Just a few days ago, Travis Hafner said his shoulder was a non-issue. It had been bothering him earlier in the season, but he it had been fine ever since a mid-May cortisone shot. That’s apparently no longer the case.
Hafner was sent for an MRI today because of shoulder soreness. Joe Girardi said Hafner complained about feeling something after his last at-bat yesterday.
“He has not complained of his shoulder (before this),” Girardi said. “He has not been getting treatment, really, on his shoulder. I don’t know if it was one swing yesterday or what, but it leads me to believe it was one swing.”
Hafner has been brutal for basically three months now. It seemed reasonable to wonder if the Yankees might release him as players come off the disabled list in the next week or two, but now a disabled list stint might be more likely. Would it make sense to DL him for the next month and bring him back as a possible pinch hitter in September?
“We’ll find out what he is for us,” Girardi said.
• Derek Jeter is playing a simulated game today, but Girardi declined to say when and where. “He’s going to do a simulated game,” Girardi said. “We’re not going to disclose where it’s at. Just going to let him go do his work, and we’ll see how he is after today.”
• Best guess is that Jeter is doing his simulated game in Staten Island where some of the Yankees low-level minor leaguers can provide some pitching and extra fielders.
• Jayson Nix and Curtis Granderson are scheduled to play in another rehab game with High-A Tampa tonight. Nix will be a DH, and he could be back with the Yankees very soon. Girardi indicated that the West Coast trip is very possible for Nix. “We’re thinking that he’s real close,” Girardi said.
• Granderson will, obviously, need more time than Nix. He’s not going to be activated right away.
• What’s been the key to Ivan Nova’s improvement this season? “I think the command was important for him to be able to throw his fastball down in the zone,” Girardi said. “If it’s down in the zone, it has a lot of action and a lot of movement, and to me that’s the key.”
• Given a night to reflect, Girardi said he hasn’t come up with any big answers for CC Sabathia’s ongoing struggles, but Girardi still believes Sabathia is fully healthy. “It’s been different things,” Girardi said. “It’s been his ball cutting at different times. Yesterday, I thought he was up in the zone, and that’s something different. It’s things you have to straighten out. We’ll work on it, and CC will go to work on it. I know he’s frustrated, but you’ve got to find a way to fix it, and that’s what we’ll work at.”
Associated Press photos