The LoHud Yankees Blog

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

Archive for February, 2013

Thrown out: Very different days for Stewart and Cervelli02.28.13

A split squad meant both Chris Stewart and Francisco Cervelli were starting catchers this afternoon.

They had very different days.

Here in Tampa, Stewart caught David Phelps’ first two innings, then he seemed to have an infield single in his first at-bat. He grounded to short, and it was a bang-bang play at first. Stewart stuck his arms out as if signaling safe, but first base umpire Marty Foster called him out. Stewart argued briefly, Foster said something back to Stewart, then Stewart said some more as he walked away. That’s when Foster tossed him.

“I didn’t feel like I was talked to in the right manner, and I told him, ‘Don’t talk to me like that,'” Stewart said. “I didn’t curse at him. I pointed at him once, he told me not to point at him, and I didn’t do it again. Somehow I got tossed. … I’m just trying to make a team. I didn’t feel like I did anything to deserve to be thrown out of the game. I didn’t get in his face. Apparently he thought I did something that I didn’t do, and here I am.”

I haven’t seen a replay since Stewart gave his side of the story. Some believe Stewart pointed a second time, and Joe Girardi said Foster explained that he ejected Stewart for pointing (which was seen as showing up the umpire). Regardless, Stewart was in the dugout by the end of the second inning.

Over in Kissimmee, Cervelli went 0-for-3, but he did throw out two more runners trying to steal second base. Those were the third and fourth batters Cervelli had thrown out this spring — only one has stolen successfully against him — and considering Girardi’s emphasis on defense at the position, Cervelli’s throwing is the early standout in the competition.

“He’s throwing the ball extremely well, and that’s good,” Girardi said. “That was something that he kind of lost a feel for. He was really good when he first came up and for whatever reason he got out of whack, but that seems to have corrected itself.”

It’s too early to say who’s going to win the competition, but there’s little doubt who won today.

“I don’t want to be in here after the second inning,” Stewart said. “I want to be out there on the field seeing pitches, catching my pitchers, getting a feel for them. Being in here sucks, especially after two innings. It is what it is. I apologized to Joe for somehow doing something to get out of the game.”

Associated Press photos

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Thursday notes: Sabathia to make only three spring starts02.28.13

The big board in Joe Girardi’s office has been updated. It lists the Yankees starting pitchers through the middle of next week, and it begins to outline an unusual spring for CC Sabathia.

Friday: Hiroki Kuroda
Saturday: Ivan Nova
Sunday: Adam Warren (Andy Pettitte sim game)
Monday: Off day
Tuesday: David Phelps (CC Sabathia sim game)
Wednesday: Hiroki Kuroda

Sabathia should be lined up to make his spring debut on March 10, but Girardi doesn’t want Sabathia to face the Blue Jays — avoiding the division — so Sabathia will instead throw another simulated game that day. That leaves Sabathia to make his spring debut no earlier than March 15, which leaves him time to make only three starts before Opening Day.

Girardi said Pettitte might also throw a second simulated game before pitching in an actual exhibition, leaving him no more than four actual spring starts.

“We don’t want them to start too many games down here because then you’re using innings that you would use during the season,” Girardi said. “You can control their pitch count (in a sim game). You can control things a lot easier, and they’re still getting built up. The key is to get them built up. I’m not going to worry about if Mo’s going to have intensity come April 1, or if Andy’s going to have intensity or CC. We’ve got to get them built up and ready for the season.”

Girardi said he considers simulated games to be essentially on equal footing with regular exhibition games. Sabathia’s two innings this morning were more like batting practice, Girardi said, but simulated games going forward will count like real innings in the process of getting pitchers build up.

“You’re going to be seeing hitters,” Girardi said. “It’s not like he’s throwing underneath in the cage. I think CC knows how to get prepared.”

• The Yankees lost two more games today and fell to 1-6 in spring training. If a spring record isn’t entirely meaningless, it’s surely very close. But still, one of these days I’m sure they’d like to win another one. They haven’t won since Saturday’s spring opener.

• Kevin Youkilis went through fielding drills and batting practice today. Girardi said Youkilis isn’t making the Fort Myers trip on Sunday, and it’s still undecided whether he’ll play Friday and Saturday or just Saturday. “I told him I’m going to sleep on it,” Girardi said. “He’s ready to go. He wanted to play yesterday. He wanted to play today. I might give him one at-bat tomorrow and then a couple on Saturday.”

