The Yankees waited until about 90 minutes before first pitch before posting their lineup and for the first time since August 20, the cleanup spot was occupied by Alex Rodriguez.
Rodriguez went through his work by hitting in the cage, fielding grounders. The green light to activate Rodriguez came after he went through yesterday’s simulated game and felt no pain in his injured calf.
As for Andy Pettitte, the news also is good. Pettitte said that he will throw another bullpen session before Monday’s game with
He was still waiting to see what the next step is because of the minor league playoff schedules not being set.
Perhaps the most important thing from Pettitte is that though there is normal soreness after each step, yesterday’s simulated game was the most intense he felt without pain and that during the last inning there was no pain.
While Rodriguez was absent, Robinson Cano successfully manned cleanup but even he needed a day off.
Combined with his 3-for-20 slump and his numbers off Brett Cecil (1-for-10 with four strikeouts this year), it seemed appropriate Cano would get the day. It should be worth noting that Cano was 4-for-5 off Cecil before this year.
With Nick Swisher’s knee a short-term concern and Austin Kearns’ thumb still bruised, it seemed logical that Marcus Thames would be in right.
Considering that Hughes has a 47 percent flyball percentage - second to Javier Vazquez among Yankee starting pitchers - starting a better defensive outfielder might make some sense.
Speaking of Cecil, a year ago on Sept. 5, the Yankees beat him 6-4 in
Besides being responsible for producing the most swings and misses from the Yankees on June 4, Cecil is 2-0 with a 1.64 ERA in three starts against the Bombers. He has allowed 16 hits in 22 innings and struck out 15.