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Pregame notes: “Maybe you protect one of your lefties”

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Misc on Jun 13, 2013 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Robinson Cano

There’s a very specific reason Jayson Nix is hitting in front of Robinson Cano: Joe Girardi wants to put someone who has hit lefties in front of someone who has not. In other words, he sees Nix as a deterrent to teams using left-handed relievers against both Brett Gardner and Cano.

“They have three lefties (in the bullpen),” Girardi said. “Texy allows you to do it a little bit more. We like the at-bats that Nixy is having, so we’re going to do it.”

Gardner has been pretty good against lefties, Teixeira has crushed them and Nix has a .408 on-base percentage against them. Then there’s Cano, who’s hitting just .206/.267/.351 against left-handers. He’s been his old self against right-handers, but this is the second year in a row that lefties have given him real trouble. Hitting coach Kevin Long acknowledged it yesterday, saying Cano is going to start taking batting practice in Long’s group — Long throws left-handed — to try to solve the problem.

“I know we’ve seen a lot of (lefties),” Girardi said. “It’s hard to say (why Cano’s struggling against them). He’s hit some home runs off them, but it has been somewhat of a struggle. But there is no rhyme or reason. Some years it’s just like that. … You look at the quality of left-handers that we’re facing too, they’re pretty good. You can look within our division – Price and Moore and Lester, Chen has been good in Baltimore. The quality of lefties we’re facing are really good right now. You’re seeing some of the lefties out of the bullpen, some of the guys here. That has something to do with it.”

So the Yankees are now using their utility infielder as a kind of shield for their best hitter.

“It makes them decide when they want to bring in their lefty,” Girardi said. “Nixy’s at-bats off of lefties have been real good, so maybe you protect one of your lefties in that situation. We’ll see what happens.”

Derek Jeter• Derek Jeter is scheduled to visit the doctor today, but Girardi said he hasn’t gotten a report yet. He expects to have one after the game.

• Another update from Tampa: Francisco Cervelli has caught some bullpens and played catch. “I have not gotten information on him swinging a bat,” Girardi said. “He’s just trying to get his hand stronger so he can do everything.”

• It seems all but certain that Cervelli will be ready before Curtis Granderson, but Girardi said he’s not sure either one will be ready before the All-Star break. “I think it just depends on how their rehab goes,” Girardi said. “Obviously Cervy is ahead of Granderson, and he’s played a lot more than Grandy has too, so I would expect him back sooner than Grandy, but it’s hard to say.”

• More dry swings for Eduardo Nunez. Girardi said he hasn’t heard anything about Nunez stepping up to tee and toss. “We’ve went through that a few times, so he’s back down the road to recovery I guess,” Girardi said. “Hopefully this time it’s for good.”

• What’s caused Hiroki Kuroda to struggle a little bit lately? “His last start, I thought he lost his breaking ball in the middle and was able to recover,” Girardi said. “Anything in particular? No. Just maybe his location has not been as good.”

• The A’s will honor Mariano Rivera before today’s game. “I think when the other teams do it, they realize that they’re honoring him because of what he’s meant to the game, not just the New York Yankees,” Girardi said. “And I think people are appreciative of that; the way he’s handled the game; the way he’s been somewhat of a spokesperson for the game, a model citizen for the game; a humble player that is the greatest of all time at his position. I think it’s nice that other clubs are honoring him.”

Associated Press photos

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68 Responses to “Pregame notes: “Maybe you protect one of your lefties””

  1. Chip June 13th, 2013 at 2:25 pm

    Wave Your Hat June 13th, 2013 at 2:13 pm

    ” His struggles do not mean he is not a major league player or that he should see reduced playing time.”

    Nor do they mean he is a major league player or should see more playing time.

    I don’t understand the fascination with Adams. I think it is a product of needing some position player in the Yankee high minors to believe in. But he isn’t a third baseman and he is blocked at second by Cano. If Cano leaves (heaven forbid, what will the offense look like then?), we can talk about Adams.
    ————

    Wave – Adams is a high average/on base guy which is exactly what the Yankees need to add to the lineup. He’s struggled thus far in his major league career but, given that he was in AA at this time last year, I would say that’s understandable.

