Joe Girardi said there’s no one particular injury that’s causing concern, but it’s no accident that Jacoby Ellsbury is getting a start at designated hitter tonight.
“He just needed it,” Girardi said. “Physically he needs it.”
Ellsbury had a day off before the start of this road trip. He’s since played 10 days in a row, and he’s played alright — couple of home runs on this trip, a current five-game hitting streak — but it’s notable that he’s stolen a base in only two games since June 20. In that span, he’s had three stolen bases and been caught stealing three times.
“When you get those speed guys, they get beat up,” Girardi said. “Physically they get beat up. … We talked about it. He probably could have used (a DH day) yesterday, but we just decided to do it today instead.”
Girardi said there’s no specific injury, just a general sense of being “beat up” at the moment. Batting practice started soon after Girardi’s session, and I don’t remember seeing Ellsbury in the clubhouse before Girardi talked, so there really wasn’t much chance to go directly to the source to find out what exactly is hurting him.
“When you play every day, and you’re running around, and you’re playing center field, your body is going to hurt. It’s probably a different spot every day,” Girardi said. “It just kind of moves around depending on what you do that day. Is there anything serious? No, but he’s just beat up.”
• Girardi said the basic plan was to give guys fairly equal rest. McCarthy gets a little more than the others. Sounds like Shane Green will likely start next Monday’s game. As for a fifth starter after the break: “We haven’t made any decisions,” Girardi said. “Obviously Chase (Whitley) is the most built up.”
• The plan is still to have Carlos Beltran activated from the seven-day disabled list on Friday. I assume he’ll replace Bryan Mitchell, who was brought up to give the Yankees a just-in-case reliever. “We just felt that, if we get into a crazy game, I’d rather be protected on the pitching side,” Girardi said. “Dellin has been worked hard, Adam has been worked hard. If you don’t need them or something, you’d hate to have to use them.”
• More on Beltran: “He’s doing pretty good,” Girardi said. “He did some exercising yesterday and felt no ill effects from it, so he’s feeling better.”
• Michael Pineda is supposed to throw another bullpen soon, but Girardi said he’s not sure when exactly that will happen. Girardi said he fully believes Pineda will be back at some point this season.
• It was a long shot, but I kind of wondered if the Yankees might use the All-Star break to get a guy like Adam Warren built up a little bit. Maybe pitch him two innings tonight, then have him throw the equivalent of three innings at some point over the break. In theory they could have him up to four innings by the fifth game after the break. But, Warren said he’s just planning to play catch a few times during the break. There’s no secret plot to get him converted back into a starter. So, so much for that idea.
• Tonight is the Yankees 45th game with a rookie starting pitcher this season. That’s by far the most rookie starts before the All-Star break in franchise history. “It’s not what we expected, but it is what it is,” Girardi said. “And I think our young pitchers have handled it pretty well. Through all this, we’ve been fighting and fighting and we’ll continue to do that. You have a chance to have a really good road trip with a win tonight. We use whatever we have to to win the game.”
Associated Press photos