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A New York Yankees blog by Chad Jennings and the staff of The Journal News


Girardi’s next set of decisions

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Misc on Oct 10, 2013 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Joe Girardi

After I wrote the previous blog post, I remembered that Joe Girardi had actually addressed some of those issues before the final game of the regular season. No real definitive answers — hard to have those when the roster isn’t remotely finalized — but a few words from the newly re-signed manager about some of the decisions he’ll have to make next season.

On next year’s expectations for Derek Jeter
“I expect him to play and I think he’ll do everything in his power to get back to the form he was in 2012. He’s got an offseason that he has a lot of strength that he wants to gain back in his legs and have a normal offseason. It should be good for him. … I think when you speak about Derek’s future, a lot of it depends on him and how he’s moving. I think it’s only fair to give him that opportunity to get back to that form that he had in 2012, and then you discuss it.”

On who could fill the openings in next year’s rotation
“I have no idea. You look at CC and Nova right now, and then you’re really not sure who’s going to be here after that. You have Phelps, Warren, Huff, Pineda, Nuno. But I think there’s work to be done. … (PIneda) could be real important. He’s a kid that had some decent success in Seattle as a young pitcher. We feel that he’s healthy now, that he’s coming to spring training healthy and that he should be ready to go. He’s going to have a pretty good opportunity.”

On whether Dave Robertson will takeover the ninth inning
“I think he’s a guy that has the ability to do that. Right now, that’s our best candidate. … (Whoever gets the job), just be yourself, that’s all you can do. You can’t be Mo. You got to understand that there’s probably going to be at times some unfair comparisons, but that’s just part of it. Tino had to go through it with Don Mattingly. If you end up doing your job, the situation will take care of itself. You’ll win them over.”

On the need for more offense from the catcher position
“I think we need more offense overall. Sometimes you can look at one position and say you need more offense, but a lot of times it can be if the other positions had given you the offense you expected, you might not think about it as much. … The ideal is to have the best of both worlds; a defensive catcher that offensively really contributes. Sometimes that doesn’t happen. Sometimes you can’t measure how many RBIs a catcher gives you behind home plate, in a sense; how many runs they can save you. That’s not a statistic that’s necessarily up on the board every time you come to hit. It’s an important position. The pitchers need to feel comfortable with who they’re throwing to an feel that they can do anything. That’s important.”

One thing I mentioned earlier that Girardi didn’t directly address late in the year is the role — and how long of a leash — for the Yankees veteran outfielders, Vernon Wells and Ichiro Suzuki in particular. But here’s an interesting comment and story from Brian Cashman’s end-of-the-season press conference:

“It’s my job to always find better than what we already have,” Cashman said. “I remember — turn the clock back — meeting with Melky Cabrera saying, ‘Hey man, I’ve got a guy named Brett Gardner, and he’s coming fast. Don’t let him take your job.’ (There) are many examples of, hey, it’s our responsibility to always look for better than what we have at those positions as a team. Then you hope it stays healthy and plays up to your expectations. Unfortunately, this year we had a lot of all of it; which is players that we expected to perform better and they didn’t, or they went backwards with their performance, or maybe we misevaluated that effort on their performance, or the injuries. It’s my responsibility in all aspects of it.”

Associated Press photo

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