Just watched an early batting cage session between Derek Jeter and Kevin Long. Jeter’s look was priceless when he realized a dozen or so reporters were standing in the tunnel watching him swing at a handful of batting practice pitches.
Because of the rain, Long and Jeter can’t do any work on the field, so Long changed gears and will make the trip to Bradenton after all. He just left, and I’m on my way right behind him. It’s pretty wet here in Tampa, but the rain has stopped and the assumption is that the Yankees will play as scheduled.
“We’re going over, so I’m assuming,” Joe Girardi said.
• Phil Hughes will make his first spring start in a stadium that is notoriously hitter friendly because of the strong wind that usually blows out. “The quality of the pitches has to be better,” Girardi said. “To me, it’s a good thing because the focus has to be there.”
• Of course, this is Hughes we’re talking about, so we’ll probably hear quite a bit about his changeup. “I think (the changeup) is important for him to take that next step,” Girardi said.
• According to Girardi, Andrew Brackman will be able to “air it out” today. Assuming that goes well, he’ll take tomorrow off and throw off a mound Thursday.
• Greg Golson will take batting practice today and should play in a game tomorrow.
• Ronnie Belliard is still at least a week away from testing his calf injury.
• The Swish-hawk is no more. Nick Swisher showed up with a shaved head this morning. He said he did it himself.
• Scheduled to play off the bench: C Kyle Higashioka, 1B Jorge Vazquez, 2B Kevin Russo, SS Doug Bernier, 3B Bradley Suttle, LF Austin Krum, CF Justin Maxwell, RF Jordan Parraz, DH Gustavo Molina
• Available relievers: Dave Robertson, Steve Garrison, Brian Anderson, Andy Sisco, Eric Wordekemper, Ryan Pope, Boone Logan, David Phelps and Hector Noesi
• Upcoming rotation:
Wednesday: A.J. Burnett
Thursday: Freddy Garcia
Friday: Bartolo Colon
Saturday: CC Sabathia
Sunday: Phil Hughes
Monday (DH): A.J. Burnett (home), Sergio Mitre (road)
Tuesday: Freddy Garcia