Friday, July 15, 2011

Yankees pregame Notes for Friday

Here are some Yankees notes that were pregame today.  The lohud Yankees blog gets and assist on this one.

 Bartolo Colon’s hamstring and Russell Martin’s comments saying he believed the Blue Jays were stealing signs last night were the main themes. There’s nothing new on Colon — he’s still on turn to start Tuesday and the Yankees believe his hesitation is more mental than physical — but the Martin stuff is interesting.  Colon needs to get it together soon though, I will give him a pass for last nights game because besides the mental side of the hamstring the defense didn't help him at all in the first inning and it could of been different.

He noticed last night that the Blue Jays never seemed fooled, then he noticed a runner at second looking one way before a fastball, then looking the other way before a breaking ball, then looking the original direction again when Martin called for another fastball. That’s when Martin went to the mound and changed the signs.

“I’m not bothered by it,” Martin said. “I was more angry at myself for figuring it out too late and changing them too late. The game was almost out of hand at that point.”  I say good for the players if they can do it but I think more is made of it then it really is.  David Cone said during the broadcast the same thing, what happens is it is more of a distraction and becomes a mental thing.  I still think you need to execute the pitches and location is key, everyone knows what is coming with Mariano Rivera and they still cant hit him. 

Of course neither Martin nor Joe Girardi would admit to stealing signs with the Yankees — Martin said he did it when he was in college — but they both agreed that stealing signs is fair game as long as it’s done by the players on the field (no binoculars in the stands or signals from the bullpen).  I don't know why they would admit that. 

“If you’re not cheating, you’re not trying,” Martin said. “I don’t know where that term comes from, but it might be from relaying signs at second base.”  That is a pretty funny quote, it is all part of baseball and always has been. 

 Girardi said he went through last night’s game film and found nothing to suggest Colon’s hamstring was a problem on his pitches. “You can see how high he’s lifting his leg, the way he’s landing,” Girardi said. “And when I looked at those two things, it was the same. I stopped it frame-by-frame, and I went to a game that he threw well, and it was the same.”

 Obviously Colon was hesitant coming off the mound, but Colon also assured Girardi that he’s felt no pain in the hamstring. Girardi believes it’s just a mental thing that Colon has to get past. “It’s a little bit of a concern,” Girardi said. “But you’ve got to see how a guy does in the heat of the battle when he’s got to make a play. Sometimes those thoughts leave his head.”

 Rafael Soriano is still on track to throw batting practice tomorrow. Girardi said he could make his first rehab appearance on Tuesday. He’ll pitch in more than one rehab game, and the Yankees would like him to throw back-to-back before being activated.  The good think is he is getting close, you can see the finish line with him.  I don't know if he will be thrust right back into the eighth inning role but he was signed to do that even though Robertson has been great in that role. 

 Jose Bautista is out of the Blue Jays lineup and his return is uncertain — he’s day to day — after last night’s ankle injury. “That’s the huge bat in their lineup,” Girardi said. “But they still have some guys that can really swing the bat. They’ve been swinging the bat before the break and now still, so we’ve got to make pitches.”  It hasn't seemed to affect them to this point. 

 Day game tomorrow, but Girardi said he might not make any significant lineup changes to give players a break until Sunday.  They did just have off for the All Star Break so I don't think a break is needed. 

At one point last week, the Yankees posted a lineup that had Brett Gardner leading off and Derek Jeter batting second against a right-handed starter. Girardi said that was a special circumstance and he’s not likely to go back to that right now. “I think the day that we had it we didn’t have Swish, so that was a big part of it,” he said.  I know the Yankees are really hesitant to move Jeter but I think it might be beneficial, Jeter has hit second more in his career and it might help him get more hits if Gardner is on base, opening up the hole the way he did it with Johnny Damon a couple of years ago. 

No player move was made today, so the Yankees are starting this game with a bullpen that had to pitch almost a complete game yesterday. They need distance from Freddy Garcia.

The teams will be back at it early tomorrow afternoon.  Have a good night and a good weekend.  Yankees/Jays Saturday with CC Sabathia on the mound. 

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