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Pregame notes: “Hey kid, can you play right field?”

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Misc on Apr 23, 2014 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Jacoby Ellsbury ; Brett Gardner

I would have sworn that I saw Brett Gardner play a little bit of right field back in Triple-A, but he says I’m wrong and I’ll take his word for it. In fact, Gardner says the only time he can remember playing right field was one inning, maybe two, during a spring training game years ago.

“Joe Torre was managing, I know that,” Gardner said. “(It was in) 2007 maybe, 2006 or ’07. It was like the seventh inning, we were in Winter Haven against the Indians, and he yelled, ‘Hey kid, can you play right field?’ and I said ‘Yes sir!’ and I went out there.”

The decision to put Gardner in right field tonight has everything to do with the dimensions at Fenway Park. Left field is small here, cut short because of the massive Green Monster. Right field is short right along the line, but it expands quickly.

“We had talked about doing it a couple of years ago and he got hurt right before we came here,” Joe Girardi said. “We had him work out there yesterday and we talked about it in Tampa. The other thing is, Sori is used to playing left field (and) is more comfortable in left field than possibly playing right. That’s why I chose to do it.”

Girardi was asked about just putting Ichiro Suzuki in right, but he said he wanted to go with his usual group of four outfielders. Gardner’s off to the slowest start of the bunch, but he’s still clearly a regular ahead of Ichiro, who’s played well in a part-time role.

Both Girardi and Gardner said they’re not too worried about the adjustment to right. Gardner’s spent enough time in center field that he’s seen balls hooking toward right field. He’s at least somewhat familiar with seeing balls go to that side of the field.

“It’s big,” Gardner said. “The pole, obviously is short, and it pretty much goes straight back from there. The bullpen kind of comes straight across, and short wall everywhere. Hopefully learn from what Carlos did in Tampa (when he flipped over the wall). That’s what not to do, I guess. So just treat it like you’re playing center field or (left) field. Line it up, and wherever they hit it, go get it.”

Yangervis Solarte· Ivan Nova has told the Yankees he’d like to get a second opinion on his elbow from noted Tommy John surgery expert Dr. James Andrews. The Yankees are sending Nova’s MRI results to Dr. Andrews, but it’s unclear whether Nova will actually travel to Alabama for a fresh examination. It’s also not clear whether Dr. Andrews would perform a potential surgery, but I’d venture to say that’s a smart guess.

· The Yankees actually considered moving Carlos Beltran to left field for this series. “We had him take some balls in left field too,” Girardi said. “We were thinking about having him play left here, but with Sori doing it a number of times, we thought we’d do that.”

· Just a regular day off for Yangervis Solarte, who’s hit his first little slump lately. “You run into some pretty good pitchers, the guys that you see,” Girardi said. “And like I say, I want to keep everyone active.”

· Derek Jeter is hitting .298 and he’s been on base in every game he’s played this season. “I told you if he was healthy I thought he’d play well,” Girardi said. “It was just a matter of how healthy he was going to be, and for the most part he’s been healthy this year so I think it’s kind of what we expected.”

· Speaking of shortstops, Girardi said Brendan Ryan is still probably another week to 10 days away. He hasn’t moved as quickly as expected since getting into minor league games. “He’s playing,” Girardi said. “I don’t know what he did today, but he played yesterday. Doing everything. … He’s a had a little thing here, a little thing there. I don’t know (how much longer). We talked about him getting 50 or 60 at-bats, I’m not sure how many he has. It’s probably in the 20s.”

· Francisco Cervelli? “He’s in New York,” Girardi said. “He’s doing some light stuff. He’s walking. He’s not doing a lot yet.”

· Even with a big lead, the Yankees considered putting Dave Robertson in last night’s game just so he could get some action. “We talked about using him, but once it started pouring rain I thought it was probably best not to,” Girardi said. “Maybe giving him a hitter because he hasn’t thrown a lot in the last 15, 16 days.”

· Girardi said he’s not sure yet whether he’ll have Dellin Betances tonight.

· Girardi said he doesn’t expect to push Michael Pineda beyond the pitch limits we’ve seen so far this season. The Yankees are still taking it easy on him a little bit. “I’ll still be careful for a while,” Girardi said. “It’s chilly. He hasn’t pitched really in a couple of years. The goal for him is to make 30 to 32 starts. That’s what our focus is.”

· Finally, a quick congratulations to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre manager Dave Miley. After a 5-0 win against Buffalo today — five scoreless innings from Chase Whitley, four scoreless by Alfredo Aceves — Miley has set the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre franchise record for wins. He’s 575-445 since coming to the team in 2007. He passed former Red Barons manager Marc Bombard, who went 574-502 from 1997 to 2004. I covered both Bombard and Miley and learned a ton about baseball from each of them. I’ve been lucky to get to known Miley as well as I do. Very easy to respect that man. Congratulations to him. The guy keeps finding ways to win with all sorts of different rosters.

Associated Press photos

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36 Responses to “Pregame notes: “Hey kid, can you play right field?””