    He’s not a prototypical 3b with huge power – he’s more of a Placido Polanco type of guy

  2. Captain Clutch June 13th, 2013 at 2:26 pm

    I wish that Adams would get a real chance so we can see what he can do. Last night he should have been pinch hit for Romine not Stewart. But it seems like Girardi soured on him after he slumped a little bit. He hit over .300 in AAA against righties so he doesn’t have to only play against lefties but I get that it’s hard to get him in the lineup now against righties.

  3. Chip June 13th, 2013 at 2:27 pm

    So the Yankees are now using their utility infielder as a kind of shield for their best hitter.

    Terrifying notion. The Yankees really do have to make a move at some point this summer. I know Cashman has said that help is going to come from within the organization, but Nix and Chris Stewart can’t be every day options.

  4. Rich in NJ June 13th, 2013 at 2:29 pm

    Sterling and Waldman love them some Nix, so there’s that.

  5. longtimefan June 13th, 2013 at 2:30 pm

    Girardi said. “Texy allows you to do it a little bit more. We like the at-bats that Nixy is having, so we’re going to do it

    Sounds like more bsy to me

  6. Bo knows June 13th, 2013 at 2:32 pm

    Just a point but Adams has not worked a walk on this club. Pretty hard to do.

  7. Jerkface June 13th, 2013 at 2:33 pm

    @ben_lindbergh 33s

    Joe Girardi calls Mark Teixeira “Texy,” which is a nickname for a nickname that makes the original nickname longer

  8. fantasygame101 June 13th, 2013 at 2:33 pm

    just pull the ball guys, we will be ok.

  9. Wave Your Hat June 13th, 2013 at 2:34 pm

    “He is one of our best minor league hitters in the past 5 years. Consistently a very good hitter. He is one of the few prospects who had an upside of ‘above average hitter’ in the major leagues.”

    I guess everyone has to believe in something.

    Here’s a good game. Name the best Yankee minor league hitters of the last five years. AAA and AA only.

  10. Chip June 13th, 2013 at 2:37 pm

    Jerkface June 13th, 2013 at 2:33 pm

    @ben_lindbergh 33s

    Joe Girardi calls Mark Teixeira “Texy,” which is a nickname for a nickname that makes the original nickname longer
    —————-

    There are times when I hate Joe Girardi. This is one of those times. Mostly because of the nicknames but also because he’s actually trying to justify why he keeps running Nix and Stewart out there rather than saying “They remind me of the kind of player I was and I like that”

  11. Chip June 13th, 2013 at 2:37 pm

    Wave Your Hat June 13th, 2013 at 2:34 pm

    “He is one of our best minor league hitters in the past 5 years. Consistently a very good hitter. He is one of the few prospects who had an upside of ‘above average hitter’ in the major leagues.”

    I guess everyone has to believe in something.

    Here’s a good game. Name the best Yankee minor league hitters of the last five years. AAA and AA only.
    ———————

    2012: Mustelier
    2011: Montero
    2010: Montero
    2009: Montero
    2008: Austin Jackson

  12. Chip June 13th, 2013 at 2:39 pm

    I will admit that with the offense struggling as much as it is, I can’t understand why Ronnier is still in Scranton. I’m sure it’s a 40 man roster issue, but still – one would assume he could help.

  13. blake June 13th, 2013 at 2:39 pm

    blake says:
    June 13, 2013 at 2:33 pm
    G. Love says:
    June 13, 2013 at 2:18 pm
    I’m waiting for Maddon to move all his OF’er to RF when Tex bats LH.

