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

Pregame notes: New players and pending decisions

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Notes on Mar 25, 2011 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Let’s take today’s pregame notes topic-by-topic shall we?

The Sergio Mitre trade
Brian Cashman said the Yankees and Brewers had been talking for a while, and they decided to make the move last night. “I felt we were far enough through the spring, it was time to do something,” Cashman said.

Obviously this makes it all but certain that Ivan Nova, Freddy Garcia and Bartolo Colon will each make the Opening Day roster. As for Dickerson, he could very well be the guy who opens on the roster if Curtis Granderson has to begin the season on the disabled list. Dickerson is a lefty, and he’s a careeer .273/.363/.420-hitter against right-handers. He’s a natural fit alongside Andruw Jones for a week or so.

“He’s a guy we’re definitely going to look at if Grandy can’t play,” Girardi said. “He’s got big-league experience and he’s got tools. He’s hit for average in his career, he can hit some homers and he’s played mostly center and left.”

The roles of Freddy Garcia and Bartolo Colon
At this point it’s a foregone conclusion that Ivan Nova has locked up a spot in the Yankees rotation. The question is, which of Garcia and Colon takes the fifth spot and which one slides into the long relief role?

“I think the decisions we have to make have to be that, projected innings that we think they can give us, do you have concerns about the amount of innings that you think they can give us?” Girardi said. “Those are things we have to take into account when making the decision of who’s going to be our starters. In saying that, we have to do it fairly quickly.”

It would seem that there would be greater innings concerns around Colon than Garcia, which could be an indication that Colon is the one heading to the bullpen. The Yankees are planning a staff meeting after batting practice today, which should be the next step toward making that decision.

“I have my thoughts, yeah,” Cashman said. “I’m going to engage everybody on the staff and find out what their thoughts are as well. I’ve got a pretty good feel. We’ve been talking informally and we’ve had one formal meeting and we’ll have another today, but I can’t tell you if we’re going to give you white puff of smoke today or not.”

The Kevin Millwood signing
The Yankees have had a minor league offer on the table for a long time. Millwood decided to accept it today. He has an out on May 1, and Girardi made it crystal clear that Millwood will not open the season on the major league roster.

“I don’t know if he can help us or not, but I’m willing to put a no-risk, possible-reward option that’s been on the table the whole time,” Cashman said. “We’ll put him in, get him ready, and get him into competition and see if there’s anything there. If there is, then we’ll have some decisions to make. If there’s not, nothing ventured, nothing gained.”

Millwood has been pitching in California, and could be ready for Scranton’s Opening Day roster. Otherwise, he might stay in Tampa for a week or so before joining the team.

“He’s probably up to 95 pitches,” Cashman said. “He’s been throwing for the last three or four weeks, at least that’s what’s been represented… He’ll come to Tampa and thenn we’ll stretch him out down here for as long as it takes. He might be here a week, it could be two weeks. I don’t know. We’ll do what’s right by him, and then ultimately put him in a position so we can really, truly evaluate him against competition.”

The backup catcher situation
The natural question this afternoon was this: Would Jesus Montero be in line to make the major league team if he’d had a better spring training?

“I’ve actually thought that his defense has improved the last two weeks in spring training,” Girardi said. “He went through a little rough spell and I thought he played better. Part of it could be pressing, there’s no doubt about it. I don’t know how, as a young kid, you don’t get excited about the possibility of making a club for the first time in your life. Most of the guys in that room were that way at one time, so that makes it difficult.

“You sit and you watch players and you have a vision of what might be right for them, and sometimes your vision changes. That’s something that we need to decide in the next couple of days. Do we go with one of our younger kids, or do we go with Molina?”

As for a few more standard notes from this afternoon…

• CC Sabathia is pitching at the minor league complex tomorrow because it gives the Yankees more flexibility. “Sometimes you can do things a little bit different,” Girardi siad. “If he has a seven-pitch inning, you can do another out. They won’t necessarily let you do that here.”

• Girardi said he doesn’t know yet who’s starting Sunday’s game. He has starters lined up for Monday and Tuesday, but he didn’t want to announce them just yet.

• Here’s Girardi more or less guaranteeing that Colon, Garcia and Nova will make the team: “You don’t want to say everything is etched in stone, but it’s a little clearer. We’ve talked aboiut three of the four guys going and now you take one away. Could things change? Yes, they could, but we said all along it would probably be three out of those four.”

• Today is a standard, planned day off for Alex Rodriguez and Jorge Posada.

Associated Press photos




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