  1. SweetSpot April 23rd, 2014 at 5:59 pm

    SweetSpot April 23rd, 2014 at 5:58 pm
    Triple Short of a Cycle April 23rd, 2014 at 5:52 pm
    Granderson may be a good guy but I sure don’t miss his strikeouts.
    ————————-
    Bet you didn’t complain about him when he was on the Yankees
    ——————–
    You would lose the bet. I wasn’t enamored with his streaks and strikeouts. Did I like it when he would jack one? Sure, I always root for the Yankees. But I’m not sorry he’s gone. I like our outfield and lineup without him.

  2. G. Love April 23rd, 2014 at 6:01 pm

    I like Gardner in RF. It’s more ground to cover and Soriano has frankly looked lost at times in RF. I’d love to see more of this kind of switching in parks where RF is bigger.

  3. SweetSpot April 23rd, 2014 at 6:08 pm

    Is Ichiro getting enough playing time?

    Gardner 17-67 (.254/.306)
    Ichiro 13-35 (.371/.389)

  4. Russell Munson April 23rd, 2014 at 6:12 pm

    Batting average? Really?

  5. PRDENTIST April 23rd, 2014 at 6:13 pm

    What to do when Ryan is ready??? Anna goes down?

  6. Russell Munson April 23rd, 2014 at 6:14 pm

    They could go with 11 pitchers.

  7. Triple Short of a Cycle April 23rd, 2014 at 6:15 pm

    You would lose the bet. I wasn’t enamored with his streaks and strikeouts. Did I like it when he would jack one? Sure, I always root for the Yankees. But I’m not sorry he’s gone. I like our outfield and lineup without him.

    ——————————

    Yet you make sarcastic remarks toward people who have issues with certain Yankees like Tex?

  8. Niki April 23rd, 2014 at 6:15 pm

    Chad – Thanks for the Cervelli update.

  9. Doreen April 23rd, 2014 at 6:18 pm

    Did you guys just hear Flaherty talk about Betances on the pre-game???

    Said the organization is excited about him but they said Girardi has been the last one to buy in. Said its just a matter of time before he gets better situations to pitch in. Sounded like maybe it will be suggested to Joe that he give him to opportunity.

  10. SweetSpot April 23rd, 2014 at 6:19 pm

    Triple if you’re looking to start an argument, I’m not interested. If you have a specific comment you want to discuss on Tex, feel free to post it. I’ve said Tex is declining, his stats over an extended period of time, multiple years, show that clearly. I’m not a big believer in Tex at this point but I think his defense and hitting skills that he does have left, are of value. That’s it.

  11. Doreen April 23rd, 2014 at 6:20 pm

    BTW FTR Flaherty himself ounded very thrilled himself about Dellin.

  12. Hankflorida April 23rd, 2014 at 6:20 pm

    When Granderson was with Detroit playing in a big ballpark, he was not a dead pull hitter and did not whiff as many times. There is no doubt playing in the Stadium and going for the long ball definitely curtailed his BA and increased his strikeouts. Now that he is playing in Citifield, he has change his approach to hitting and not turn into another Jason Bay or Bobbie Bonilla. He has to get accustomed to NL pitching and hit to all fields. Will the Mets ever learn that Ellsbury is their perfect player and not those long ball belters playing in band boxes.

  13. SweetSpot April 23rd, 2014 at 6:22 pm

    Girardi said a month ago when asked about the pen that he would go with the hot hand. I am sure he will do that with Betances. He is just going slow and is not throwing him into pressure situations before he feels he can handle it and that his control issues are behind him. There is no rush, we are only twenty games into the season. I believe that Girardi has every intention of using Betances in late inning, game on the line situations and I think you will see that soon.

  14. Jerkface April 23rd, 2014 at 6:25 pm

    Said the organization is excited about him but they said Girardi has been the last one to buy in. Said its just a matter of time before he gets better situations to pitch in. Sounded like maybe it will be suggested to Joe that he give him to opportunity.

    Hopefully Cashman pressures Girardi to give him a bigger role. Interesting that the YES narrative aligns more with those of us concerned with Betances role right now.

  15. Ys Guy April 23rd, 2014 at 6:25 pm

    im good with joe making betances earn it. its a long season, barring injury he will get his chances in important situations.

  16. Doreen April 23rd, 2014 at 6:27 pm

    I am fine with Girardi going slow with Dellin. Getting his feet wet, getting him some experience, and success, in lower pressure situations. When he does finally graduate to higher pressure sutuations, hell have a better comfort level. This is how Joe works.

    The only guy I thought got some shirt shrift was Melancon. He sat for days without work. Who knows what was actually going on there. I don’t get the same feeling with Betances.

    It’s frustrating as a fan, though, when you see someone with the stuff Dellin has, to wait it out.

  17. PRDENTIST April 23rd, 2014 at 6:29 pm

    I think that Dellin will have to decrease his walks before he is truly trusted.

  18. Jerkface April 23rd, 2014 at 6:31 pm

    Its not even about putting Betances into the pressure cooker right away, but he isn’t even being used in average leverage situations. He is being used in the least leverage situations possible.

