Sunday, September 25, 2011

Yankees news and notes before the doubleheader against Boston

If there were any doubt about Jesus Montero’s roster status, it’s surely gone at this point.

“I can’t envision a scenario where he won’t be on our postseason roster,” Joe Girardi said.  I really can't myself, it is hard to keep him off the roster the way he has played.  He is a very dangerous hitter who won't be affected by the moment.

The lingering question has more to do with playing time rather than a spot in the clubhouse. Montero seems to have locked up regular against bats against left-handed starters, Girardi wouldn’t commit to using Montero as his regular designated hitter against right-handers.

If the Yankees play the Tigers in the first round, they won’t see an left-handed starter the entire series.

“It very well could (affect his playing time,” Girardi said. “But every team does have left-handed relievers.”

Montero seemed happy to hear the news. He said he won’t fully believe it until Girardi makes it official — “I don’t want to say, ‘Yes!’” he said — but it’s clear that Montero’s hit enough to feel confident.

“I’ve been doing a good job, thank God,” he said. “Just trying to do my best. I’m helping and doing whatever they want me to do to help the team to win. I don’t decide anything else.”

 CC Sabathia threw four simulated innings this morning, a total of 65 pitches. “Able to work on some things and not be as intense, but get my work in,” he said.

Sabathia faced Ramiro Pena, Greg Golson and — after an inning — Chris Dickerson. He said he’ll throw a bullpen on Tuesday and be ready for Friday’s postseason opener. He hasn’t started studying scouting reports for either possible opponent. “I faced both teams a bunch of times, so we just have to wait and see,” he said.

Sabathia on the possibility of pitching Game 4 on short rest: “That’s up to them. I’ve done it before.”  The great thing about Sabathia is he will do whatever the team wants and he is big and strong and could handle that.

Girardi said he had not yet talked to Phil Hughes about how he feels a day after yesterday’s bullpen. The Yankees are still hoping to have him pitch in some capacity during these last three games, but they don’t have a game picked for him.

All of the regulars not in the Game 1 lineup will be in the Game 2 lineup. No one is sitting out hurt. “There might be one guy that I use in both games today,” Girardi said. “That doesn’t mean I wouldn’t bring in someone late, but I think you have to be smart about it at this point.”

On using Jorge Posada as the cleanup hitter: “He has a lot of experience against Wakefield,” Girardi said.  That is true they have faced each other many times over the last 15 years or so.  The Yankees are also playing a doubleheader and don't have a lot of the regulars in there for game one so why not.

The Yankees have locked up home field advantage because Detroit lost last night, so these last five games are all about getting ready for the playoffs. “It’s something that we worked very hard for during the course of the season,” Girardi said. “And it’s nice because I’ve always said that our club is built around our ballpark. We’ll still going to go out and play hard. It’s not going to change my approach, in a sense, but we’ll be smart with guys these last four days.”

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