left side of the infield.

“It makes it more difficult when backups are replacing backups because your depth is really tested,” Girardi said. “Sometimes, kids aren’t ready or you might not have someone to really step up into that position, so that makes it more difficult. I think when you start getting two or three deep, it’s going to be a test in most places.”

David Robertson• Dave Robertson is going to play catch to determine whether he’s healthy enough to pitch. The expectation — for both Robertson and Girardi — is that he’ll be available.

• Ivan Nova is going to pitch in an extended spring training game tomorrow, which puts him on schedule to start one of the double header games on Monday. Girardi acknowledged that it’s a legitimate possibility that the Yankees will activate Nova to start that day, even after only an extended spring training start. “As long as he feels good and throws the ball well (it’s possible),” Girardi said.

• There’s no chance of Travis Hafner playing first base during this series. He’ll basically get one chance to pinch hit each night.

• Girardi on his reports from Tampa (don’t expect many details here): “I think Grandy had five at-bats. Tex hit in the cage again. Nova is going to start a game tomorrow. Cervi is really not doing anything and Jeet’s not doing anything. I didn’t hear what Alex did today. Probably the same thing as yesterday.”

• Because the Yankees are facing a left-hander, Girardi wanted to give one of his left-handed outfielder a day off. That’s why Brett Gardner isn’t starting. “I was going to give one of my lefties a day off today, and I chose to do Gardy,” Girardi said. “Ich has been swinging well. You look at the numbers – and I know it’s a small sample – but his numbers against lefties are as good as anyone on our team. … I want to keep Francisco in the mix. He hit a home run the other day and walked off a lefty. We’re in a long stretch here too. I think we’re at 17 days in a row, so someone is going to get a day off here and there.”

• Chris Nelson said he doesn’t expect it to be weird to play against his former team in his former ballpark. Actually, his numbers are Coors Field have been terrific, so maybe this is a good series to lean on him.

• Girardi on Coors Field: “It has changed since I played here, since they put the ball in a humidor. I remember a lot of 11-10 games when I played here, but I don’t necessarily see that as much anymore. You can look at the Rockies, and they really swing the bats, and their ERA is the same at home as it is on the road. There’s really not much difference, which tells you that the ballpark plays different than it used to.”

Associated Press photos

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33 Responses to “Pregame notes: Yankees once again without a backup infielder”

  1. MTU May 7th, 2013 at 7:39 pm

    Walkin’ the tightrope w/o a net.

    ;)

  2. blake May 7th, 2013 at 7:41 pm

    J ram gave up a solo homer in the 2nd. He’s been pretty wild …throwing a lot of pitches

  3. KP10 May 7th, 2013 at 7:43 pm

    I could be wrong, but I’m fairly certain the yanks had days off both yesterday and Thursday. Joe’s really reaching for excuses to start Francisco at this point. No explanation for the Austin Romine fiasco though…

  4. tbone1570 May 7th, 2013 at 7:43 pm

    Oh boy, this can get ugly!

    We need Homer Bush to come save the day!

  5. blake May 7th, 2013 at 7:44 pm

    JR looks pretty good to me behind the plate

  6. MTU May 7th, 2013 at 7:45 pm

    Blake-

    I think YF mentioned that he made a lot of progress back there.

  7. MTU May 7th, 2013 at 7:47 pm

    Blake-

    And Randy likes him.

    Not quite sure what that means.

    :)

  8. Captain Clutch May 7th, 2013 at 7:49 pm

    JR Murphy and G. Sanchez better be Yadier Molina behind the plate otherwise Girardi will never let them catch for this team.

  9. MTU May 7th, 2013 at 7:53 pm

    Enjoy the game folks.

    :)

  10. Tar May 7th, 2013 at 8:07 pm

    Bummer, I thought it was an 8:05 start. That means I have to wait a whole 45 minutes more! Dont they realize I’m going through baseball withdrawals….Torture :mad:

  11. Tar May 7th, 2013 at 8:12 pm

    Never mind my previous post I just looked at the line-up.

    :mad:

    I do love watching Kuroda pitch, it will be interesting to see how he adjusts to Coors field.

