Pregame notebook: Montero, CC and day games

Jesus Montero

Jesus Montero

#63 C

New York Yankees

2011 STATS

  • GM3
  • HR0

  • RBI0

  • R1

  • OBP.250

  • AVG.143

With rookie Jesus Montero registering the first hit of his career Saturday against the Blue Jays, Yankees manager Joe Girardi said Sunday that he thinks it will allow the young catcher to relax at the plate.

"You would hope he would relax because I think everyone's always anxious to get that first hit," Girardi said. "There's something special about it."

Girardi added that it's not easy as a rookie to relax because players want to impress and prove they belong when they are called up, citing examples of Ivan Nova and Robinson Cano. Still, Girardi likes what he's seen from Montero in terms of handling the pressure of being a September call-up.

"His work ethic is good. He still does all his catching drills on days that he's playing and that probably helps," Girardi said. "It probably helps being around some veterans that can help him in the situation. You're going to be anxious, there's no doubt about it."

Montero is batting ninth Sunday and is hitting .143.

AN EYE ON CC: Coming off a 128-pitch outing against Boston, Yankees starter CC Sabathia will be pitching on normal rest Sunday against Toronto. Girardi said the Yankees will keep an eye on Sabathia to make sure he's fine, focusing on command, but there isn't a high level of concern because Sabathia has thrown on regular rest following high pitch count outings in the past. Girardi added Sabathia had a good bullpen session Friday.

With the rotation cut down to five men after Sunday's game, Girardi said he think it will help the Yankees' ace to get back on his normal rest after getting extra days off over his last couple of starts.

"We'll have to determine now after each fifth day how he's doing and with the day off coming what we decide to do," Girardi said. "It's our hope that little bit of extra rest he had, probably four or five starts on six days rest, would help him down the stretch and we'll see how it goes."

MASTERS OF THE DAY: The Yankees are a major-league best 36-9 in day games this year. Girardi's only guess as to why the Yankees have been so good in the day is because his team has many veterans who have families, which causes them to be up early in the day. Earlier day games equates to shorter days for the veterans.