Mariano Rivera will make his first spring training appearance tonight. On the list in the Yankees clubhouse, Rivera’s named was second — ahead of Phil Hughes — so it might be Rivera who pitches immediately after starter A.J. Burnett.
I didn’t go back and double check, but I’m pretty sure Dave Eiland had previously indicated that Damaso Marte would also debut today. Instead, Marte is pitching tomorrow against the Phillies.
I never saw Eiland in the clubhouse to ask him about it, but the situation could be as simple as splitting Rivera and Marte to make sure both are able to pitch. If Burnett and Hughes were to both pitch four innings today — which is at least possible — there would be only one inning left.
• Scheduled to pitch: A.J. Burnett, Mariano Rivera, Phil Hughes, Romulo Sanchez, Zack Segovia.
• Scheduled to play off the bench: C Jesus Montero, 1B Jorge Vazquez, 2B Reegie Corona, SS Eduardo Nunez, 3B Brandon Laird, LF Colin Curtis, CF Greg Golson, RF Jamie Hoffmann, DH Austin Romine.
• Pitchers for tomorrow: Andy Pettitte, Joba Chamberlain, Damaso Marte, Royce Ring, Amaury Sanit.
• Position players not making the trip tomorrow: Jorge Posada, Austin Romine, Robinson Cano, Derek Jeter, Greg Golson, Nick Swisher, Curtis Granderson.
• In the middle of the Yankees clubhouse, there’s an aisle of lockers — four on each side — that was packed last week. Today, it was only Jamie Hoffmann. He used to be surrounded by Hector Noesi, Ivan Nova, D.J. Mitchell, Kyle Higashioka, Andrew Brackman, Christian Garcia and Wilkin De La Rosa. Now it’s his locker among a bunch of empty hangers.
UPDATE, 2:58 p.m.: Houston’s lineup.
Jason Bourgeois CF
Jeff Keppinger 2B
Hunter Pence, RF
Geoff Blum 1B
Pedro Feliz 3B
Jason Michaels LF
Jason Castro C
Edwin Maysonet SS
Brian Bogusevic DH
RHP Brian Moehler
UPDATE, 3:00 p.m.: MLB Network just sent a press release announcing John Smoltz as the newest addition to its on-air roster.
UPDATE, 3:09 p.m.: Forgot to mention that minor league catcher Kyle Anson has decided to retire. He was a converted third baseman who always showed a great eye at the plate, but never hit for much power or average. He got to Double-A.
Although it’s been widely speculated that former second-round pick J.B. Cox has also retired, Mark Newman said the Yankees are “still waiting” for Cox to make a final decision about his playing future. Cox was a dominant closer at the University of Texas and put up terrific minor league numbers before injuries got in the way.