HOUSTON — With his DHs hitless in 20 at-bats during the ALDS, the Yankees’ Joe Girardi sounded like a manager contemplating adding a third wheel to the picture.
Asked about Matt Holliday getting his first taste of this postseason, Girardi said, “Stay tuned.’’
With lefty Dallas Keuchel starting for the Astros in Game 1 on Friday night at Minute Maid Park, Girardi could insert the veteran right-handed hitter and keep Chase Headley (0-for-12) and Jacoby Ellsbury (0-for-8) on the bench.
Holliday last played Oct. 1, the final day of the regular season, and homered. He is 1-for-7 (.143) lifetime against Keuchel. Headley is 6-for-22 (.273) and Ellsbury is 2-for-16 (.125).
Holliday faced Sonny Gray and Chasen Shreve in simulated games after the Yankees worked out Thursday.
Aaron Judge wasn’t the only Yankees slugger walking around the clubhouse with an ice pack on his left shoulder following Thursday’s workout. Gary Sanchez iced his shoulder, as well.
“It’s fine,” Sanchez said through an interpreter. “I’m just putting ice on it. There’s nothing to talk about. There’s no injury. Just ice.”
No doubt the rigors of a full season and a round in the playoffs have taken a toll on Sanchez, who went just 4-for-23 in the ALDS, but did have two homers in the five games.
Valuable right-handed reliever Chad Green hasn’t pitched since Game 2 of the ALDS when he gave up a grand slam to the Indians’ Francisco Lindor.
Girardi said Thursday that Green was not injured, yet anticipated him playing a big part in the ALCS against the Astros.
“I didn’t use him and I think he has a chance to be really important in this series,’’ Girardi said.
Girardi said there could be a roster change before Game 1 but nothing major.
“We will have it out [Friday] and if there is a change it could be very little,’’ Girardi said.
One move that could be made is adding Tyler Wade to pinch run. That could be done by dropping Jordan Montgomery or Jaime Garcia, who weren’t active for the wild-card game but were on the ALDS roster because the Yankees were short in the pen after Luis Severino was battered in the first inning of the wild-card game.
There is no secret why Aroldis Chapman has pitched very well his last two times out, according to Girardi.
“I think the ship got righted,’’ Girardi said of Chapman, who has worked 4 ²/₃ scoreless innings in the past three games, has fanned nine and allowed four hits. “We kept looking at everything. We were looking at mechanics. The one thing we kept coming back to even when he was struggling the contact rate wasn’t hard.’’