  12. blake May 7th, 2013 at 8:12 pm

    Ram has settled down a bit….through 4 innings: 1 run, 5 Ks, 2 walks, 3 hits. 84 pitches though…..

  13. Brian May 7th, 2013 at 8:16 pm

    The pinch hit gods are going to really have to smile on Hafner for him to get a chance to hit.

    Ben F seems like the only real candidate. Maybe Stewart.

    Can’t hit for Nelson or Nix since they have no one to play the infield after them.

  14. blake May 7th, 2013 at 8:16 pm

    MTU ,

    Yea he looks like a legit catcher to me….

  15. MTU May 7th, 2013 at 8:18 pm

    Blake-

    Maybe he and Sanchez are the ones to watch.

    ;)

  16. Nick in SF May 7th, 2013 at 8:20 pm

    Coors hasn’t been too kind to Kuroda in the past, apparently, but hopefully he can turn that around this evening.

    Yanks are road dogs with their co-ace on the mound, gotta love that!

  17. blake May 7th, 2013 at 8:21 pm

    If Murphy keeps hitting then you gotta watch him.

    J Ram done after 4…..he settled down but the pitch count got him by the time he did . Not a great outing….but not a terrible one either….his stuff is electric

  18. MTU May 7th, 2013 at 8:24 pm

    Blake-

    1 run in 9 innings of work so far.

    Imagine how Ramirez would be on a good night ?

    Thanks for the updates.

  19. Nick in SF May 7th, 2013 at 8:25 pm

    blake, how soon do you think he makes it to AA?

  20. blake May 7th, 2013 at 8:25 pm

    Breaking: Matt Harvey is good

  21. blake May 7th, 2013 at 8:25 pm

    Nick in SF says:
    May 7, 2013 at 8:25 pm
    blake, how soon do you think he makes it to AA?

    Oh nick

  22. Chip May 7th, 2013 at 8:27 pm

    The problem with Girardi using Pronk as a pinch hitter is that given the Yankee roster right now the only people he can pinch hit for are one of the outfielders.

  23. blake May 7th, 2013 at 8:27 pm

    “Imagine how Ramirez would be on a good night ?”

    When he’s throwing strikes I don’t think AA hitters will touch him….tonight he wasn’t….he was behind a lot and up in the zone an didnt have command of anything…..still got a bunch of swings and misses

  24. Nick in SF May 7th, 2013 at 8:27 pm

    I meant Alcoholics Anonymous. I heard that the Yanks are going to start sending their phenom pitchers there for preemptive counseling.

    It’s called the Pineda Project.

    :neutral:

  25. Tar May 7th, 2013 at 8:27 pm

    “Breaking: Matt Harvey is good”

    I wonder where he pitched before he was drafted?

    :D

  26. blake May 7th, 2013 at 8:28 pm

    A little surprised the Yanks didnt make a roster move for this series

  27. blake May 7th, 2013 at 8:28 pm

    Harvey perfect through 5

  28. Chip May 7th, 2013 at 8:29 pm

    blake May 7th, 2013 at 8:28 pm

    A little surprised the Yanks didnt make a roster move for this series
    —————–

    Call up who? Corban Joseph’s the only position player on the 40 who isn’t here or on the DL.

  29. blake May 7th, 2013 at 8:29 pm

    “I meant Alcoholics Anonymous. I heard that the Yanks are going to start sending their phenom pitchers there for preemptive counseling.”

    Lol….probably a smart plan

  30. Chip May 7th, 2013 at 8:30 pm

    Sorry – only non-OF position player not here or on the DL.

  31. blake May 7th, 2013 at 8:30 pm

    Tar,

    Did you see him any at UNC? Bin saw him on TV some but not live…..he was good but nowhere near this guy

  32. blake May 7th, 2013 at 8:31 pm

    “Call up who? Corban Joseph’s the only position player on the 40 who isn’t here or on the DL.”

    I thought maybe they’d make a 40 man move and get another infielder and RH bat up….

  33. Tar May 7th, 2013 at 8:38 pm

    Blake

    Honestly I don’t remember. I usually go to about 3 or 4 games a year but I can’t remember if he pitched or not. It’s graduation weekend coming up.

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