Francis has no clear-cut role with the Yankees

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Jeff Francis is slated to be with the Yankees sometime this weekend, but as of right now he doesn’t have a clear-cut role with the team.

“Obviously he’s a guy that was stretched out but he is not now,” Joe Girardi said. “He’s a guy that’s probably in the 30-to-40-pitch range right now. We’ll talk to him when he gets here and see what he’s been doing the past few days.”

Francis had been doing work in the Oakland A’s bullpen before he was designated for assignment on July 3, but if the Yankees envision Francis being in the rotation, they’re going to have to find a way to stretch him out. It’s possible they could stretch him out the way they did with Chase Whitley, having him make starts and slowly building up his pitch count that way, but having him as a starter on Sunday is most likely not a possibility.

“I wouldn’t think so just because he hasn’t pitched in a while,” Girardi said. “Could I use him on Sunday? Yeah, I think that’s possible, but I think we’ve got to see what he’s been doing. I know when David (Huff) was in that limbo stage, he threw some really long bullpens, and maybe Jeff’s been doing that too to stretch him out more.”

There are suddenly more opportunities around the Yankees due to the injury of Masahiro Tanaka, and the young guys certainly have had a chance. The trade for Francis simply means the Yankees believe he could be a helpful asset to the ball club.

“You like to think that it’s an opportunity for someone to step up and really show what they’ve got,” Girardi said. “For a lot of us, that’s how we get our start in the big leagues. Someone gets hurt and we get an opportunity to play, and then you prove that you can play, and then you stick. There are certain people that are difficult to replace. It’s not like every starter is going to go 12-4 with a 2.40 ERA, but sometimes you have to get it a little bit from other spots and try to hold teams down and score runs. I don’t think anyone plans on having four starters on the DL in your rotation, but you’ve got to figure it out.”

Some Notes

CC Sabathia‘s appointment with Dr. James Andrews was postponed (although I heard the word ‘cancelled’ somewhere. ‘Postponed’ and ‘cancelled’ have been two words thrown out a lot on Twitter). The point is, CC’s not seeing Andrews on Monday. He’ll most likely see him at a later date.

– Believe it or not, this is the first time the Yankees are playing against the Orioles at Camden Yards this year. Yeah, the schedule has been pretty all over the place, but with this being the Yankees first game at Camden Yards, it also means Brian Roberts returns to his former home–he’ll just be in the visitors clubhouse.

 “I think this’ll be the weirdest moment, definitely,” Roberts said. “When they were at our place, it was different but it wasn’t crazy different because you’re not in the city. You’re not in Camden Yards. You’re not in a different locker room in the clubhouse. I think this will be a little bit strange but I’m sure once you get on the field and you start playing baseball, it’ll be the same.”

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