Carlos Beltran is healthy. He’s able to swing a bat with little more than tightness in his right elbow, and he’s been able to play light catch with no problem whatsoever. But being healthy is one thing. Being productive is another.
Since coming off the disabled list, Beltran is hitting just .129/.156/.194 with 10 strikeouts in eight games.
“I don’t feel good (at the plate) right now, man,” Beltran said. “It feels like some days I feel better, then the next day, back to not feeling good. It has to come. I just need to stick with the plan and continue to go to the cage and work on the things I have always worked. It’s got to come.”
Beltran is out of the lineup tonight — makes some sense to sit a switch hitter against a guy with reverse splits — but he said he still takes this as a work day.
“Day off for me, I will take it physically,” Beltran said. “But I’ve still got to go through BP and go to the cage and continue to work. … Physically I feel fine. It’s just more timing, more kind of being in between and sometimes feeling for the baseball; not taking my full swings. Things like that.”
Notorious for taking a ton of swings before and between games, Beltran said the elbow issue has not caused him to seriously alter his hitting routine. He needs to get his timing back, and he’s trying to get the swings necessary to make that happen.
“He’s fighting through it,” Joe Girardi said. “He’s had some productive hits for us. You look at the ball he hit last night — if it’s a day game, it’s probably a home run here. But we talked about it. It could take some time to get his timing going. And he’s played everyday since he’s been back so I figured just give him a day and I think he’ll continue to get better.”
• Against one of the better left-handed starters in baseball, Girardi is using as many left-handed hitters as possible. That’s because Scott Kazmir has a good changeup and extreme reverse splits this season. Lefties are hitting .276/.333/.293 against him. Right-handers are hitting just .195/.245/.303. Brian McCann is in there instead of John Ryan Murphy, Ichiro Suzuki is in there for Beltran and Kelly Johnson is in there for Brian Roberts. “Kazmir has obviously had a ton of success against right handers this year,” Girardi said. “We didn’t do much off of him last time (when) we had a ton of right handers in there.”
• Also a factor is the fact Roberts fouled a ball off his right knee again last night. Girardi said he expects to give Roberts tomorrow’s game off too so that he gets three days in a row. “I told him I could play,” Roberts said. “Sore? Yeah. But do you ever have a day you’re not sore?”
• Brendan Ryan said his elbow is fine after last night’s hit by pitch. None issue, he said.
• Beltran played catch again today and said he stretched out to 25 throws at 90 feet to go with another 25 throws at 60 feet. He expects to stretch out even more tomorrow. No issues with the elbow so far. Also no time table on when he might be a defensive option again. “It feels fine, man,” Beltran said. “Sometimes I just feel a little bit tight, but I don’t feel the pain that I felt when I first hurt my elbow. Every day is getting better. I still have to come here, get treatment and try to make everything loose and continue.”
• As for that occasional tightness, Beltran said it comes and goes quickly. “It’s one of those things where, it happens and goes away real quick,” he said.
• Girardi said the Yankees have basically told Beltran that being able to throw is secondary. If playing light catch causes even the slightest problem, Beltran has been told to alert the team. “So far, so good. No complaints,” Girardi said. “We’ve told him, ‘If you feel anything, you got to let us know because we’ll just shut it down.’”
• Yangervis Solarte is back in the lineup after getting last night’s game off. He’s been slumping lately. “I think (the day off) will help him,” Girardi said. “I think a lot of times when you’re struggling guys can benefit from an off day when they can turn their mind off a little bit and just relax and regroup and get a little more energy.”
• The Yankees today announced the following 2014 First-Year Player draft pick signings: LHP Jacob Lindgren (Rd. 2); RHP Austin DeCarr (3); RHP Jordan Foley (5); RHP Jonathan Holder (6); LHP Derek Callahan (16); RHP Corey Holmes (20) and RHP Lee Casas (28). The Yankees?also signed post-draft free agent RHP Michael Noteware from Lewis-Clark State College).
Associated Press photos