Joe Girardi has said time and again that his relievers have to earn their spots and that no job is guaranteed. But he established this morning that he expects Joba Chamberlain to be in his bullpen. He might not be absolutely ruling out Triple-A, but that’s not the plan.
“The assumption is that he’s going to pitch at a high level and earn his spot,” Girardi said. “I expect him to be on this team.
As for a role, Girardi is still not committing to Chamberlain in the eighth inning. Last spring it would have been difficult to predict that Phil Hughes would take that setup job.
“You’d like to see someone lock it down,” Girardi said. “There are a lot of quality arms down there that could do it.”
Chamberlain is scheduled for one inning this afternoon. The Yankees might get him in back-to-back games before the end of spring training, but Girardi said that’s not a necessity.
• Girardi is not overly concerned by his team’s losing record this spring. “If you’re getting the pitching, then to me, that hitting is going to come,” he said.
• Still no decision on whether Curtis Granderson opens the season in center field or left field. “That’s a decision that I haven’t put a lot of thought into,” Girardi said. “I’ve pretty much just observed.”
• Another start for Marcus Thames against a left-handed pitcher. Nate Roberston is pitching for the Tigers.
• Pitchers available for the Yankees: A.J. Burnett, Joba Chamberlain, Chan Ho Park, Dave Robertson, Boone Logan, Eric Wordekemper and Wilkins Arias.
• Available to play off the bench: P.J. Pilittere, Neall French, Jon Weber, Justin Snyder, David Winfree, Austin Krum and Abraham Almonte. No positions were given, but Weber might be at first considering he was listed among the infielders.
• Since he was sent down, second baseman Kevin Russo has yet to go to the minor league complex.