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Pregame notes: “You have to worry day-to-day”

Posted by: vmercogliano - Posted in Misc on May 17, 2014 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

CC Sabathia

Back-to-back shutouts against the Mets at Citi Field temporarily alleviated some of the Yankees’ concerns about how its depleted pitching staff would deal with its rash of injuries, and more encouraging news followed.

Michael Pineda was spotted in the Yankees clubhouse this afternoon — in uniform — and played catch in the outfield after doing some running. He’ll throw a 25-pitch pitch bullpen tomorrow, as he seems to be getting closer to a return from a Grade 1 strain of the teres major muscle on his right side.

“That’s really encouraging,” Joe Girardi said. “It’s a good sign that we’ve gotten to this point and he’s ready to throw a bullpen. Obviously, as the intensity picks up a little bit, you pay attention to how he’s doing. But so far, no setbacks and he’s doing well.”

The timetable for CC Sabathia’s return is a bit cloudier.

After seeing Dr. James Andrews on Tuesday regarding his right knee injury, it was determined that he has a cartilage issue, which GM Brian Cashman described as “degenerative changes.”

He was given an injection of cortisone and stem cell with the hope that the condition will improve. The good news is that there is no tear or meniscus damage. The bad news is there’s no telling how long it will take him to recover, and this could be a reoccurring issue.

“I would be kind of shocked,” Girardi said when asked if he thought there was any chance that Sabathia would be able to return once his 15-day DL stint is up. “There’s not a lot of history on this, but because they want the procedure obviously to be as successful as possible, he is on crutches. It’s not because the knee is sore – they just don’t want any weight on it. My guess is we’ll evaluate him Monday or Tuesday and see where he’s at, then we’ll go from there.”

David Phelps will get the start today and Vidal Nuno will start the second game of tomorrow’s doubleheader after each guy began the year in the bullpen. Chase Whitley also earned himself at least one more start with 4 2/3 scoreless innings on Thursday, and at least for the time being, Girardi has accepted those three as 60 percent of his rotation.

“It’s not really difficult for me,” he said. “It’s difficult for everyone else to figure out – the doctors and our training staff. It’s just unknown how long you think (Sabathia)’s going to be out. That’s the thing that none of us really know, and as a manager, you have to worry day-to-day. You can’t think, ‘Well, maybe we’ll get him in two weeks or three weeks.’ It just doesn’t do a lot of good for me to be spending a lot of time thinking about that, so the other guys have to step up in his absence. Hopefully, you get Michael Pineda back fairly soon here and hopefully CC isn’t out for too long, but we don’t know.”

David Phelps• Phelps will get the ball today, and his results have been mixed since joining the rotation. His first start was good (5.1 IP, 1 R, 3 H, 1 BB, 3 K, 87 pitches vs. the Angels), while his second was meh (5 IP, 4 R, 8 H, 3 BB, 1 K, 70 pitches vs. the Brewers). Even once CC and Pineda return, the Yanks are still going to need a fifth starter, and that will likely be determined by which of the Phelps-Nuno-Whitley trio pitches most effectively in the next few weeks. “I think it’s attacking the zone,” Girardi said of the key for Phelps. “There are days when he just misses, and he has to throw a lot of pitches per inning and it becomes a little bit tougher. He has the repertoire to be successful. He has the pitches to do it, so it’s being ahead in the count, getting some quick outs and not getting into prolonged at-bats. For him, to me, you can tell how his start is going to be, in a sense, with his command – how pinpoint it is – because that’s what he relies on a lot.”

• Girardi said that Hiroki Kuroda will start the first game of tomorrow’s doubleheader with the Pirates and Nuno will start the second. He left it up to Kuroda. “I asked him which one he wanted to go,” he said.

• Girardi also said that Derek Jeter will only play in one of the two games. At this point in his career, I don’t think we’ll see Jeter play two in a one day all season. “I’ll talk to Derek and see, but I can’t tell you which one I’m going to play him in yet,” he said when asked if Jeter would play in Game 1 or 2. “I haven’t had a chance to talk to him. I would think he would only play one game.”

• Ichiro took BP today and should be available to enter today’s game. I’d expect him to start one tomorrow, as well. “Thursday I did not have him as a defender or pinch-runner,” Girardi said. “(The knee) still bothered him to run. Yesterday, he came in and said he felt really good, so I want him to go through today to see where we’re at. If he feels good, I would use him today and play him tomorrow.”

• With Carlos Beltran on the DL and Ichiro unavailable the past few games, Alfonso Soriano has started a few games in a row in right field. How does Girardi assess his defense? (He actually made a few decent plays against the Mets.) “You look at the days over at Citi Field, and I thought he did a good job,” he said. “He made some good plays. I think it probably helps him being out there every day, as opposed to being out there one day and then sitting two days. I think it’s more consistency and he feels more comfortable.”

