Yankees Notebook: Sabathia shrugs off rainout
Standing at his locker and still in uniform after preparing for a start that was rained out against the Blue Jays on Sunday afternoon, CC Sabathia basically shrugged it off.
To show how little a chance the Yankees had of actually playing, Sabathia was sitting on the couch in the middle of the clubhouse when the game was officially postponed.
“I was all the way out, but I’m not very intense,” Sabathia said. “Either way I wasn’t really worried about it. I was sitting on the couch and they told me it was canceled so I’ll just play catch and I’ll be fine.”
Sabathia instead will make his second start of the season against Baltimore. His first one was April 12 in a game the Yankees turned a triple play in a 5-2 win. Monday will be his first start in Baltimore since Game 1 of the ALDS.
The early rainout gave Sabathia and the Yankees a chance to avoid the same issue in Colorado on May 9. Sabathia pitched four innings because of a two-hour rain delay in a 3-1 win.
“That happened in Colorado,” he said. “I ended up getting a win but you still don’t want kind of waste starts.”
After Sabathia, the Yankees will go with Phil Hughes and Hiroki Kuroda in Baltimore.
Owner Hal Steinbrenner was at Yankee Stadium Saturday for a fan picture day event with Yankee season ticket holders and he also addressed several things concerning his team, most notably the team’s first-place performance, the drop in attendance and contract negotiations with Robinson Cano, a free agent this season.
In terms of the team’s 27-16 record, Steinbrenner was extremely pleased with the contributions of various players from the farm system while also saying he did not subscribe to the negativity of the preseason predictions.
“I’m not shocked. I didn’t buy into the doomsday scenario that many people did,” Steinbrenner said. “I knew we had some good kids at Triple-A. More importantly, I knew that the guys we got in the offseason were veterans. Whether people thought they were worth getting or not, I felt they were veterans and this is what you expect veterans to do.”
Steinbrenner was also in New York to attend the quarterly owners’ meetings which took place Wednesday and Thursday at MLB headquarters on Park Avenue.
The Yankees have not sold out since Opening Day and have played to two road sellouts that were not home openers. They have announced 15 crowds under 40,000.
“The good stories that we’ve all known about on this club are going to be more well-known to the fan base,” he said. “I think people are going to be excited to come out and see the Adamses, the Romines, the Hafners and the players we got in the offseason.”
Steinbrenner did not go in-depth on the future of Cano, but indicated that the sides have met a few times.
The Yankees have a policy of not negotiating new contracts during a season but it seems that could change concerning Cano, who hit two home runs Saturday.
Brignac becomes infielder
The Yankees have started nine players at the infield positions and Sunday, they added a 10th by starting Reid Brignac at shortstop. Brignac was acquired Saturday from the Rockies. He joined Chris Nelson as the second former Colorado infielder to join the team this month.
“I’ve seen him have some big days; Ive seen him have some good years,” manager Joe Girardi said. “I think there’s some good talent there. So we’re going to see what he can do.”
Brignac also became the fourth different starting shortstop, a list that includes Alberto Gonzalez (three games), Jayson Nix (14 games) and Eduardo Nunez.
The Yankees have used the disabled list 13 times with 11 DL spots still occupied. Five of those spots are held by infielders.
Brignac has extensive experience playing AL East hitters defensively after playing 185 of his 266 games with the Rays, a fact he pointed out Sunday.
“I know all these hitters in this division and how to position myself and where to play,” he said. “I think it can definitely help me out.”
Follow Yankees beat writer Larry Fleisher on Twitter @LarryFleisher.