The Yankees big leaguers will play the Yankees minor leaguers tomorrow, but on the Grapefruit League schedule, today is the spring finale. And it’s pretty easy to tell. The clubhouse is lined with boxes and suitcases, and the players — and the writers — are absolutely in let’s-get-out-of-Florida mode.
Today’s game will be the last chance for big league regulars to play significant innings before Opening Day. Joe Girardi has already said that he doesn’t expect his guys to play seven innings tomorrow against the minor leaguers. That game could turn into minor leaguers vs. minor leaguers at some point, or at least bench players vs. minor leaguers.
The Yankees are taking batting practice right now, but it’s otherwise a very quiet morning in Tampa. Just going through the final steps before Boston on Sunday.
• So far, no final roster moves have been made. Royce Ring is still in camp with a locker two feet from P.J. Pilittere. The Yankees need to see Alfredo Aceves pitch this afternoon, and make sure his back feels fine afterward, before finalizing their bullpen.
• The James P. Dawson Award for the best rookie in camp will be given before the game. The past nine winners: Brett Gardner, Shelley Duncan, Kei Igawa, Eric Duncan, Andy Phillips, Bubba Crosby, Hideki Matsui, Nick Johnson, Alfonso Soriano. Jorge Posada won it 1997, Don Mattingly won it 1983 and Roy White won it in 1966.
• Before tomorrow’s Future Stars game, the Yankees will officially give their minor league Pitcher of the Year and Player of the Year awards to Zach McAllister and Austin Romine. Members of last year’s Tampa Yankees will also get their Florida State League championship rings.
• The Trentonian has news of a couple of cuts in minor league camp: Outfielder James Cooper and relief pitcher Jonathan Hovis have each been cut. Cooper is a career .261 hitter without much power. He spent the past two years in Double-A. Hovis has great minor league numbers — 62 saves and a 2.15 ERA — but he never generated much prospect buzz and has pitched just two games above Single-A. Small update: Just doubled checked to confirm those two releases and ask if there have been more. Apparently only those two have been released since that first wave of minor league releases that included Chris Malec and Seth Fortenberry.
• Available to pitch this afternoon: Andy Pettitte, Damaso Marte, Mariano Rivera, Boone Logan, Grant Duff, Amaury Sanit and Josh Schmidt.
• Available off the bench: C Francisco Arcia, C P.J. Pilittere, C Austin Romine, 1B Juan Miranda, INF Justin Snyder, INF Ramiro Pena, INF Luis Nunez, OF Jon Weber, OF Randy Winn and OF Marcus Thames.
• The Orioles just traded for SS Julio Lugo, and he will be available off their bench today. Recently picked up OF Joey Gathright also made the trip for Baltimore. So did a young catcher named Matt Wieters. Here’s their lineup:
Brian Roberts 2B
Nolan Reimold RF
Adam ones CF
Miguel Tejada 3B
Garrett Atkins 1B
Matt Wieters C
Ty Wigginton DH
Felix Pie LF
Cesar Izturis SS
RHP Alfredo Simon