Ivan Nova got through his bullpen fine. So after injuring his ankle on Monday in Baltimore, he will be fine to start on Saturday against the Reds at Yankee Stadium. For Nova (4-1, 5.44), the thing now is to pitch better.
"I have not been too consistent," Nova said. "Sometimes, I'm pitching good. Sometimes, I'm not. Too many hits."
Nova is allowing 12.1 hits per nine innings.
• Alex Rodriguez is just getting a day off today, but even Joe Girardi admits we haven't seen that much yet from A-Rod. Rodriguez has just five homers and three doubles in 136 at-bats.
"A little bit," Girardi said when asked if he's surprised by A-Rod's lack of authoritative hitting. "I've always talked about home runs coming in bunches. ... It hasn't happened for him either. Like I said, I think you could say that about every guy in our lineup."
A-Rod will turn 37 and his power trends are going the wrong way. Ed Marks on the Times' Bats Blog did a nice job of demonstrating the dip.
Since the start of the 2008 season, when that hip “irregularity” was detected, Rodriguez has been averaging one home run for every 17.1 at-bats. His 1994-to-2007 average translated to 42.3 home runs for a 600 at-bat season; his average since then yields 35.1 home runs per 600 at-bats, a decline of 17 percent. He hit 35 homers in 2008, and 30 in 2009 and 2010. In his first four seasons with the Yankees he averaged 43.3.
And it’s getting worse. Much worse. Last season he averaged one home run for every 23.3 at-bats; so far this year, with a total of five home runs in the Yankees’ first 37 games (two fewer than Raul Ibanez), he is averaging one for every 27.2 at-bats -- a rate that would give him 22 homers if he has 600 at-bats this season.
And he ranks only eighth on the team in slugging percentage (.412); even Eric Chavez (.523) and Andruw Jones (.472) are ahead of him.
• Girardi was talking about why he hasn't switched up the lineup again.
"This is not a game you play once a week," Girardi said. "This is a game you play every day. Hitters are going to go through their peaks and valleys. If you start trying to time it, it is like trying to time the market. It is dangerous. You are also managing personalities and egos. These guys have done it for us. Every year, we look up and Tex has got 30 and 100-plus. Would I like all of my guys to hit .350 and have an on-base of .425 and 35 homers? Hell yeah. But that is not going to happen. You have to be patient. This is a game where you have to be patient because it is every day. If you play one football game, that is 10 of our games. Our game is different."
Girardi is batting Ibanez fifth for the first time this year, ahead of Nick Swisher.
• The Yankees have picked up utility man Matt Antonelli off waivers from the Orioles.
Antonelli, 27, has appeared in 29 games with Triple-A Norfolk this season, batting .204 (19-for-93) with four doubles, one home run, seven RBIs and 19 walks. He has played first, second, third, shortstop and left field. Selected by San Diego in the first round (17th overall) in the 2006 First-Year Player Draft, he saw his lone Major League action with the Padres in 2008, batting .193 (11-for-57) with six runs, two doubles, one home run and three RBIs in 21 games as a September call-up.
He is more insurance with Eduardo Nunez now an everyday shortstop at Triple-A. Antonelli is headed to Triple-A now.