Pregame Notes: All About Derek

Gordon optioned down for Colon
Game 81: Bart's Back

The hot topic during Joe Girardi‘s pregame press conference today was Derek Jeter, who will begin a two-game rehab assignment with Double-A Trenton tonight. The skipper isn’t sure how much he’ll play tonight (Mike Ashmore says it’ll likely be six innings), but in a perfect world Girardi would like to see the Cap’n get three at-bats and play six or seven innings in the field. He hopes they’re short innings too, he doesn’t want Jeter standing out there for a while. Craig Heyer is the scheduled starter for Trenton and he typically works quickly and pounds the zone, so that’s good.

Girardi will call Jeter after the game (Trenton plays at 7pm ET) just to see how he feels, then the team will figure out a plan of attack for the next week. Derek won’t play nine consecutive games before the All-Star break (two rehab games plus seven straight games with the big league team), so he’ll get a day off somewhere in there. Girardi said it would be nice for Jeter to get his 3,000th hit at home, but winning is priority number one. After three games in Cleveland, the Yankees will be home for four straight against Tampa. My guess is he plays Monday and Tuesday, sits Wednesday, then plays all four at home. Unless Jeter goes bananas in those first two games against the Indians, he’ll get the milestone hit in the Bronx.

  • Bartolo Colon told Girardi that he’ll pitch all nine innings today, but they’re going to limit him to 80-85 pitches after he threw 61 in Monday’s simulated game. Colon’s hamstring is healthy and they’re not concerned about his ability to field his position when the the Mets inevitably test him with bunts. They’re more concerned about the fatigue related with fielding the bunts and running the bases, not him re-injuring the hammy.
  • Girardi praised a) Russell Martin and Larry Rothschild for the job they’ve done learning a new pitching staff so quickly, and b) all the bullpen guys they’ve called up this year due to injury, specifically mentioning Cody Wade, Luis Ayala, and Hector Noesi. At the halfway point of the season (today is Game 81), Girardi is pleased with where his team is, particularly the way they “bounced back after some difficult losses and difficult series.”
  • Speaking of Noesi, he is still with the team. Brian Gordon was sent down to make room on the roster for Colon, in case you missed it. They were concerned that Gordon was rusty after not pitching in eleven days. Girardi said another roster move is coming soon, and I assume he was talking about Phil Hughes. No hint about what that move may be, but we heard they’re thinking about sending down Ivan Nova.
  • The Yankees haven’t figured out how they’ll address their sudden abundance of starters, but they’re going to discuss it soon. They’re not against using a six-man rotation, but they also don’t want to give CC Sabathia and A.J. Burnett too much rest between starts. Since the All-Star break is a week away, I figure they could get away with a six-man rotation this time around then sort things out after the break.
  • “Robbie is deserving, I believe,” responded Girardi when asked if he felt David Robertson should go to the All-Star Game. After being in the position of picking the AL squad last season, he understands that it’s tough to get a guy like Robertson on the roster since the Yankees figure to have so many other All-Stars and the need for every team to be represented.
  • In case you were wondering, Nick Swisher was walking around the clubhouse just fine, so that foul ball off his foot last night doesn’t appear to be a problem. He’s in the lineup today, which you can see here. It’s the standard lineup.
Gordon optioned down for Colon
Game 81: Bart's Back
  • Kramerica Industries

    but winning is priority number one.

    Not to re-open Pandora’s Box again, but if the above is true, then why the hell is Jeter still at the top of the lineup when he plays?

    I’m not going to say whether this team is better with or without Jeter (if Nunez was better at routine plays, this would be different), but I think the lack of a lagging bat at the top of the order has certainly worked wonders for this offense.

    • DF

      In all likelihood the Yankees think the team is better with Jeter in the leadoff spot. I can envision a host of reasons why they would think this: veteran presence, intangibles, belief in an imminent turnaround.

      They’re wrong, but I don’t think they’re just deferring to Jeter.

  • David, Jr.

    He will get them winning!

    Meaning of ARod’s Reyes comment: “I wish we had him here. We would be a slam dunk.”

    • Tom Zig

      That’s a shot at Jeter


  • Crime Dog

    I love you Bartolo

  • Angryankee

    I was hoping watching Nunez would rejuvenate an appreciation for Jeter. I can’t believe how many of my fellow bombers fans are ready to whack the captain. I can’t wait to have a steady presence at short. I think the offensive will improve for Jete and fewer balls will sail towards the baseline box seats…

    • whozat

      more easy grounders will also trickle into the outfield for singles. This is much less obvious than terrible throws, but hurts the team just as much. This is why rating fielding based on how you remember feeling during the games leads to the wrong conclusions.

      Jeter is absolutely better at making the plays on balls he gets to. But he’s also far worse at getting to balls. And I don’t think I could argue that Jeter is better than Nunez with the bat right now

      • Angryankee

        I am a baseball idiot because I don’t see that Jeter is as bad in the field… I would rather see Pena…

  • tom

    I’m sure most have noticed this, but…if the Yankees win today, they’ll have reached the exact halfway point of the season with 50 wins. Quick, class: what does that project out to?

    Obviously a long way to go/anything can happen, but how many — even among the less pessimistic — thought coming out of Spring training that this team would play at that level?

    • buckfunts

      Coming out of ST I expected the Yankees to do this well but, not with the contributions, or lack thereof, from certain players.