When pitchers and catchers arrived in Tampa last week, Joe Girardi said the competition for the back of the rotation would not begin right away. The same is true of the competition for the Yankees outfield.
“You watch their swings and during BP taking routes after baseballs,” Girardi said. “But the true test really comes when we start playing games. They’re just getting their work in, and they’re getting their feet under them and their legs strong and their hands strong for hitting, and they’re trying to strengthen their arms. Now we want to make sure their healthy and ready to go. That’s what this week is for.”
While Brett Gardner seems to be the favorite, Girardi said this is a competition. He’s mentioned several times that Randy Winn — that’s him in the picture — will compete for an everyday role.
“Gardy still has to go out and win the job and play at a high level because we feel like we have depth and guys that want to play everyday as well,” Girardi said.
Here’s the Girardi audio.
• The Group 1 pitchers will throw live batting practice tomorrow — that group includes Chad Gaudin, Sergio Mitre and Alfredo Aceves — but Girardi said it’s still too early to start making judgments about the rotation. “It’s their first time seeing hitters, and hitters aren’t ready to go… A lot of guys will go up there and just see pitches and not take a lot of swings.”
• The Jesus Montero show continues. Today he hit one over the batter’s eye in center field. Based on where the balls landed, I don’t think he made an out during his first eight swings in the cage: Double to the right-center gap, single up the middle, double to the left-field corner, double down the left-field line, single to left-center, double off the wall in left-center, single to right, foul line drive to left.
• I also saw Marcus Thames hit today. He crushed the ball a few times.
• This morning I mentioned which groups of infielders were working together during fielding drills, but I didn’t mention the outfielders:
Group 1: Gardner, Granderson, Hoffmann, Swisher, Winfree
Group 2: Curtis, Golson, Gorecki, Thames, Weber, Winn
• Double-A manager Tony Franklin showed up today. He walked into the clubhouse and gave first baseman Jorge Vazquez a big hug, then did the same with left-handed reliever Wilkins Arias.
• Pitchers who threw today: CC Sabathia, A.J. Burnett, Javier Vazquez, Wilkin De La Rosa and Andrew Brackman. To be honest, I only watched for about two minutes. I paid more attention to the position players. Most pitchers are at the point in the schedule that they have a second day off before throwing live BP, that’s why only five pitchers were on the mound today.
That’s CC Sabathia and A.J. Burnett in the picture above. They’re walking into the stadium after their bullpen. Below is Colin Curtis and Kevin Russo warming up before tracking fly balls during batting practice.