Sunday, October 7, 2012
Girardi: Nix the last man on board
By Wallace Matthews
BALTIMORE -- There really weren't many surprises either included on or left off the Yankees' postseason roster, with the possible exception of Cody Eppley, who was a useful member of the bullpen all season.
But the one who semi-surprised Joe Girardi was Jayson Nix, who was originally thought to be out for the first round when he suffered a hip flexor strain in Toronto in the second-to-last series of the regular season. But Nix made a rapid recovery and Girardi said he was the last player added when he finalized the roster Friday night.
“We didn’t know if he was going to be healthy,” Girardi said. "But he ran the bases pretty good yesterday. I’ve seen a real toughness about him so I’m not that surprised."
Girardi said Eduardo Nunez is likely to inherit the right-handed DH at-bats that used to belong to Andruw Jones, who was left off, and that Derek Lowe would be used either in Eppley's role as a situational righty in the sixth inning, or as a long man. Girardi said that Lowe's experience in high-pressure games -- he was a starter for the 2004 Red Sox team that overcame a 3-0 deficit to knock off the Yankees in the ALCS and went on to win Boston's first World Championship in 85 years -- went into his decision to add him to the roster.
Other highlights of Girardis' pre-game session with the beat crew:
-- He considers Brett Gardner "a full player" for him in this series, but isn't sure if he will start any games because he's had just three at-bats in the past five months.
-- That tonight's lineup alignment of Nick Swisher hitting fifth and Mark Teixeira sixth is likely to be the norm for this round at least.
-- That Eppley, Ivan Nova, and Freddy Garcia would remain with the club and throw side sessions as if they were on the roster so any or all would be ready if needed in an emergency.
"Friday was a pretty tough day because I had to inform a lot of people they weren’t going to be on the roster and that’s no fun," Girardi. said. "It's especially tough with guys who have been with us all season and have done a good job fo rus. But we'll keep them with us in case we need them later."