  19. austinmac April 23rd, 2014 at 6:32 pm

    Every good outing gets Betances more value in Girardi’s eyes. I admit I cringe when a wild streak comes on. Happily, there have been few. In the majors, you earn your way.

  20. pete2 April 23rd, 2014 at 6:39 pm

    Dr Andrews has been pretty outspoken cautioning on using MRI’s to make decisions on surgery. Too many false positives and false negatives.

  21. pete2 April 23rd, 2014 at 6:40 pm

    PRDENTIST April 23rd, 2014 at 6:29 pm

    I think that Dellin will have to decrease his walks before he is truly trusted.
    =================

    The walks may be something he always deals with, but if his WHIP is around 1 and his K rate over 30%, who cares.

  22. SweetSpot April 23rd, 2014 at 6:42 pm

    Jerkface April 23rd, 2014 at 6:31 pm
    Its not even about putting Betances into the pressure cooker right away, but he isn’t even being used in average leverage situations. He is being used in the least leverage situations possible.
    ____________

    Again I ask the question . . . . what is the rush? We’re twenty games in, in first place and the pen has performed well even with Robertson out. I don’t understand the sense of urgency.

  23. pete2 April 23rd, 2014 at 6:43 pm

    PRDENTIST April 23rd, 2014 at 6:13 pm

    What to do when Ryan is ready??? Anna goes down?
    ==================

    Anna does not have the glove Ryan has and so far has not hit any better than Ryan would thus far, so I guess so. However, it leaves the bullpen a bit short unless Ryan can pitch too.

  24. Doreen April 23rd, 2014 at 6:44 pm

    Some of that has to be because you can’t know ahead if time what situations will present themselves. Clearly right now Joe likes to use Dellin for multiple innings. Is that because he knows he can do it, or is it to get him as many innings as possible whenever he can? It would be great to find out from Girardi what’s going on, but he’ll never talk about something like this. Unless Dellin has another great outing or two before the next managers report show on YES they ask him then.

    Now, if Dellin can limit his pitches even in two inning outings, doesnt he force the issue a little on his own?

  25. mick April 23rd, 2014 at 6:47 pm

    I don’t understand the sense of urgency.
    ========================
    It’s like a child with a new toy.
    They can’t get enough.

  26. Doreen April 23rd, 2014 at 6:48 pm

    Also, per JAP’s reports that Dellin was victimized by his infield many times, I think once he learns to trust the fielders behind him, his pitch counts will lower a little. Fewer walks. More ground ball outs along with the K’s.

    And as imperfect as this infield might be, I don’t think it is as bad as some of the infields behind him at the minor league level.

  27. mick April 23rd, 2014 at 6:52 pm

    The way the pen is set up now with DRob back will further limit Betances availibilities.

    You might occasionally see him in mop up or in the 5-6th innings.

    In the pecking order he is not ahead of Phelps, Warren or Kelley .

    Perhaps his next best chance for innings will be early in a game for 4-5 innings.

    Of course, that will be a rare occurrence.

    Maybe this whole thing is to eventually send him down and stretch him out again after a long relief appearance here but he must show he can repeat and focus better.

  28. mick April 23rd, 2014 at 6:54 pm

    Also, per JAP’s reports that Dellin was victimized by his infield many times,
    =======================
    They rarely hit the ball against him or he walks or strikes you out.
    That report seems off.

  29. Doreen April 23rd, 2014 at 6:57 pm

    Did anyone just see the little boy at Wrigley? So precious. Cubs lost lead in top of 9th.

  30. mick April 23rd, 2014 at 6:58 pm

    Here is a thing Betances should try to learn if only 1 inning or pitch at a time:

    wallace matthews @ESPNNYYankees

    Tanaka says 24-0 not impossible http://espn.go.com/newyork/mlb.....api_public

  31. Doreen April 23rd, 2014 at 7:00 pm

    What JAP said is that they would weakly ground out, but there were errors or poor fielding behind him on those ccasions when batters would actually hit the pitch. It didn’t help matters.

  32. Tyler April 23rd, 2014 at 7:01 pm

    In the pecking order he is not ahead of Phelps, Warren or Kelley .
    ———————————————————-

    I think he should be ahead of Phelps. I don’t think Phelps stuff plays out well in short relief. Either use him as a long reliever like Aceves in ’09 who can keep a game in reach or send him down to start in AAA in case of injury.

  33. Jerkface April 23rd, 2014 at 7:02 pm

    What JAP said is that they would weakly ground out, but there were errors or poor fielding behind him on those ccasions when batters would actually hit the pitch. It didn’t help matters.

    And of course the ball got put into play more often when he was a starter, that much should be obvious to anyone. Even in the majors he is only striking out 42.5% of batters he faces, so he still has to get outs with the defense.

  34. Ys Guy April 23rd, 2014 at 7:03 pm

    Let’s Go Pineda!
    Let’s Go Yankees!

  35. crorkz August 6th, 2014 at 5:58 pm

    Mj9a6e Major thankies for the blog post. Awesome.

  36. mattz crorkz August 28th, 2014 at 1:26 am

    mqCzed Spot on with this write-up, I really assume this website needs rather more consideration. I’ll probably be again to learn much more, thanks for that info.

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