Joe Girardi said “right now we’re on schedule” in terms of the rotation, but general manager Brian Cashman didn’t rule out the possibility that struggling Masahiro Tanaka will be pushed back a day, which would allow him to avoid AL East foe Baltimore.
“We’re talking through all that,” Cashman said before Thursday night’s game against the Red Sox.
The conversations are ongoing between Cashman, Girardi and pitching coach Larry Rothschild regarding Tanaka, who is 5-6 with a 6.55 ERA, including 0-5 with a 10.72 ERA in his last five starts, and whether to push him back a day. If he doesn’t take the mound against the Orioles, against whom he has an 8.44 ERA in two starts this season, Tanaka will start Monday night against the much-less-potent Angels.
“It depends on the guy and the circumstances,” Cashman said of the benefits of pushing a pitcher back. “Some people need an extra day rest, some people . . . in this case, Baltimore has seen him a lot more than Anaheim has seen him. But again, all those different things are things we’re kicking around and talking about right now.”
Cashman reiterated what he already has said 100 times this season regarding Tanaka’s difficulties: He’s convinced they are not health-related. “There is no indication that there are any injuries,” he said.
If the Yankees were to push Tanaka back, Chad Green would be one option to start Sunday. He is not stretched out enough to throw more than 50 to 60 pitches, though.
Hicks to keep playing
Whenever Jacoby Ellsbury (concussion) is ready to return — and that doesn’t seem to be imminent, as he hasn’t progressed in his baseball activities beyond riding an exercise bike — it doesn’t sound as if it will be at the expense of Aaron Hicks.
“I’m going to definitely keep him going,” Girardi said.
Hicks entered Thursday night hitting .319 with a .433 OBP, which ranks second in the American League.
“I think Hicks has shown the league enough that he could be an All-Star,” Cashman said.
Cashman would not bite on whether Hicks should replace Ellsbury as the everyday centerfielder.
“I’m not going to deal with any speculative stuff,” Cashman said. “When he comes back, we’ll see where we’re at. Other than that, makes no sense to create the noise.”