Didi Gregorius has been one of the few consistent Yankees at the plate this season and among the best they have against lefthanders.
Nonetheless, Joe Girardi gave the shortstop Friday night off against Giants’ star lefty Madison Bumgarner.
“I just felt Didi could use a day,” Girardi said. “He’s been going extremely hard for us.”
Gregorius had played in all seven games since the All-Star Break and played in 90 of the club’s first 95 games (Friday night was game No. 96). Only Starlin Castro played in more with 93.
Gregorius entered Friday night with a .296/.328/.464 slash line, including hitting .366 vs. lefthanded pitching, tops in the big leagues by a lefty batter.
“If I’m going to give him a day in this stretch, it’s going to be against this guy,” Girardi said, meaning Bumgarner. “It will probably be his last day [off] for a while.”
Tex off, too
Girardi also gave the night off to the switch-hitting Mark Teixeira, replaced by the righty-hitting Rob Refsnyder. Girardi said it’s part of the preventive maintenance he’s employing with the first baseman, who is playing with a cartilage issue in his right knee.
“It is what it is,” Girardi said of Teixeira, who most recently missed three games with a sore left foot. “As we know, he’s not 100 percent, but there’s nothing that happened yesterday physically that isn’t allowing him to play. I would use him today if I needed him.”
Though Alex Rodriguez brought a .210/.260/.371 slash line into Friday night, he batted cleanup against Bumgarner.
“You look off of lefthanders, he’s done OK,” Girardi said. “Alex is expected to hit lefthanders.”
A-Rod came into game with a .246/.306/.446 slash line against lefties compared with .193/.238/.336 vs. righties.
Among the teams with scouts in attendance Friday night were the Blue Jays, Mets, Astros and Cubs. The latter, desperately looking for relief help before the Aug. 1 trade deadline, have been at almost every Yankees’ home series since early June.