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Pregame notes: “This is about five guys”

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Misc on Jun 27, 2014 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Joe Girardi

After apparently being asked a lot about the decision to keep Vidal Nuno lined up for tonight’s start, Joe Girardi grew a little irritated when he was asked to explain the decision again tonight.

Irritated or not, it led to easily one of the most thorough answers Girardi’s ever given.

“Tanaka is a guy, the most he’s thrown is 226 innings,” Girardi said. “He’s on pace to throw 226 innings. He’s been a guy that’s used to pitching every seven days.

“I’ve been asked over the last, I don’t know, eight months, a hundred times, do you think Kuroda got tired? Hmm. Do you think Kuroda got tired? Huh. I have a guy in Chase Whitley that’s made 20 starts in his career. Most he’s ever thrown in a year is 95 innings. David Phelps is not a guy that’s been a starter every year, so it’s about five guys. It’s not about Tanaka.

“If I move Tanaka up today, he makes six starts in 30 days, every five days. What starter does that? We don’t play more than 20 days in a row. No starters do that because it’s physically too tough, so when you have a chance to give a guy an extra day, you do. He’s going to make four starts. Three on everyday rest. So are some of the other guys. I have to be careful. It’s a long season. And if I start him today or tomorrow, he still makes the same number of starts before the All-Star break. So I’m going to say last, this is about five guys, it’s not about one guy. Question answered.”

Fair enough. It’s certainly possible to disagree — for many reasons, it’s worth wondering if almost anyone would be a better option than Nuno, especially at home — but the Yankees are unconvinced that any of their Triple-A starters are ready to move up, they’re hesitant to convert their young relievers back into starters, and they legitimately face some real workload issues with this patchwork rotation.

This is the start of playing 17 days in a row leading into the All-Star break. Surely some sort of rotation change will happen at some point, either through pitchers getting healthy or pitchers being acquired, but for now Girardi seems focused on getting by with what’s already in place. And for tonight. that means starting Nuno in a stadium where he has a 7.09 ERA this season.

CC Sabathia• CC Sabathia is making his first rehab start tomorrow in Tampa. He’s scheduled for 40-45 pitches. Next will be 60 pitches. “You start to think that you’re getting to where he’s pretty close to getting back,” Girardi said.

• If Sabathia goes 45 pitches tomorrow, then 60 next week, he should be up to 75 pitches in his third minor league start. Girardi said he expects Sabathia to need at least that many before being activated from the disabled list.

• Michael Pineda remains on track to play catch tomorrow. He was going to do it last Saturday, but he was shutdown because of a setback with that upper back muscle near his right shoulder.

• Isn’t there anyone in the minors who could help this rotation before Sabathia and/or Pineda is ready? “We might be forced to add another pitcher, I don’t know,” Girardi said. “But right now some of the starters are young, and we just don’t feel there’s someone that we’d go too.”

• The Yankees aren’t likely to have Tanaka pitch immediately before and immediately after the All-Star break. “What you try to do is you try to give everyone a couple extra days,” Girardi said. “You kind of look at where they’ve thrown and give a couple extra days to everyone because you figure that everyone is probably going to have some fatigue at that point, because of this stretch that we’re in. You don’t want guys to go too many days but you’ll look it. My guess is that if (Tanaka)’s pitching Sunday (before the break), he’s not pitching Friday (after the break).”

• Things seemed pretty light pregame. Derek Jeter and some others took early batting practice, but it was pretty quiet. Importance of a Red Sox series minimized by the fact the Red Sox are a losing team? “They’re division games,” Girardi said. “And it seems like all of our division games are important. There’s still a long ways to go. I’ve been asked that question a few times. Whenever we play someone within the division, I think it’s extremely important whether you’re ahead of them or behind them because, if you’re ahead of them, they’re trying to catch you; and if you’re behind them, you’re trying to catch them. So I still think it takes on a lot of importance.”

Associated Press photos





45 Responses to “Pregame notes: “This is about five guys””

  1. yankeefeminista June 27th, 2014 at 6:13 pm

    Love to see C. do the 60 pitch start next week in Trenton vs. Portland. Pretty good hitting team too.

  2. rl15 June 27th, 2014 at 6:14 pm

    Check out the guy on YES. It’s our boy Chad!

  3. yankeefeminista June 27th, 2014 at 6:20 pm

    Mason is back in the Trenton lineup; O’Brien getting a blow unless he’s been traded. ;)

  4. Giuseppe Franco June 27th, 2014 at 6:28 pm

    pete22 June 27th, 2014 at 6:13 pm

    For those who wish to live in the present and want to compete this year, this is the biggest series of the year. Decisions will be made that do not bode well for certain players if they lose this series.


