In Tuesday’s loss, Bartolo Colon used his two-seam fastball a season-low three times. Colon usually throws it about 30 times and occasionally over 40 times but after the loss, he said he hadn’t lost confidence in it.
The likely reason for Colon straying away from the pitch was command either in warmup tosses or while throwing in the bullpen before the game. It did not cause any alarms for manager Joe Girardi.
“It becomes a concern if he stays away from it for a long time because it’s an important pitch for him,” Girardi said. “He just felt that he didn’t have great command of it yesterday and in his last start he kind of went away from it.
“I think his thought process was pretty good. He didn’t have great command of it so he went with his other pitches.”
Before Tuesday, the fewest amount of two-seam fastballs thrown by Colon in a start had been eight in a 3-2 loss at Tampa Bay on July 19. That night Colon pitched much better than Tuesday, going 6 1/3 innings and allowing one earned run and five hits.
Thumbs down for A-Rod again
Alex Rodriguez’s left thumb was better than it was Tuesday, but not good enough to keep him in the lineup. He was not in the initial lineup and the team made their final decision after Rodriguez fielded ground balls and did tee and toss work in the batting cage.
Rodriguez fielded the grounders with his left thumb heavily wrapped. He also did some light running and stretching.
Remember the lefties
If the Yankees didn’t have injuries to Pedro Feliciano and Damaso Marte that might have three lefties as opposed to informally looking for other lefties. This year they have signed Randy Flores and J.C. Romero to minor league deals that didn’t work out. Last week they claimed Aaron Laffey from Seattle and promptly sent him to the minors.
Feliciano and Marte are slated to get some pitching in Thursday for the Gulf Coast League Yankees, a team that has this year's first-round pick Dante Bichette Jr., who is batting .335.
Carlos Pena in the wings?
There were reports that the Yankees claimed Carlos Pena off waivers from the Chicago Cubs. Pena is the same type of fielder as first baseman Mark Teixeira, but with a .223 batting average. If the Yankees did claim him, general manager Brian Cashman declined to comment.
The Yankees would have a 48-hour window to work out a trade, or the Cubs could just let Pena go and the Yankees would have to pay what's left of his salary.
If Pena does become a Yankee it would not be his first time in the organization. He spent four months in Triple-A with the Yankees five years ago and under the tutelage of hitting coach Kevin Long, Pena batted .260 with 19 home runs and 66 RBI.
Reports out of Chicago seemed to indicate that Pena was not going anywhere.
Follow Larry Fleisher on Twitter @LarryFleisher.