Marcus Thames went 0-for-4 today and his spring average is down to .094, which is the lowest in camp. Across the board, his numbers are worse than returned Rule 5 pick Jamie Hoffmann.
Of course, Thames has something going for him that Hoffmann did not: A track record. He’s proven to have legitimate major league power, especially against lefties, but it hasn’t shown this spring.
“The one thing that we talk about Marcus is playing against a lot of left-handers possibly,” Joe Girardi said. “He hasn’t seen a lot of left-handers this spring.”
The Yankees are schedule to face lefty Jamie Moyer tomorrow, and Girardi said Thames will be in the lineup. They’re supposed to face lefty Nate Robertson on Saturday.
“He was brought in to complete for the spot, and right now he’s the last man standing, so to speak,” Brian Cashman said. “But that doesn’t mean he’s not still needing to compete for that because I don’t know what’s going to become available between now and the end of camp.”
• That’s obviously not Thames in the AP picture above. Derek Jeter was one of just three Yankees to get a hit today. Ramiro Pena also had one and Randy Winn was 3-for-3, bringing his spring average up to .259.
• Phil Hughes on winning the fifth-starter job: “It was what I set out in the spring to do. I grew up a starter in high school, minor leagues, even my first couple partial seasons in the big leagues. It was something that I really wanted and I feel like I’m ready for the challenge and ready for the season that lies ahead. I’m just looking to go out and put together as many quality starts as I can and give our guys a chance to win everyday. That’s really all I can asked from myself.”
• Girardi said he sees Sergio Mitre as a long man out of the bullpen, but he seems honestly open to putting whoever is pitching well into key late-inning roles. “When you’re pitching well, you’re going to pitch,” he said. “That’s the bottom line. You don’t know exactly what happens to a guy when he turns into a one-inning guy. We saw Hughesy’s velocity jump three, four, five miles per hour at times. It changed him.”
• Because Cashman said today that the Yankees might not be able to carry two situational lefties, Girardi was asked if Boone Logan is strictly a situational lefty. “He has that changeup that can neutralize right-handed hitters somewhat,” Girardi said. “And he has pretty good sink on his fastball. He’s a guy that you want to see down the stretch here and see how he does.”
• Girardi said “I’m not sure” when asked if Alex Rodriguez will be available to play Saturday.
• Another night game tomorrow. Yankees vs. Phillies in Tampa at 7:05.
• Hughes is starting tomorrow, A.J. Burnett on Saturday and Andy Pettitte on Sunday. Monday is listed as TBA. It should be Javier Vazquez.