NEW YORK - It sounds as if Jorge Posada will get his regular rest tonight.
Yankees manager Joe Girardi indicated yesterday he is not inclined to use Posada as a designated hitter in Game 2, which will be started by A.J. Burnett.
When Burnett starts, Jose Molina usually catches. Posada sits, unless he would be the designated hitter, in this case, in place of Hideki Matsui.
However, the Yankees are carrying only two catchers on their roster for the World Series. That means if Molina were to get hurt, and Posada had to move from DH to catcher, the Yankees' pitcher would have to hit for himself.
Girardi noted that he could pinch-hit when the pitcher's spot came up in the order, but that would burn bench players and might cost the Yankees an inning or two of quality starter time.
"It's probably something we won't do," Girardi said.
So, no Posada. Besides, Posada is only 11-for-60 with 33 strikeouts against Pedro Martinez, tonight's starter. Matsui is 4-for-28; Molina, 1-for-8.
As expected, Joe Girardi put slugger Eric Hinske back on the roster. Hinske was active for the AL Division Series, but, after he didn't have a plate appearance, he was replaced by speedy Freddy Guzman in the AL Championship Series. Guzman pinch-ran twice, staying in one game for one at-bat as DH. Off-the-bench duties fall to Brett Gardner and Jerry Hairston Jr.
With an eye toward pinch-hit situations in the middle and late innings at Citizens Bank Park in Games 3-5, Girardi also added righthander Brian Bruney to his bullpen, giving him 12 pitchers.
"In the National League, sometimes there's more pitching changes, because you have to hit for them. So, we added another pitcher," Girardi said.
That was the move that cost him his third catcher, Francisco Cervelli.
A.J. Burnett offered no phony platitudes about tonight being just another game against just another guy. It's Burnett's first World Series start, against future Hall of Famer Pedro Martinez, in Yankee Stadium, where Martinez is despised like nowhere else.
"I know how real it is, and I don't want to [minimize] it," Burnett said. "I want to go out there [recognizing] it's my first World Series start."
Burnett, a colorful sort who underwent elbow surgery in 2003, missed a chance to help the Marlins win that Series, against, coincidentally, the Yankees. He also understands the man he'll face tonight - another colorful sort, who, in 2007, underwent shoulder surgery, endured hamstring and shoulder issues into this season, and had relaunched his career.
"He's done a tremendous thing," Burnett said. "What he's accomplished this year is great. I know what he's all about. It's going to be something I'll remember for a long time."
A.J. Burnett said he and Phillies Game 1 starter Cliff Lee, both Arkansas natives, are good friends and work together for charities in their native state in the offseason . . . Joe Girardi, who last year in his first year at the helm guided the Yankees to their first season without a playoff appearance since 1994, when playoffs were canceled, said, "I wouldn't necessarily consider last year a bad experience" . . . Eric Hinske was the Tampa Bay Ray whom Brad Lidge struck out to win the clinching Game 5 of the World Series last season. *