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)