• The bullpen has been a hot topic in the past few days, mostly because of Dellin Betances’ overwhelming six-strikeout performance against the Mets on Thursday. I wrote a feature story on Betances’ road to success for today’s paper, and Girardi was asked if he feels that he’s decided on specific roles for most of the arms in his bullpen. “I think I’ve done that,” he said. “I think I’ve for the most part used Kelley and Warren and Thornton late, and Betances has kind of been the bridge there. And now that Kelley is out, Betances has moved back and Warren has moved back an inning. I think I’ve pretty much done that the whole year. Betances has emerged as being a very good weapon down there, and we’ll have three guys for two spots, in a sense, once we get Kelley back, which is really beneficial.”

• Just before I hit, “Post,” it was announced that Jacoby Ellsbury has been scratched with flu-like symptoms. Brett Gardner will move to play center and Zoilo Almonte will start in left. Almonte will bat ninth and everyone else moves up a spot.

Associated Press photos





33 Responses to “Pregame notes: “You have to worry day-to-day””

  1. yanks61 May 17th, 2014 at 2:44 pm

    yanks61 May 17th, 2014 at 2:43 pm
    JimK if you’re still around, right from Mickey himself:

  2. bigdan22 May 17th, 2014 at 2:54 pm

    I thought CC would be out about a month but after reading this, it wouldn’t surprise me if it’s July. Or even later. No expectations for him this year.

    Speaking of knees, I see Heathcott is not in the lineup today. YF earlier today said Heathcott’s knee will have to be “managed” throughout the season. Because so little was said about his surgery last year and his extended recovery time this year, I surmised months ago Heathcott had a cartilage problem. Some bone on bone thing. If that’s the case, he’s basically CC in the OF. I’d imagine having that problem at his age probably means he should try a different profession. Unless of course they develop an artificial knee for athletes.

  3. JimK May 17th, 2014 at 2:56 pm

    Yanks61, thanks for the video; and it was Freehan and not Freeman who was catching; the memory is definitely going.

  4. austinmac May 17th, 2014 at 2:56 pm

    I do hate the Red Sox with their 21 year old 2B with an OPS over 1.000 and star glove 23 year old SS hitting .290. I don’t get it. Why them and not us?

  5. Giuseppe Franco May 17th, 2014 at 3:04 pm

    The Red Sox do a better job drafting and developing their guys than the Yanks do.

    It’s as simple as that.

    The Yanks suck at it and there’s no accountability for their recent failures so it’s unlikely to change.

  6. JimK May 17th, 2014 at 3:05 pm

    “Degenerative changes” cannot be good; I have degenerative disk disease in my lower back, which only causes pain when I perform physical labor, but I am not sure if degenerative changes is similar to degenerative disk disease, but if they are similar I can’t see how CC would be able to pitch for any length of time without developing any pain in his knee during a game. But then again I am 62 and CC is 33(34)?

  7. hardwired7 May 17th, 2014 at 3:09 pm

    Found myself watching some soccer, and I was caught up in Arsenal’s dramatic victory. Then I realized, I have no idea what the F.A. Cup is.

  8. yanks61 May 17th, 2014 at 3:10 pm

    JimK you’re welcome. Have a good afternoon and evening.

  9. Hankflorida May 17th, 2014 at 3:12 pm

    Almonte seems to deliver power numbers playing in the minor leagues, but last year, he had the opportunity to take advantage of the right field seats and did not. Two power outfielders is what I have come to expect for the Yanks especially when we don’t have the more then sixty home runs that we had at 2nd and 3rd just a few years ago. Last year it was Ichiro and Gardner and this year Ellsbury and Gardner playing together, and each player averaged around 10 home runs and 50 RBI’s which doesn’t bode well now that the pitching has taken a hit.

  10. austinmac May 17th, 2014 at 3:16 pm


    As one your age, I too know degeneration is a continual process. Much will depend on his tolerance. I have a torn meniscus and had my knee “cleaned out”. It was very successful. So, I think if it hurts too much to pitch, we are looking at some kind of arthroscopic surgery, removing loose bodies, possibly adding some gel substance and that sort of thing.

    I will look for my medical diploma which must be with my general manager certificate.

  11. Joe from Long Island May 17th, 2014 at 3:19 pm

    Hi GF hope you’re well.

    Not saying the yanks are great at farming, but I think you’re making out the Red Sox to be better than they are.

    Middle brooks and Bradley are hitting .200, lava runway – the next great thing at catcher – is no where to be found, dubront is not exactly consistent.

    Am I missing someone there? If all you’re looking for are warm bodies, I guess they’re ok.

    Yanks have phelps up and down, but you can’t say warren and betances haven’t been pretty good this year.

