The LoHud Yankees Blog

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


Archive for February, 2013

Spring training Game 3: Yankees at Orioles02.25.13

YANKEES (1-1)
Brett Gardner CF
Jayson Nix 2B
Matt Diaz DH
Juan Rivera RF
Francisco Cervelli C
Melky Mesa LF
Dan Johnson 3B
Gil Velazquez SS
Kyle Roller 1B

LHP Vidal Nuno (10-6, 2.54 ERA in High-A and Double-A last year)
This is Nuno’s first ever appearance in big league camp

ORIOLES (2-0)
Nolan Reimold LF
Brian Roberts 2B
Nick Markaskis DH
Adam Jones CF
Matt Wieters C
J.J. Hardy SS
Chris Davis 1B
Conor Jackson RF
Manny Machado 3B

LHP Brian Matusz (6-10, 4.87 ERA in 2012)
Matusz vs. Yankees

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

WEATHER: Temperatures in the high 70s and low 80s. Cloudy but not much chance of rain.

UMPIRES: HP Basner, 1B T. Welke, 2B Bell, 3B B. Welke

ORIOLES PEN: Baltimore is scheduled to throw RHP Tommy Hunter, LHP Mark Hendrickson, RHP Dan McCutchen and RHP Pedro Strop. McCutchen is a former Yankees prospect who went to Pittsburgh in the Nady/Marte trade. Top Orioles prospect RHP Dylan Bundy is scheduled to pitch tomorrow. Would have been nice to see him.

ANOTHER LEFTY: Three spring games, so far the Yankees have seen all left-handed starters. The streak should end tomorrow with Philles starter Kyle Kendrick, who’s a right-hander.

FAMILIAR FACES: Not sure whether they’re scheduled to play today, but the Orioles do have 3B Wilson Betemit, OF/1B Steve Pearce, OF Chris Dickerson and OF/3B Russ Canzler in camp. Funny how Dickerson might have had a shot at a regular gig with the Yankees now that Curtis Granderson is hurt. 

WHAT TO WATCH: Yankees starter Vidal Nuno is a soft-tossing left-hander who could be a spot starter or reliever with a strong year in Triple-A. He put up terrific numbers in Double-A and in winter ball last year. … This is Francisco Cervelli’s second start in the catching competition. … Now that Granderson is out, it will be worth watching Matt Diaz, Juan Rivera, Melky Mesa and Zoilo Almonte (who’s scheduled to play off the bench). One of those could be a Yankees starter on Opening Day.

UPDATE, 1:08 p.m.: Gardner with a leadoff single to start the game. Had to dive head-first to avoid a tag from the pitcher. He’s fine, but not sure that’s a bit of worth-it hustle in spring training.

UPDATE, 1:11 p.m.: Nix follows with a single to right and it’s two on with none out for Diaz.

UPDATE, 1:13 p.m.: There’s Diaz’s second double play of the spring. Hit into a 5-4-3 and now Rivera is up with two outs and Gardner at third.

UPDATE, 1:15 p.m.: Rivera goes down swinging. Worth noting that both Diaz and Rivera were facing a left-hander. Can’t make too much of one at-bat, but in spring training, how many vLHP at-bats are they going to get? Not many. Scoreless after a half inning and here’s Nuno on the mound for the Yankees.

UPDATE, 1:19 p.m.: Nuno got a quick out, then he allowed a sharp double by Brian Roberts, who hit the ball into the left field corner. One out and a runner at second.

UPDATE, 1:21 p.m.: Now a balk by Nuno.

UPDATE, 1:23 p.m.: Two-out RBI double to left center by Adam Jones. It’s 1-0 Orioles.

UPDATE, 1:25 p.m.: Nuno’s second strikeout of the innings gets him out of the first. I have a pretty bad view of home plate from my spot in the press box, but it looked like a curveball that Wieters wasn’t ready for.

UPDATE, 1:30 p.m.: Cervelli grounds to third, Mesa pops to second. It’s quickly two outs in the top of the second. Here’s Dan Johnson.

UPDATE, 1:32 p.m.: Johnson breaks his bat and is out to end the inning.

