It’s sounding more and more like the disabled list might be a possibility for Eduardo Nunez. At the very least, if Nunez isn’t significantly better tomorrow, the Yankees will need to add an infielder for Monday’s doubleheader.
“I was under the impression that he felt better yesterday, and when they said ‘better’ I felt like he didn’t feel it,” Joe Girardi said. “But he still feels it a little bit. So I was under the wrong impression.”
Nunez did fielding and hitting drills yesterday and hoped to play today, but he told the coaching staff that he still feels a little something in his rib cage. At this point, it’s hard to blame the Yankees for not wanting to take any chances.
“I feel a little something there,” Nunez said. “They shut me down, don’t want it to get worse.”
So the Yankees are left without an extra infielder for yet another game, and they don’t want to be that way for 18 innings on Monday. They’re allowed to carry a 26th player that day — one player designated as the 26th player for both games, can’t be a different player each game — and Girardi said he’s planning to use that roster spot for a pitcher. The team could make a move between games to option one player and call up another.
Girardi said he’s already talked to Brian Cashman about the situation, and the two will probably talk again after tonight’s game. The only extra infielder on the 40-man is Corban Joseph, who’s primarily a second baseman and a third baseman in a pinch.
The video above is Girardi discussing the situation.
• Curiously, Girardi did not totally dismiss the idea of Curtis Granderson coming off the disabled list when the Yankees return home on Tuesday. “I don’t know,” Girardi said. “He’s getting at-bats under his belt. I know he feels better, but I don’t want to put a date on it. I know everyone wants a date, but the date for me is when he’s ready.”
• Tonight is a planned DH game for Granderson. “It’s kind of a planned DH day after playing in the field eight innings for the first time,” Girardi said.
• Speaking of the Triple-A roster: INF Alberto Gonzalez was officially activated after Thursday’s trade. Also, OF Thomas Neal has been activated from the disabled list. RHP Ryan Pope, INF Gil Velazquez and OF Cody Johnson were released to open roster spots (I believe Pope was already on the phantom DL).
• Still no starting pitcher plan for Monday, but Ivan Nova did come through yesterday’s bullpen fully healthy. “From my understanding, he felt good, so we’ve got to make a decision,” Girardi said.
• In Tampa: Mark Teixeira is hitting on the field, Kevin Youkilis continues to do rotational work, Alex Rodriguez is doing tee work and light jogging, and Derek Jeter is mostly inactive. “I think he’s riding a bike, but that’s about it,” Girardi said. “He’s going to see the doctor pretty soon again, but we have no timetable when he’ll be back.”
• What should Andy Pettitte do if he once again doesn’t have his cutter tonight? “Just needs to keep throwing it until he finds it,” Girardi said. “It’s not uncommon for a guy to struggle with a pitch for a couple of outings or the beginning of a game and I think the one thing you can’t do is, if you’re struggling with it early, don’t get away (from) it. Find times you can throw it where you don’t think you’re going to get in trouble until you find it.”
Associated Press photo