• Nothing concrete on Phil Hughes, who did another day of pool work. “So far everything he’s needed to do has gone great,” Brian Cashman said. “A week of medication and rest, and I think he’s four, five days into the pool. And if everything goes right, maybe by Tuesday of next week, maybe (he’ll play catch). We have to hear from the doctor, but we’re hoping we get the ball in his hand for a flat ground throwing program. One step at a time. I know he feels good.”

• No complaints after Mariano Rivera’s 18-pitch morning sim game. “You saw me go after that bunt there,” Rivera said. “It was good.”

• Same for Sabathia’s two innings of batting practice. He threw 46 pitches, so he’s fairly stretched out already. “I’m not, obviously, game ready,” Sabathia said. “But I’m getting there. I’m feeling better in the bullpen. Like I said, I felt a lot better today, just commanding the baseball.”

• Also no problems for either Ronnier Mustelier or Slade Heathcott who had a pretty brutal collision in the outfield. Heathcott covered a ton of ground to even be in the vicinity of the ball, and Mustelier made the catch despite an almost perfect tackle by Heathcott. “It didn’t really hurt either one of us,” Heathcott said. “I think we kind of fit the other like a puzzle piece or something like that.”

• Cashman said the Yankees have been impressed with Michael Pineda’s bullpens, but he also acknowledged that it’s too early to know much for certain.

• Facing essentially the Blue Jays regulars, David Phelps pitched three scoreless innings in his second start of the spring. “It felt like the same thing as the other day,” Phelps said. “I felt like I was getting ahead of guys. They were aggressive today; they were swinging at a lot of early stuff. I’ll take it. I’ll take early outs whenever we can get them. I feel like I was able to work some offspeed pitches today and felt really good.”

• David Aardsma and Clay Rapada each had the same pitching line in their spring debuts: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K. Dellin Betances pitched a scoreless inning in his debut. He walked two and struck out two.

• Home runs hurt the Yankees in both games today. In the 1-0 loss at home, Chase Whitley gave up a solo shot to Andy LaRoche. In the 7-6 loss on the road, Mike O’Brien gave up a solo shot to Rick Ankiel (on of three runs O’Brien allowed) and Shane Greene gave up a grand slam to former Yankees third baseman Brandon Laird.

• Francisco Cervelli threw out two more base runners today. So far, he’s showing a pretty good arm this spring.

• Melky Mesa had two hits including a home run. Zoilo Almonte also had two hits, as did Juan Rivera and Francisco Arcia. … Tyler Austin had a triple in his only at-bat of the day. … Eduardo Nunez made his first error of the spring, a throwing error. … Brett Gardner and Ichiro Suzuki each had a hit today to continue their strong starts to the spring.

• Don’t think anyone needed this, but Girardi said Sabathia will be the Opening Day starter. So it’s good to have that confirmed.

• Sabathia’s take on Rivera’s sim game: “He looked good, which I expected,” Sabathia said. “He’s throwing the ball right where he wants to, and for him to be able to do that in February is amazing.”

Associated Press photos

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Cashman: Yankees made “significant offer” to Cano02.28.13

The Yankees are not just willing to make an offer to Robinson Cano, they’ve already put one on the table.

General manager Brian Cashman said today — first on a radio interview, and then to a group of writers — that the Yankees made a “significant offer” to Cano. Previously, Hal Steinbrenner had indicated that the Yankees were willing to make an offer, but Cashman made it clear that an offer was already extended.

“I thought I was restating Hal’s stuff,” Cashman said. “If I said a little bit more, that’s all I’m saying.”

Cashman wouldn’t say when the offer was made. He also wouldn’t say whether it’s been rejected or remains on the table. It’s been unusual for the Yankees to make mid-contract offers, but Cashman said that’s not necessarily an organizational rule.

“Since we’re the team, we have the right to chance our minds and adjust the policy whenever,” Cashman said. “Especially ownership. It’s not like it’s a country club and here’s the code of conduct that you can’t deviate from. We’ve had a history of doing things a certain way, but that doesn’t mean that you have to do it that way every day.”

