On Romulo Sanchez and Ivan Nova, Cashman was more impressed with their poise rather than their performance. Called on to help eat up innings as Andy Pettitte needed to skip a start, the two did just that. Sanchez pitched 3.2 innings on Sunday against the Red Sox, allowing one hit, striking out 3 and walking 1. Nova followed that up with 2 scoreless innings against the Tigers in his first major league appearance. This helped give the Yankee bullpen a much needed rest. On the two pitching call ups, Cashman had this to say:
"In Romulo Sanchez's case, pitching in Fenway Park on an ESPN national television game, he had great tempo and threw strikes, so that didn't bother him." "In Nova's case, it was his first Major League outing, and he faced some pretty major hitters there," Cashman said. "He had great tempo, threw strikes, had good stuff and commanded the ball and he cruised."Regarding infielder Kevin Russo, who was recently sent back down to Scranton, Cashman said he would be seeing more time in the outfield. Sounds like the goal is to try and make him into a “Jerry Hairston type" utility player. Russo played Saturday’s game in centerfield, making a nice catch to rob Josh Kroeger of a double, crashing into the center field wall.
"The sample size is tiny, but in terms of how they just carried themselves, it makes you feel good that if you're the manager and you have to give those guys the ball again, at least you know they're not afraid," Cashman said.
This was also Cashman’s first time seeing top prospect Jesus Montero since spring training. Montero has been showing signs of improving defensively but has been struggling offensively. Cashman had this assessment of the catching prospect:
"(Struggling at the plate) is probably good for him-he's a guy who has never really scuffled," Cashman said of Montero. "Like anything else, these are all good quality experiences for them to learn from and grow from and deal with adversity. You want them to deal with it down here rather than deal with it for the first time at the Major League-level."
"When he declared himself as having Tommy John surgery a month ago, I knew that at some point, if I got in a roster crunch, then he'd be released," Cashman said. "It's too bad because tool-wise, he's one of our better ability players, but physically, he just can't hold it together."