JUPITER, Fla. — The Marlins created a bit of a stir this offseason, hiring all-time home runs leader Barry Bonds as new manager Don Mattingly’s hitting coach.
Joe Girardi said he could see Alex Rodriguez, fourth all-time on the list with 687, joining Bonds in uniform at some point after retiring.
“I think Alex would probably prefer to manage if he was going to do anything because I think he likes all the strategy of the game,” Girardi said before Tuesday’s 1-0 loss to the Marlins. “But he’d be a great hitting coach because he understands mechanics as well as anyone who’s ever played the game.”
Both players’ home run totals have been tainted in the eyes of many, but Girardi is OK with Bonds being back in the game.
“I think he’s got a lot of knowledge on how to play the game,” Girardi said. “I think a lot of times when you think of Barry Bonds, you think of the home runs. This was a great leftfielder and this was a guy that could steal a base any time he wanted to. I think he’s got a lot of knowledge to pass on.”
CC Sabathia chatted with Bonds before his start Tuesday.
“Growing up in the Bay Area, I was always a big fan of Barry and he was always helpful in my career and talking to me, checking up on me and seeing how I was doing,” Sabathia said. “I think it is great. I’m excited for him. I know this is what he wants to do. I think it is good for him.”
Chapman to debut
Girardi said closer Aroldis Chapman, who threw a 22-pitch bullpen session at Steinbrenner Field Tuesday morning, will make his debut Thursday against the Blue Jays at Steinbrenner Field. Nathan Eovaldi is slated to start that game, which will be his first start, and righthander Bryan Mitchell will go the same day in a split-squad contest in Sarasota against the Orioles.
Brett Gardner, limited all camp by a bone bruise in his left wrist, took his first full round of BP outdoors Tuesday morning, the session comprising 31 swings. Girardi said the “hope” is for Gardner to play his first game a week from Wednesday or Thursday.
Righthander Luis Cessa, part of the package acquired from the Tigers in the Justin Wilson deal, has quietly impressed scouts. He had a second straight scoreless outing Tuesday, striking out one in two scoreless innings.