Matsui will be a spectator in Game 3

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Joe Girardi confirmed that Johnny
Damon will start in left field for Game 3. While he didn’t make it
official, this all but guarantees that Hideki Matsui
will be sitting on the bench to start Saturday’s game in Philadelphia.

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While Nick Swisher and Damon have
batted a combined .176 with two home r
uns and six RBI during the
postseason, Matsui has been one of the club’s most reliable
contributors, batting .278/.422/.472 out of the No. 5 hole, including a
go-ahead solo home run against Pedro Martinez in Game 2. However, his
surgically-repaired knees will have him relegated to the bench.

“We’ll use him in a role to pinch hit when we feel that he can be most
valuable to us,” Girardi said. “It might be a situation where you might
think about a double switch, but you don’t want to lose his bat.”

Matsui hasn’t played a single game in the field all season, and when asked if he would be capable of doing so, his answer wasn’t very encouraging.

“I can’t tell you what my confidence level would be,” he said
through interpreter Roger Kahlon. “My knees are pretty calmed down
right now, in that sense I feel pretty good.”


“I haven’t been in the outfield in more than a year. I have to see how I feel once I get out there.”

Girardi is surely hoping that the Yanks can chase Cole Hamels early and he won’t even have to worry about using Godzilla.

Rays pitcher Brent Honeywell leaves BP session with possible injury

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This is not good: Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports that Rays pitcher Brent Honeywell cut short a bullpen session this morning and left the field with a trainer. Topkin says Honeywell was “clearly upset” as he made his way into the clubhouse and “cursed loudly a few times.”

Obviously you don’t want to assume the worst, but that’s often the behavior of a pitcher who experienced a serious injury. We will get updates later and will provide an update when we hear.

UPDATE:

Honeywell, probably the Rays’ top prospect, is slated to make his major league debut early this season, though possibly not for a few weeks into the season due to off days. Eventually, though, it is assumed he’d slot in someplace behind Chris Archer, Matt Andriese, Nathan Eovaldi, Jake Faria, and Blake Snell, either as a young-David Price-style swingman, a spot starter or a regular starter at some point.

Last year Honeywell posted a 3.49 ERA and 172/35 K/BB ratio in 136. innings in 26 starts between Double-A Montgomery and Triple-A Durham.