CLEVELAND — Sitting Brian McCann didn’t come easy to Joe Girardi Sunday.
“Yeah, it really was ,” Girardi said.
But with Carlos Beltran still not able to play the field because of a sore left hamstring — Beltran was at DH — and with McCann having played four games in a row, Girardi went with Austin Romine behind the plate.
“Preferably, I would have liked to put Carlos in right and DH Mac today,” Girardi said. “But I just don’t want to take a chance with Carlos right now .”
McCann came into Sunday one of the Yankees’ hottest hitters. He had hit in 10 straight games and was hitting .373 with six homers, 11 RBIs and 10 runs over his previous 15 games.
Beltran, meanwhile, continues to hit — he went 2-for-5 Sunday for a .299/.338/.550 first-half slash line — but his hamstring has mostly kept him out of the field, other than last Tuesday night in Chicago.
Girardi said he expects that to change after the break.
“I think it’s realistic,” Girardi said. “I think the day off Wednesday and Thursday will really help him and get him back in the field.”
Beltran was named to his ninth All-Star game last week — as a reserve — and Girardi reiterated he is not concerned about the 39-year-old playing Tuesday in San Diego in whatever capacity AL manager Ned Yost asks.
“I’m going to tell him, ‘you have to be honest, you have to let Ned know how you feel,’” Girardi said. “But he does feel better every day. I think the day off tomorrow will really help and I think he can give three or four innings . . . I’m OK with it as long as he says he’s fine.”
A bruising hit
The 89-mph fastball Didi Gregorius took to his right shoulder in the top of the fifth inning Sunday left a significant bruise, but the shortstop said that was all.
“It’s swollen, but I’ll manage to play through it in future games,” he said. “It’s all right.”
But there will be not any until Friday because of the All-Star break.
“I would say, yeah, it’s good ,” he said, smiling.
Gregorius, the Yankees best all-around player in the first half, said the hit by pitch impacted his low throw to first in the bottom of the fifth for an error.
“Just a little bit, it got stiff,” said Gregorius, who added later he would play Monday if a game was scheduled. “But it happens.”
Judge could return soon
Girardi said he felt the initial diagnosis for outfield prospect Aaron Judge of a mild PCL sprain and bone bruise of the left knee was positive news.
“There’s really no significant damage in either area,” Girardi said.
Girardi said a return in three to four weeks is possible.