    That would be hilarious …… And effective

  14. blake June 13th, 2013 at 2:40 pm

    blake says:
    June 13, 2013 at 2:35 pm
    Pumped about Clarkin….judge will sign…..Id love to get them all playing as soon as possible. Actually put Jag at 3B tonight for all I care…..he couldn’t do worse

  15. DONNYBROOK June 13th, 2013 at 2:40 pm

    I anticipate Cervelli getting suspended due to his Biogenesis ties at some point this season. The Yanks better get what they can outta him ASAP.
    So the Yanks gotta guy that can Not hit lefties, and they are gonna re-sign him for 7 yrs at $25 Mill per? NOPE.
    TEX is one of the few Yankee sticks consistently hitting the ball hard, yet he’s once again being hung in effigy around here? BALONEY

  16. blake June 13th, 2013 at 2:41 pm

    blake says:
    June 13, 2013 at 2:37 pm
    They pulled the plug on Adams as soon as he struggled and went back to Youk who can barely even play 3B

  17. blake June 13th, 2013 at 2:43 pm

    Nix is fine for what he’s supposed to be…..a bench guy. He’s not an every day player

  18. Hassey June 13th, 2013 at 2:43 pm

    I particularly love when Suzyn gushes over how Brignac “can flat out play”

    That right there validates her value to the braodcast and keen insight

  19. Rich in NJ June 13th, 2013 at 2:44 pm

    I want to see a return of Marlin Joe, committed to developing young players.

    I want to see a return of 2004 Cashman, candid and smart, rather than bitter and fact-challenged.

    I think the former is more likely to return than the latter.

  20. bruceb June 13th, 2013 at 2:44 pm

    Be nice if Mo actually got in the game today (and saved it, of course).

  21. Jerkface June 13th, 2013 at 2:45 pm

    Wave,

    Whats your beef with Adams? The only thing that hurt him as a prospect was injury. He has always had a bat.

  22. mick June 13th, 2013 at 2:46 pm

    He has always had a bat.
    ===============
    maybe in the minors.

  23. blake June 13th, 2013 at 2:46 pm

    Bottom like is that Adams might adjust and actually be a good player if given the chance….Youk can barely play 3B defensively…..is a rental…..and hasn’t hit in 3 years. Id rather play the other guy

  24. Rich in NJ June 13th, 2013 at 2:48 pm

    “maybe in the minors.”

    That’s an endorsement of Adams because except for 69 ML AB, that’s the only place he has played.

  25. Jerkface June 13th, 2013 at 2:48 pm

    maybe in the minors.

    Well the players that come up to the big leagues have only 2 choices: have a bat in the minors, don’t have a bat in the minors. And I’d say its better to be the former. Especially when the scouting on his approach/swing back it up.

    It doesnt mean he is a lock to succeed, as its very hard to be a major leaguer, but if you cant even be optimistic about a guy that has produced every year in the minors then what can you do?

  26. Hassey June 13th, 2013 at 2:48 pm

    His mother’s name is Morticia

  27. DONNYBROOK June 13th, 2013 at 2:49 pm

    Any Yankee getting a “walk off” hit, should have a pizza pie rubbed in their face by MO.

  28. mick June 13th, 2013 at 2:50 pm

    adams is a 2nd baseman and most likely will hit like one, not named Cano, who is ahead if him on the depth chart.

  29. DONNYBROOK June 13th, 2013 at 2:50 pm

    Youk not being able to back peddle on that pop behind 3B last night was pathetic.

  30. G. Love June 13th, 2013 at 2:50 pm

    blake,

    There’s really no point to putting players on the left side of 2b vs Texy batting lefty other than the foul pop ups that come from trying to pull outside pitches.

    Nixy batting second really has Melvin pulling his hair out in the A’s dugout I’m sure. He’s probably restructured his whole game plan now. Advantage Girardi.

    Don’t worry though. The HR’s are-a-comin’. We’ll get them 1-2x a week and coast off that while the team bats .150. If Texy has 30 dingers at the end of the season and 60 total hits, it’ll still be a successful season, right?

