While running out a double last night, Jayson Nix felt some tightness in his right hamstring. He’s considered day-to-day with no tests scheduled. Nix said he believes he could play tonight if necessary. Joe Girardi said he wasn’t sure he’d use him.
“Just kind of tightened up a little bit when I stretched out the double last night,” Nix said. “I wasn’t too concerned about it, just something that was there and was a little bit sore after the game. It’s a little something that kind of started, so we’re going to keep it under control.”
The video above is Girardi talking about the issue, which might not be nearly as significant if not for the fact the Yankees are currently carrying a three-man bench and Nix has emerged as their everyday shortstop. For now, Girardi said, there are no plans to make a move to dump one of their extra pitchers to bring up another infielder.
“For a couple of days you can (play without a backup infielder),” Girardi said. “You can if you have to, but it’s not ideal.”
Girardi joked that he has Vernon Wells available to play any infield position. He was laughing when he said it, but it might be perfectly true.
It probably helps that the Yankees face three straight right-handed starters. Nix has been pretty valuable with his .374 on-base percentage against lefties, but it’s hard to imagine there’s significant difference between Nix and Alberto Gonzalez against right-handers.
• Alex Rodriguez told reporters in Charleston that he expects to use the full 20 days of his rehab assignment before joining the big league lineup. “We’re scheduled for that 20 days from now,” he said, according to The Associated Press.
• Rodriguez is going to play tonight and tomorrow with Charleston, then it seems possible he’ll move back down to Tampa to continue the rehab process. “I’ve got to tell you,” he said. “I’m really, really excited. This probably has to be the hardest injury I’ve tried to overcome. It has to be the longest process, that’s for sure.”
• Eduardo Nunez has joined Rodriguez in Charleston. Nunez kept getting rained out during rehab attempts in Tampa. He’s eligible to come off the disabled list at the end of this week.
• Is Girardi planning to watch Rodriguez’s at-bats on television? “I’ll give someone the job of watching him,” Girardi said. “I know there’s a lot of starting pitchers that would volunteer not to be out for BP, and probably some relievers.”
• Still no definite plan for Ivan Nova, but he’s staying with the team and Girardi said it’s “very possible” he could make another spot start in the next few days.
• Vernon Wells was out doing extra work with Kevin Long today. He said he’s been working on using his back side a little more, and that’s letting him swing with more power without trying to swing too hard. Wells had two hits last night.
• Speaking of early work, Robinson Cano was hitting in the indoor cage this afternoon. Pretty normal except that he was swinging right handed and smoking line drives. Cano said he likes to take a few right-handed swings just to keep his side loose. Brett Gardner smiled when I asked him about it. Said he sees Cano do it all the time and that Cano’s right-handed swing is smooth and natural. “I wish my left-handed swing were as good as his right-handed swing,” Gardner said. I’m pretty sure Gardner was mostly joking. Mostly.
Associated Press photo