10/14/12 9:15 PM ET
Girardi hesitant to turn to Soriano, Robertson
By Bryan Hoch and Steven Miller / MLB.com
The Yankees' manager said that he is concerned about the heavy workloads he has had to ask of closer Rafael Soriano and setup man David Robertson, acknowledging that both right-handers may be unavailable for Game 2 of the American League Championship Series against the Tigers.
"These guys have been overworked, our bullpen -- the Robertsons, the Sorianos -- and I'm not so sure their stuff when I brought them in the last two innings [of Game 1] wasn't on grit," Girardi said.
Even with Monday's off-day ahead, Girardi said that he wasn't certain how he would approach the late innings of Game 2 behind starter Hiroki Kuroda.
"I've got to see how they feel," Girardi said. "I don't even know if they're available to me. Robby had thrown four out of five days, then was up on the day we didn't use him against Baltimore [in AL Division Series Game 5]. Soriano was up on the day we didn't use him [in ALDS Game 5], threw two innings the day before, an inning and a third [before that]. I have no idea what I have."
One bonus is that Girardi said the Yankees would have the services of Joba Chamberlain for Game 2. That wasn't the case in Game 1, as Girardi bypassed Chamberlain in favor of losing pitcher David Phelps.
Yanks' lineup undergoes shuffle without Jeter
NEW YORK -- Without Derek Jeter to set the table for the Yankees' lineup, manager Joe Girardi boosted Ichiro Suzuki to the leadoff spot for Sunday's American League Championship Series Game 2 against the Tigers, while elevating Robinson Cano into the No. 2 spot.
"You've got to move somebody up, right?" Girardi said. "When you lose your No. 1 guy, everyone kind of has to move up a little bit, so that's kind of what we did."
Cano went 0-for-6 in New York's 6-4 Game 1 loss in 12 innings and is 2-for-28 with four RBIs in the postseason, though a call by first-base umpire Rob Drake took away what should have been a run-scoring infield hit in the second inning on Saturday.
Regardless, Girardi said that with Jeter out, the Yankees need Cano and Alex Rodriguez (2-for-19 with 10 strikeouts in the postseason) to step their games up if the Yankees are to advance to the World Series.
Speaking about Rodriguez in particular, Girardi said, "I think the great ones always want to rise to the occasion, and I think they want to show why they're considered the great ones."
Girardi's new-look lineup for Game 2 had Mark Teixeira, designated hitter Raul Ibanez and catcher Russell Martin in the heart of the order, with A-Rod batting sixth. The bottom three of the lineup was comprised of Curtis Granderson, Nick Swisher and Jayson Nix, who will man shortstop duties as Jeter begins his recovery from a fractured left ankle he sustained in the 12th inning on Saturday.
"This is a great chance for a lot of people to show their mettle," Girardi said. "Those are the things you want. This is a challenge. It was a challenge with Derek, and now these guys get a chance to show how great they are."
Services for Girardi's late father set for Monday
NEW YORK -- Managing in the American League Championship Series is difficult on its own. Add a family loss to the equation, and the emotion is multiplied exponentially.
Yankees skipper Joe Girardi has certainly managed with a heavy heart this postseason. Girardi's father, Jerry, died on Oct. 6 in Metamora, Ill., at age 81, following an extended battle with advanced Alzheimer's disease. The manager will attend the funeral services in Tampico, Ill., on Monday -- an off-day after Games 1 and 2 of the ALCS were played at Yankee Stadium over the weekend.
Both the Yankees and Tigers canceled scheduled workouts at Comerica Park on Monday, making it a true off-day before the ALCS resumes of Tuesday. Girardi said his players had expressed an interest in joining him at the funeral, but he insisted that they use it as an opportunity to rest.
"I want our players to rest," Girardi said. "And I want them to enjoy their off-day and come ready to play [in Game 3] on Tuesday."
The Yankees find themselves in a 2-0 series deficit after dropping the first two games of the ALCS at home, and players admitted that an off-day will certainly help them prepare for what will be an uphill battle. But despite playing seven games in eight days, three of which went 12 innings or more, a handful of players still approached their manager about attending the funeral on Monday, to which Girardi said that using the off-day to rest would be the best option.
Though they won't be present at the funeral, the Yankees family will certainly be thinking about the skipper and his family.
"Our thoughts and prayers go out to him and his family," center fielder Curtis Granderson said. "It's an unfortunate loss and obviously the timing isn't the best, but that's part of it and that's life. Baseball is a game, and life goes on -- win, lose or draw. But his family will be there for him, giving him support, and this is part of an extension of his family. We'll be out, ready to go for him on Tuesday."
Game 3 will air at 8 ET on Tuesday night on TBS and pit the Yankees' Phil Hughes against Justin Verlander of the Tigers.
Girardi rejected a suggestion that he could consider Rodriguez to fill in at shortstop in place of Jeter, instead of the tandem of Nix and Eduardo Nunez.
Rodriguez famously yielded shortstop to Jeter when he was traded to New York by the Texas Rangers before the 2004 season, but he actually made appearances in five games as a shortstop wearing pinstripes in '04 and '05, spanning eight innings.
"I have not seen him yet today, but even if he did volunteer, when is the last time he played there?" Girardi said. "So I don't think that's fair to do."
Sunday's Game 2 marked the first postseason game that the Yankees have not had either Mariano Rivera or Jeter on the active roster since Game 6 of the 1981 World Series, on Oct. 28, 1981.
Sunday marked Girardi's 48th birthday.
Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. Steven Miller is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.