UPDATE, 1:36 p.m.: Keeps getting worse for Johnson. He just made an error at third base to let the leadoff man reach in the bottom of the second. Johnson needs to prove himself as a viable third base option if he wants a reasonable chance to make this team.

UPDATE, 1:40 p.m.: Three straight strikeouts for Nuno, all of them called strike three. He’s struck out five in two innings, and that’s against more or less a regular O’s lineup.

UPDATE, 1:44 p.m.: Leadoff single by Gil Velazquez here in the third, gives the Yankees a look at big Kyle Roller, who showed some pop in Tampa last year.

UPDATE, 1:46 p.m.: Well, Roller struck out. The Yankees best chance to regain the lead might be Gardner hitting an inside-the-park homer right now.

UPDATE, 1:48 p.m.: Absolultely beautiful bunt single by Gardner. Seriously, couldn’t possibly do it any better. Travis Hafner might have beaten the throw to first. Two on with one out for Nix.

UPDATE, 1:50 p.m.: Nix very nearly had a two-run double down the left-field line. Fell just foul.

UPDATE, 1:55 p.m.: Runners stranded and here’s Mitchell.

UPDATE, 1:59 p.m.: Double by Roberts, single by Markakis, and now it’s 2-0 Orioles.

UPDATE, 2:00 p.m.: Johnson made an error earlier in the game, but he just made a pretty nice play charging a slow bouncing ball from Jones. Got him out by a half step, if that. Two outs, runner at second for Wieters.

UPDATE, 2:02 p.m.: Routine running catch by Mesa ends the third, still 2-0 O’s.

UPDATE, 2:09 p.m.: Well, Mesa took a two-out walk, but he went nowhere and it’s now the middle of the fourth, still a 2-0 Orioles lead.

UPDATE, 2:22 p.m.: Couple of walks by Corey Black, then a two-out, two-run double by Nate McLouth. It’s now a 4-0 game. McLouth clobbered a ball to left center. Gardner seemed to get a good jump on it and still had no shot.

UPDATE, 2:31 p.m.: That’s Gardner’s third hit of the day. With one more hit, he’ll have half as many hits this spring as he had all of last season.

UPDATE, 2:33 p.m.: And there’s a single by Nix. The Yankees have six hits, five of them by the top two hitters in the lineup. Velazquez has the other.

UPDATE, 2:51 p.m.: The subs are in for the Yankees, including that prospect-heavy outfield of Flores, Heathcott and Austin. Ryan Pope is on the mound. This is also our first spring look at Greg Bird at first base.

UPDATE, 2:54 p.m.: Robinson singled and stole second to start the bottom of the sixth. Romine made a pretty good throw to the bag, but the jump was way too good.

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Monday morning notes: Rivera faces hitters again (with video)02.25.13


Mariano Rivera faced hitters for the second time since last year’s torn ACL. The video above is of Rivera throwing to outfielder Adonis Garcia (the video might have been better, but I wasn’t allowed any closer).

“The swings didn’t tell me much,” Rivera said. “I was telling them what I was throwing, but I felt good.”

As he’s said all along, Rivera insisted that live batting practice and bullpens aren’t a significant test. He’s been able to throw for a while now, and he’s just looking forward to getting into games to practice fielding bunts and covering first base.

“I don’t feel nothing (in the knee),” Rivera said. “The big thing is going to be game situations. That’s it. I don’t think about it at all. I don’t know if you guys have seen me run, I’m not even thinking about it. I’m running normal, like nothing ever happened.”

• Before Curtis Granderson’s injury, it was easy to dismiss guys like Melky Mesa and Zoilo Almonte as all but certain to open in Triple-A. Now they’re in the mix for a big league spot, and Girardi said he’ll be paying close attention as he tries to decide whether a young guy might be a better short-term option than either Matt Diaz or Juan Rivera. “I want someone who can do everything,” Girardi said. “Is that too much to ask? I don’t know.”

• Girardi made it clear that top prospects Slade Heathcott and Tyler Austin are not really candidates for the big league opening. Neither has significant playing time above High-A. Didn’t specifically ask, but I’m assuming Ramon Flores is in the same boat.

