Brett Gardner LF
Nick Swisher RF
Curtis Granderson CF
Russell Martin DH
Eric Chavez 1B
Jesus Montero C
Eduardo Nunez 2B
Brandon Laird 3B
Ramiro Pena SS
RHP Freddy Garcia (12-6, 4.64 in 2010)
Garcia vs. Rays
B.J. Upton CF
Johnny Damon LF
Evan Longoria 3B
Manny Ramirez DH
Matt Joyce RF
Dan Johnson 1B
Sean Rodriguez 2B
Kelly Shoppach C
Tim Beckham SS
RHP James Shields (13-15, 5.18)
Shields vs. Yankees
TIME/TV: 1:05 p.m., not on television
WEATHER: You’re my blue sky, you’re my sunny day. Allman Brothers? Anyone?
UMPIRES: HP Fieldin Culbreth, 1B Paul Emmel, 2B Tim Timmons, 3B Chad Fairchild
ON THE LINE: This will be Freddy Garcia’s first spring appearance. He seems to be an early favorite for one of those open rotation spots, so this is a chance to maintain that position. Eric Chavez is also getting a start at first base to prepare for a possible backup role there, and Jesus Montero will try to continue making a case for the backup catcher spot.
CERVELLI UPDATE: Truth be told, there’s really not much of an update on Francisco Cervelli. The Yankees sent his MRI results to New York where the team doctors are reviewing them this afternoon. Joe Girardi said Cervelli looked better today, but the team won’t know anything until later today, maybe even later tonight.
OTHER PREGAME NOTES: Because of travel I couldn’t really post a normal set of pregame notes. Here are some quick hits.
• Andrew Brackman threw off a mound this morning. He’ll throw a simulated game this weekend.
• Jorge Posada is specifically scheduled to do some first base drills in the coming days. If Chavez makes the team, he’ll be the primary backup at first, but Girardi has named Posada and Nick Swisher as alternatives if Mark Teixeira needs a day off.
• Russell Martin is expected to catch four or five innings tomorrow.
• Garcia will pitch two innings today. Bartolo Colon will pitching three innings tomorrow.
ALSO PITCHING TODAY: Ivan Nova, Dellin Betances and Adam Warren are the first three listed in the bullpen. Rule 5 picks Robert Fish and Daniel Turpen are also on this trip.
ALSO PITCHING FOR TAMPA BAY: The Rays have only two relievers listed behind Shields: RHP Juan Cruz and LHP R.J. Swindle.
UPDATE, 12:55 p.m.: Just finished listening back to Girardi’s pregame media scrum. He said Gene Monahan expects to have results from the team doctors by the late afternoon.
“Just talked to Geno,” Girardi said. “We’re waiting for our doctors to review it in New York. He had the tests here. He did feel a little bit better today but there’s still some concern and we’ll just wait to see what they say before we announce if there’s anything or it’s just a bruise… I don’t know if they would want him to go to New York, but as of now I have not been told that.”
UPDATE, 1:15 p.m.: The Yankees went down in order in the top of the first. Here’s Garcia for his first action of the spring. Sorry, misspoke there. Gardner walked, stole second and was picked off at second. A 1-2-3 inning, but not necessarily down in order.
UPDATE, 1:18 p.m.: Nice first inning for Garcia. Ground ball to second, pop up to short and a strikeout of Longoria, who couldn’t hold up against an offspeed pitch.
UPDATE, 1:34 p.m.: Very nice, heads up play by Eduardo Nunez to end the second inning. With the runner after first breaking for second, Nunez was on his way to cover the bag when Sean Rodriguez slapped a ground ball to the right side. Nunez had to retreat to make the play, but didn’t have time to get the out at first. He instead looked to third and got Matt Joyce trying to go first to third on the play. He also made a nice play going back to make a catch in shallow right-center. That’s it for Garcia: 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K.
UPDATE, 1:40 p.m.: Garcia threw 20 pitches, 14 for strikes (sorry, upon a re-count, it’s 14 strikes for Garcia, not 13). Here’s Nova for the bottom of the third. It’s still a scoreless game. Eric Chavez’s second-inning double in the Yankees only hit.
UPDATE, 1:48 p.m.: A single got past Laird on the left side, but Brett Gardner fielded and threw home to get Tim Beckham out at the plate.
UPDATE, 2:00 p.m.: The defense keeps coming for the Yankees. Nice diving stop for Laird at third base and a nice scoop by Chavez at first base to get Longoria out to start the fourth inning.
UPDATE, 2:04 p.m.: And now a double play to end the fourth inning, with Chavez starting it, Pena making the turn and Nova stretching at first to complete the play and end the inning. Nova threw 25 pitches, 16 strikes.
UPDATE, 2:17 p.m.: Mild surprise. Here’s Nova for a third inning of work. Not really a shock that he’s stretched out for this many, just didn’t get a heads up that Nova was good to go for three innings today.