Robinson Cano forced to DH by hip injury
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Robinson Cano's hip wouldn't allow him to play the field Tuesday night, but it did cooperate enough for him to start at designated hitter.
"It's not going to be 100 percent tonight," Cano said on the field after taking batting practice. "But it's good that I can swing."
The second baseman's swing looked pretty close to 100 percent in the first inning when he swatted an opposite-field two-run homer to give the Yankees a 2-0 lead. Cano hit into a double play, grounded out and struck out in his other three at-bats.
Joe Girardi put Cano, who felt something "grab" in his hip while coming up short reaching for Chris Gimenez's go-ahead RBI single in Monday afternoon's 4-3 loss, in Tuesday night's lineup at DH. But he and the second baseman wanted to make sure he could swing the bat pain-free.
"He went through his treatment and said he felt all right, but he hadn't really tested it," Girardi said.
Cano declared it good to go.
"It's nothing that I can't play with," Cano said.
He added: "You don't want to make it worse. Hopefully, I'm back at second tomorrow."
Cano was front and center in Monday's loss, when in the top of the eighth he failed to run out a smash to Elliot Johnson. Cano initially thought the third baseman caught the ball, which glanced off Johnson's glove. Johnson picked the ball up and threw Cano out.
Then in the bottom of the eighth came Gimenez's grounder that some believed Cano should have tried to keep in the infield by diving for it.
After the game, Cano said it was a matter of something grabbing in his hip. Otherwise he would have reached the ball.
"I just couldn't bend all the way over," he said. "The ball went just behind my glove."
Cano said the hip felt "a little better" yesterday and that "I don't think it's anything big."
Overall, Monday was not the best of afternoons for Cano, but no one thinks the Yankees' lineup, already with its share of injuries, somehow would benefit from his absence.
"He's an important bat for us," Girardi said. "Hopefully, this is not something that will linger, that he's OK and we can move on. That would be a definite loss for us."
Notes & quotes: Teixeira (left calf strain) originally said he hoped to be back in the lineup tomorrow but altered that Tuesday, saying he's shooting for "sometime" this weekend in Baltimore. "I'm still not ready to run," said Teixeira, who hopes Thursday is the day he can try . . . Ivan Nova (right rotator cuff inflammation) threw a simulated game Tuesday afternoon, watched by Girardi and pitching coach Larry Rothschild. "I thought his arm strength was good," Girardi said. Nova said he threw all his pitches and felt "really good." . . . Granderson, out of the lineup since leaving Saturday's game with tendinitis in his right hamstring, started in center and batted second . . . Girardi said he felt Ichiro Suzuki "was a little beat up and needed a day" and started Chris Dickerson in right.