No problem with Alex Rodriguez, just getting a day off during these set of three in a row on turf. I really don’t understand why the infield of a turf field — especially here, where there’s so much dirt — is such a problem, but I don’t think it’s all in Joe Girardi’s head. Players have said it affects them, and when you add the fact this is a day game after a night game, it’s hardly a shock that Rodriguez is sitting.
“The turf, whenever we get on this turf six days in a row, it was a concern last year for some of our guys,” Girardi said. “That’s partly because of age, and we try to manage them carefully. Sometimes you can run them into the ground and then they’re not productive when they’re playing, so you have to pick your days.”
Girardi said he’s planning to play Rodriguez all three days in Toronto — “My hope is, yeah,” Girardi said — and the plan is to have Derek Jeter out there tomorrow as well. After Jeter played the past three days, Girardi said he’s not approaching Jeter’s return with any apprehension.
“I mean, he’s played three days in a row,” Girardi said. “From everything I understand, he felt pretty good. I don’t know if we can afford to be apprehensive is the thing.”
How often will Jeter and Rodriguez be able to play together?
“Hopefully a lot,” Girardi said. “I’m just going to have to see how they’re doing. There is no schedule for them the next 33 games or whatever we have left for each guy. There isn’t. We’re just going to go day by day and see what I see the night before and make the decision the next day.”
• It’s worth noting that both Rodriguez and Jeter seem to be a little bit restricted — even more than in previous years — when it comes to defensive range, but Girardi said he still expects to play them together on the left side of the infield regularly. “Because we need these guys to play,” he said. The Yankees want ground balls, and Jeter and Rodriguez are simply going to have to make the plays on the balls they can get to.
• Could Eduardo Nunez play third some more? “Sure,” Girardi said. Of course, the Yankees also have Mark Reynolds available to play some third, but Nunez might actually be a better defensive option over there.
• Lyle Overbay is feeling better, but he cautioned that he’s generally felt better in the mornings throughout this illness. Robinson Cano told Overbay in the clubhouse that he was looking better, had some color back, and Vernon Wells fired back by saying, “whatever color he had.”
• Girardi wouldn’t say what the move will be for Jeter. It seems likely that the Yankees will lose a pitcher to make room for Jeter. “We’ll worry about it after the game,” Girardi said.
• The Yankees need a win to avoid a sweep. “I think it’s important because you want to have some momentum going into the next series, and we need to win games, and there’s teams that we’re chasing too,” Girardi said. “I think it’s really important.”
Associated Press photos