Monday, March 12, 2012

Yankees INF Nunez out with bruised hand

Yankees infielder Eduardo Nunez said yesterday he was expecting a doctor to take a look at his bruised right hand.

Nunez, who hasn’t played in a week since getting hit by a pitch against the Phillies, said he felt discomfort on a day when he didn’t swing a bat.

The plan, according to manager Joe Girardi, was for Nunez to rest the hand yesterday and today and possibly return tomorrow against the Red Sox.

“If it lingers more than that, I will be somewhat concerned,’’ Girardi said.

Though Nunez isn’t a regular, he is an integral part of the roster since he can play short, third and second. And he got a small taste of the outfield last year.

With Girardi planning to watch Alex Rodriguez and Derek Jeter carefully to make sure they don’t wear down, Nunez will fill in for them when they DH or are rested.

* Mariano Rivera made his spring debut yesterday against the Phillies in Tampa. In a perfect inning, Rivera threw 14 pitches (10 to Luis Montanez) and was clocked at 87 to 89 mph with one fastball reaching 91.

“What’s new?’’ Girardi said of Rivera’s outing.

With 26 days until Opening Day, Rivera will work on a schedule that allows him to pitch seven or eight innings.

“He will have a couple of days off [between games],’’ Girardi said. “He has plenty of time, there is no rush.’’

* Catcher Austin Romine was behind Francisco Cervelli in the competition to be Russell Martin’s backup when camp opened because Cervelli has been a big league backup and Romine hasn’t played a full season of Triple-A.

Now, after Romine has been idle since the start of camp with an inflamed back, Cervelli is almost a lock to back up Martin, who can be a free agent after the season. Yesterday against the Twins Cervelli went 3-for-3.

That, however, hasn’t diminished the Yankees’ view of Romine, who appeared in nine games last year.

“At some point, he can be an everyday player,’’ Girardi said of the 23-year-old.

* Reliever David Robertson, who suffered a bone bruise on the top of his right foot when he fell down stairs carrying empty boxes at his home Wednesday, is scheduled to shed the walking boot today.

Girardi said if pain persists the boot will stay.

* Rodriguez, Robertson and Tino Martinez communicated with Indiana mother Stephanie Decker yesterday via Apple Facetime.

Decker saved her two children’s lives by acting as a shield during a recent tornado that destroyed their home. However, Decker had parts of each leg amputated.

The children were photographed in Yankees shirts after the disaster.

Joe Girardi, Eduardo Nunez, Nunez, Mariano Rivera, Francisco Cervelli, Phillies, Alex Rodriguez, Catcher Austin Romine online, Russell Martin, Twins Cervelli, Derek Jeter, Luis Montanez, Tino Martinez

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