Associated Press photo

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Spring training Games 6 and 7: vs. Blue Jays, at Astros02.28.13

Brett Gardner CF
Ichiro Suzuki RF
Mark Teixeira 1B
Travis Hafner DH
Juan Rivera LF
Chris Stewart C
Dan Johnson 3B
Jose Pirela 2B
Gil Velazquez SS

RHP David Phelps (4-4, 3.34 ERA in 2012)
Phelps vs. Blue Jays

Jose Reyes SS
Melky Cabrera LF
Jose Bautista RF
Edwin Encarnacion 1B
J.P. Arencibia DH
Brett Lawrie 3B
Rajai Davis CF
Henry Blanco C
Maicer Izturis 2B

RHP Brandon Morrow
Morrow vs. Yankees

TIME/TV: 1:05 p.m., YES Network


Eduardo Nunez SS
Jayson Nix 2B
Zoilo Almonte RF
Matt Diaz LF
Melky Mesa CF
Francisco Cervelli C
Corban Joseph 3B
Luke Murton 1B
J.R. Murphy DH

RHP Brett Marshall
Marshall has never faced the Astros

ASTROS (3-2-1)
Jose Altuve 2B
Justin Maxwell CF
Carlos Pena 1B
Chris Carter LF
Jason Castro C
J.D. Martinez RF
Rick Ankiel DH
Marwin Gonzalez 3B
Jonathan Villar SS

RHP Lucas Harrell (11-11, 3.76 ERA in 2012)
Harrell vs. Yankees

TIME/TV: 1:05 p.m., not on television

SPLIT SQUAD: This is the Yankees first split-squad of the spring. Tony Pena is managing the group in Kissimmee, where a team made primarily of minor leaguers and borderline big leaguers will face the Astros (should be a fair fight, right?). Here in Tampa, the Yankees are facing pretty much the regular Blue Jays lineup.

FAMILIAR NAMES: Two opposing outfielders are pretty familiar. For the Blue Jays it’s left fielder Melky Cabrera. For the Astros it’s center fielder Justin Maxwell. After being designated for assignment last spring, Maxwell settled in with the Astros and actually became one of their standouts. He might be the best player on that team.  

LATE SCRATCH: The Blue Jays scratched Colby Rasmus and are using Rajai Davis instead.

WHAT TO WATCH: Spring debut of Clay Rapada (in Tampa) and Dellin Betances (in Kissimmee). … All four of the catching candidates are playing today with Stewart and Cervelli starting, Bobby Wilson and Austin Romine coming off the bench. … With Phil Hughes being at least somewhat questionable for the start of the season, David Phelps seems to be the most obvious replacement if the Yankees need someone to make a spot start or two in early April. … Will Brett Gardner and Ichiro Suzuki continue their hot starts to the spring?

UPDATE, 1:11 p.m.: Phelps walks Bautista, but gets the rest of the side, ending the inning with a strikeout of Encarnacion.

UPDATE, 1:16 p.m.: Blue Jays’ shift for Teixeira was extreme, and they’re staying that way for Hafner. Only different for Hafner is that Lowrie — playing shallow rigth field — moves back a little deeper. Either way, shortstop Reyes is playing almost perfectly up the middle. It’s almost impossible for the left side to be any more open.

UPDATE, 1:18 p.m.: Shift does it’s job. Hafner’s sharp ground ball got past Encarnacion, but it went straight to Lawrie for a 3-5-3 putout.

UPDATE, 1:23 p.m.: Pretty nice play by Pirela to turn a double play that gets Phelps out of the second inning.

UPDATE, 1;26 p.m.: Over in Kissimmee, Nunez has his first throwing error of the spring, and Cervelli has thrown out another base runner.

UPDATE, 1:28 p.m.: Stewart just got ejected for arguing a call at first base. Tossed from a spring game. Crazy. I did think he was safe, though.

UPDATE, 1:31 p.m.: Wilson now catching for the Yankees.

UPDATE, 1:34 p.m.: Pretty solid play at third base by Dan Johnson. Had to go to his left. It helped that Blanco was running.

UPDATE, 1:36 p.m.: Wilson throws out Izturis trying to steal second. At this point it’s pretty clear that Wilson is a distant dark horse in the catching competition, but he’s proven he can handle the big leagues.

UPDATE, 1:41 p.m.: That’s probably all for David Phelps today. Cabrera flied to center to strand Reyes and end the top of the third. It’s still scoreless. Phelps allowed two hits and walked a batter.

UPDATE, 1:42 p.m.: Now pitching for the Blue Jays, J.A. Happ, the same guy who broke Curtis Granderson’s forearm.

