NEW YORK -- Joe Girardi still doesn't know who will start for the Yankees tomorrow in the series opener against the Cleveland Indians, but he does know who won't: Michael Pineda, who is scheduled to start in Scranton in what is likely his final rehab start before returning to the Yankees next week for a big series against the Orioles in Baltimore.
New York Yankees
But Girardi was reluctant to name tomorrow's starter because he doesn't know how much bullpen he will need today against the Tigers and Rick Porcello, especially since today's starter, Shane Greene, hasn't gotten through the sixth inning in his past three starts. Girardi couldn't even say for sure if tomorrow's pitcher is currently in the Yankees' clubhouse. It could be they will have to call someone up from Triple-A in the event he has to use his long relievers today.
New York Yankees
The smart money is that -- again, barring a bullpen-palooza today -- Girardi will try to get by with a combination of Chase Whitley and Esmil Rogers tomorrow, both of whom have been starters recently but neither of whom can realistically be expected to go more than five innings.
"It’s probably something we’ll talk about amongst ourselves after the game," Girardi said. "But it depends on what I need today. It could change very quickly if I have to use our whole bullpen."
Tex day-to-day: Mark Teixeira was not in the clubhouse during media availability this morning, and Girardi said he had not seem him yet to determine if his lacerated left pinkie had improved at all overnight. But Girardi said Teixeira would not be available to pinch hit today, and could not say if he will be able to play tomorrow.
Tanaka? More catch: Masahiro Tanaka was scheduled to play catch for the third time today, at a distance of 60-90 feet, according to Girardi. The manager said Tanaka would have to be built up to throw at least 120 feet before the Yankees would consider having him throw off a mound. The plan right now is for Tanaka to stay with the Yankees -- he will accompany the team on the road trip to Baltimore and Tampa next week -- before (and if) a determination is made to send him on a rehab assignment.
Drew back at short: With Derek Jeter getting the day off, Stephen Drew -- who has played 955 of his 961 big-league games at shortstop, although never for the Yankees -- gets a one-day return to his regular position. Girardi said he chose to send Drew to short rather than Brendan Ryan, another shortstop, because "Ryan has probably played more at second base in his lifetime." Indeed -- Drew has played all of five games at second, and all in the week since he joined the Yankees. Ryan has played 72 games there. This is the ninth time he has started at second for the Yankees this season.
Tough assignment: Today's Tigers starter, Porcello, has as many wins (13) as reigning Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer, and a lower ERA (3.18) than Scherzer, Justin Verlander and Anibal Sanchez. He is 3-2 in seven lifetime starts against the Yankees with a 4.69 ERA. Several Yankees have good numbers against him, in very small sample sizes: Jacoby Ellsbury (7-for-10 with 2 HRs); Carlos Beltran (3-for-5); Ryan (3-for-6) and Chase Headley (2-for-3 with a HR). Greene, who is making his sixth big-league start, has never faced the Tigers.