  31. Wave Your Hat June 13th, 2013 at 2:51 pm

    JF-

    I don’t like Adams as a third baseman. I think he is blocked at second. I don’t think Adams will help the Yanks make the playoffs this year. I know he’s been injured but he’s still 26.

    Other than that, I wish him the best.

  32. Wave Your Hat June 13th, 2013 at 2:54 pm

    Chip-

    Not a super exciting list. Montero. Jackson OPS’d .773 at Trenton in 2008.

    I wouldn’t mind seeing Musty with the big club though.

  33. blake June 13th, 2013 at 2:56 pm

    “There’s really no point to putting players on the left side of 2b vs Texy batting lefty other than the foul pop ups that come from trying to pull outside pitches.”

    I think is play everybody on the right side and have somebody like between SS and CF to catch a stray pop up

  34. fantasygame101 June 13th, 2013 at 2:58 pm

    hope parker makes a ton of mistake that he leaves the ball middle while trying to pitch outside and our bat connect solid while trying to pull the ball. A lot of things has to happens but it could happen.

  35. mick June 13th, 2013 at 2:58 pm

    Give: Joba, Hughes
    Go: Brignac, Adams,Romine,Wells
    Get: Cuddyer
    Bring:Musty, Nova

  36. CountryClub June 13th, 2013 at 2:59 pm

    I guess the Yanks are just ignoring the fact that Cano struggled vs lefties last yr too.

  37. mick June 13th, 2013 at 3:00 pm

    “There’s really no point to putting players on the left side of 2b vs Texy batting lefty other than the foul pop ups that come from trying to pull outside pitches.”
    =================
    theres plenty of room on the right side foul territory, put either the ss or 3b there.

  38. UnKnown June 13th, 2013 at 3:03 pm

    Nix is fine for what he’s supposed to be…..a bench guy. He’s not an every day player
    ———-

    That right there is the problem. And the pregame chatter involves talking about how Nix is going to deter a team from doing something.

    Last night you have the most crucial AB of the game and up steps the great STEWIE!!

    Yankee teams of old this surely isn’t.

  39. Mike in Harrisburg June 13th, 2013 at 3:04 pm

    I’ll throw this out there. I’d like to see the Yanks go after Starlin Castro. He’s struggling mightily in Chicago. A Joba + package?

  40. blake June 13th, 2013 at 3:04 pm

    I don’t like Adams as a third baseman. I think he is blocked at second. I don’t think Adams will help the Yanks make the playoffs this year. I know he’s been injured but he’s still 26.”

    Do you like Youk as a 3b? He’s worse

  41. comnsnse June 13th, 2013 at 3:05 pm

    “Texey”, now we have the NHL influence?

    Maybe one of the reporters could ask “Joey” a question!

    Hello gents, Youk is making/stealing 12mm. of the Yankee dollars, if he can walk he plays.

    Same with Wells and Ichiro and for another year yet!

    As for Adams I think they’d be better off with Samuel!

  42. Rich in NJ June 13th, 2013 at 3:05 pm

    Adams MLEs based on his AAA splits (with sample size caveats):

    .271/.339/.408

    AL average 3B:

    .260/.319/.426

    Pretty close.

  43. UnKnown June 13th, 2013 at 3:06 pm

    Fortunately this is a day game so Hal might actually check in and see what’s going on. No doubt he was sound asleep for the last two games.

  44. blake June 13th, 2013 at 3:06 pm

    Mike in Harrisburg says:
    June 13, 2013 at 3:04 pm
    I’ll throw this out there. I’d like to see the Yanks go after Starlin Castro. He’s struggling mightily in Chicago. A Joba + package?

    Joba would have to be like the 4th piece in a deal got Castro

  45. Wave Your Hat June 13th, 2013 at 3:07 pm

    Rich in NJ-

    Do you think Adams has the arm to play third?

    blake-

    I admit Youk has been disappointing. But as far as I’m concerned, if he’s done the Yanks are in deep doo-doo.