UPDATE, 1:55 p.m.: Didn’t see check the gun on all of Aardsma’s pitches, but YES had his final fastball at 92 mph. Aardsma pitched a 1-2-3 fourth inning. That was his first appearance of the spring.

UPDATE, 2:23 p.m.: Gardner lifted for a pinch runner. Only in spring training. Heathcott running at first base.

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Thursday morning notes: Rivera throws simulated game02.28.13

Mariano Rivera threw a simulated game this morning. From a pitching standpoint, that’s basically the same thing as throwing live batting practice, but a sim game gave Rivera a chance to test his knee with some fielding. He came through the workout with no problem, then went to do some running. Seems like the knee held up just fine.

CC Sabathia also faced hitters this morning. I didn’t see all of Sabathia’s session, but I did see him face Ronnier Mustelier, who took some pretty ugly swings. Not sure whether that says more about Sabathia or Mustelier.

Still no word on when either Rivera or Sabathia will get in a game.

• Pretty quiet clubhouse this morning. Roughly half of the team took an early bus to Kissimmee to face the Astros. Everyone else was kind of floating in and out of the room. The early spring buzz has definitely died down. Just all part of the routine today.

• Status quo on Phil Hughes. Not sure when we’ll know anything new on him.

• Dellin Betances and Clay Rapada are each scheduled to pitch in a game for the first time this spring.

• Boone Logan will pitch a simulated game tomorrow.

• A few guys are up from the minor league complex to provide some depth. In Tampa, utility man Casey Stevensen will be on the bench and Craig Heyer will be in the bullpen. Doesn’t look like either one is scheduled to play. They’re here just in case. In Kissimmee, Kevin Mahoney is scheduled to play third base off the bench. Infielder Reegie Corona and pitchers Schaeffer Hall and Graham Stoneburner also made that trip as reserves.

• Matt Tracy and Shawn Kelley each threw simulated games this morning. They were on the field before Sabathia and Rivera. The hitters were Kyle Roller, Addison Maruszak and Ronnier Mustelier.

• Today’s bullpens: Jose Ramirez, Adam Warren and Andy Pettitte.

Home second string: C Bobby Wilson, 1B Kyle Roller, 2B none, SS Addison Maruszak, 3B Rob Segedin, LF Thomas Neal, CF Slade Heathcott, RF Ronnier Mustelier, DH Gary Sanchez

Home relievers: David Aardsma, Clay Rapada, Branden Pinder, Juan Cedeno, Chase Whitley, Jim Miller

Road second string: C Austin Romine, 1B Greg Bird, 2B Walter Ibarra, SS Cito Culver, 3B Kevin Mahoney, LF Ramon Flores, CF Adonis Garcia, RF Tyler Austin, DH Francisco Arcia

Road relievers: Dellin Betances, Mike O’Brien, Shane Greene, Kelvin Perez, Corey Black, Zach Nuding

• Blue Jays lineup for today’s home game:
Jose Reyes SS
Melky Cabrera LF
Jose Bautista RF
Edwin Encarnacion 1B
Colby Rasmus CF
Brett Lawrie 3B
J.P. Arencibia DH
Henry Blanco C
Maicer Izturis 2B

RHP Brandon Morrow

Associated Press photos

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Split squad lineups02.28.13

Brett Gardner CF
Ichiro Suzuki RF
Mark Teixeira 1B
Travis Hafner DH
Juan Rivera LF
Chris Stewart C
Dan Johnson 3B
Jose Pirela 2B
Gil Velazquez SS

RHP David Phelps

Eduardo Nunez SS
Jayson Nix 2B
Zoilo Almonte RF
Matt Diaz LF
Melky Mesa CF
Francisco Cervelli C
Corban Joseph 3B
Luke Murton 1B
J.R. Murphy DH

RHP Brett Marshall

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Weiner on $189 million plan: “I’ll believe it when I see it”02.27.13

Major League Baseball Players Association executive director Michael Weiner has met with seven teams so far this spring, and his latest stop was in Yankees camp. It was a reminder that Yankees fans aren’t the only ones with reason to hope Hal Steinbrenner backs away from his plan to cut payroll.

“I can’t say it concerns me,” Weiner said. “I imagine Mr. Steinbrenner is sincere when he says that, but like a lot of things, I’ll believe it when I see it.”

