Very quiet morning here at Yankee Stadium.
Players had a fairly late report time, and I never saw Mark Teixeira while the clubhouse was open to media. As expected, he won’t play today, and Joe Girardi said he doesn’t expect to have Teixeira available as a pinch hitter. He’s expected to get the full day off because of that cut to his pinky.
“He’ll be day-by-day,” Girardi said. “I have not seen him yet today. But he’ll be day-by day, and we’ll see how many days he needs here.”
Teixeira was hardly the first base runner to express some confusion and frustration with the new rule about blocking home plate. It didn’t seem that the plate was being blocked without the ball last night — Girardi acknowledged as much — and it seems Teixeira probably could have legally opted for a collision if he’d wanted to.
“We basically told (our base runners) if they’re blocking the plate, you can run them over,” Girardi said. “I mean, that’s the bottom line. That really hasn’t changed for base runners, in a sense. You don’t want guys really to go out of their way to get someone if they don’t have to, you’d rather them slide because whenever you run someone over you take the chance of getting hurt, too. But we’ve basically told them, if you have the chance to slide, slide, and if you feel they’re blocking home plate and you have to do something else, go ahead.”
• One player who was in the clubhouse early today was Michael Pineda. He’s heading to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre tomorrow to make his second minor league rehab start. Although Girardi still hasn’t announced a big league starter for tomorrow, he reiterated that it absolutely will not be Pineda. “No,” Girardi said. “He’s starting in Scranton tomorrow.”
• So who’s pitching for the big league team tomorrow? “It will depend on today,” Girardi said. “It’s probably something we’ll talk about amongst ourselves after the game. And then put it out there. … He very well could be (someone already on the roster), but it depends what I need today. It could change very quickly if I have to use our whole bullpen.”
• Another day of catch for Masahiro Tanaka. “He’s got to get built up to 120 feet (before throwing a bullpen),” Girardi said. “I think he was 60-90 today. So it’ll be a couple days of that and then we’ll take the next step.”
• Healthy day off for Derek Jeter. Why Stephen Drew at short and Brendan Ryan at second? “Actually Brendan has probably played more second than Drew in his lifetime,” Girardi said. “So I think we’ll see how this looks and go from there. The next time I might do it the other way. But I thought I might see how it looks.”
• Brian McCann is also healthy, but it’s a day game after a night game, and Girardi likes to keep Francisco Cervelli lined up with Shane Greene. “When you’re familiar with a guy from catching him all the time, sometimes it’s easier on both,” Girardi said.
• The Yankees took two out of three against the series of Cy Young starters they faced earlier this week. Now they have Rick Porcello to finish off the series. “We’ve played pretty good baseball,” Girardi said. “And I look at the job that our pitching staff has done and it’s been very, very good, against a club that knows how to score runs. So it doesn’t get any easier today. He kind of flies under the radar because of the names, but he’s pitched as well as anyone over there. Porcello. Great sinker and he’s become a complete pitcher, where he mixes all four pitches now. He’s better than when he first came up.”
Associated Press photos