Nothing to see here. That was basically Joe Girardi’s story regarding the decision to have Michael Pineda pitch a simulated game on Friday. Pineda has officially started a rehab assignment, yet the Yankees have decided to have him not pitch in a real game next time out.
“If (High-A) Tampa was home, he would have pitched with Tampa,” Girardi said. “It’s one start. It’s not a big deal. It will probably be the only simulated game he throws. It just works out better.”
There’s also this…
“This way, we can control it,” Girardi said. “The other day he had one long inning, and sometimes you worry about a guy that’s rehabbing. This way you can build him up easier. He doesn’t have to travel. Physically he’s fine. Tuesday he threw his bullpen and he’s ready to go.”
It’s unusual, obviously, but if there were any sort of serious problem or concern, it’s hard to imagine Pineda would be pitching at all. Although Girardi repeatedly referred to Tampa being on the road on Friday, it seems that they’re actually off that day for the All-Star break.
“It has nothing to do with an injury,” Girardi said. “If Tampa would have been at home, he would have pitched in that game.”
• Girardi said Lyle Overbay’s stint as an outfielder is not over, but tonight’s combination of a fly ball pitcher in a stadium with a large outfield did not seem like a good match. “I did it with the lefty on the mound (last night),” Girardi said. “Hughes, you’ve got a fly ball pitcher so you want your (experienced) outfielders out there. … (Overbay) will make another start out there.”
• Last night Robinson Cano broke a streak of 10 straight games without multiple hits. He also broke a streak of 10 games without an extra-base hit. “It’s good to see,” Girardi said. “I don’t ever worry too much about Robbie, but it’s good to see him get a couple hits. Hopefully it will get him going because we know how hot he can get. He can carry a team.”
• Mark Teixeira had three RBI last night. He has not gotten off to a particularly strong start, but he’s already tied with Ichiro Suzuki for the seventh-most RBI on the team. “I thought it would probably take him a little while, him and Youk,” Girardi said. “He’s been productive in his at-bats. … He’s been very good in RBI situations. I think he’s been patient, I haven’t seen him swing at a lot of bad pitches, and that leads you to believe that he’s seeing the ball good. If you’re seeing the ball good, you’re usually going to start to get hits.”
• There was actually quite a bit of pregame talk about last night’s CC Sabathia start, and the home runs Sabathia has allowed this season. “We’re aware of it,” Girardi said.”We understand the fastball velocity is not what it used to be, but my thought is, he can still really pitch at a high level. Will he give up more home runs this year than last year? Probably. It would be great if he didn’t. It would mean he’s pitching really well. But it’s part of it. You have to deal with it, and you have to try to learn from it.”
• Mariano Rivera did his Oakland meet-and-greet today. Not sure the details, but I think there was a surprise involved. It was different from the Q&A discussions he’s done in other cities. This one wasn’t open to the beat writers.
• Pregame talk is always a little light during these late West Coast games, and today was a perfect example. There just wasn’t much news going on today. Some draft picks signed, Pineda is pitching on Friday and there were some typical lineup questions. Otherwise, it’s a pretty light day so far.
Associated Press photos