It’s been a very quiet morning around here. It seems like some of the Yankees slept in a bit after last night’s lopsided loss, and Joe Girardi didn’t even post a lineup before his pregame press conference, as he customarily does.
As it turns out, Brian McCann is getting the day off after a night game, but Derek Jeter is right back in there.
“We’re facing a lefty (Hector Santiago) today,” Girardi said. “The times that I’ve given him the day game after the night game (off), it’s been a right-hander. Our team is constructed a little bit different than it has been before this series.”
Dean Anna is now playing in Scranton, so the guy who spent the first few weeks of season primarily backing Jeter up isn’t here for the moment. Girardi said that he wouldn’t hesitate to start Yangervis Solarte at short, but he decided to with Jeter because of the pitching matchup.
That’s a good sign after Jeter’s brief (and very minor) quad issue two weeks ago, and with Monday being an off day, it sounds the Captain will be back in there tomorrow.
Fans who are coming out to see him (such as my buddy who has been texting me all morning, “Is Jeet playing?”) should be pleased.
“I know that I have to watch,” Girardi said. “I understand that, and I will continue to do that. Part of it is a little bit of who we’re facing, with a left-hander today. That has something to do with it, but I’ll continue to pay attention. I also know that we have a day off coming on Monday. It’s just trying to have a feel for it.”
• Vidal Nuno, who is the fifth starter for the foreseeable future now that Ivan Nova is set to have Tommy John surgery, is good for about 80-85 pitches today, according to Girardi. He threw 69 in his previous start, allowing just three hits, two walks and no runs over five strong innings against the Rays.
• Speaking of Tommy John surgery, pitching prospect Jose Campos went under the knife yesterday.
• With David Phelps set to start in place of the suspended Michael Pineda on Wednesday, Girardi said that today would probably be the last time that he would feel comfortable using Phelps out of the pen before then. “I could probably use him today, maybe a little bit,” he said. “My inkling is to stay away from him and try to use the other guys in the bullpen, but we’ll see what happens.”
• I was a little surprised to see Solarte out of the lineup today in favor of Kelly Johnson with a lefty pitching for the Angels, but Johnson has actually hit Santiago pretty well, albeit in a very small sample size. He’s 2 for 4 against him with a triple, while Solarte has never faced him.
• A lot has happened since I was last with you guys before that roller coaster seven-game road trip, and now the depth that we thought we becoming a strength for this pitching staff will be put to the test. Nuno doesn’t have flashy stuff, but he generally seems to be effective. This Angels lineup will provide a challenge, but a quality start today would help alleviate some of the concerns about losing Nova.
Associate Press photos