Yankees manager Joe Girardi dicusses how A-Rod may stay involved in baseball after he’s done playing.
JUPITER, Fla. — With Barry Bonds back in the game as the Marlins’ hitting coach, an interesting question was posed to Joe Girardi prior to Tuesday’s game: Could you see Alex Rodriguez taking the same path when his playing days are over?
“I think Alex would probably prefer to manage if he was going to do anything, because I think he likes all the strategy in the game,” Girardi said. “He would be a great hitting coach, because he understands mechanics as well as anyone that’s played the game.
“I think until you get away from it a couple years, you’re not sure exactly how much guys are going to miss it. But I think he’s really going to miss it, so I wouldn’t be surprised if you saw him in uniform.”
However, Rodriguez previously said he won’t be managing after his playing days are over. “You can quote me on that,” he said.
Bonds last played in 2007, leaving the game with the most home runs in history and a stained reputation due to performance-enhancing drug stories that have thus far kept him out of the Hall of Fame.
He returned to the game this season as part of Don Mattingly’s coaching staff in Miami, the same position Mark McGwire — another face of the steroid era — has held with the Cardinals and Dodgers before becoming the Padres bench coach this winter.
“I think it’s good,” Girardi said of Bonds’ return. “He’s been out, I think he’s got a lot of knowledge in how to play the game. I think a lot of times when you think of Barry Bonds, you think of the home runs, but this was a great left fielder and this was a guy that could steal a base any time he wanted to. I think he has a lot of knowledge to pass on.”
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Nathan Eovaldi won’t be the only notable Yankees pitcher making his 2016 debut at Steinbrenner Field on Thursday, as Aroldis Chapman will throw his first inning of the spring against the Blue Jays.
Brett Gardner, who has graduated to full batting practice as he continues to work his way back from a bone bruise in his left wrist suffered in last year’s wild card game, is lined up to make his spring debut next week on either Wednesday or Thursday.
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One pitcher that has seemingly caught Girardi’s eye this spring is Luis Cessa, one of the two pitchers acquired from the Tigers in December for lefty reliever Justin Wilson.
Cessa threw two perfect innings in the Yankees’ 1-0 loss to the Marlins Tuesday, striking out one batter. The 23-year-old has tossed four scoreless frames in two outings this spring, giving up one hit and no walks, striking out three.
“He’s throwing the ball really good,” Girardi said. “He’s got command, he’s got multiple pitches he can go to, he’s got some late life to his fastball. Pretty good.”
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