This morning, the Yankees sent two more pitchers out of big league camp.
Right-handers Ivan Nova and Hector Noesi were optioned the minor leagues, with Nova assigned to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and Noesi assigned to Tampa. There’s a solid chance Noesi will actually open the season in Double-A, but for now he’s assigned to the High-A roster.
There are now 52 players in big league camp.
Some other notes from my morning at the minor league complex.
• Talked to George Kontos briefly. Coming back from Tommy John, he’s working off a half mound right now but should be on a full mound in a week. His ligament was completely torn in half, and the doctors told him it had probably been torn for more than a year. Might explain his dip in velocity when he came out of college. Right now, Kontos said, his arm feels great. Keep his name in mind. Before the surgery, he was really pitching well last year in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, and it turns out that was with a bad elbow.
• Jorge Vazquez will open the season in Triple-A, playing 1B, 3B and DH. That probably locks up the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre infield: Juan Miranda at first, Vazquez at either corner, and whichever three 40-man middle infielders don’t make the major league roster (Kevin Russo, Eduardo Nunez, Reegie Corona and Ramiro Pena). The Yankees believe Vazquez has the arm to play third, it’s a matter of agility at the position.
• Despite being optioned to Triple-A when he was cut from big league camp, Wilkin De La Rosa is still expected to open the season in Trenton.
• As a precaution, Alan Horne was shutdown briefly because of soreness in his shoulder, but he should be back on the mound in a matter of days. He and Kontos were both going through fielding drills with the Triple-A group. So were recent major league cuts Kevin Whelan, Kei Igawa and Grant Duff.
• I saw other big league cuts down there — Jeremy Bleich, D.J. Mitchell and Christian Garcia — but I couldn’t tell which group they were with. I’m pretty sure they were all working with the Double-A group, but I can’t be sure. The listed work groups haven’t changed since the players were sent down.
• There wasn’t much to see during the morning drills, but Seth Fortenberry did catch my eye with a strong throw from center field to third base.
• The minor league spring training schedule (sort of) starts on Thursday with intrasqaud games, Triple-A vs. Double-A and High-A vs. Low-A. They’ll do that again on Friday, then played the Pirates minor leaguers on Saturday.