Phil Hughes seemed to raise the bar with his four scoreless innings on Tuesday. This afternoon, Joba Chamberlain has to keep pace against the Phillies. It will be Chamberlain’s third outing of the spring, and it needs to be better than his first two.
“I told him, just pitch. Do what you have to do,” Joe Girardi said. “We’re not expecting you to work on things any more. We’re expecting you to compete. Show us what you’ve got.”
Despite the fact Chamberlain opened last season in the bullpen, Girardi said he never considered the fifth-starter role to be Chamberlain’s to lose. Girardi said he wouldn’t rule out sending Chamberlain to Triple-A, but it remains more likely Chamberlain will end up in the bullpen if he’s not in the big league rotation.
“I believe he really wants to start,” Girardi said. “For him, he knows this is the time you really have to show us something.”
Here’s Girardi’s morning media session.
• Clearly the most important thing that happened this morning was that Brett Gardner showed up with his hair cut short again. He said his hair was the longest it had been since 2001. That’s him with Posada in the AP photo.
• Girardi told all of the starters that they no longer have to work on things. They can simply pitch for results, but Phil Hughes still used his changeup in key spots last night. “It shows me that he has confidence in it,” Girardi said.
• The pitching plan is the same as yesterday except with different names: Andy Pettitte for four innings, then Damaso Marte for one, then Chamberlain for four. Royce Ring, Amaury Sanit and Ryan Pope are also available.
• Brandon Laird has a sore elbow, but it doesn’t sound serious. “He’s not going to play for a couple of days,” Girardi said.
• Jason Hirsh threw in the bullpen this morning.
• Scheduled to play off the bench: C Mike Rivera, 1B Juan Miranda, 2B Reegie Corona, SS Eduardo Nunez, 3B Jorge Vazquez, LF Jamie Hoffmann, CF Reid Gorecki, RF David Winfree, DH Jon Weber.
• Scheduled Phillies pitchers: RHP Joe Blanton, RHP Jose Contreras, LHP Sergio Escalona, RHP Chad Durbin, RHP David Herndon.
• Top Phillies prospect Domonic Brown was sent to minor league camp yesterday, so you won’t see him this afternoon.
• The Phillies elected not to use a designated hitter, but the Yankees will use one. Cody Ransom is starting at third for the Phillies.
• The Phillies lineup:
Jimmy Rollins SS
Shane Victorino CF
Jayson Werth RF
Ryan Howard 1B
Ben Francisco LF
Cody Ransom 3B
Juan Castro 2B
Carlos Ruiz C
Joe Blanton P
UPDATE, 11:22 a.m.: Yikes. Just saw my mistake in the Yankees lineup. Brett Gardner is leading off and playing center field. Sorry about that. I posted the lineup from my phone in the clubhouse, then drove to Clearwater and started working on this notes post before checking the comments of the previous post. I guess I’d gotten used to putting Jeter’s name at the top.