DETROIT -- The Yankees' propensity for drawing pitchers making their Major League debuts added another chapter on Friday, as the club faced Detroit left-hander Casey Crosby.
It was the 15th time since 2000 that New York has faced a pitcher making his MLB debut, and third time this season (Kansas City's Will Smith and Baltimore's Wei-Yin Chen). The Yankees won both games this year.
"The challenges are you have no idea what he's gonna try to do to you," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said of facing a rookie for the first time. "You know he throws a certain velocity, but does it get on you quicker? Does his curveball? What's the break? What's his changeup?"
The Yankees went 6-8 in the previous 14 such contests, winning their last three after dropping six in a row. Entering Friday, only three left-handed starters have won their Major League debut against the Yankees over the last 30 years: Toronto's Gustavo Chacin (Sept. 20, 2004, at Yankee Stadium); Boston's Vaughn Eshelman (May 2, 1995, at Yankee Stadium) and Seattle's Matt Young (April 6, 1983, at the Kingdome).
"The thing you try to do is put some pressure on him early, because, for any player that's ever been through it the first time, there's some butterflies," Girardi said.
For Martin, interaction with Diaz 'old news'
DETROIT -- Yankees catcher Russell Martin says he doesn't regret any of the postage comments he made about his interactions with umpire Laz Diaz on Wednesday, but hopes to put the issue to rest.
Martin said MLB executive vice president Joe Torre spoke to Martin to get his side of the story, and both Martin and Yankees manager Joe Girardi said the issue rests in the hands of the league.
"He just wanted to know what happened," Martin said of his conversation with Torre. "I guess he spoke to Laz and he wanted to speak to me, just to get both sides of the story. That's it."
As for what Diaz had to say, Martin said: "I don't know. I didn't ask. I didn't ask."
Martin said he doesn't want anybody to be fined.
"That day is over," Martin said. "I feel like it's already old news to me."
The Yankees catcher said after Wednesday's game against the Angels that he was "mystified" by Diaz's behavior, and that the umpire would not let Martin throw new baseballs back to the pitcher. Martin said Diaz told him it was "a privilege that I have to earn."
Diaz was not available for comment after the game.
"I know Russell was frustrated by it," Girardi said. "As players and umpires, you put things behind you and you just move on. You try to learn from everything that you go through."
Gardner swings; Robertson slowed by rain
DETROIT -- Yankees manager Joe Girardi said rehabbing reliever David Robertson's scheduled bullpen session on Saturday may be moved back because of a rainout on Friday, and that outfielder Brett Gardner did well in his rehab on Friday.
Robertson is on the 15-day disabled list with a strained left oblique, while Gardner is on the DL with a right elbow injury.
"Gardy did well in his stuff today," Girardi said. "Eventually we'll get him on the field, we'll get him hitting pretty soon, then we'll get him in some games."
Girardi said Gardner took some batting practice in the cage on Friday, and the Yankees are eyeing a possible return in a week or so.
"I think it's possible we could have him next weekend, or the series after that," Girardi said.
As for Robertson, it's more likely to be about two weeks, since his timetable for recovery is not as accelerated.
"You've got to get him a [batting practice] and got to get him in some games -- more than one game -- and the problem with a reliever is you can't go three days in a row or four days in a row, like a position player," Girardi said.