Brett Gardner CF
Derek Jeter DH
Jorge Posada 1B
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Robinson Cano 2B
Russell Martin C
Ramiro Pena SS
Eduardo Nunez LF
Justin Maxwell RF
RHP Bartolo Colon (1-0, 3.00)
Colon vs. Rays
Ben Zobrist RF
Johnny Damon LF
Evan Longoria 3B
Dan Johnson 1B
B.J. Upton CF
Casey Kotchman DH
Sean Rodriguez 2B
Reid Brignac SS
Kelly Shoppach C
RHP Jeremy Hellickson (1-0, 3.38)
Hellickson vs. Yankees
TIME/TV: 7:05 p.m., according to an email from MLB Network, tonight’s game will be available on MLB Network in the New York area
WEATHER: A few clouds, but it doesn’t seem threatening. Should be clear for nine innings.
UMPIRES: HP Tim Tschida, 1B Jeff Kellogg, 2B Brian O’Nora, 3B Fieldin Culbreth
ON THE LINE: This game seems to be all about Colon. Granted, it’s another chance for Joe Girardi to see his lineup with Gardner in the leadoff spot — and it’s another opportunity to Nunez to prove he can play the outfield if necessary — but the pressure is on the Yankees starter, who’s making a surprising run at the back end of the rotation.
OUT OF THE BULLPEN FOR THE YANKEES: LHP Manny Banuelos is on the trip and available for multiple innings in relief of Colon, but Girardi made it clear that Banuelos won’t come into the game in the middle of an inning. He has RHP Romulo Sanchez and a handful of minor league guys to fill that role.
OUT OF THE BULLPEN FOR THE RAYS: RHP Kyle Farnsworth, RHP Juan Cruz and RHP Joel Peralta.
TOMORROW’S TRAVELERS TODAY: Tomorrow the Yankees are playing a day game in Sarasota. It’s a pretty brutal turnaround, because the team probably won’t get back to Tampa until well past midnight, and the players will need to report to Steinbrenner Field pretty early to catch the bus.
Pitchers who will be making the trip: Luis Ayala, Joba Chamberlain, Steve Garrison, Sergio Mitre, Ryan Pope, Mark Prior, Romulo Sanchez and Eric Wordekemper.
Players who will not be making the trip: Russell Martin, Jorge Posada, Robinson Cano, Eric Chavez, Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez and Brett Gardner.
GOOD START: The Yankees starters have lost just two games this spring and have a combined 3.81 ERA through 73.2 innings. They have allowed 14 walks with 64 strikeouts.
UPDATE, 6:57 p.m.: Brian Cashman spoke before today’s game, but didn’t offer much we don’t already know. He wouldn’t comment on whether Ivan Nova has locked up a rotation spot.
“I can’t tell you when we’re going to make the decision yet,” he said. “I can just tell you the next two days are important for each individual, in Bartolo’s case and Sergio’s case, to show us what they can do and how well they can continue it.”
UPDATE, 7:34 p.m.: Two scoreless innings for Colon, who’s also had to cover first base twice and did so with no problems.
UPDATE, 8:10 p.m.: Colon is through four innings. He’s allowed one hit, no walks and struck out four. The guy keeps impressing.
UPDATE, 8:20 p.m.: Really nice catch by Justin Maxwell to start the fifth inning, then two routine outs to end it. That’s five scoreless innings from Colon.
UPDATE, 8:36 p.m.: It’s a 1-0 Yankees lead as Gardner scores on a ground ball in the sixth. Melky Mesa pinch ran for Jorge Posada and broke up a double play with an aggressive slide on the play.
UPDATE, 8:43 p.m.: Solo homer by Shoppach in the sixth, but Colon followed it with a strikeout and ground out. It’s 1-1 after six innings, Colon still sitting at 91-93 with his fastball.
UPDATE, 8:57 p.m.: After eight scoreless innings this spring, Manny Banuelos has finally allowed a run on Dan Johnson’s deep home run to right field. It’s now 2-1 Rays in the seventh.