It’s time to split up Phil Hughes and Joba Chamblerlain. Their fifth day should be Monday, but the Yankees are committed to giving everyone that day off — an extra day of rest near the mid-point of spring training — which leaves Tuesday, scheduled to be A.J. Burnett’s next start.
“Only one of them can throw with A.J., unless we were to schedule an 11-inning game,” Joe Girardi said. “And I’m not sure anyone would necessarily want to do that.”
So it is that Hughes will pitch in relief of Burnett on Tuesday and Chamberlain will pitch in relief of Andy Pettitte on Wednesday.
“We’re looking for certain things regardless of what day they pitch, whether they pitch the same day or not,” pitching coach Dave Eiland said. “… It’s not just numbers. It’s the quality of each pitch. Working ahead in the count. First pitch strikes. Stuff. Command. How economical are they? Are there long at-bats? Are the outs hard hit? You could go out and pitch a few innings and give up lasers all across the field and walk away with no hits and no runs, but that doesn’t mean you made good pitches.”
• After today’s rainout, the Yankees split-squad games tomorrow. Javier Vazquez will start the home game against Baltimore. Alfredo Aceves, Dave Robertson and Royce Ring are scheduled to pitch in relief. Chad Gaudin will start on the road against the Pirates. Sergio Mitre and Boone Logan are scheduled pitch in that game, with Grant Duff, Zach Segovia and Amaury Sanit also making the trip.
• Position players going on the road tomorrow: Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, Mark Teixeira, Kevin Russo, Eduardo Nunez, Jorge Vazquez, Nick Swisher, Marcus Thames, Reid Gorecki, Jamie Hoffmann, David Winfree, Francisco Cervelli, Jose Gil, Mike Rivera and Austin Romine.
• Curtis Granderson was scheduled to make his first start in left field this afternoon. Girardi said he couldn’t remember whether Granderson is in left field tomorrow, but he’ll certainly be sharing an outfield with Brett Gardner.
• Cervelli said he felt “nothing” wrong with his head while taking batting practice today. “We’ll see tomorrow,” he said.
• Derek Jeter believes he had food poisoning instead of the flu. He felt better today and is scheduled to play tomorrow.
• CC Sabathia is still scheduled to start Sunday.
• Mariano Rivera and Damaso Marte will make their spring debuts on Tuesday. Chan Ho Park is scheduled to throw batting practice tomorrow and make his spring debut next week.
• Minor league games start on March 18, and Girardi said it’s likely the team will send some of the rotation candidates to minor league camp to get some innings
• Speaking of minor league games, my good friend Donnie Collins has the early minor league group assignments. Remember, these will change drastically before the start of the season.
• Good news for those of you who are statistically inclined, Girardi said he really likes advanced statistics, including some of the newer defensive stats. “I look at it all the time,” he said. “I’m a numbers guy so I look at numbers all the time.”