After running and taking batting practice yesterday, Kevin Youkilis felt a cramp in his left side. He considered it a non-issue. The Yankees considered it a potential warning sign.
“I got up today and was moving around fine,” Youkilis said. “It’s one of those things where, I think after I swung yesterday and running and all that, it was hot and I got a little dehydrated. When I got water in me, I was fine. Being a month away from games and all that, they just wanted to take it precautionary. I wanted to play today and was perfectly fine to play and didn’t feel like there was in risk.”
Is an MRI planned?
“Oh God no,” Youkilis said. “The doctor said very, very mild. Just a little thing that happens. I think I kind of learned my lesson, too. Don’t say you’re tight.”
The Yankees are extremely cautious this time of year, which seems to make obvious sense (especially with an older roster, two days after losing one everyday player for 10 weeks). Joe Girardi said he had no real concerns about Youkilis, just wanted to play it safe. The Yankees are labeling the injury as an oblique issue, but that seems to be strictly because there’s no real name for it other than a slight cramp in the left side just above the hip.
“I’ve had an oblique (injury) before,” Youkilis said. “It doesn’t feel anything like that. … I could literally go out there and play. No concerns whatsoever.”
• Actually, it’s uncertain whether any of the Yankees will play today. It was raining earlier today and the forecast calls for more rain here and in Clearwater. The Yankees bus was supposed to have left already, but it’s been pushed back to 11 a.m. so that the Yankees can take batting practice here (inside, I assume). Still seems pretty hit-or-miss whether there will actually be a game today.
• If there is a game, it will include the first spring appearances of Dave Robertson and Joba Chamberlain. Girardi said he’s planning to keep Robertson in the eighth inning — obviously — and he considers Chamberlain a strong candidate to be the go-to seventh-inning reliever. David Aardsma is also in that mix, but Girardi seemed to be leaning toward Chamberlain.
• Yankees planning to carry two left-handed relievers again? “You could look at it that way, that you’re going to have two lefties,” Girardi said.
• Didn’t see Phil Hughes this morning, but Girardi said Hughes’ pool work has gone well. “He’s not floating,” Girardi said. “That’s good.”
• Without Brett Gardner in the lineup, why isn’t Ichiro Suzuki batting leadoff today? “I don’t know,” Girardi said. “I just put him second.”
• Had a random morning conversation with J.R. Murphy, who’s moved this year to a locker on the back wall with the top catchers in camp. He said he likes it because there’s a better chance to really talk to and learn from the more experienced guys. I asked him if he played third base at all last season — could look it up, but I couldn’t remember at that moment — and Murphy said he honestly gets 2011 and 2012 mixed up in his head. He thought he played third base late in an extra-inning game but otherwise caught all year.
• Nothing new with the left field situation. “I’ve got a lot of paying attention to do,” Girardi said.
• Andy Pettitte is throwing live batting practice to Slade Heathcott and Tyler Austin today.
• Dellin Betances, Adam Warren, Hiroki Kuroda and Boone Logan are each throwing sides today.
• Today’s second string: C J.R. Murphy, 1B Luke Murton, 2B Gil Velazquez, SS Cito Culver, 3B Walter Ibarra, LF Thomas Neal, CF Adonis Garcia, RF Ronnier Mustelier, DH Rob Segedin
• Today’s scheduled relievers: Dave Robertson, Joba Chamberlain, Jim Miller, Francisco Rondon, Zach Nuding, Branden Pinder, Juan Cedeno, Chase Whitley
Associated Press photos