Ever since it was decided that Derek Jeter would come off the disabled list on Monday, Joe Girardi has planned to give him today’s game off. It seemed like a good mid-point between his rehab games and the all-star break. As of last night, he was still planning to sit Jeter tonight.
Then he talked to Jeter after last night’s game, slept on the decision, and woke up having changed his mind.
“Just from talking to him, I got the sense that he’s thinking about it,” Giradi said. “And he wants to get this done with so he can just go on and be Derek Jeter, not Derek Jeter pursuing 3,000 hits. That’s the sense I got from him. I’m not telling you that’s what he was saying to me, but that’s the sense that I got. I started thinkng about it, you know what, if I was in pursuit of 3,000 hits – which, I was never close to – I don’t know if I’d want a day off to think about it. I’d want to get back out there.”
Girardi said his first conversation was with the training staff, which assured him that Jeter’s calf was fine. Then he talked to Jeter at the stadium. Then Girardi texted with him when he got back to the hotel.
“His thing was how much I’m playing just coming back,” Jeter said. “I told him I was fine and that was pretty much the extent of it… He said he was going to sleep on it. He said that from the get go. He just told me what he was thinking, and I told him what I was thinking, and he came to a decision.”
Girardi’s new plan is this: Play Jeter until he gets 3,000 hits.
“If we can,” Girardi said. “So we can get this through with and he can just be Derek Jeter again.”
Here’s Girardi’s lengthy pregame session in the dugout.
• If Jeter gets three hits in his first three at-bats and the Yankees have a big lead, Girardi said he might get him out of the game and give him a chance to get the milestone at home. “I’m going to manage to win the game,” Girardi said. “That’s the bottom line. I would love for him to be 3-for-3 and we had a big lead, but I don’t know what I would do. I hope I get in that situation that he’s 3-for-3 and we have a big lead. That would be nice.”
• Mariano Rivera felt better today than he felt yesterday, but he’s still not sure whether he’ll actually pitch tonight. “If it’s necessary, yes,” he said. “Knowing Geno and knowing Girardi, they might give me another day. I might take another day.”
• Lance Pendleton was optioned to Triple-A to make room for Phil Hughes. Girardi said he’s hoping to get six or seven innings out of Hughes tonight. “The radar gun is one of the tools you see how much a guy’s stuff is falling off, if you think they’re getting tired,” Girardi said. “I won’t watch (the radar) any different tonight than I would any other night.”
• Triple-A reliever Kanekoa Texeira was released to make room for Hughes on the 40-man roster. “Don’t get that confused with Mark,” Girardi said.
• Get this: Damaso Marte threw a bullpen today. Seriously. That’s what Girardi told us.
• Of course, it’s one step forward and one step back for injured lefties. Pedro Feliciano was shutdown today because of soreness. He’ll be shut down for a week.
• Rafael Soriano threw a bullpen yesterday and will throw another tomorrow. He seems to be progressing.
• No update on Eric Chavez.
• Hughes is not scheduled to pitch again until after the all-star break. Girardi said it will probably stay that way. There are no plans to have him pitch any sort of minor league or simulated game over the break. “He’ll maybe throw a couple bullpens, we’ll see,” Girardi said. “Maybe throw one Friday, throw one Sunday, but we’ll see. No plans.”
• Eduardo Nunez is ready to go.
Associated Press photos
Pregame notes: Keeping the ball in the park • 07.22.10
Remember the beginning of June, when CC Sabathia had just gone five straight starts without a win? Remember when he finally got a win on June 3, but gave up two home runs in the process?
Back then, Sabathia had allowed nine home runs in a span of six starts. He had allowed 12 for the year — just eight short of his highest ever season total — and he still had two-thirds of the season to go.
Sabathia hasn’t allowed a homer since. I knew it had been a long time, but I’m not sure I knew exactly how long until Kim Jones rattled off the numbers during Joe Girardi’s pregame press conference. Sabathia has gone eight straight starts without a home run. Luke Scott took him deep with one out in the seventh inning on June 3, and Sabathia has since gone 60.1 innings without a long ball.
“I don’t want to oversimplify it,” Girardi said. “But it’s location. At times his ball was cutting a little bit, and he’s gotten away from that.”
I don’t want to oversimplify it either, but Sabathia’s an awfully good pitcher. That probably has something to do with it too.
• Seems kind of surprising given how much the bullpen has been used lately, but Girardi said he expected to have every reliever available tonight. “I really don’t think we are limited,” he said. “The off day came at a good time… I would imagine that I should be able to use everybody.”
• I get that these are the Royals, and surely the Yankees are looking to win three out of four this series, but it’s worth noting that Kansas City does have the highest team batting average in the majors. “I think they’re dangerous offensively,” Girardi said. “Some guys in the middle of the lineup are really swinging the bats.”
• I might regret opening this can of worms, but one of the favorite topics of discussion around here perpetually seems to be Royals outfielder David DeJesus: “I’ve always liked him,” Girardi said. “It seems like he always plays pretty well here. He’s from this area. I’ve always thought he swung the bat pretty well and he was a good defender in the outfield. He’s having a great year. He was one of the guys that we talked about as an all-star.”
• Against the lefty Bruce Chen, Girardi could have worked the lineup to keep Curtis Granderson on the bench, but the Yankees are sticking with their center fielder. “I know the numbers say he’s hitting .220, but I think he’s hit the ball harder than .220 against left-handed hitters,” Girardi said.
• During his one year in the Yankees system, Royals reliever Kanekoa Texeira never pitched in Scranton, so I’d never met him until this afternoon. Good guy, with nothing but good things to say about his time with New York: “When I was with the Yankees, they pretty much got me ready to be a long reliever like I am now. If I didn’t get to New York, I don’t think I would have gotten here. The Yankees changed me from being a closer to being a long reliever. That kind of helped me out. They prepared me for what I’ve been doing so far. I have nothing but love for New York.”
• Random story from BP: Derek Jeter and Ramiro Pena were taking turns fielding balls in the hole at shortstop. It seemed to be a Jeter’s urging that Tony Pena hit a ball well out of Ramiro’s reach and into medium depth left field. Pena chased it down, did the jump throw from the middle of the outfield, and threw a perfect strike to first base. That guy can play some defense.
Scott Podsednik LF
Jason Kendall C
David DeJesus CF
Billy Butler 1B
Jose Guillen DH
Alberto Callaspo 3B
Mike Aviles 2B
Willie Bloomquist RF
Yuniesky Betancourt SS
Associated Press photos of Sabathia and Dave Robertson
Mariners DFA Rule 5 pick Texeira • 06.01.10
The Mariners have designated Kanekoa Texeira for assignment. He’s a right-handed reliever out of the Yankees system who was taken by Seattle in the Rule 5 draft. He had a great spring, made the big league roster and was designated to help make room for two new relievers.
Through 16 appearances, Texeira was 0-1 with a 5.30 ERA. He struck out 14 and walked 10 in 18.2 innings.
The Yankees got Texeira in the Nick Swisher trade. He spent last season in Trenton, going 9-6 with a 2.84 ERA in 41 games, six of them starts.
Every team will have a right to claim Texeira off waivers, at which point he’ll retain his Rule 5 status and have to stick on the claiming team’s major league roster. If he clears waivers, the Mariners will have to offer Texeira back to the Yankees, who could then put him in the minor leagues.