After announcing his final rotation decisions this morning, Joe Girardi said this afternoon that he plans to announce his final roster on Monday. He might do it tomorrow, but Monday is probably the day he’ll fill in the blanks.* Monday just so happens to be the deadline to add Eric Chavez to the roster.
“I don’t think he can look any better than he looks,” Brian Cashman said. “He’s done everything he needs to do.”
Chavez is in camp on a minor league deal, and as Cashman explained the technical language, Chavez can request that he be added to the roster on Sunday. The Yankees then have 24 hours to agree, or Chavez can opt out and go elsewhere. It won’t be an issue.
“You never know until it happens,” Chavez said.
Fact is, Chavez is hitting .410 this spring. He’s hit one home run, four doubles and played solid defense at first and third. Joe Girardi has said more than once that Chavez is showing no signs of injury, and Chavez keeps saying he feels great. He had that minor calf injury, but even Chavez — a guy who has reason to be worried about the slightest nagging pain — was never concerned. The Yankees won’t make it official until they have to, but it’s clear that Chavez is making this team.
“He’s looked really, really good,” Girardi said.
Truth be told, most of today’s notes came in the morning. Scroll down a little bit or click here to read those.
• Russell Martin was supposed to catch CC Sabathia this morning, but he sat out because of a tight left hamstring. The fact it has nothing to do with his surgically repaired knee seems to be a good sign, and Girardi said he’s not concerned. Martin is scheduled to catch again on Monday. “We feel that he’s going to be fine,” Girardi said.
• Speaking of Sabathia: 3 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K. He threw 37 pitches, 24 for strikes. No surprise, but Gustavo Molina said he looked great.
• As for Molina, he caught Sabathia’s minor league start, then hustled back to Steinbrenner Field in time to catch all of the major league pitchers who threw the late innings. Molina caught a total of nine innings today, and Girardi said he won’t catch tomorrow. Molina got to the big league park in the third inning, just in time to catch Mariano Rivera in the fourth.
• Rafael Soriano pitched two-thirds of an inning and said this was his last spring outing. Girardi wasn’t so sure Soriano was finished until Opening Day, but Soriano said he would not be pitching again until the regular season. “I’m ready to go,” he said.
• Today was almost certainly the final appearance of Manny Banuelos, who allowed one run on two hits and three walks through three innings. He struck out three and will leave big league camp with a 2.13 ERA. “I’ve been pleased,” Girardi said. “For the most part, I think he’s handled his surroundings very well for a 19- and 20-year-old. He has been able to throw strikes for the most part, quality strikes.”
• Alex Rodriguez’s insane spring continued with his sixth home run this afternoon. He has 14 RBI and a .422 batting average.
• On March 14, Nick Swisher was hitting .188 with two RBI this spring. After a 2-for-3 game today he’s up to .250 with eight RBI. He’s not exactly on fire, but he’s starting to get something going offensively.
• I mentioned it earlier, but I’ll mention it here as well: Girardi was encouraged by the fact Curtis Granderson swung a bat today. He wasn’t supposed to do that until tomorrow, but he came through his other drills so well that the training staff let him take about 30 swings, 15 soft toss and 15 off a tee. Girardi said he feels a little more encouraged that Granderson might have a shot at Opening Day.
• The Yankees still don’t know who’s starting tomorrow. Only three 40-man pitchers are scheduled to make the trip: Steve Garrison, Romulo Sanchez and Ryan Pope.
Additional minor league pitchers added to the travel roster: Buddy Carlyle, Eric Wordekemper, Francisco Gil, Josh Schmidt, Pat Venditte, Andy Sisco, Kevin Whelan, Amaury Sanit, Wilkins Arias and Tim Norton.
Position players not making the trip to Fort Myers: Russell Martin, Jorge Posada, Derek Jeter, Nick Swisher, Curtis Granderson, Nick Swisher and Chris Dickerson. Gustavo Molina is still listed, but he probably won’t actually go after catching nine innings today.
Minor league position players who will be making the trip to Fort Myers: Luke Murton, Luis Nunez, Yadil Mujica, Ray Kruml, Austin Krum, Abe Almonte and J.R. Murphy.
Associated Press photos, that’s Chavez being low-fived by Nick Swisher in the top picture