Wednesday, May 29, 2013
Pregame notes: Wells sits, Ichiro moves
By Wallace Matthews
Joe Girardi is sending out a slightly shaken-up lineup for the first game of a two-game set with the Mets beginning tonight at Yankee Stadium, after seeing his club drop both games between the two teams at Citi Field.
• The slumping Vernon Wells, who went 0-for-Tampa (14 at-bats) and snapped an 0-for-17 slide with a single in Monday's loss, gets a seat on the bench against RHP Jeremy Hefner. Girardi did not call it a benching, "just giving him a day," but with Wells' average down to .263 -- he had been at an even .300 on April 30 -- Girardi said Wells could be getting another day off over the next 12 days. The Yankees' next day off is not until June 10 after they conclude a four-game trip to Seattle.
"It's just the ups-and-downs of being a hitter," Girardi said. "Sometimes when you get pitches to hit, you're gonna hit em, sometimes you're gonna miss 'em and sometimes you're not going to get any pitches to hit in the course of a week." Wells has gone 45 at-bats since his last home run, on May 15.
• Brennan Boesch will replace Wells in the lineup, but not on the field. Ichiro Suzuki, who has played 41 games in right field, will move to left for just the sixth time all season.
• David Adams, with just two hits in his past 12 at-bats -- although one of those hits was a two-RBI double last Sunday against the Rays -- is also getting the day off. Jayson Nix is at third and Reid Brignac is getting his second straight start at shortstop.
• In addition to the expected reactivation of Mark Teixeira and Kevin Youkilis on Friday, Girardi said he expects Andy Pettitte, out since May 17 with a trapezius strain, to rejoin the team sometime next week, meaning that by mid-week, three current members of the roster will no longer be here. Chief candidates are Vidal Nuno, who is starting Thursday against the Mets, one other pitcher -- probably either Preston Claiborne or perhaps Ivan Nova, who could be sent to AAA to start eveyr five days -- and either Adams or Brignac.
"I'll make that decision when the time comes," Girardi said.
Asked if there was a scenario in which he could retain both Adams and Lyle Overbay, who has played well at first in place of Teixeira, Girardi said, "Anything's possible."
• Neither of tonight's starters, David Phelps for the Yankees and Hefner for the Mets, has ever faced his opponent.