BALTIMORE - Joe Girardi's preference would have been to leave Michael Pineda in Sunday's game to try to get out of the jam he created.
But with the righthander having thrown 83 pitches in 32/3 innings and his team already securely in the playoffs, Girardi took the long view.
"This is a guy that's had major shoulder surgery and we can't lose him," he said. "It's not what I wanted to do. I was hoping he'd roll through six or seven innings today but it didn't happen, so I have to think on the other side. I have to protect him."
So Girardi, with his team trailing 3-1 and two runners on in the fourth, summoned lefthander Chris Capuano, a certainty to be left off the playoff roster. He allowed an inherited runner to score and one more after that as Baltimore took a 5-1 lead.
Pineda, who has thrown 1602/3 innings this season (second-most of his career), allowed four runs and six hits.
"I didn't think he threw horrible," Girardi said. "The thing was he had thrown so many pitches in four innings. If we're going to do anything in [the playoffs], he has to be good, and I don't want to wear him down. So that's why I took him out."
Source: Eppler Angels GM
As the Yankees prepare for the wild-card game against the Astros, one of Brian Cashman's closest confidants, Billy Eppler, will be introduced Monday as the Angels' new general manager, according to a source.
Eppler, 39, has worked for the Yankees since 2004, when he was hired as the team's assistant director of baseball operations. Eppler moved up to director of pro scouting a year later and was promoted to assistant GM in 2011.
The San Diego native was a finalist for the Padres' GM job last year before it went to Huntington's A.J. Preller. Eppler also recently interviewed with the Mariners and Brewers.
Girardi said he understood MLB's desire to create final-day excitement by starting all of Sunday's games at about 3 p.m. Eastern term, but he isn't a fan of it.
"Here's the thing that bothers me a little bit with it," Girardi said. "We don't have to deal with it today, but if it's a sunny day, you're playing in shadows if you're an East Coast team. And if it's the most important game of the year to get in, I don't think that's right. I understand what they're trying to create ... Then play all night games."
Pencil in CC in pen
Girardi said CC Sabathia is likely to be included on the 25-man playoff roster as an option out of the bullpen. The Yankees will work out at the Stadium on Monday afternoon.