Joe Girardi remains optimistic that Alfredo Aceves will pitch in a spring training game this week, but if that doesn’t happen, it’s entirely possible he could open the season on the disabled list.
“I think we have to have him throw one more time before we leave or he’s probably a candidate,” Girardi said.
Because of the nature of back injuries — it will either hurt or it won’t — Girardi said he doesn’t expect this to affect Aceves ability to pitch multiple innings. If his back feels good one day, he’ll be used the same as always. If it hurts the next day, he probably won’t be able to pitch at all.
• Mark Teixeira is “sore” today, but Girardi said it’s no different from what the Yankees expected yesterday. He’ll go through treatment this afternoon and the Yankees still believe he’ll be able to play on Thursday.
• The Braves did not let the Yankees use a designated hitter today, which is why CC Sabathia is in the lineup. Sabathia can hit, but he’s under order to not swing today. “He’ll get his chances,” Girardi said. “Just not to today.” At one point, Sabathia asked Girardi if he could at least drag bunt. Pretty sure that was a joke.
• Girardi remains incredibly excited about using Pat Venditte. He’s never even seen him warm up and was wondering how Venditte uses his eight warm up pitches. Is it four with each hand? “We’re going to find out,” Girardi said.
• The Yankees lineups for the last 11 games of spring were set before the last off day last week. Girardi said there’s no significance to the fact Curtis Granderson is in center today. In fact, Girardi wasn’t even sure who was starting in center today.
• No list of who’s playing which position, but these are the Yankees bench players for the game: C P.J. Pilittere, C Jeff Farnham, INF Walter Ibarra, INF Justin Snyder, OF Austin Krum, OF David Winfree and OF Ray Kruml.
• Pitchers in the bullpen: RHP Zack Segovia, RHP Ryan Flannery, RHP Cory Arbiso, RHP Ryan Zink and SP Pat Venditte.
• Got to see Jason Heyward up close this morning. I will now be shocked if he doesn’t hit 97 home runs this season. He’s tall and lean and huge. “He look like a little bigger version of Fred McGriff,” Girardi said. A little bigger version of a guy who hit 493 home runs. Impressive.