NEW YORK -- Yankees manager Joe Girardi wants to get Russell Martin behind the plate for one of CC Sabathia's upcoming starts, but it wasn't going to be Saturday.
Martin hasn't started at catcher on the same day as the Yankees' left-handed ace since he caught Sabathia's first two games of the season. Backup catcher Chris Stewart was again be behind the plate for Sabathia's start on Saturday. Stewart clubbed a solo blast in the third, but Sabathia didn't perform as well, allowing six runs in six innings. The Yankees ended up losing, 8-6.
"At some point, I want to do it," Girardi said of pairing Martin and Sabathia before the game. "I can't tell you when I'm going to do it."
Girardi has been hesitant to use his catchers in day games after night games since the start of the second half, and Martin caught on Friday night. Before the break, Martin was in one of the worst slumps of his career, hitting .127 in the final month of the first half. While Martin is hitting just .200 (7-for-35) since the All-Star break, he does have three home runs and six RBIs. Girardi believes the improvement is due in part to avoiding duty behind the plate in day games after night games.
"It seems to work," Girardi said. "It seems to keep them both fresh. I think Russell has swung the bat better since he has come back in the second half, and maybe some of that has to do with not playing day games after night games."
Girardi said it's important that Martin catches Sabathia so the two get used to playing with each other before it becomes an issue down the road.
"You want to make sure both of them are comfortable, not just the pitcher but you want the catcher to be comfortable, too," Girardi said. "That he has a sense that he knows what CC wants to throw and they're on the same page."
Martin started at designated hitter on Saturday, though he replaced Stewart behind the plate in the ninth inning.