Pitching today: Phil Hughes, Jason Johnson, Dave Robertson, Anthony Claggett, Kei Igawa.
Notes: The game starts at 1:05 and will not be on television or radio back to New York. … The Yankees have a seven-game win streak with them to Fort Myers. … I will not be attending the game. Instead I’m going over to the minor-league complex to watch Andy Pettitte pitch to Jorge Posada in an intrasquad game. Why? Well, Pettitte and Posada are important players for starters and I’m curious to see how Posada’s shoulder responds to catching a day game after a night game. The Yankees also will set up some situations where he has to throw under game conditions.
I’d also like to get a look at some of the prospects over there and hopefully start the process of getting familiar with them. It’s difficult sometimes to cover that aspect of the team because so much time is needed to keep tabs on the major-league squad.
That game will start at 1 p.m. So check back for some reports on Andy and Jorge.
UPDATE, 8:05 a.m.: I checked with Joe Girardi this morning. The reason Melky Cabrera started three games in a row was that Brett Gardner had to return home to take care of a personal issue. But he is back and back in the lineup today as you can see.
UPDATE, 9:55 a.m.: Our friends at the New Press in Fort Myers Have a live video feed of batting practice set to start at 10:15 a.m.
So you watch the Yankees take some BP this morning. The Twins will be first, then the Yanks.
UPDATE, 12:59 p.m.: Here we are at the minor-league complex.
Pettitte is pitching for AA Trenton against AAA Scranton. He’ll toss four innings. George Kontos and Zach McAllister will oppose Andy.
UPDATE, 1:29 p.m.: Pettitte has thrown two innings. One batter reached on an error and was picked off. Posada is 0 for 2.
UPDATE, 2:05 p.m.: Pettitte has thrown 50 pitches. One run over four innings.
UPDATE, 2:16 p.m.: In Fort Myers, Twins lead 1-0. Hughes has allowed one run over four innings.
UPDATE, 2:59 p.m.: OK, back from the minor-league complex. Just watched Andy Pettitte pitch what amounted to 5.1 innings. He allowed one run on three hits with one walk and seven strikeouts. He threw 44 of 65 pitches for strikes.
Pettitte faced a lineup of minor-league players: Jimmy Paredes, Colin Curtis, Andres Perez, Eric Duncan, Chris Malec, Dave Williams, Emerson Landoni and Jose Gil.
I know that’s eight players. That’s who hit.
Pettitte’s only rough inning was the third when he allowed three singles and a walk. That led to a run.
Jorge Posada, meanwhile, made three game-condition throws to second base as runners were put on first and ordered to steal.
The first throw bounced at the bag but beat the runner. The second one he had no chance on as Pettitte was slow to the plate and Perez went on his first move. Then a kid named Edwar Gonzalez ran in the final inning. He was safe but Posada made a strong throw that the infielder fanned on.
Posada said he felt good. After catching five innings last night, he caught nearly six innings today.
Got a chance to see Zach McAllister, too. He’s a big kid (6-5, 230 pounds) and has a presence on the mound. Hard to get much of a sense of what kind of pitcher he is from watching only a few pitchers. But the coaches over there are very high on him.
Thought this was cool: Phil Coke came over to watch Andy pitch, just to give him a little support.
It’s hard to believe that Posada and Pettitte first worked together in 1992. According to Baseball Reference.com, Posada has caught 161 of Pettitte’s games in the majors, a total of 4,275 plate appearances.
Let’s figure an average of 4.5 pitches per plate appearance just for kicks. That’s roughly 19,300 pitches. Add in minor league games (they were on the same teams in 1992, ’93, ’94 and part of ’95), bullpen sessions and spring training games and Pettitte has probably thrown at least 25,000 pitches to Posada in his career.
“It seems like I’ve known him all my life,” Pettitte said.
UPDATE, 3:20 p.m.: Here’s the line on Phil Hughes today down in Fort Myers: 4.1 IP, 3H, 1R, 1ER, 1BB, 0K. 65 pitches / 41 strikes.
Down 2-0, the Yankees scored one in the sixth on a Mark Teixeira home run and trail 2-1. Brett Gardner is 1 for 3 with a stolen base. Jason Johnson now pitching.
UPDATE, 3:32 p.m.: The Yankees have tied up the Twins at 2-2 on a home run by Todd Linden in the eighth inning.
Phil Hughes: “I felt good about my fastball command today, and I felt good about my changeup. My curve wasn’t great, but was usable. I did throw some good cutters. Overall, I feel good. I feel strong. I’m ready to go.”
Robinson Cano played five innings in the field and went 1 for 3. He handled two groundballs at second and turned a double play. “I felt good. There was no pain. Everything was perfect,” he said.
Thanks to Mike Margolis from the Yankees Media Relations staff for proving the information and quotes from Fort Myers. Mike, you’ll be sorry to hear that Jason and Lauren were over at the complex getting some sun while you were working hard.
UPDATE, 3:49 p.m.: Francisco Cervelli’s sac fly gave the Yankees a 3-2 lead. Then Austin Jackson went yard and the never-say-die Yankees are up 4-2.
UPDATE, 4:04 p.m.: There would appear to be no stopping the marauding Yankees, who beat the Twins 4-2. The K-Man finished up, getting the final two outs.
The Yankees have won eight straight and 10 out of 11. Save that for the season, fellas.
UPDATE, 4:13 p.m.: From what I can gather from afar, the K-Man loaded the bases with one out and got a game-winning double play. Then Brian Cashman yelled out from the stands, “He’s worth every penny! I knew it!”
OK, so maybe Cashman didn’t say that. But the K-Man does have 12.2 scoreless innings this spring. Three words: Trade him now.