Manager Girardi says Cano's status will be 'a daily decision'
The slumping second baseman was yanked from Sunday's game against Tampa Bay after he was late retrieving Cliff Floyd's hard grounder that caromed into shallow right field. Cano didn't immediately chase the ball after it deflected off the glove of diving first baseman Jason Giambi, and Floyd beat right fielder Xavier Nady's throw to second for a double.
"Obviously, continue to discuss some things with Robbie and we'll move forward," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "You just don't want what happened yesterday to happen again."
Cano entered as a pinch runner in the eighth and stayed in the game at second base, helping New York preserve a 4-2 victory. He made a fine, barehanded play on Jim Thome's grounder to begin the ninth.
Girardi said he would decide Tuesday whether Cano will start. Asked if the second baseman was out of the doghouse, Girardi replied: "That's something we'll continue to talk about. I mean, that's not the focus tonight."
Cano said he was "embarrassed" about being pulled from Sunday's game, but not angry, and he didn't protest Girardi's decision Monday.
"He's the boss," Cano said. "My mistake, so I've got to take the responsibility."
"Ninety-nine percent of the time I play hard," he added. "Sometimes you're frustrated in something that you do and you don't realize that you do it. He's the manager and whatever he decides I agree with him."
The 25-year-old Cano is struggling through the worst season of his four-year career, batting .260 with 13 homers and 61 RBIs. He entered 2008 with a .314 career average, including a .342 mark in 2006 when he was selected to the All-Star team.
Furthermore, close buddy Melky Cabrera was sent to the minors earlier this season.
"Robbie's had a year that has been difficult on him," Girardi said. "It's been a year that he's had some ups and downs, and as players you have to learn to go through those ups and downs because every year you're not going to hit .330. Players just don't do that. And you have to figure out how to play the game always the same way no matter what the result is."
Cano signed a $30 million, four-year contract before this season. With the Yankees likely to miss the playoffs for the first time since 1993, some have grown impatient with his casual style of play. A smooth fielder with a sweet swing, Cano occasionally appears lackadaisical -- even if he might be going all-out.
But Girardi said Sunday was different.
"There was just no effort after the ball. Robbie plays relaxed and he's kind of a glider," Girardi said. "The no effort on the ball is what really upset me."
Cano's status will be "a daily decision," Girardi said.
In other news, the Yankees said it was possible Hideki Matsui would have surgery on his left knee before the season ends. Hitless in his last 16 at-bats, Matsui was out of the lineup for the third straight game -- though Girardi said the slugger's knee hadn't swelled up.
Matsui was on the disabled list with left knee inflammation from June 23 to Aug. 18. He said he would consider having surgery as soon as the Yankees are mathematically eliminated from postseason contention. If he does, he expects to be ready for spring training.
Relief pitcher Edwar Ramirez began serving a two-game suspension for throwing at Baltimore's Kevin Millar on July 30. Ramirez was originally suspended for three games, but he appealed and the penalty was reduced Monday to two games.
Girardi said he didn't know yet whether Carl Pavano would be able to take his next turn in the rotation after the right-hander left Sunday's start with a stiff left hip.
New York also recalled right-hander Humberto Sanchez from Double-A Trenton and catcher Francisco Cervelli from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
Sanchez was acquired from Detroit in a deal for Gary Sheffield before the 2007 season. He had elbow ligament replacement surgery, and Girardi said he'd like to see Sanchez pitch a few times before the end of the year.
Cervelli broke his wrist on a collision at the plate in a spring training game against the Rays. He might not see much major league action this month but he'll probably play winter ball, Girardi said.
Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press