  12. Pat M. May 17th, 2014 at 3:19 pm

    Man The Rangers are just hammering The Habs. Bigdan22, I shared the same pen concerns as you going into the winter meetings and they did little to quiet this issue for me. Betances has been quite the revelation thus far.

  13. Cashmoney May 17th, 2014 at 3:33 pm

    Daniel of Texas is a pretty forward thinking GM. I also like the approach Hahn of white sox took in restructuring his roster this year.

    But as many fans and posters had alluded, you need your farm to produce in today’s mlb landscape.

  14. Against All Odds May 17th, 2014 at 3:35 pm

    Giuseppe Franco May 17th, 2014 at 3:04 pm
    The Red Sox do a better job drafting and developing their guys than the Yanks do.

    It’s as simple as that.

    The Yanks suck at it and there’s no accountability for their recent failures so it’s unlikely to change.


    Yep next yr will be ten yrs since Cash took control of the farm and their one and only claim to fame is they produce good relievers. Not something to sneeze at but definitely not where they thought they would be when thet started.

  15. Against All Odds May 17th, 2014 at 3:41 pm

    Pat M. May 17th, 2014 at 1:21 pm
    Odds… Knickerbockers first and always regardless of Dolan, Lakers second. I go back to the Clyde, Reed, Dollar Bill Bradley, Dave D’Bush , Earle The Pearl days…..I doubt Phil Jackson tolerates Dolan’s crap and splits early


    Yea he might leave early. Dolan has a way of butting into to everything.

    I was going to ask you how you felt about the D’antoni firing?

  16. Cashmoney May 17th, 2014 at 3:45 pm

    hardwire, FA cup is like free for all, beer league vs mlb, I think there are random drawings btw matchups. once awhile, you get a cinderella story, but mostly it ends up with some familiar names in the premier league.

  17. Joe from Long Island May 17th, 2014 at 3:45 pm

    Odds – fair point.

    When did Brett come up? Was it over ten years already?

    Wonder how jr Murphy will continue.

  18. Against All Odds May 17th, 2014 at 3:46 pm

    **they not thet**

  19. Cashmoney May 17th, 2014 at 3:47 pm

    Isn’t this Cashman’s contract year? what if the yanks tank or do not make the playoff, one have to admit that’s a possibility. what do you do with C?

  20. Pat M. May 17th, 2014 at 3:48 pm

    Odds, I never liked the D’Antoni hiring , especially when Phil Jackson wanted to come back and coach.. Jim Buss’s ego is just killing the organization, but Dr. Buss left him in charge of basketball operations rather the smarter and very astute Jeanie Buss. And then there’s the Stern’s intervention on the Chris Paul trade which set the franchise in a funk…..They’re the Lakers and they’ll be back real fast….

  21. Pat M. May 17th, 2014 at 3:51 pm

    Doc Joe, how are you ???? Missed you the other day. Big day for our pal SJ44, as his nephew will be playing ball in Yankee Stadium. Hope he catches Gerit Cole tomorrow night

  22. Against All Odds May 17th, 2014 at 3:53 pm

    Yea I never liked the hiring either. Mike D was just the right coach at the right time for PHX. Hopefully they choose the right man for the job this time. They seem to be exploring all options. Although I wonder if they would have considered Mark Jackson who recently re-signed with ESPN to be apart of the broadcast crew?

  23. Against All Odds May 17th, 2014 at 3:55 pm

    When did Brett come up? Was it over ten years already?


    Brett came up in 08

  24. Joe from Long Island May 17th, 2014 at 3:55 pm

    Hi pat. We’re good thank you. Yeah I saw that about the nephew. Wonder if the clan will be there. Only bad thing is that they’re in Pittsburgh. I spent some time there during training not too much in fine dining. SJ will be out of luck.

  25. JimK May 17th, 2014 at 3:59 pm

    Mac, your medical degree is in the mail, signed by the Wizard of Oz.

  26. say NO to Cano May 17th, 2014 at 3:59 pm

    Mike Brown and D’Antoni were the 2 worst possible hirings by the Lakers. If I had to guess, the idiotic Lakers management would hire Mike Woodson next. The trio of bum Mike coaches.

  27. Joe from Long Island May 17th, 2014 at 4:05 pm

    Pat my bad! They’re at the Stadium! What a brain $&@?!

    I’m just doing too much laundry today. I’ll have to write myself a doctors note for my wife, explaining that I need a break

  28. Pat M. May 17th, 2014 at 4:05 pm

    Doc Joe…..I called SJ and left a message, so I’m not sure if he flew up to The City or not foe the series. The Wine and Grilling season is finally upon you, finally !!!!

  29. Pat M. May 17th, 2014 at 4:06 pm

    Brian Shaw is and was the coach that got away

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