Colon could return for Subway Series
Vet throws simulated game; hamstring ready for NL park?
NEW YORK -- Bartolo Colon threw an encouraging 60-pitch simulated game on Monday, and now the Yankees are toying with the idea of starting the veteran right-hander during this weekend's Subway Series.
Colon, out since leaving a June 11 start with a strained hamstring, followed the simulated game by going through drills at the Yankees' Spring Training site in Tampa, Fla., on Tuesday morning. And according to an on-site report by The Associated Press, one of those drills involved bunting -- a sign the Yankees are thinking about bringing him back against the Mets at Citi Field.
That would involve hitting and potentially running the bases, which is no doubt a concern for a 38-year-old returning from a leg injury.
"I mean, there's always a little bit of concern, but he hurt [his left leg] covering first base," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said prior to Tuesday's opener against the Brewers at Yankee Stadium. "If he's healthy, and we feel that he's ready to go, there's a chance he's going to go out there and pitch."
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Girardi noted that Colon felt he could've gone longer than his recent four-inning outing.
Colon was scheduled to be back in New York by Wednesday, at which point the Yankees' staff can evaluate him and determine if they'll bring him back during Interleague Play this week, or if it would make more sense to give Brian Gordon another start and take the precautionary route.
But because he hasn't missed an extended amount of time, and because he has continued to throw, Girardi doesn't feel a rehab start is necessary for Colon.
"I don't think that missing the two starts was really that much, because he was playing the long toss during that time and keeping his arm in shape," Girardi said. "The concern for me is not his arm; it's to make sure his leg is healed, and that we'll check out."
Phil Hughes will make another rehab start for Double-A Trenton on Wednesday. The 25-year-old has made two rehab starts since being placed on the disabled list with a dead arm in mid-April, giving up one run in 3 1/3 innings in his last one on Friday.
It's likely that Hughes would need at least one more rehab outing after Wednesday.
In other injury news, Yankees setup man Rafael Soriano, out since May 13 with right elbow inflammation, continued to throw in Tampa, Fla. Regarding Eric Chavez, who's nursing a bone bruise on his foot that has kept him out for nearly two months, Girardi said: "He's just continuing to move along. He's taking ground balls, he's hitting and he's lightly running. He's still not where he needs to be, though."
Logan sticks to 'gameplan' in Yanks' bullpen
NEW YORK -- As the only left-hander in the Yankees' bullpen, Boone Logan is counted upon to get left-handed hitters out.
So in his first appearance in eight days last Monday, when he hit the only batter he faced in the ninth inning -- reigning National League MVP Joey Votto, who eventually scored -- Logan was replaced by Mariano Rivera.
His ERA at 3.98, Logan decided to lower his arm motion, which, ironically enough, helps him to stay on top of the ball. And, perhaps more importantly, he received a surprise pep talk from an unlikely source, Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez.
"He kind of took what he does as a hitter and kind of turned it into a pitching deal," said Logan, who added that Rodriguez gave him a similar talk toward the end of last season. "He asked me if [I] have a gameplan and I said, 'Yeah, I got a gameplan,' and he said, 'You've got to execute your gameplan, whatever it is coming in, even if you give up a hit or walk a guy or whatever the case may be. If you have a gameplan, stick to it.'
"And I guess that comes down to not being able to shake off some pitches that I want to, and things like that. But it's more of just a pick-me-up."
It worked. Manager Joe Girardi has gone back to Logan three times in the five games since he hit Votto, and Logan has retired nine of the 11 batters he has faced, striking out four while allowing just one hit and one walk.
He rebounded in the second game of a doubleheader Wednesday against the Reds, this time retiring Votto and Jay Bruce, another lefty. On Sunday, Logan was the winning pitcher in the Yankees' 6-4 Old-Timers' Day win over the Rockies, retiring all three batters he faced in the seventh, including left-handers Carlos Gonzalez and Todd Helton, the latter grounding out with two outs and the go-ahead run at third.
"I feel like how I used to be," Logan said. "It's fun going out there now because I'm not having to worry about my mechanics and everything just coming off a lot easier and more fluid."
Yankees trying to get Nunez's bat in lineup
NEW YORK -- Manager Joe Girardi believes Eduardo Nunez has what it takes to be an everyday Major League shortstop. Nunez just will not be that for the Yankees whenever Derek Jeter returns from his strained right calf injury.
Once Jeter is back with the club, Girardi will do whatever he can to get Nunez on the field and in the batter's box.
"We'll continue to be smart," Girardi said. "We tried to get Nuney at-bats, and that's what we're going to do. And we fell under that crazy schedule the first month. But as you saw, we were getting Nuney at-bats and we'll continue to do that, and when Derek comes back, we'll play him short, third, second. We'll give guys days, maybe DH a guy a day or give him a full day off, but we'll continue to get him at-bats."
The 24-year-old Nunez has started all 12 games at short since Jeter went on the disabled list on June 14, hitting .293 as the captain's replacement while committing three errors.
Nunez started just 13 of the Yankees' 64 games before Jeter went on the DL, appearing in 19 others.
Girardi was adamant in saying Jeter would remain the club's starting shortstop when he returns, though he has been pleased with Nunez's production in Jeter's absence.
"I don't know if you could say there's anything keeping him, because he really hasn't had a chance to do it for a long period of time," Girardi said of Nunez's chances of being an everyday shortstop. "The one thing that you realize when you play every day is teams start to make adjustments to you. They figure out how to pitch you better. You've been around the league and you want to see how a player makes adjustments.
"It doesn't take long for a scouting report to get out. There's no doubt about that. But until guys see you, you're not sure exactly how a player's going to react, so for Nuney, he needs experience."
Granderson OK despite fouling ball off shin
NEW YORK -- Curtis Granderson got on base three times and scored two runs during the Yankees' 12-2 win over the Brewers on Tuesday night. But early on, he had some tough luck with foul balls.
In the first, he fouled one off his right ankle. Then, in the second, he fouled a much harder one between his right shin and calf that gave him noticeable pain. After the game, Granderson had the area wrapped with a compression pad to keep the swelling down. He said it's a bit sore, but the swelling is minimal, and he doesn't expect it to cut into any playing time.
The fact he stayed in the game -- coming out only in the bottom of the seventh when the score was out of reach -- was a good sign.
"To be able to stay in at the time was the big thing, because the most initial pain was the inning of, and the next inning after that it started to get a little better," said Granderson, who finished with a triple, two walks and an RBI. "And as the game went on, we had the long inning, it started to tighten up a little bit. But other than that, it was fine."
Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his columns and his blog, listen to his podcast and follow him on Twitter. Matt Fortuna is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.