Obviously the Players Association is happy when the Yankees — or any team, really — is spending big money. Weiner seems to believe the Yankees cuts will be either temporary or non-existent.

“We knew when we negotiated the last basic agreement that there were certain incentives built in for the Yankees to drop their payroll,” Weiner said. “One of them is for any club that has crossed the threshold a multiple number of times. It used to be that if they went down (below the luxury tax) one year, they got a reduced tax rate but not very much of a reduced tax rate. Now, a team like the Yankees that has blown past our threshold every single year that we’ve had it, if they go under for one year, they zero out and they go back to 17.5 percent. If the Yankees decide to drop their payroll to do that, I’m not concerned, because they’re dropping their payroll to put themselves in position to greatly increase their payroll the next year. That incentive was understood.

“The market disqualification (making large-market teams gradually ineligible for revenue sharing) was part of it. I’m much more skeptical about that incentive for the Yankees. You can throw out all kinds of different numbers as to what the Yankees might garner from the market disqualification pool, but I think when the numbers are in, that pool is going to be much, much smaller than the Yankees or some people have suggested it’s going to be. It depends on what the increase in revenues of Toronto is, and Toronto is going to have a lot of increased revenue. It’s going to depend on the increased revenue of the Nationals, and the Nationals project a lot of increased revenue. It’s going to be what the Braves do, and the Braves are projecting substantial increases in revenue.

“If the Yankees decide to go below 189 — and we’ll see, the Yankees are the Yankees and I’m sure it will depend on a number of factors — I’m really not overly concerned. If they go below, they go below, and they’ll be in a position to come back. I’m actually pleased overall with the way that market disqualification provision has worked to give teams like those that I mentioned a real incentive to grow their revenue. It seems to have worked pretty well.”

Here’s Weiner talking about a few PED topics.

Is the Players Association concerned with the recent Biogenesis reports?
“I guess the answer is yes, you’re always concerned when this kind of thing happens. There’s a process that will play out. We are expeditiously meeting with any player whose name has surfaced to see whether there is anything there. MLB will have its opportunity to investigate these people, and if more names come out, we’ll follow that as well. It is a concern that more names are seemingly attached to this story, but at this point, until we get a chance to actually talk to our guys, they’re only seemingly attached to this story. Some of them are attached because they had some link with this doctor, with Bosch, or they had a link with the lab. Some of them have no link at all with PEDs, even if you accepted what the stories say.”

Do the players seem sick of the ongoing problem of steroids in baseball?
“That is the view of the players. I use those words in my talk. I said, ‘I know you guys are sick of this subject and I know you want a clean game.’ The players understand that we have a statutory, a legal obligation to represent any player who is subject to discipline or accused of wrongdoing, but the players also understand that we have also have a legal obligation to the joint drug program. There’s no mistake as to where the sentiment of the players are; Mark (Teixeira) is right, they are sick of this issue. They would much rather focus on all the positives that the game of baseball is producing. If there is something going on, whether it’s in Miami or otherwise, they want us to get to the bottom of it.”

Do players think the testing process is working?
“The thinking of both the union and the commissioner’s office this offseason when we made changes was — this is a fairly standard tenet of criminal justice, as well — that the best way to deter conduct is to make it more likely that you’re going to get caught. Increasing the severity of the penalties has limited usefulness if people think they’re going to get away with something. At that point, both the commissioner’s office and the players association viewed the penalties we have as strong and clearly sufficient – they’re stronger than any other team sport. We increased the number and year-round nature of HGH testing, we increased and improved our testosterone testing, and the message that has gone out to players is, ‘I can’t promise you you’re going to get caught, because we don’t test you every single day, but you’re likely to get caught if you try to cheat the system. We’re getting more and more sophisticated.’ We’ll see how that works. Increasing the likelihood of detection was really the major joint priority of us and the commissioner’s office this offseason.”

Does the union discourage players from going to a clinic like Biogenesis?
“We give players advice, even on things that aren’t necessarily illegal. We give players advice on what supplements to use, for example, but we can’t require them to use supplements that have been certified under our joint program, but you’re running a risk if you use a different one. If a player is involved with an individual, an institution or an entity whose reputation is suspect, we’re going to say to you, ‘Look, you’re a Major League Baseball player; that may not be the smartest thing to do whether you violated the program or not.'”

