Girardi tasked with shuffling outfield in doubleheader
NEW YORK -- The Yankees have to use some creativity to fill out the lineup on Sunday. Manager Joe Girardi doesn't just have to manage his bullpen through a doubleheader on Sunday, he also has to deal with a fragile outfield picture that includes two veterans who are less than 100 percent.
Ichiro Suzuki played as a defensive replacement on Saturday, but prior to that appearance, he had been held out four games with a back injury. Jacoby Ellsbury missed Saturday's game with flu-like symptoms, but Girardi expects to be able to start both players in one of Sunday's games.
Brett Gardner led off and was the designated hitter in the first game, which meant that Ellsbury could handle center field. But Girardi said that Ellsbury would sit out the second game and Suzuki would start, and he made sure to give Gardner one game off his feet to avoid overtaxing him.
"I'm not going to play [Gardner] in the field both games," said Girardi. "I'm not going to play Jake [twice] after what he went through yesterday. Gardy will play center in the second game, and that way, you're not running anybody into the ground."
Ellsbury has been healthy this season, and he's one of just three Yankees -- along with Gardner and Alfonso Soriano -- who have played in 39 games this season. Suzuki is batting .364 in his first 31 games this season, and Girardi said Saturday that he was being cautious with the veteran.
The Yankees were able to make a callup to help fill out their roster Sunday, and they brought up reliever Jose Ramirez from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Ramirez, a right-hander, has a 2.70 ERA in three games at Triple-A. He didn't appear in either game and was sent back to Triple-A after the doubleheader.
Girardi said that his bullpen is relatively fresh, and he knows he has an off-day Monday to provide further rest.
"That makes it better," Girardi said. "When you're playing multiple days in a row after a doubleheader, it's kind of tough, because you know you're going to have to get some innings out of your bullpen."