Another series of quick-hitters as we move towards – finally – some actual baseball.
• For all you lineup-trackers, Joe Girardi said that all the regulars except Russell Martin will play in tomorrow’s opener against the Phillies. Look for them to get a couple at-bats, then be split into groups – one that plays Sunday in Clearwater, the other that goes to Lakeland on Monday to face the Tigers. Francisco Cervelli will start tomorrow with Jesus Montero going Sunday.
• Here’s the deal with Andrew Brackman – he’s shut down for a few days after complaining of tightness in his groin following his throwing session on Wednesday. Girardi said he’ll do some physical tests on Sunday and if all is good, he’ll get back in action. “It only becomes a setback if it’s a long period of time” that he’s out, Girardi said.
• As for Martin, he will likely play a game at DH early next week then get behind the plate on Thursday or Friday.
• Sounds like neither Mariano Rivera or Rafael Soriano will be in action during the first week of games. For Rivera, that’s not particularly interesting; it’s what he’s done for years. I was a little surprised to hear that about Soriano, though. Girardi said it’s not anything health-related and that Soriano simply said that a little less work was his preference. “I always believe guys have a pretty good understanding of their bodies,” Girardi said.
• Bartolo Colon, who starts tomorrow, will throw two innings or about 35 pitches. He’ll be followed by Joba Chamberlain, Dave Robertson, David Phelps, Hector Noesi and Eric Wordekemper.
• There was no radar gun on Mark Prior’s throwing session but Girardi guessed Prior is throwing near 90 mph. Obviously, Prior is still a longshot to make the team. “I think he understands that there’s a lot of work to be done on his part,” Girardi said. “He has to prove that he can stay healthy and have a good camp. As an organization, you know that you’re going to go through a lot of pitchers over the course of a season. And if the opportunity’s not when we break, it could be later on.”
• Wondering what the Phillies lineup will be tomorrow? According to the Phillies, it’ll be: Rollins SS, Gload DH, Ibanez LF, Howard 1B, Francisco CF, Brown RF, Larish 3B, Schneider C, Valdez 2B.