    I don’t think the results of a series between two mediocre teams is going to have much effect on anything.

  5. pete22 June 27th, 2014 at 6:31 pm

    I would not underestimate the Red Sox. They have a better run differential and have their 2 best starters going this series, although Lackey got wacked around his last start. Red Sox offense has had as many issues as the Yankees though. PEDroia has had an awful year although Ortiz and Napoli are always threats to go long. My man Drew has struggled in his return though, although he got off to a slow start last year too. Probably won’t see him against Nuno

  6. pete22 June 27th, 2014 at 6:32 pm

    Giuseppe Franco June 27th, 2014 at 6:28 pm

    pete22 June 27th, 2014 at 6:13 pm

    I don’t think the results of a series between two mediocre teams is going to have much effect on anything.

    Freedom of thoughts a great thing.

  7. Giuseppe Franco June 27th, 2014 at 6:37 pm

    I guess we’ll see if there are any significant roster changes after this series is over.

    I’m thinking not unless someone gets injured.

  8. pete22 June 27th, 2014 at 6:38 pm

    Seriously, I do think July 1 is a trigger date and this is the last complete series before then. FO may be a bit on the fence about certain moves but time is running out and decisions could be influenced based on performance in this last full series in June. JMO.

  9. mick June 27th, 2014 at 6:39 pm

    The question to Joe next time is why not throw the lefty with JRam as a backup.
    Nuno as the long man, he can’t be starting, too nervous…

    Just don’t ask about Tanaka, he’s not the problem, give him the extra day, sure, the others too..

  10. J. Alfred Prufrock June 27th, 2014 at 6:42 pm

    No Joe, the question hasn’t been satisfactorily answered.

    Yes – you lost Nova. Certainly, though, we’d have been charmed to think Pineda was going to get through the season healthy; what happened was thoroughly predictable. I would have thought C would have a bounce-back year if healthy, but he isn’t.

    Just because the rotation got slammed, doesn’t mean Nuno is the sole option. You have a eighth-inning guy who should have been converted already, given the landscape shift. You also have Jose Ramirez, whom you can still convert to starter.

    Betances and Ramirez are real pitchers who can get good hitters out; Betances in particular has weapons to shut people down for multiple innings, he’s not going to get smacked like Adam Warren likely would going through the same lineup 2, 3 times around.

    But if it came down to Nuno or Warren, that would be a snap: Warren, because Nuno is not a ML starter.

    I don’t want Warren, because he’s not a game changer. Betances is, and Jose Ramirez, even at this stage of rust, will get more outs than Nuno and can be lights out. The question is, when will the change come back around?

    In any case, ALL are better options than Nuno.

  11. bruceb June 27th, 2014 at 6:47 pm

    In any case, ALL are better options than Nuno.

    Afraid this is the case. Doubt he’ll get out of the third inning against the Red Sox but sure hope I’m wrong.

  12. mick June 27th, 2014 at 6:47 pm

    The lefty I was referring to was Huff.
    Why not start Huff the 2-3 starts that Nuno has? Have JRam at the ready.
    He will have to get spanked tonite for that to happen.
    Not getting it…

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    Certain drumbeats are inexorable, lasting years on end.

  14. JimK June 27th, 2014 at 6:51 pm

    The Y’s are not going to repeat the Joba debacle; Betances is in the BP to stay.

  15. Tar June 27th, 2014 at 6:52 pm

    Hey guys

    Doing some traveling and wifi has been spotty at best. But the scenery….. :D lets just say I’m not missing it too much. Just wanted to day hi.

    Hopefully will be around for the game tonight. Catch you all later.

  16. J. Alfred Prufrock June 27th, 2014 at 6:53 pm

    Crap, I hate this.

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  17. J. Alfred Prufrock June 27th, 2014 at 6:55 pm

    Hey Tar!

  18. JimK June 27th, 2014 at 6:56 pm

    There is no doubt that Nuno has been terrible this year, but last year he started 3 games, pitched 17 innings and gave up 4 runs.

  19. J. Alfred Prufrock June 27th, 2014 at 7:00 pm

    JimK June 27th, 2014 at 6:51 pm

    The Y’s are not going to repeat the Joba debacle; Betances is in the BP to stay.

    Well, yeah, I don’t expect them to do it.

    Doesn’t mean they shouldn’t. I’m not sure why this would be similar to Joba. The team has a need here. They’re down 2 potential front-end arms, and a guy that used to be their ace. Nuno, with this lineup, isn’t going to cut it.

    This would be an ad hoc solution that doesn’t require mortgaging the future of a team that has no young bats as it is.

    Not really all that wild.

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