CLEVELAND — Chad Green has a chance to stay a while.
The Yankees righthander will make the third start of his big-league career Friday night against the Indians, taking the place of the struggling Nathan Eovaldi, who was moved to the bullpen.
And while Joe Girardi went to great lengths in Chicago after the move was announced to say it wasn’t permanent, the manager indicated that if Green produces, he won’t be in a hurry to yank him from the rotation.
“I don’t necessarily envision that,” Girardi said before Thursday night’s game. “If a guy’s pitching well, you’d have to have a pretty good reason to take him out of the rotation.”
Green, who was hit hard in a spot start May 16 in Arizona but had a 1.54 ERA in 14 starts with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre as he added a cutter, allowed one run and three hits in six innings Sunday against the Padres. That outing, in which he struck out eight and did not walk a batter, earned him Friday night’s start.
Eovaldi, 6-6 with a 5.42 ERA in 17 starts, made his first relief appearance Wednesday night in Chicago against the White Sox, walking two in two scoreless innings.
“For any player, if they’re playing extremely well, you’re going to want to see more of them,” Girardi said. “If you’re playing well, you’re going to play, whether it’s pitching or somewhere else.”
Green said the “game sped up” on him during his first start but felt far less nervous in his second outing. He also said that when he took the mound last Sunday, the thought did cross his mind that he could be pitching for more big-league time.
“That’s what you’re hoping for,” he said. “But all I’m trying to do is give us a chance to win. I’m just trying to focus on that game and take it one pitch at a time.”
Beltran back at DH
Though he played six innings in the field Tuesday night, Carlos Beltran was back at DH for a second straight game Thursday night, which meant another night on the bench for Alex Rodriguez.
“Protecting his leg,” Girardi said of his reasoning for using Beltran as the DH.
Before returning to the field Tuesday night, Beltran had mostly been absent from the field for a week because of tightness in his right hamstring.
“We’re not out of the woods, and it’s a way I feel I can keep him in the lineup,” Girardi said. “It puts him at less risk . . . He still feels it, it’s not gone. So you have to be somewhat protective.”
Refsnyder over Hicks
Girardi put fan favorite Rob Refsnyder in rightfield Thursday night instead of the struggling Aaron Hicks. Refsnyder entered 16-for-his-last-46 and had a .288/.354/.397 slash line compared to .201/.266/.307 for Hicks. Said Girardi, “I want to keep Ref involved because his at-bats have been good.”