NEW YORK -- It's still early in the season, but Yankees manager Joe Girardi is already thinking about how to walk the fine line between micromanaging to win games and factoring in the long-term picture.
"You have to have a belief in what you're doing and understand there's a bigger picture," he said. "A lot of times in this game, you can get caught up in the smaller picture. You have to realize you're not managing for two weeks, you're not managing for a month, you're managing for six months."
The Yankees certainly boast a more veteran lineup than most teams in baseball, and that includes shortstop Derek Jeter. But Girardi has been hard-pressed to find a way to give the 18-year veteran a day off, as Jeter leads the club in batting average (.366) for players who have appeared in every game this year.
"It makes it a little bit more difficult," Girardi said of resting a player who is finding his stride. "You kind of weigh in your head, 'Do I want to make sure he doesn't get tired or do I want to let a guy stay hot until he gets tired, and then it starts to go downhill a little bit?'"
The Yankees are in the midst of an early-season stretch that includes 13 games in as many days, but with important road games against the Red Sox and Rangers, Girardi will have some tough decisions to make while filling out his lineup card.
"There are times you manage games where you give guys a little extra leash because, in a season, you want to see them get through it, fight through certain things," Girardi said. "You always have to think long term, and you have to structure it around what certain guys are doing and what you think they might need."
Jeter to receive honorary degree from Siena
NEW YORK -- Drafted directly out of high school in Kalamazoo, Mich., Derek Jeter never had the opportunity to attend college. But the Yankees shortstop is about to get his hands on a degree.
Siena College in Loudonville, New York, will award Jeter with an honorary degree during the school's commencement ceremony on May 13. Jeter, who will be playing against the Mariners that day in the Bronx, is unable to attend but plans to submit a personalized video message that will be played at the Times Union Center. Jeter's sister, Sharlee, who is president of his Turn 2 Foundation, will accept the degree on his behalf.
"It means a lot," Jeter said. "It means a lot to me, and it means a lot to my family for a lot of the work we've done."
According to a Siena release, Jeter will receive a "Doctor of Humane Letters degree in recognition of his leadership, accomplishments on the baseball field and dedication to improving the lives of young people through his Turn 2 Foundation."
It is the first honorary degree for Jeter, who nearly attended the University of Michigan to play baseball out of high school but opted for a professional career, instead. Monday, Jeter mused about what he would have potentially studied had he continued his academic career.
"Something probably business related," Jeter said. "You don't have to declare your major until after the first two years, so I would have had quite some time."
Jeter founded the Turn 2 Foundation in 1996 -- his rookie year -- and the organization has since awarded more than $16 million in grants to create and support programs and activities to motivate young people to live healthy lifestyles.
"We all know that Derek Jeter is a tremendous athlete, but this is an opportunity for the Siena community to honor and share in his commitment to young men and women," Siena College Vice President for Academic Affairs Linda Richardson said in a statement. "Jeter's Turn 2 Foundation encourages our youth to remain in school and to stay healthy. Siena will support our joint mission of academic excellence by providing two full grants to academically-qualified students who have participated in one of the many Turn 2 Foundation Signature Programs."
Pineda throws successful bullpen session
NEW YORK -- Yankees manager Joe Girardi said pitcher Michael Pineda threw an encouraging bullpen session on Monday, continuing his rehabilitation for shoulder trouble.
The right-hander began the season on the 15-day disabled list with tendinitis in his right shoulder.
"He'll have another bullpen, and then we'll go from there," Girardi said after the Yankees' 7-3 loss to the Twins on Monday night. "I think he threw a 25-30-pitch bullpen -- 28 is the number that's coming up in my head. He threw all his pitches, and he'll throw another bullpen in probably two to three days."
The 23-year-old Pineda, who came over from Seattle in an offseason deal for top prospect Jesus Montero, was 9-10 with a 3.74 ERA in his rookie season with the Mariners last year. He was 1-0 with a 5.68 ERA in six starts (19 innings) during Spring Training.
Girardi closely watching Pettitte's comeback bid
NEW YORK -- Yankees manager Joe Girardi said pitcher Andy Pettitte, who threw four shutout innings Sunday in his second Minor League start this spring, is in line for a normal comeback progression.
"I think you have to evaluate, but that's where you get your other guys, basically," Girardi said of Pettitte's planned pitch-count progression. "They have that start where they get around 95 pitches, and that's the fifth start, and then you try to back them up a little bit, try to rejuvenate them a little bit."
Pettitte is attempting to make a big league comeback after retiring from a 16-year career in pinstripes following the 2010 season. The left-hander, who owns 240 career wins, gave up two hits and no walks while striking out three in pitching for Class A Advanced Tampa on Sunday.
Girardi expressed his desire for Pettitte to have a "normal Spring Training" in terms of workload, and he suggested this week that Pettitte's pitch count would be raised by roughly 15 pitches the next time out. He threw 47 on Sunday, 31 for strikes.
The Yankees skipper also said he will not implement a six-man rotation, but the time to decide how it will all shake out is a long way off.
"I've got to see how guys are throwing," Girardi said. "I think that's the easiest way to do it. We're all assuming Andy's gonna get back to where he was, and I'm one of those guys that kinda has that belief, too. But we've got to make sure."