Associated Press photos

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Postgame notes: “I just didn’t have it”02.27.13

Even by early spring training standards, today’s 10-7 Yankees loss was an ugly. The Yankees made five errors, one of them a Corban Joseph throw that sailed deep into the stands. Their seven runs came in two innings, in between which the Yankees went six scoreless without every putting more than one runner on base.

But the unwanted spotlight shined brightest on left-handed pitcher Nik Turley.

Coming off a terrific High-A season, with a new spot on the 40-man roster, Turley made his first spring start and couldn’t get out of the first inning. He allowed five runs, gave up three hits, threw two wild pitches and got only one out. Beyond the unforgiving stats, Turley bounced two curveballs several feet in front of home plate, threw another pitch behind a batter, and sent a pickoff attempt well into foul territory.

“I just didn’t have it,” Turley said. “I didn’t know where the ball was going, and that’s never good. Then you start getting frustrated and you start to overthrow.”

Turley was quiet but direct in talking about his disappointing start. He’d made his spring debut on Saturday in Orlando — the Yankees spring opener — and allowed one hit with one strikeout through one scoreless inning. He was good that day, leaving little reason to believe something like this was coming.

“There were some nerves,” Turley said. “But there were nerves in Orlando. I can’t blame it on that. I pitched well in Orlando, and I felt the same way over there. I’m just disappointed. … You can’t take it back. I wish I could, I wish I could start over.”

Turley said Andy Pettitte and Joba Chamberlain each pulled him aside after the rough outing. Joe Girardi also made a point of talking to him.

“He said just try to take the positives from it, as hard as it can be to do that,” Turley said. “You need to learn from it and move on. He said that he likes my stuff, he likes my makeup, and he knows I can do well. I just need to move on.”

• The Yankees will have big leaguers starting the next three days. David Phelps makes his second start on Thursday, Hiroki Kuroda will make his first start on Friday and Ivan Nova will start Saturday. Girardi said it’s likely Andy Pettitte will throw a simulated game on Sunday. Someone else will pitch that day’s actual game against Boston.

• Although Kevin Youkilis feels ready to play, he’ll sit out again tomorrow. Girardi said Youkilis will take batting practice tomorrow and won’t play until Friday at the earliest. “I know he’s going to want to play Friday,” Girardi said. “I’ll see what Stevie (Donohue) says. I’m probably not going to take him Sunday. Maybe I’ll just do it on Saturday.”

• Girardi said Youkilis would be playing right now if this were the regular season. There are no real concerns about him, just playing it incredibly safe.

• Talked to Nick Goody for the first time today. He said further tests revealed nothing more serious than a sprained ankle suffered in that car wreck a few days ago. He played catch on his knees today and did 21 minutes on a stationary bike. Goody said he can already put full weight on his ankle and he feels confident he’ll be able to get into a spring training game. “I’m optimistic and they’re optimistic,” Goody said.

• Robinson Cano said he’ll take tomorrow off then play Friday and Saturday before leaving for the World Baseball Classic on Sunday. “I’m going to be away, but I’m going to keep playing,” Cano said. “The only difference is I’m preparing earlier than what I used to.

• This is worth it’s own note: Girardi referred to Clay Rapada as “Rapper” today. I’m only the messenger.

• Speaking of Rapper, he and Boone Logan have yet to get in a game. Girardi said the team is simply taking things slowly with the two left-handers, especially Logan. “They’re both fine,” Girardi said. “Boonie has to do some BPs still. Boonie, seems like every spring we have to shut him down for about a week anyway, so we just took it slow.”

• Brett Gardner’s strong start to spring training continued with a walk and a three-run triple in his first two at-bats. “First triple in the past two years,” Gardner said.

• Girardi was impressed with Slade Heathcott’s first appearance in the starting lineup. “Hit a ball pretty hard, was exciting on the bases. I was pleased,” Girardi said.

• Getting another turn at third base — he has yet to play second this spring — Corban Joseph was happy to have a tough groundball hit to his right side in the fourth inning. His strong throw to first got the runner by a half step and brought a bit of redemption after Joseph’s only other throw of the day sailed well over first base and deep into the stands. Joseph said he never got his feet set on that throw, rushing because he thought he had less time than he actually did. It’s all part of the adjustment process, Joseph said. He’s getting a lot of time at third base spring, but he hasn’t played very very often in recent years, and he’s still getting used to it.

