Here are the Yankees pregame notes on Friday night. I won't be recapping the game tonight or do any postgame since it is a late game. I figured I would provide these courtesy of the Lohud Yankees Blog and as always I throw my two cents in there.
Consistency has become a real buzz word with these Yankees. I suppose that’s
the case every year, but it seems especially true with this group. For the past
two weeks, it’s been used to talk about the lineup, but the Yankees are still
searching for it in the rotation as well.
Ivan Nova is no exception, he was so good last year and has struggled this year. This should be a good night for him to get it going.
For a while there, Nova looked like the same guy the Yankees remember from
last season, and even his last time out, Nova was able to use his big slider to
finish with a career-high 12 strikeouts. Those strikeouts, though, came with
five runs through six innings, and Nova has allowed at least five runs in four
of his past five starts. There was one gem in the middle, but Nova’s been
erratic. He was better last game, he gave up a three run homerun that made it look worse.
“It’s location with him,” Joe Girardi said. “He gets up in the zone, he gets
behind in the count, and then his fastball gets hit when it’s up in the zone. He
had an awesome slider the other day and used it extremely well, but when he gets
behind, he gets hurt.”
Nova hasn’t been in the league long enough to have much of a track record
against anyone, but he’s never faced that Athletics, and today’s Oakland lineup
has a total of five career at-bats against him (two by Josh Reddick, three by
Seth Smith). The Yankees meanwhile, have won their past six games at the
Coliseum and 10 of their past 11.
“I just think we’ve played well when we’ve played them,” Girardi said. “We’ve
played pretty well out here as well. We’ve got to have that continue because you
want to get on a roll, and that’s one thing that’s been hard for us to do this
year.” The Yankees are just a much better team and seem to like playing in Oakland.
Dave Robertson played catch yesterday and felt
alright today. The Yankees plan to have him play catch again on Monday. “I think
there’s some stiffness there,” Girardi said. “He’s had inactivity and hasn’t
used that area in probably about 15 days. We have to be a little bit cautious in
the beginning to make sure nothing’s there.” The Yankees will be extra cautious here, this is where there depth really takes a hit as Joba having the ankle injury as he was coming back from Tommy John. MO is out and now Robertson so they are down to Soriano, Boone Logan and then a mixture, they can't afford any more injuries to their bullpen.
The Yankees still plan to have Brett Gardner begin swinging a bat on
Girardi said it’s not likely either Robertson or Gardner will be back with
the team before they get home a week from Monday. Robertson has said he’d like
to be back by next weekend’s series in Detroit, but Girardi said he’s “not sure
that’s going to happen.”
Nova’s hamstring was a little tight after his last start, but Girardi said
it didn’t affect any of the work he did between starts. Girardi considers it a
complete non-issue. Nova came to the Coliseum yesterday to play catch.
Good news on Manny Banuelos. Girardi said test on Banuelos’ sore left elbow
showed no ligament damage — just like tests on Jose Campos’ elbow — so it
doesn’t look like this is a Tommy John issue, just a sore elbow. Hard to know
much more than that. He has had a rough season so far but had a couple of good starts coming back from injury before this injury.
Oakland carries four left-handed relievers, and Girardi said that’s why
Mark Teixiera was moved back into the No. 5 spot in the lineup. That leaves the
Yankees with a right-handed or switch hitter between each of their left-handed
hitters. “Clubs that have four left-handers, you really have to be careful how
you construct your lineup,” Girardi said. “Could I change it? Yeah, but right
now it’s what we’re going to do.”
Obviously Girardi could put Nick Swisher fifth instead of Teixeira and have
the same split-the-lefties result, but Swisher is hitting just .211/.295/.342
after left-handers this season. Teixeira is hitting .220/.259/.400 against them.
Neither one has been a particularly good option this season. Ibanez, by the way,
is hitting .200/.250/.267 against lefties.
Yesterday’s off day gave Teixeira yet another day to rest, but he doesn’t
seem much different than he was a week ago. “I still hear him cough every once
in a while,” Girardi said. “It’s not all the way gone. I wish it was, but it’s
Q & A with Charlie Hayes
6 months ago