Brett Gardner LF
Nick Swisher RF
Curtis Granderson CF
Jorge Posada DH
Eric Chavez 3B
Jesus Montero C
Eduardo Nunez SS
Brandon Laird 1B
Ramiro Pena 2B
RHP Phil Hughes (18-8, 4.19 in 2010)
Hughes vs. Pirates
Alex Presley CF
John Bowker LF
Matt Diaz RF
Garrett Jones DH
Garrett Atkins 1B
Andy Marte 3B
Chris Snyder C
Josh Rodriguez 2B
Pedro Ciriaco SS
RHP James McDonald (4-6, 4.02)
McDonald vs. Yankees
TIME/TV: 1:05 p.m., not televised as far as I know
WEATHER: It’s still cloudy, but the tarp came off the field about an hour ago. Wind is blowing out to center field — maybe slightly to left-center — and it’s very muggy. Looks promising that they’ll play.
UMPIRES: HP Paul Emmel, 1B Wally Bell, 2B Tim Timmons, 3B Chad Fairchild
ON THE LINE: Phil Hughes was at the heart of last spring’s rotation competition, but he’s locked in this year. Instead, it’s the bottom half of today’s Yankees lineup that’s fighting for roster spots.
NEW EXPERIENCE: Exactly one current Pirate has a Major League at-bat against Phil Hughes. Lyle Overbay is 4-for-20 against him. Exactly one current Yankee has a Major League at-bat against James McDonald.
ALSO PITCHING TODAY: Dave Robertson, Steve Garrison, Brian Anderson and Andy Sisco were the first four names listed this morning, so I have to assume they’ll be the first four in the game. Boone Logan also made the trip, and it’s unlikely he’d go on the road unless he were guaranteed an inning.
ALSO PITCHING FOR PITTSBURGH: RHP Aaron Thompson, RHP Daniel McCutchen, RHP Chris Resop, LHP Daniel Moskos and RHP Ramon Aguero. McCutchen came up through the Yankees minor league system.
TOMORROW IN TAMPA: The Yankees return home tomorrow to play Houston, with RHP Bud Norris scheduled to start for the Astros. A.J. Burnett has the start for the Yankees. That game will be on YES.
UPDATE, 1:09 p.m.: After two ground outs by Gardner and Swisher, Granderson drove a triple to the warning track in center field. The center fielder seemed to have trouble going after it — maybe the wind was playing tricks — but misplayed or not, it was a legitimate drive to the deepest part of the park. Posada ended the inning with a 6-3 grounder.
UPDATE, 1:19 p.m.: After a leadoff walk, Hughes got a routine 4-6-3 double play and a fly out to right field to end the first inning. Swisher made a nice sliding catch — coming in toward the infield on a looping fly ball — for the last out.
UPDATE, 1:22 p.m.: Eric Chavez has opened the second inning with a bloop single to left field. Here’s Montero.
UPDATE, 1:23 p.m.: Montero grounds into a 5-4-3 double play. Baseball America has now moved Jorge Vazquez to the top of the Yankees prospect rankings. Montero has been dumped to No. 24.
UPDATE, 1:32 p.m.: That’s it for Hughes. Fly ball to right. Fly ball to center. Fly ball to left. The last out was pretty deep — Gardner was on the track, near the corner — but that’s ultimately two hitless innings in Hughes’ spring debut.
UPDATE, 1:39 p.m.: After a 1-2-3 top of the third — Gardner went down swinging to end it — Robertson is in to pitch for the Yankees.
UPDATE, 1:49 p.m.: Weird ending to the third inning. After a single — ground ball just past Chavez at third — and a strikeout, Robertson got another strikeout on a pitch most everyone seemed to think was ball four. The runner had taken off from first base, and he slowed up for the final 15 feet leading into second. Montero eventually threw — Robertson wasn’t expecting it — and threw out the base runner. Credit Montero with a caught stealing to end the inning, but it wasn’t a true steal attempt.
UPDATE, 1:56 p.m.: Chavez with his second bloop single of the day, this one to right field. The base hit came two batters after Swisher reached on an infield single. Montero grounded up the middle to end the inning. It’s still scoreless heading into the bottom of the fourth. Here’s Steve Garrison.
UPDATE, 2:02 p.m.: Now there’s a legitimate caught stealing. Might have been a botched hit-and-run, but Presley was legitimately going for second base and Montero threw him out with plenty of room to spare.
UPDATE, 2:04 p.m.: A lot of throwing this fourth inning. For the second out, Gardner tried to make a sliding catch, knocked the ball down in front of himself, then he hustled over to throw the runner out trying to stretch a single into a double. For the last out, Nunez made a fairly routine stop to his left, then uncorked a rocket to first base. Pena is a better defender, but Nunez can really throw the ball.
UPDATE, 2:29 p.m.: Hughes said he threw three changeups today: One to the first hitter, one to the second and one to Garrett Atkins in the second inning. He’ll throw more as he gets stretched out, but right now he wants to also get his curveball
going and find his fastball command.