Good Morning
Good Morning

Brian McCann 'should be an All-Star,' in Joe Girardi's opinion

Brian McCann of the New York Yankees celebrates

Brian McCann of the New York Yankees celebrates his 12th-inning walk-off home run against the Tampa Bay Rays at Yankee Stadium on Friday, July 3, 2015. Credit: Jim McIsaac

During the Yankees' recent three-game series in Anaheim, Joe Girardi pushed Mark Teixeira, Brett Gardner, Alex Rodriguez and Dellin Betances for All-Star consideration.

He added another name Saturday: Brian McCann.

"This is a guy to me who should be an All-Star," Girardi said. "In my mind, he should be an All-Star. Hopefully it works out for him."

McCann, given Saturday off after hitting a walk-off three-run homer during a four-run 12th inning Friday night, is hitting .264 with a .333 on-base percentage, 13 homers and 52 RBIs, second-most on the team behind Teixeira's American League-leading 59.

"Over 50 RBI before the All-Star break, out of the catcher's spot, that's incredible," said Girardi, a former big-league catcher.

That McCann would receive All-Star consideration is a surprise to some, especially coming off his mostly miserable first season as a Yankee in 2014, when he hit .232 with a career-low .286 on-base percentage. He hit 23 homers, but eight of them came in September.

"I haven't seen a whole lot of players come to New York and just take off," Girardi said. "I think it took a little time to adjust to the league and to being in New York, and I think he's made a great adjustment."

Miller throws 30 pitches

Andrew Miller, on the disabled list since June 10 with a flexor strain, threw 30 pitches during a side session Saturday morning, the first of his rehab. "Physically I felt good," he said. "It wasn't bad at all. I'll take it."

Miller hopes the next step will be a rehab game, though he hasn't been told when that might be. "You have to see how he feels [Sunday],'' Girardi said.

Miller might need only one rehab outing before being declared ready for activation, which the Yankees hope could take place sometime before the All-Star break next week.

Miller posted a 1.03 ERA and 17 saves before getting hurt and Betances has seven saves since taking over.

When Miller returns, Girardi said the lefty will reassume closer duties. "Yeah, he did an outstanding job," he said. "We have a couple of closers down there. I anticipate we'll put him back out there and go from there."

Ellsbury in rehab games

Jacoby Ellsbury, out since May 20 with a sprained right knee, was scheduled to play in his third rehab game of the week with the Tampa Yankees Saturday night. The outfielder, who played Monday and Wednesday but was held out of the lineup Thursday and Friday, was to lead off and play centerfield.

Has Ellsbury's week been a red flag?

"No, it just means his legs, from a physical standpoint, aren't where they need to be for him to play on a consistent basis," Girardi said. "That was our concern because they're so important to him."

The Yankees continue to hope for a return sometime before the All-Star break, though this past week's slower-than-expected progress would seem to indicate that is a long shot.

Extra bases

Brett Gardner (1-for-4), who singled and scored in the first inning, is batting .385 (25-for-65) with a .444 OBP in the opening frame this season . . . . Didi Gregorius went 1-for-3 and is hitting .344 (11-for-32) in his last nine games . . . Of Teixeira's 64 hits this season, 36 have gone for extra bases (20 home runs, 16 doubles). He had a sacrifice fly in the two-run first after driving in four runs Friday night.

New York Sports