The LoHud Yankees Blog

A New York Yankees blog by Chad Jennings and the staff of The Journal News

Tuesday notes: Brackman finally gets his first spring inning

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Notes on Mar 08, 2011 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Andrew Brackman said he couldn’t sit still in the Yankees bullpen this afternoon. His professional career already included enough waiting, and this month he had to wait through a minor groin injury before finally making his spring debut. Through today’s first six innings, Brackman couldn’t sit still.

“The blood’s pumping a little bit,” he said. “You go out there and you want to see what you’ve got.”

Brackman wasn’t especially happy with his scoreless inning — he said his stuff wasn’t as good as it’s been in the bullpen — but he’s glad the first one it out of the way. Joe Girardi seemed impressed. He said he saw good fastball command, a good curveball, and he couldn’t tell Brackman was anxious.

“You think about (if) somebody goes down and you need a starter, you want to see how these kids are handling themselves in this atmosphere,” Girardi said before the game. “Are they a guy that gets frustrated easily? Are they a guy that lets innings unravel?”

Brackman’s inning didn’t unravel. It actually got better as it went along. Ultimately, Brackman knows he’s an extreme long shot to break camp in the rotation — although he said, in the back of his mind, he still thinks he could win the job — but Girardi twice today said he wouldn’t rule out the idea of breaking Brackman into the big leagues as a reliever.

“I would be open to anything to get me in a pinstripe uniform,” Brackman said. “I feel the Yankees definitely see me as a starter (long term), and I see myself as a starter, and hopefully it can stay that way.”

• Girardi said the first round of cuts could come this weekend.

• Jorge Posada got only two at-bats today, but Girardi said that was the plan coming into the game. He’s not hurt. “Everyone came out good today,” Girardi said.

• Girardi was asked again about the possibility of putting Brett Gardner in the leadoff spot. “We’re in no rush to (make that decision),” he said. “I don’t have to put up a lineup until March 31.”

• Ronnie Belliard seemed to be something of a long shot when camp opened, but after missing nearly two weeks of games, it’s hard to imagine him winning a spot on the Yankees bench. “He’s competing more against Chavez and Vazquez than Nunez and Pena,” Girardi said. Of course, Chavez and Vazquez have been two of the best hitters in camp so far.

• Utility infield candidates Eduardo Nunez and Ramiro Pena each had two hits today. Nunez also stole three bases, while Pena was caught stealing once. Pena did make a nice play at shortstop, though, going toward third base to get the out on a ball Brandon Laird couldn’t quite reach.

• Another double for Jorge Vazquez.

• Nick Swisher and Curtis Granderson each had two hits, with Granderson hitting a two-run triple to center field. Posada also had an RBI base hit.

• Dave Robertson struck out the first three batters he faced, but because the first guy reached on a wild pitch, the inning continued through a walk, another wild pitch and a two-run single. Despite three straight strikeouts to start the inning, Robertson was still saddled with two earned runs.

• Romulo Sanchez got a save despite allowing a run in the ninth. Not that I thought of him as a favorite to make this roster, but I did expect Sanchez to get a little more of a look that he’s gotten so far. He’s out of options, he was a starter through most of last season, and he has a huge fastball. Seemed to me he was a solid backup plan as a long reliever, but he’s pitched just two innings.

Associated Press photos. The top one is of a Brett Gardner at bat. I thought the ball looked cool.




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