• Of today’s five errors, Jayson Nix’s bad throw in the first was the only one charged to a projected big leaguer. “You’ve got young kids,” Girardi said. “They’re going to battle some nerves out there. They haven’t had a whole lot of games on YES.”

• A big ninth-inning rally actually brought the winning run to the plate in the ninth inning. Kyle Roller had the big hit in the inning and Tyler Austin drew a walk to load the bases, but Adonis Garcia grounded to third to end it. … Juan Rivera’s double and Gardner’s triple were the Yankees only extra-base hits. … Both Chris Stewart and Francisco Cervelli had hits. Stewart made a brutally bad throw to second base (didn’t count as an error because no one advanced). … Zoilo Almonte had another hit. … Mark Montgomery made his spring debut with a scoreless inning. He walked one and struck out one.

• Phelps said he expects to pitch three innings tomorrow, but the Yankees haven’t told him an exact plan. He threw one bullpen between starts, just like his normal in-season routine.

• Tony Pena will manage tomorrow’s split-squad road game against the Astros. Girardi joked that it was preparation for the World Baseball Classic (Pena is the manager for Team Dominican Republic).

Associated Press photos (might not have been an AP photographer here today, these are all older pictures)

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Girardi says it’s possible Hughes won’t be ready for season02.27.13

Phil Hughes is expecting a few more days of pool workouts, and he has no idea when he’ll pick up a baseball. This afternoon, Joe Girardi acknowledged that Hughes might not be ready in time to open the season.

“It’s possible,” Girardi said. “I think it’s too early to tell that, though.”

Hughes needs to be stretched out to roughly 75 pitches this spring, which should take at least four starts. There’s time for him to get that many, but there’s little wiggle room, especially with Girardi saying Hughes probably won’t start a game for another two weeks.

“I couldn’t even tell you (how many spring starts are necessary),” Hughes said. “I need as many as I would have gotten (without the injury). The plan is setup because you need them. I’m a guy that needs the work. If I get to 70 pitches and they feel like I’m ready to go, then I’m ready to go.”

The Yankees will need a fifth starter no later than April 7. For Hughes to get four starts — pitching every fifth day — before April 7, he will need to make his first spring start no later than March 18. That’s two weeks from Monday.

“Every day is worrisome when I’m not throwing,” Hughes said. “It’s a double-edged sword. I don’t want to push this thing and have it become a recurring issue. I want to make sure it’s over and done with, but at the same time, every day is a day lost.”

Associated Press photo

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Spring training Game 5: Yankees vs. Orioles02.27.13

Brett Gardner LF
Jayson Nix SS
Robinson Cano 2B
Juan Rivera DH
Dan Johnson 1B
Zoilo Almonte RF
Slade Heathcott CF
Chris Stewart C
Corban Joseph 3B

LHP Nik Turley (9-5, 2.89 ERA in High-A last year)
Turley has never faced the Orioles

Alexi Casilla 2B
Manny Machado 3B
Conor Jackson DH
Steve Pearce LF
Russ Canzler RF
Lew Ford CF
Danny Valencia 1B
Ryan Flaherty SS
Luis Exposito C

RHP Jake Arrieta (3-9, 6.20 ERA in 2012)
Arrieta vs. Yankees

TIME/TV: 1:05 p.m., YES Network

WEATHER: Little bit cloudy earlier today, but it’s become a typical spring training day. Blue sky. Sunshine. Very slight breeze blowing out.

UMPIRES: HP Chad Whitson, 1B Dan Iassogna, 3B Vic Carpazza

ORIOLES PEN: Baltimore has RHP Dylan Bundy, RHP Todd Redmond, RHP Steve Johnson, LHP T.J. McFarland and LHP Eduardo Rodriguez scheduled to pitch. Bundy is a huge prospect. Should be interesting to see him.

FAMILIAR NAMES: The Orioles lineup includes Steve Pearce (who played briefly a part-time role for the Yankees last season) and Russ Canzler who was briefly on the Yankees 40-man roster this winter and might have had a chance to win a job in camp). Both players were claimed off waivers by the Orioles. … The rest of the Orioles lineup is made up of some smaller names partially because the Orioles are a split-squad today. They have a home game tonight against Boston.

