In the beginning of the season, Kelly Johnson saw his playing time diminish simply because he wasn’t hitting and it was becoming a question on whether Johnson would be simply a bench player or possibly a trade chip. Well, with Yangervis Solarte slumping, Johnson is seeing more playing time and his bat has heated up quite nicely. In his last 10 games, he’s .379/.438/.448, which dates back to May 28.
“I just think he’s in a good groove,” manager Joe Girardi said. “He’s swinging the bat well. He’s also been on base through the walks, his at-bats have been really good. He went through a tough time. He started out pretty good, went through a tough time, and I think part of that was probably not playing as regularly as he was in the beginning. He’s gotten it going again, and that’s why he’s playing.”
Was there an explanation as to why Johnson simply lost the starting role the Yankees envisioned for him when he was signed during the offseason?
“I think there was an understanding that Solo was doing really well,” Girardi said. “… You tell guys, ‘You’re still going to play, but Solo’s going well right now.’ And it’s kind of understood, in a sense. That’s kind of how the game works. But we know Kelly’s a good player, and we’ve said all along that he’s going to help us, and that’s what he’s doing right now.”
— Dellin Betances is not available for the Yankees tonight. Joe Girardi hasn’t checked with Adam Warren but given he’s pitched two days in a row (along with David Robertson), it would seem likely Warren wouldn’t be available either.
— Joe Girardi has no reason to change the Yankees top of the order, and mainly the reason is Brett Gardner‘s hot-streak.
“I like what I see out of both of them,” Girardi said. “You can only have one leadoff guy. I feel like our lineup has two of them, in a sense, but you can only use one of them. Gardy’s done a really good job at the top of the order. It really lengthens our lineup. It puts a lot of speed up top in front of these guys who can hit the doubles and the home runs, so it’s seemed to work OK.”
— Carlos Beltran is playing catch, but there’s no timetable as to when he’ll return to the Yankees outfielder.