After inviting a record 84 players to camp this spring, the Yankees might just need to use each and every one of them before the season is over.
On Friday, Andy Pettitte became the latest banged-up Bomber to land on the disabled list. That makes 13 players on the DL this season, 11 of whom are there right now.
Chris Stewart avoided the DL — for now, anyway — but he’s nothing more than an emergency catcher this weekend due to a sore groin.
Yet there was Joe Girardi, sitting in the Stadium’s interview room Friday looking the same as he always does. No sign of concern or anxiety about how he’ll handle his team’s latest round of injuries.
“I think I take the approach that it is what it is and we’ll find a way to get through the day,” Girardi said. “I just look at it as, ‘We’ll find a way to get it done. We’ll figure it out.’”
Why wouldn’t he? His Yankees have thrived this season — they won again Friday night, 5-0, over Toronto — despite an injury bug that feels more like a virus, sitting in first place in the AL East as we head toward Memorial Day.
This season, Girardi is in the midst of the greatest managerial job of his career . Managing a team with no expectations, like he did with the 2006 Marlins, is one thing, and running a squad with a $200 million payroll after it adds CC Sabathia, Mark Teixeira, A.J. Burnett and Nick Swisher in one offseason is another.
This year, Girardi has molded a roster of castoffs and rookies around a few core veterans and turned it into a contending team in an ultra-competitive division.
“I think he’s doing the same job he’s always done,” general manager Brian Cashman said.“He’s always prepared. He works his tail off, he doesn’t cut corners and he’s got a well-thought out plan every time. Whether the circumstance is that he’s got better players, worse players, injuries, no injuries, he’s still the same. I feel like if I said he’s doing a better job now, it’s not fair to the previous jobs he’s done with us. I think he’s been really good ever since we hired him.”
Which raises the question: why aren’t the Yankees giving Girardi a new contract?
Yes, they have had this silly policy in place that they don’t renegotiate with people while they’re under contract. But now that we know they approached Russell Martin about an extension last season and that they’re in talks with Robinson Cano’s camp about a new deal, that policy isn’t exactly set in stone.