Today’s lineup was posted later than usual, and Joe Girardi’s pregame press conference was pushed back about a half hour. The reason: Girardi was talking to several players — most notably Derek Jeter — to explain today’s lineup decisions.
Jeter will sit at least two days, today and tomorrow, while the Yankees try to rest a sore left ankle that’s clearly affected Jeter the past few games. Jeter has not complained, but he’s acknowledged some lingering soreness, and despite a clean CT scan, the Yankees want to give him a chance to rest.
“Probably his worst (season) ever for him,” Girardi said. “To have to live through this — and you can probably go back to when he started when he was six years old — because he loves to be out there and he loves to compete. And this is the time that he probably loves being out there more than any. It’s been difficult.”
Girardi indicated that Jeter did not put up much of a fight about the Yankees decision to have him on the bench for two crucial games when the Yankees are fighting to hold onto their slim playoff hopes.
“He understands,” Girardi said. “I know he’s frustrated and he wants to be out there. It’s tearing him up inside. As much as he doesn’t like it and he wants to be out there, I think he understands our point of view about trying to give it a couple of days to calm down. … My hope is that after a few days it calms down and we can get him back out there. You’ve got to really go day by day is what you do with him and I know there’s not a lot of days left. There’s only 20 days left basically until the playoffs. So you go day by day and you just make a decision every day.”
• Ichiro Suzuki is a career .341/.357/.488 hitter against Jon Lester. Curtis Granderson is a career .281/.361/.500 against Lester. Brett Gardner is a career .182/.250/.182 hitter against him. That’s why Gardner is out of the lineup today. “We looked at some matchups against this guy,” Girardi said. “The other lefties have hit him pretty good. I told Gardy today, you’ve got to be ready at any point.”
• Shawn Kelley is available out of the Yankees bullpen today. Dave Robertson and Boone Logan are not.
• Girardi on the status of Robertson and Logan: “I think they feel better but we’re not to the point where we’re going to play catch yet.” I saw Robertson only briefly this morning. Did not see Logan.
• So far, David Huff is still scheduled to start Thursday’s series finale in Baltimore. “We haven’t made any changes,” Girardi said.
• Also no changes to the roster today. So far, anyway. The past two games, the Yankees have added a new reliever just hours before first pitch. Today’s lineup card had the same names as yesterday.
• Just a random conversation from the clubhouse this morning: Austin Romine was raving about the movement on Brett Marshall’s two-seamer and cutter yesterday. Said the movement was significant, better than he’d seen from anyone in a while. Romine and Marshall are close friends — long-time spring training roommates — so I’m not sure Romine’s the most objective judge, but Romine is really high on Marshall’s potential if he can command those two pitches with a good changeup and slider.
Associated Press photos