  46. blake June 13th, 2013 at 3:07 pm

    Adams walked in the minors…. His big league sample size is too small to draw anything from

  47. Mike in Harrisburg June 13th, 2013 at 3:09 pm

    I would speculate Joba and Adams plus one of our outfield prospects could do it. That would fill Chicago’s need for a 3b, a closer and add to their OF stock. Plus I don’t think Theo loves Castro’s style of play.

  48. Wave Your Hat June 13th, 2013 at 3:09 pm

    “Adams walked in the minors…. His big league sample size is too small to draw anything from”

    Zero walks in 71 PAs is a red flag to me.

  49. blake June 13th, 2013 at 3:10 pm

    I admit Youk has been disappointing. But as far as I’m concerned, if he’s done the Yanks are in deep doo-doo.”

    I’ve seen nothing to suggest otherwise and he’s bad defensively

  50. Rich in NJ June 13th, 2013 at 3:11 pm

    WYH

    I don’t see him as necessarily being the ideal solution at 3B going forward, and we could hope that either A-Rod has a miraculous recovery and avoids a suspension, and then Jagielo takes over in a few years, or that a good alternative emerges via trade or free agency.

    But, I see him as the best current solution at 3B, or at least talented enough to be given sufficient time to prove that he isn’t.

  51. blake June 13th, 2013 at 3:11 pm

    Adams was clearly pressing the last week or so when he played…..I wouldn’t throw a much bigger minor league track record out the window for 71 ABs

  52. Wave Your Hat June 13th, 2013 at 3:12 pm

    “I’ve seen nothing to suggest otherwise and he’s bad defensively”

    He still going to hit better than Adams and I’m not impressed with Adams defensively anyway.

  53. comnsnse June 13th, 2013 at 3:15 pm

    I wonder if Chad could ask Joey if it really makes any difference who hits where in this line up?

    Talk about grasping for straws.

  54. Jerkface June 13th, 2013 at 3:17 pm

    A guy doesnt come up to the majors with a 10% bb rate in the minors and then never walk.

  55. blake June 13th, 2013 at 3:19 pm

    Again Adams is better defensively than Youk and I’m not so sure h wouldn’t outhit him either if go DH the chance o settle in and adjust.

    Id rather play the guy that’s 26 and is controlled cheaply for 6 years than the guy that might need to retire after RH season when the answer isn’t clear cut

  56. comnsnse June 13th, 2013 at 3:21 pm

    Re: Jagielo, it will be interesting to see at what level they start him at.

    A 21 yr.old college junior should have the ability to start at hiA ball imo

    The lower levels are for HS players, low round picks/roster fillers and those from Latino locales who need adjustments to culture and language.

    Does anyone understand why if he’s really a prospect Peter O’Brien is still at Low A another college player?

    I will remain convinced that this minor league operation is out to lunch until shown otherwise.

  57. Wave Your Hat June 13th, 2013 at 3:22 pm

    Well, Youk will probably get hurt again pretty soon so whichever side of the Adams debate you are on the Adams experiment will undoubtedly be given extra life.

    But if you are rooting for the Yanks this year, it sure seems to me that Youk is more likely to hit to his OPS of last year than it is that Adams will.

  58. UnKnown June 13th, 2013 at 3:25 pm

    Not that it matters but if I remember this Parker guy is pretty good. I remember last year a ball got stuck in his jersey. That was funny.

  59. Chip June 13th, 2013 at 3:27 pm

    blake June 13th, 2013 at 2:43 pm

    Nix is fine for what he’s supposed to be…..a bench guy. He’s not an every day player
    ————–

    What’s interesting is that we heard multiple times this winter that the Yankees wanted to upgrade from Nix because they didn’t even think he was a solid choice for back up. He was outrighted off the 40 and then re-signed to a minor league deal. Now he’s the best option to protect Cano? I would much much rather see the following lineup:

    Gardner
    Adams
    Cano
    Tex
    Pronk
    Wells
    Overbay – RF
    Nix/Brignac
    Stewart/Romine

    I mean the obvious answer is that Joe is playing the expensive veteran over the dirt cheap rookie because he’s more comfortable playing veterans.

