9/7/2013 7:03 P.M. ET
Girardi piecing together bullpen ravaged by injuries
By Josh Vitale / MLB.com
NEW YORK -- Manager Joe Girardi goes into every game knowing who he has available to him in the bullpen. On Saturday, Girardi knew which relievers could pitch, he just didn't know what he was going to get.
David Robertson, Boone Logan and Shawn Kelley are hurt, and Joba Chamberlain and Preston Claiborne were unavailable after pitching on back-to-back days, so Girardi's options were limited after starter David Huff lasted just 3 1/3 innings in a 13-9 loss to the Red Sox.
"That's a little bit different of a feeling," Girardi said before the game. "But I have confidence in the guys that they can go out and get the job done, or I don't think they would be here. … My belief is they can get it done."
Huff didn't get it done in his first start of the season, as he surrendered nine runs on eight hits, and Girardi's first option out of the bullpen didn't fare much better.
After getting called up from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre before the game, Jim Miller entered the game in relief of Huff and allowed one inherited runner to score before allowing three more of his own to score on three hits over 1 1/3 frames.
"We haven't pitched too well the last three games, but that can change quickly," Girardi said after the game. "The bottom line is we have to pitch better, because we are scoring some runs. We have to figure out how to get them out."
Brett Marshall was impressive in long relief, though, pitching the final 4 1/3 innings of the game and giving up just one run -- a solo home run from first baseman Mike Napoli in the ninth inning -- on three hits while striking out three and walking one.
Girardi said he will continue to use Marshall as a long reliever out of the bullpen.
"I knew I had a chance to get in once we gave up a few runs, and I was like, 'All right, here we go. Let's get mentally prepared,'" Marshall said. "It's kind of exciting, but at the same time, you don't want to be down like that. So it was a tough situation to come into, but I just wanted to make good pitches."
Miller was 3-5 with six saves and a 3.55 ERA in 43 appearances with the RailRiders this season, and hadn't made a Major League appearance since Sept. 28, 2012, when he was with the A's.
For his career, the 31-year-old is 2-3 with a 2.42 ERA over three seasons between the Orioles, Rockies and A's.
To make room for Miller on the 40-man roster, the Yankees reinstated pitcher Vidal Nuno from the Minor League seven-day disabled list, recalled him from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and placed him on the 60-day Major League disabled list. Nuno is recovering from a strained left groin.
Trio of relievers unavailable due to injuries
NEW YORK -- David Robertson, Boone Logan and Shawn Kelley have been integral parts of the Yankees' bullpen all season, but with 21 games remaining and the playoff race heating up, all of them are unavailable with injuries.
Logan left Friday's game after feeling something in his elbow, and an MRI taken on Saturday revealed he had inflammation in the area. Robertson was diagnosed with shoulder tendinitis on Friday and will be out for a few more days, and Kelley has been sidelined since Sunday with inflammation in his triceps.
Kelley is the closest to returning. The right-hander threw 12 to 15 fastballs and sliders in a bullpen session on Saturday and said his arm felt good, "better than it probably has in a few months, actually."
Kelley thinks he'll be available to pitch on Sunday, but said he'll attempt to convince the Yankees he's ready to get back out there on Saturday.
"I'll lobby for it," Kelley said, laughing. "Probably to no avail."
Robertson said he felt better on Saturday than he did on Friday. He plans to take another day or two off, then play catch, throw a light bullpen session and try to return sometime next week.
"I didn't feel anything pop or tear or anything like that. I just know when I got in here [after Thursday's game], I was pretty fatigued and sore," Robertson said. "I reached back for a little extra on some pitches, and my shoulder just didn't feel good the next day."
Murphy getting extra tutelage from Girardi
NEW YORK -- JR Murphy is seven days into his Yankees career, and he's already gotten plenty of tutelage from a quartet of catchers with a combined 39 years of Major League experience.
The rookie catcher has worked closely with manager Joe Girardi and bench coach Tony Pena since being called up from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on Sunday, and he's also spent a lot of time picking the brains of catchers Chris Stewart and Austin Romine.
"It's always good to have more than one head," Murphy said. "There's a million ways to catch, and there's a million ways to do everything else. So the more ideas you can get, the better."
Murphy has gone on the field with Girardi and Pena before a few games and worked with them on the physical aspects of catching, including blocking and throwing.
"We're just working with the young kids on all parts of the game," Girardi said. "I wanted to watch J.R. do his work because I've seen the other guys on a regular basis this year, but I wanted to watch J.R., and he's working hard. He's trying to stay prepared in case he gets in."
Murphy's also spent a lot of time talking to Stewart and Romine, asking questions about the Yankees' pitcher's tendencies, other lineups and how they like throwing to certain guys.
Murphy has caught only one inning so far, and Girardi said on Friday he probably wouldn't catch much because he's not that familiar with the Yankees' pitching staff. But if Murphy does have to catch, he said he "wants to be prepared."
The rookie's first career inning behind the plate came in the ninth inning of Friday's loss to the Red Sox. Matt Daley was on the mound for the Yankees, and Murphy had experience catching him from their time together with the RailRiders.
Daley and Murphy faced Will Middlebrooks, Shane Victorino, Quintin Berry, Dustin Pedroia and David Ortiz in the inning. Middlebrooks and Victorino both struck out, and Ortiz grounded out to first after Pedroia's double to end the inning.
"It was exciting. I was still nervous, because I hadn't been out there catching yet," Murphy said.
"I think it made it a lot more comfortable, because I know [Daley] so well. I could just pitch to his strengths and go from there."
Murphy said he hasn't thought much about what his time with the Yankees this season could mean for next year. He's just focused on continuing to learn and, hopefully, contributing to the club's run to the postseason.
"You can never have it all figured out," Murphy said. "The more you learn and learn, you keep your mouth shut and your ears open, and there's a lot you can take from it."
• Third baseman Alex Rodriguez was not in Saturday's lineup. Girardi said it was just a day off because it was a day game after a night game and Rodriguez had played six days in a row. He was available to pinch-hit.
• Eduardo Nunez was filling in for Rodriguez at third base instead of Mark Reynolds because Nunez is swinging a really hot bat, Girardi said. Nunez is 6-for-12 at the plate with four extra-base hits and three RBIs since the start of September.
Josh Vitale is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.