WHAT TO WATCH: Spring debut of Mark Montgomery. … Another chance for Zoilo Almonte to make his case for the big league roster. … Slade Heathcott in center field. … Corban Joseph and Dan Johnson at the corners. Can one of those two emerge as a viable option as a left-handed bat off the bench? … Robinson Cano is leaving for the World Baseball Classic this weekend, so this is surely one of his last games with the Yankees this spring. Not that he has much to prove, but the Yankees won’t see a lot of him next month.

UPDATE, 1:07 p.m.: Leadoff walk, then Turley made a bad pickoff throw, and Dan Johnson got tangled with the runner who advanced to second on an error and interference. Strange way to start this game.

UPDATE, 1:09 p.m.: Turley just bounced a breaking ball three feet in front of the plate. I don’t know if it’s nerves or simply early spring training, but Turley hasn’t been sharp. At all.

UPDATE, 1:10 p.m.: Infield single and now runners at the corners for the 3, 4 and 5 hitters. Granted, those 3, 4 and 5 hitters are Conor Jackson, Steve Pearce and Russ Canzler, but still.

UPDATE, 1:12 p.m.: RBI single for Jackson and a meeting on the mound from Rothschild.

UPDATE, 1:13 p.m.: Not a particulary good route by Heathcott. The ball falls for an RBI double to right center. It’s now 2-0 with two on and no outs while Turley’s rough outing continues.

UPDATE, 1:15 p.m.: Oh man, this is getting ugly. Bad throw by Nix is an E-6. Two more runners score, Canzler is at second and it’s 4-0 Orioles.

UPDATE, 1:16 p.m.: And now a wild pitch. Zach Nuding no longer has the Yankees worst outing of the past 24 hours.

UPDATE, 1:17 p.m.: Another pitch bounced well in front of the plate for a run scoring wild pitch. Turley ends up getting a strikeout in that at-bat and the crowd responds with a rather sarcastic applause.

UPDATE, 1:19 p.m.: And that’s it for Turley. Five runs. Four earned. Three hits. Two wild pitches. One out.

UPDATE, 1:23 p.m.: Eppley gets out of the inning with two quick outs. It’s 5-0 Orioles after a half inning.

UPDATE, 1:27 p.m.: Gardner had a bunt single against the O’s two days ago. Now Machado is playing in on the grass.

UPDATE, 1:31 p.m.: Gardner’s strong spring continued with a leadoff walk, but he was erased on a double play before Cano grounded out to end the inning.

UPDATE, 1:42 p.m.: Eppley trying to get five outs today. Got the first four rather easily, but the last one just never came. Walk, double and two-run single. Now Matt Daley is in to try to strand a runner at second.

UPDATE, 1:54 p.m.: Juan Rivera’s speed will not help him make this team.

UPDATE, 1:58 p.m.: There’s another base hit for Almonte. Two on and one out for Heathcott.

UPDATE, 2:04 p.m.: Offense from the catcher! Two-out RBI single for Stewart gets the Yankees on the board. Orioles lead 7-1 in the bottom of the second.

UPDATE, 2:07 p.m.: Two outs and bases loaded for Gardner.

UPDATE, 2:10 p.m.: Three-run triple to deep center field for Gardner. He hit that ball awfully hard and got to third without a real play. It’s now a 7-4 game as the spring of Gardner continues.

UPDATE, 2:16 p.m.: Well that’s just a really bad throw from Joseph. Sailed it well over Dan Johnson’s head and right into the crowd.

UPDATE, 2:23 p.m.: Cano’s bare-handed play at second base lets the Yankees turn a double play and get out of a bases-loaded jam in the third. Now Cano leads off the bottom of the inning.

UPDATE, 2:33 p.m.: It’s an out, but it’s also another hard-hit ball for Almonte. He just flied to center field to leave a runner stranded at first base in the third inning. It’s still a 7-4 game.

UPDATE, 2:40 p.m.: Corban Joseph gets another chance and this time makes a fine throw from behind third base to get Canzler out and end the fourth inning. By the way… is it really just now the end of the fourth inning?

UPDATE, 2:49 p.m.: The YES gun says Kahnle just hit 98 mph after back-to-back 95s.

UPDATE, 2:52 p.m.: Heathcott took a couple of bad routes earlier in the game, but in this inning he’s gone back on a ball to deep center and made a nice running catch in right center. In between those plays, Stewart made a horrible throw to second (over the infielders and into the outfield).

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Miscwith 349 Comments →

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