  60. comnsnse June 13th, 2013 at 3:28 pm

    Blake, so to be clear, you would sit Youk in favor of an extended tryout at third with Adams?

    And you would do this knowing the cost investment in Youk were you the mgr. or the GM?

    And you would not play the chalk keeping your job in mind with ownership and upper mgmt., thereby admitting a mistake had been made to sign him and continue to play him?

    Why then do you think they continue to run Youk out there?

  61. Chip June 13th, 2013 at 3:30 pm

    comnsnse June 13th, 2013 at 3:21 pm

    Re: Jagielo, it will be interesting to see at what level they start him at.

    A 21 yr.old college junior should have the ability to start at hiA ball imo

    The lower levels are for HS players, low round picks/roster fillers and those from Latino locales who need adjustments to culture and language.

    Does anyone understand why if he’s really a prospect Peter O’Brien is still at Low A another college player?

    I will remain convinced that this minor league operation is out to lunch until shown otherwise.
    —————–

    Rookie draft picks almost always start in either Rookie Ball in the Gulf Coast League or in Short Season because it’s easier for the organizations to put them there rather than to have to shake up their rosters at the higher level.

    Peter O’Brien is in Charleston because the Yankees have Gary Sanchez in Tampa and (until yesterday) JR Murphy in Trenton. Now that Murphy has been moved up to Scranton I expect O’Brien and Sanchez to also move up a level.

  62. comnsnse June 13th, 2013 at 3:32 pm

    Chip, Joe is playing the players who have been given the absurd contracts because his fate is tied to Cashman.

    If Adams was hitting .350 only then would he be forced to play him.

    Managers get fired when they don’t win even if they did not have input to the roster.

    They would play a kangaroo if it could hit and field…………..they know it can run! ;)

  63. NYYROC June 13th, 2013 at 3:32 pm

    I don’t think Cashman fears for his job at all(That may be part of the problem). From everything I have ever read or heard Hal likes him and wants him to stay.

  64. Wave Your Hat June 13th, 2013 at 3:35 pm

    Given that the Yanks are 9 games over .500 with the roster they have, I think Girardi is doing a fabulous job as manager. Manager of the Year so far in my book.

  65. comnsnse June 13th, 2013 at 3:36 pm

    Chip, not draft picks who are 21 with 3 years college experience if you believe in them.

    Are you suggesting that he might spend 3 years in the minors?

    Check the S.I. and Gulf Coast rosters and see what type of players are on those rosters.

    With Judge and Clarkin you’d have a case but not with an older college player who is highly thought of.

  66. comnsnse June 13th, 2013 at 3:43 pm

    NYYROC, everyone fears for their jobs when you’re running a 3-5 billion dollar enterprise, otherwise upper mgmt. bean counters and ownership are not doing their jobs!

    On that note isn’t it about time people acknowledge the job Sox mgmt. has done and is doing.

    The “snookering” of the Dodgers dumping 275mm. in salary and one top player is an example of mgmt. doing it’s job effectively.

    As is working players like Middleton and Nava into a pretty good core group.

    Their pitching may still be their Achilles heel but they’ve aggressively tried to solve their problems.

    Has anyone claimed Ciriaco yet, Brignac sucks?

  67. comnsnse June 13th, 2013 at 3:46 pm

    Wave your hat, absolutely with respect to Girardi but I repeat his job is tied in with Cashmans and he could get “run over” if mgmt. believe the major and minor league operations need a “tune up’!

  68. blake June 13th, 2013 at 3:54 pm

    “Blake, so to be clear, you would sit Youk in favor of an extended tryout at third with Adams?”

    Id play Youk 3 or so games a week between 1B, 3B, and DH and mostly vs LHP…..because 1) he’s not very good and 2) because that’s probably about all his body can handle anyway. Id play Adams at 3B most of the time yea …..

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