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Notes from Joe Girardi's "State of the Yankees" spring training address

The Yankees' skipper met with the media on the day pitchers and catchers reported to spring training. What did he have to say?

Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports

Every year, Joe Girardi has a meeting with the press on the first day of spring training. Today was the day that Yankees pitchers and catchers at last reported. One off-season countdown down, one more to go. Understandably, a fair amount of what Girardi said was fluff or cliches, like "I like our team," "This rotation will be great if they're healthy," and "I miss Nixy." However, he did offer some thoughts on other topics:

On the pitching staff

There's been a rumor going around that the Yankees are considering using six starters over the first couple months of the season, and it's really not a bad one since their top three starters are injury risks and they play something like 30 games in 31 days. Girardi is right to establish that a full-season six-man rotation won't happen though. Expect the first two months to be many of those "few points in the schedule" where they might give Masahiro Tanaka, Michael Pineda, and CC Sabathia an extra day off.

Awesome news. We can only hope that this is a harbinger of things to come for Tanaka. We're in almost uncharted waters with his PRP therapy seemingly working, so cross your fingers that his elbow continues to be fine.

The Andrew Miller vs. Dellin Betances closer decision will be one of the storylines in spring training. Using both of them would be far from a bad option though. Maybe Girardi tells one of them each day "You will be the closer today," and that would help them have their roles defined since relievers like to know when in the game they will likely pitch. Flexibility with the back of the bullpen never hurts; being too rigid about it leads to 2003 World Series Jeff Weaver nightmares.

On A-Rod

Girardi hits the nail on the head here. How many times in the history of baseball has a near-40-year-old returned to the game after two major hip surgeries and only two active months in the previous two years? (Not to mention that lil' old PED suspension.) Guessing A-Rod's production at this point is a fool's errand, and A-Rod should have to prove that he's worth starting. I imagine he will be the regular DH regardless if he's healthy, but proceed with caution.

That's about how I expected Girardi to react to A-Rod's apology. Members of the team have already said that they're over it, and Girardi seems no different. It's in the past.

The idea of A-Rod as a backup first baseman was floated prior to the Yankees acquiring Garrett Jones to provide Mark Teixeira insurance. It's still certainly a good idea to get A-Rod some reps there since I have no faith in him playing a more challenging defensive position at this point in his career. He should really only be playing third in emergencies. Again, flexibility never hurts either.

On Didi Gregorius

James Smyth nailed my reaction on Twitter:

Didi doesn't have to be prime Derek Jeter. Few shortstops have ever been that good. As long as he plays solid defense and hits about league average for a shortstop, I'll be more than satisfied.

On deities

Big, if true.