In the days leading up to the trade deadline, the Yankees seemed to be banking on Carlos Beltran getting back in the outfield fairly soon. He was playing catch again, things seemed to be going pretty well, and Joe Girardi was talking about putting Beltran in right field as early as the upcoming home stand.
But that’s not longer such a priority.
“I think there’s probably a little less of a, I don’t want to use ‘sense of urgency,’ but (sense) that we need to get him out there,” Joe Girardi said. “We have more options. We were carrying three outfielders for a while there. Carlos was the fourth, and then we were running infielders out there. But with Martin (Prado), who’s played a lot of outfield, and then having Ich too — we’ll make sure (Beltran)’s ready when he goes out there.”
Basically, sounds like the Yankees haven’t given up on Beltran playing the outfield this season, there’s just less need to make it happen now that Prado is the everyday right fielder is Ichiro Suzuki is a true fourth outfielder. No reason to risk hurting a guy who’s become a productive hitter again since the All-Star break.
“I think we’ll keep him throwing and see where he’s at,” Girardi said. “The one thing we don’t want to risk is him having a setback. We’ve kind of taken it day by day, but we’ll keep him throwing.”
• Tomorrow’s a pretty big day for the Yankees with Michael Pineda scheduled for 60-65 pitches in a Triple-A rehab game. Seems he’ll need one or two more minor league starts before being activated, but certainly he’s getting close (barring another setback, obviously). “The important thing is that he builds up and comes out of it healthy,” Girardi said. “You get 60, 65 pitches tomorrow, and then you figure five days later you’re getting close to 80. You’re starting to get pretty close. The big thing is that he responds to going out there and physically feels good. And this is further than he was before, so it makes you feel that this injury is healed.”
• Speaking of injury, there is none to Brian McCann, but the Yankees have been happy with the way Francisco Cervelli and Shane Greene have worked together. Add that it’s an afternoon game after a night game, and that’s why McCann isn’t in the lineup. “There’s a lot of familiarity,” Girardi said. “(Greene)’s thrown the ball well with (Cervelli) back there. We’re going to give Brian days off in this 13-day stretch, so I chose today.”
• Although he’s played a few innings at the position, this is actually Martin Prado’s first career start in right field. “There’s nothing that tells me he can’t do it, so I don’t worry much about it,” Girardi said. “I haven’t put much thought about him going out there. I just penciled his name in.”
• If you couldn’t tell, the addition of Prado signals the intended end of Ichiro Suzuki being an everyday player for the Yankees. He’s back to that backup outfielder role that he had out of spring training (and he actually thrived in that role for a while). “I think at this point in the season you kind of go day by day (determining Ichiro’s playing time), but we acquired Prado to play a lot,” Girardi said.
• Obviously the Red Sox have been pretty bad this year, but after their trade deadline moves, their lineup has a string of 2-through-5 hitters consisting of Dustin Pedroia, David Ortiz, Yoenis Cespedes and Mike Napoli (Allen Craig has the day off or else I assume he’d be hitting sixth). That’s pretty dangerous. Cespedes is a big right-handed bat that really fits well for Boston. “We’ve seen him have success off us,” Girardi said. “And this ballpark probably plays pretty well for him, too. He’s an accomplished hitter, he’s a dangerous hitter, and you’ve got to make your pitches.”
Associated Press photos