Girardi Speaks: CC, Rotation, Lineup, A-Rod

The Yankees' 2012 Draft Pool: $4,192,200
Loose, winding thoughts about the A.J. Burnett trade
New year, same buzzcut.

Travel problems delayed Joe Girardi‘s arrival to Spring Training, but he made it to Tampa safe and sound prior to today’s workout session, the first of the 2012 season. Girardi spoke to the media about the state of his team afterward, so here’s a recap…


  • CC Sabathia will get his seventh consecutive Opening Day nod, but after that? “You go [in] with an open mind,” said the skipper. [Marc Carig]
  • Girardi said it’s important that Sabathia maintains his weight, and “stays there or close to it.” It’s most important that he “stays strong,” obviously. [Jack Curry]
  • Phil Hughes and Freddy Garcia will battle it out for the fifth starter’s spot, though Girardi said he still envisions the former as a starter. [Curry]
  • “I’m always amazed at how big players are today,” said Girardi about new pickup Michael Pineda. “They’re large humans.” [Mark Feinsand]
  • David Robertson will remain the Eighth Inning Guy™ while Rafael Soriano gets stuck in the seventh inning. I’d like to see Robertson in more a fireman role rather than be married to one inning, but whatever. [Feinsand]

Position Players

  • Girardi is leaning towards a 3-4-5 of Robinson Cano, Alex Rodriguez, and Mark Teixeira, but he qualified it by saying: “I’m not married to that.” Derek Jeter and Curtis Granderson figure to remain atop the lineup. [Feinsand & Carig]
  • Girardi doesn’t have a clearly defined plan for A-Rod regarding his rest and time at DH, and he’ll probably play it by ear. He does expect Alex to have a big year, though not necessarily 45 homers big. [Carig & Curry]
  • “I anticipate it will be [Frankie Cervelli],” said the skipper when asked about the backup catcher. Others like Austin Romine will get a shot to take the job in camp though. [Erik Boland & Carig]


  • “If not for [A.J. Burnett], we may not win that World Series,” said Girardi about his departed right-hander. “I felt A.J. did everything we asked him to.” [Marc Carig]
  • “I thought our guys came in good shape,” Girardi said. “I thought they were all ready to go.” [Chad Jennings]

[Photo via Bryan Hoch]

The Yankees' 2012 Draft Pool: $4,192,200
Loose, winding thoughts about the A.J. Burnett trade
  • Brian Paul

    Can it be basebal yet?

  • Paul VuvuZuvella

    Girardi is in the best shape of his life.

  • JobaWockeeZ

    I cannot wait for the day Rafael Soriano opts out and is out of this organization.

    • FIPster Doofus

      He’s not going to opt out. He’ll be gone when his contract is up.

    • Havok9120

      Well good, you won’t have to wait, because its not going to happen.

      • JobaWockeeZ

        Wow I thought the false sense of superiority was bad then…

  • Bryan V

    Although I feel it’s best for the team, as they can absorb Soriano’s money, I don’t see Soriano opting out after being the 7th inning-guy. There’s no way a team will give him enough money to tear him away, as another team has little reason to believe Rafael could be their closer.

    Ryan Madson is coming off a season with 32 saves and an ERA of 2.37, yet he had to settle for a 1 year contract worth $8.5 million (with club option). So I really can’t see Soriano doing better than $14 million with another team, closer or not.

    If Rivera does retire after this season, one of the biggest stories may be whether DRob or Soriano takes over closing duties. They could make a good 1-2 punch out of the bullpen too.

    • Vinny Scafuto


      • Bryan V

        Enhancement talent?

      • Kevin Winters


        • Bryan V

          I don’t know. I was wondering what the reply of “jobber” was all about.

          • Havok9120

            I believe he was trying to remind you of the existence of Joba.

            • MannyGeee

              I thought he was comin on to you…

            • Bryan V

              Ah. Moshe said on Twitter he thinks Joba will take over. Me, I’m not so sure. Until Joba shows what he can do after the surgery, I think DRob is the man.

              • Kevin Winters

                Yea this is Drob’s job to lose.

                • Mike Axisa

                  2007: This is Joba’s job to lose.
                  2009: This is Hughes’ job to lose.
                  2011: This is Robertson’s job to lose.

                  • Kevin Winters

                    I can’t wait for it to be Soriano’s job to lose

                  • Bryan V

                    I don’t agree with saying this is David’s job to lose. I do agree with the thought that, as of right now, he’s the likeliest to take over 9th inning duties.

  • aaaa

    Girardi please keep your stupid mouth shut! When it comes to managing a baseball team you’re the worst in the game! I can barely wait until you’re gone for good! You SUCK!

    I want a real manager not a stinking steward!

    • Bryan V

      I’d really like to see your evidence that Girardi is “the worst in the game”. He’s far from great, but his bullpen management along makes him better than average in my opinion.

      • whozat

        On a team like the Yankees, bullpen management is basically the only on-field duty the manager has, other than resting aging players. He seems to do a pretty good job of that. There aren’t a lot of strategic decisions to be made on the field. He’s done a great job with the media since his first season, too.

        So what makes Girardi not a great manager for the Yankees?

        • Bryan V

          He has a hard time making tough decisions. Like sticking with the 6-man rotation longer than he said he would last year, or removing Posada from regular DH duty. Although moving Cano to the 3-hole, and Tex to the 5-hole, shows me that he’s not a total puss when it comes to rattling feathers.

    • Delaware – Ralph

      Agreed totally – and he has an awful track record, a WS Ring, winning the AL East with 97 games last year… awful just terrible we should go after Francona and have a welcoming party with fried chicken and beer!

