NEW YORK -- Alex Rodriguez and Russell Martin were both on the bench for Monday's series opener against the Indians, as Yankees manager Joe Girardi attempts to "stay proactive" in handling his roster.
Martin's stiff back is feeling better, and he would be available on Monday in an emergency, though Girardi would prefer to wait until Tuesday. Rodriguez had been out of the starting lineup just twice before Monday.
"I'm just trying to stay proactive," Girardi said. "As a manager, you've got to try and keep these guys healthy. They're not 25 anymore. We might want to view them as 25, but the reality is that they're not 25. I'm just trying to stay ahead of it."
Girardi also used Monday as an opportunity to give Curtis Granderson a half-day as a designated hitter. Granderson has started every game this season and, before Monday, had played all but two defensive innings in the field.
"We're entering 13 [games] in a row here, and I'm going to have to get guys some time off a little bit," Girardi said. "I'm just trying to make sure we keep all our guys healthy."
Swisher's father appreciates milestone hit
NEW YORK -- Nick Swisher's cell phone buzzed as the Yankees' team bus was rumbling back to the Bronx this weekend. He answered and heard his father, Steve, congratulate him on his 1,000th career hit.
Swisher logged the milestone knock on Saturday in the Bombers' 4-3 victory over the Mets at Citi Field, punching a run-scoring double to right field that fell in front of Lucas Duda.
"Me and my dad, man, we're like this," Swisher said, pressing his fingers together. "To be able to have a dad who understands the game, played the game and knows how hard that is -- even though 1,000 hits isn't a lot of hits -- to have him see that, my wife, [JoAnna], was there; it's just fun."
Swisher's father, Steve, played nine seasons in the big leagues with the Cubs, Cardinals and Padres from 1974-82. The fact that Duda misplayed the ball off the bat didn't diminish the feat for Swisher, who said he might remember it differently than the replays anyway.
"Laser beam down the right-field line, off the wall, a stand-up double," Swisher said.
As much as Swisher enjoyed his 1,000th hit, No. 1,001 might have been more notable. Swisher's three-run homer in Sunday's 6-5 Yankees win was the big blow off knuckleballer R.A. Dickey.
"Way better; that was such a fun series," Swisher said. "The series got spiced up a little bit [by Frank Francisco's 'chicken' comments], and to be able to be part of that and have fun was awesome. I love that stuff. I don't take anything too serious.
"My crack yesterday about 'not bad for a bunch of chickens,' you've got to back your organization. You've got to stand up for what you believe in, and I believe in every guy in this room."
Girardi not bothered by Soriano's jersey antics
NEW YORK -- Rafael Soriano likes to untuck his jersey immediately after the final out of his saves, and though some fans have expressed displeasure with the act, Yankees manager Joe Girardi has no problem with it.
"It's been something that he's done; I don't think that he's showing anybody up," Girardi said. "We've had outfielders jump up, and I don't know what you want to call it, and that's not something I could ever imagine Paul O'Neill doing. But times change.
"I don't think he's doing anything to show anyone up, and that's always my concern. He's not doing anything that says, 'Look at me, look what I'm doing.' He's not pounding his chest or making big arm movements; he's just pulling his jersey out. Maybe it's more comfortable."
Girardi said that some of the reaction is probably due to the fact that Mariano Rivera has done the job in an understated fashion for so many years. If Girardi thought it was an issue, he said that it would have been addressed.
"I have not heard anything from the veteran guys in our clubhouse to say, 'What is he doing?'" Girardi said.
Soriano would "probably" be available to pitch on Monday after working in the Yankees' previous two games, according to Girardi.
Yankees captain Derek Jeter will celebrate his 38th birthday on Tuesday. The only players to accumulate more hits than Jeter's 3,180 prior to turning 38 were Hank Aaron (3,272) and Ty Cobb (3,666). All-time leader Pete Rose had 3,170 hits at the time of his 38th birthday.
On this date in 1934, Lou Gehrig became the fourth Yankees player to hit for the cycle, doing so in a 13-2 victory over the White Sox. Gehrig also hit for the cycle on Aug. 1, 1937, against the St. Louis Browns.