Derek Jeter has a sore calf, Eduardo Nunez has a bruise hand and Ramiro Pena has a sprained ankle. The top shortstop on the Yankees depth chart at the moment is minor league veteran Doug Bernier, a very nice defensive player who has a total of four big league at-bats with the Rockies. He’s spent two seasons with Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and, despite unimpressive offensive numbers, he was brought back for a third turn.
“It’s like a different player than what I saw last spring,” Joe Girardi said. “And this is not a young kid, but he really went to work on shortening his swing. He’s always played great defense. He had a decent year in Triple-A. I know he fell off a little bit at the end, but he had a pretty decent year in Triple-A. He has impressed. If you hit it to him, you’re out. That’s the bottom line. He’s really consistent and he has range and he can do some things.”
Bernier gets the start at shortstop this afternoon. He’s started at short three times this spring. The only other Yankees with any shortstop starts are Jeter (7), Nunez (2) and Pena (3). Jayson Nix has played short off the bench a couple of times — and he’ll do so again today — but Bernier seems to be getting a legitimate look as a backup plan for the backup job.
“You never know when an injury is going to crop up and when it’s going to lead to an opportunity for someone,” Girardi said. “Sometimes it happens and you have to evaluate.”
• As you might expect, Derek Jeter downplayed his calf injury as the kind of thing that happens every year. He felt some soreness in Wednesday’s game against the Blue Jays but stayed in to finish the game. Yesterday, he got some ice after the workout. “There aren’t too many secrets around here,” Jeter said. “So it went up the chain of command and this is where we are.” Jeter said it’s a non-issue and he would absolutely play if this were the regular season.
• Similar words came from Nick Swisher, who said he was able to hit and run just fine today, but he’s going to take an extra day to get more treatment on his left groin, which bothered him a little bit as he ran out of the box during his second at-bat on Wednesday. “No big deal,” he said.
• David Phelps will start Thursday’s game against the Red Sox. CC Sabathia will pitch in a minor league game that day. Phil Hughes is scheduled to start on Wednesday, finally splitting Hughes and Sabathia’s spots in the rotation. Hughes will essentially stay on regular rest while Sabathia will get an extra day.
• After two batting practice sessions, George Kontos is 100 percent and ready to pitch in a game. He thinks that might happen Sunday, but he hasn’t been given a definite date. He’s happy with the way he’s pitched since coming back from the sore oblique.
• Today’s sides: D.J. Mitchell, Joba Chamberlain and Manny Banuelos. Tomorrow’s sides: Brett Marshall and Michael Pineda.
• Brad Meyers, the Rule 5 pick who’s been out with a shoulder injury, is scheduled to face hitters tomorrow. He’ll throw batting practice to Brandon Laird and Colin Curtis.
• Today’s available pitchers: CC Sabathia, Phil Hughes, Mariano Rivera, Rafael Soriano, Mike O’Connor, Adam Miller, Ryan Pope, Chase Whitley and Cesar Cabral
• Today’s second string: C Gustavo Molina, 1B Brandon Laird, 2B Corban Joseph, SS Jayson Nix, 3B J.R. Murphy, LF Cole Garner, CF Justin Maxwell, RF Colin Curtis, DH Eric Chavez
Curtis Granderson CF
Robinson Cano 2B
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Mark Teixeira 1B
Andruw Jones RF
Raul Ibanez DH
Francisco Cervelli C
Bill Hall LF
Doug Bernier SS
LHP CC Sabathia
Ian Desmond SS
Steve Lombardozzi 3B
Mark DeRosa 1B
Wilson Ramos DH
Jesus Flores C
Jason Michaels LF
Brett Carroll CF
Bryce Harper RF
Andres Blanco 2B
LHP Gio Gonzalez
Associated Press photos