      Please just go away…

    • G

      Not that MLB Network knows what they’re saying half the time, but they ranked him the 7th best in the game. Joe Sheehan and Brian Kenny, the two guys on there who know what they’re saying, were doing the show and we’re very complimentary.

      • Josh S.

        Out of curiosity, do you remember who were the top six?

        • G

          From 1 to 6, Bochy, Sciosia, Manuel, Maddon, Leylabd, and Gardenhire.

    • choochoo

      Funny that you get so riled up about Girardi and demanding that he keep his mouth shut. Right at the same time we have a General Manager dredging up unsolicited information about the 2010 season and volunteering that the team didn’t try as hard as they could to win the NL East. Think maybe Cashman should keep his mouth sometimes and not say some things that have absolutely no need to be said?

      • John

        I thought the Yankees were in the AL East.

        that or you’re talking about one of the NL teams…

      • Mike HC

        I like the talking Cashman as a fan. You want to hear that inside type stuff, not that it wasn’t obvious at the time that was the strategy.

      • steve (different one)

        He didn’t say they weren’t trying to win. He said they were focused on getting healthy.

        The players that were ON THE FIELD were trying to win the games.

        It’s just that they opted to not play their best players all the time because some of them were banged up and they felt that getting healthy was more important than the extremely marginal advantage of winning the division over being the wildcard.

        I really don’t see what the big deal is. In retrospect, it seems like their strategy was validated by the way things turned out. They manhandled the Twins instead of losing to the Rangers in the first round. If Pettitte’s back doesn’t go out and he had to be pushed back to game 3 of the ALCS, maybe they even get to the WS.

        • choochoo

          he exactly said that they were not trying to win the division. Read the article in the Daily News.

  • PhillyMatt

    Sorry if o/t but after reading comments from Lohud it sounds like Mariano has made his decision about his future after this year. Let’s send him out in style with #28!

  • RetroRob

    Watching Mariano in cmap being interviewed. Based on his words, seems damn likely this is his last year.

    • swishers fauxhawk


    • Paul VuvuZuvella

      maybe he will surprise even himself with utter dominance and how much he has left in the tank, and will decide a 1 year extension is in the cards by the end of the season.

    • Zack D

      Which means we can expect the “Mariano’s not focused” headlines after his first blown save

  • Bryan V

    Yeah, Mo’s comments pretty much point to retirement. It’s too bad, but I am excited about what could change with the team.

    • Mike HC

      Damn. Agreed though. Sad that it is the end of an era, but excited about the opportunity for some other guys to get the glory.

      And once this gets out nationally if it is indeed true, the entire year is going to be one big retirement send off party in every ballpark, especially the stadium.

    • CMP

      If I were you, I wouldn’t be too excited about the changes coming about as a result of Mariano retiring because whatever they may be, they certainly won’t be for the better.

      • Kevin Winters

        Exactly get ready to here “He’s not Mo” whoever takes over for him

        • Bryan V

          But that’s so not fair, so I’m not going to give those comments a second thought. It’s like when the Yankees replaced Babe Ruth. Nobody is going to match-up with his predecessor, so to “go there” is not only unfair but stupid.

          • CMP

            It’s not stupid, it’s pretty much a fact that the pitcher who replaces Mariano will be an inferior player.

            Most, if not all, all time great players whether it be Babe Ruth, Mickey Mantle, etc. experience a major decline at the end of their careers so that in essence, you’re replacing the legend or reputation of that player and not a truly indispensable member of the team.

            In Mo’s case, unless he has a major decline this year, he’s been totally dominant all throughout his career and his retirement will represent a significant loss to the team on the field in 2013.

            • Mike HC

              I think you have to be excited about Robertson’s potential future. Him and Mo were about equals last year performance wise, not saying he can sustain it for 15-20 years like Mo did though. Just saying there is reason for excitement.

              • CMP

                I love Robertson but I fear that his performance may regress significantly if he doesn’t continue to strike out batters at such a ridiculous pace because he walks so many.

                • Mike HC

                  Striking out batters at such a ridiculous pace is why I love his potential.

            • Bryan V

              “it’s pretty much a fact”

              First of all, it’s not “pretty much” a fact, it IS a fact. Nobody is going to match-up to Rivera, at least nobody we’ve seen. In 10, 20, 30 years or more… sure. I suppose it’s possible.

              And that fact alone makes it stupid. Or maybe “stupid” isn’t the best word, but “pointless” certainly fits.

              • CMP

                What seems “pointless” to me is to feel “excited about what could change with the team” as a result of Mariano retiring.

    • Bo Knows

      the bright side is He’s open to being an instructor and even says that he would prefer the minors, can you imagine a bunch of minor league yankee prospects running round throwing Mo approved cutters

    • RetroRob

      Bright side? Ok, $15 million found money to direct toward Cole Hamels! It’ll take more than that, but that’s a good chunk.

  • Andy in Sunny Daytona

    Mariano Rivera retiring is Karl Marx and Barack Obama’s fault!!!!!

  • MannyGeee

    “I thought our guys came in good shape,” Girardi said. “I thought they were all ready to go.”

    Joba is pleased… Like ‘time to go get some chicken wings’ pleased

    • RetroRob

      No way he could say Joba came in great shape with a straight face! Maybe he’s not including him, perhaps rightly so, in that Joba is still about three months away from having to be in game shape. Most importantly is how he’s doing his TJ exercises, and that all seems to be going well, but Joba really needs to drop some poundage.

    • CMP

      I guess after having Colon roll into camp a year ago, everyone looks pretty svelte in comparison.

  • Graig not Craig

    “I felt A.J. did everything we asked him to.”

    Wow, Joe. Maybe you should have asked him to do more.