Nick Swisher is making the trip to Port Charlotte today to take on the Rays and will get some time at first base.
Hideki Matsui – his health concerns are not going to go away. He ran three days in a row and Joe is feeling better and better about him every day. He said once you have a knee problem you always have a knee problem. Hideki is off today. Johnny Damon also has the day off. Joe said he gave some guys days off last week and he will do the same this week as well.
As for the Brett Gardner and Melky Cabrera centerfield battle, Joe said they are still fighting it out – we still have two weeks – we want to have our lineup situated by the last week so we have another week to play with it and we’ll see where we are then. Joe was asked if both could make it to New York and he said they haven’t made their 25 man roster yet, he couldn’t promise that both would be on the team, but said they CAN carry both.
Damaso Marte will start to work his way back into getting some innings starting tomorrow.
CC Sabathia is great for the clubhouse; he is comfortable in his surroundings and bringing people together. Like any team, the Yankees will have to face some adversity. But he knows that the closer the club is, according to Girardi, the easier it will be for them to get through. Joe was also asked to compare someone to CC on his clubhouse persona and he gave two names, Alfredo Amazega and Tim Raines. Joe also said it is harder in his position as a pitcher as opposed to a position player to hold that kind of a role down. Sweeny Murti from WFAN playfully said to the skipper that CC sounds like he would make a great opening day starter and the manager replied with a laugh and said, “I would say that he is lined up real well for that.”
I asked how Phil Hughes took the news when he was sent down to Scranton yesterday and Girardi said he thought he was pretty good about it … he understood … he said they ran out of innings for him here. He was proud of the way Hughes approached Spring Training. He was looking for improvement and he saw it. I also asked about Phil Coke’s deep left thigh bruise from a liner he took in Kissimmee last Wednesday and he said it was much, much better than it was and should pitch tomorrow in Clearwater against the Phillies.
I talked to Coke after meeting with Girardi and Coke thinks Yankees Trainer Gene Monohan may not let him throw in a game and the bullpen-hopeful lefty will be relegated to a bullpen session here at “The Boss.” Girardi saw the bruise today and said, “That’s nothing catchers get them all the time.”
Joe hopped on the bus after our meeting for the game in Port Charlotte. Pitching coach Dave Eiland and Bench coach Tony Pena will hang back in Tampa to watch Andy Pettitte and Jorge Posada do some battery work in a minor league game against the Pirates at the Yankees minor league complex in the shadow of Raymond James Stadium.
Today’s Lineup vs. Tampa