For the last three days, Joe Girardi had been asked the same question over and over: “Why didn’t he skip Vidal Nuno today which forces Masahiro Tanaka to pitch tomorrow?” He was asked that question once again before the game started and Girardi became irritated. However, his irritation let him to give a thorough answer–even more thorough than the answer he’s been giving the media for the last three days.
“Tanaka is a guy, the most he’s thrown is 226 innings,” Girardi said. “He’s on pace to throw 226 innings. He’s been a guy that’s used to pitching every seven days.
“I’ve been asked over the last, I don’t know, eight months, a hundred times, do you think Kuroda got tired? Hmm. Do you think Kuroda got tired? Huh. I have a guy in Chase Whitley that’s made 20 starts in his career. Most he’s ever thrown in a year is 95 innings. David Phelps is not a guy that’s been a starter every year, so it’s about five guys. It’s not about Tanaka.
“If I move Tanaka up today, he makes six starts in 30 days, every five days. What starter does that? We don’t play more than 20 days in a row. No starters do that because it’s physically too tough, so when you have a chance to give a guy an extra day, you do. He’s going to make four starts. Three on everyday rest. So are some of the other guys. I have to be careful. It’s a long season. And if I start him today or tomorrow, he still makes the same number of starts before the All-Star break. So I’m going to say last, this is about five guys, it’s not about one guy. Question answered.”
So the question has been answered thoroughly and there shouldn’t be anymore confusion. But while his answer makes sense, there’s no getting around Vidal Nuno is making the start for the Yankees tonight. The Yankees need a good start from Nuno. They desperately need it.
— CC Sabathia is slated to throw 45 pitches in a rehab game tomorrow. If that goes well, the second time out he’ll throw 60 and if that goes well, the third time out he’ll throw 75. Girardi believes Sabathia needs at the minimum three rehab starts before coming off the disabled list.
— Michael Pineda is slated to play catch tomorrow. He was supposed to last week, but he had inflammation in his back.
— Girardi hasn’t ruled out adding another young pitcher to the rotation if Nuno continues to struggle and before Sabathia returns, but he doesn’t feel there’s anyone ready at this point.
“We might be forced to add another pitcher, I don’t know,” Girardi said. “But right now some of the starters are young, and we just don’t feel there’s someone that we’d go too.”