• CC Sabathia faced hitters this morning. He’ll take two days off then face hitters again. He’s throwing sliders these days and said his elbow has been fine. “No problem,” Sabathia said. “Felt normal.”

• Phil Hughes said he walked and did some side-to-side work in the pool yesterday. He also did some shoulder exercises. Everything went well, and he’s been told that he’ll probably see the doctor on Wednesday to assess his progress. “Obviously I want to get back as soon as I can,” Hughes said. “But I’m not going ot rush it.”

• Girardi announced more upcoming starters.
Tuesday: Jose Ramirez
Wednesday: Nik Turley
Thursday: David Phelps (home), Brett Marshall (road)

• Worth watching tomorrow in Tampa: Andy Pettitte will throw live batting practice to Slade Heathcott and Tyler Austin. Also tomorrow, Dellin Betances, Adam Warren, Hiroki Kuroda and Boone Logan will throw bullpens.

• Today’s second string: C Austin Romine, 1B Greg Bird, 2B Jose Pirela, SS Walter Ibarra, 3B Corban Joseph, LF Ramon Flores, CF Slade Heathcott, RF Tyler Austin, DH Zoilo Almonte

• Today’s listed pitchers: Vidal Nuno, Bryan Mitchell, Corey Black, Shane Greene, Ryan Pope, Kelvin Perez, Josh Spence, Chase Whitley

• David Phelps, Brett Marshall, Nik Turley, Mike O’Brien and Matt Tracy each threw bullpens today.

Live batting practice
Facing Francisco Arcia, Rob Segedin, Thomas Neal and Adonis Garcia
Ivan Nova (throwing to Bobby Wilson)
CC Sabathia (Wilson)
Mariano Rivera (Chris Stewart)
David Aardsma (Stewart)
Clay Rapada (J.R. Murphy)
Shawn Kelley (Murphy)
Tom Kahnle (Arcia)

• Players staying behind for a workout in Tampa have been divided into these batting practice groups:
Group 1
Derek Jeter, Robinson Cano, Eduardo Nunez, Ichiro Suzuki
Group 2
Travis Hafner, Luke Murton, Mark Teixeira, Kevin Youkilis
Group 3
J.R. Murphy, Chris Stewart, Bobby Wilson

• Tomorrow’s travel roster
Pitchers: Juan Cedeno, Joba Chamberlain, Preston Claiborne, Matt Daley, Jim Miller, Zach Nuding, Mike O’Brien, Kelvin Perez, Branden Pinder, Jose Ramirez, Dave Robertson, Francisco Rondon
Catchers: Francisco Arcia, J.R. Murphy, Gary Sanchez, Bobby Wilson
Infielders: Greg Bird, Robinson Cano, Cito Culver, Travis Hafner, Addison Maruszak, Luke Murton, Eduardo Nunez, Jose Pirela, Rob Segedin, Mark Teixeira, Gil Velazquez, Kevin Youkilis
Outfielders: Matt Diaz, Ramon Flores, Adonis Garcia, Melky Mesa, Ronnier Mustelier, Thomas Neal, Ichiro Suzuki

Associated Press photo

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Mesa in left with Granderson out02.25.13

Brett Gardner CF
Jayson Nix 2B
Matt Diaz DH
Juan Rivera RF
Francisco Cervelli C
Melky Mesa LF
Dan Johnson 3B
Gil Velazquez SS
Kyle Roller 1B

LHP Vidal Nuno

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Miscwith 439 Comments →

Could Almonte hit his way into the picture?02.24.13

When Zoilo Almonte first came to the plate on Saturday, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman was sitting in the stands next to scout and advisor Jim Hendry.

“Jim Hendry was sitting next to me and he was like, ‘I’ve never seen this kid have a bad day yet,’” Cashman said. “Not this spring, but since he’s been with us scouting our system. And he said that right before the home run.”

Almonte had a big day on Saturday — home run, threw out a guy from right field – but it was today’s big news that made him worth immediate attention. Curtis Granderson is going to miss 10 weeks with a broken forearm, and although Cashman said before today’s game that he wouldn’t want a young player in a big league bench role, he wasn’t so sure that a young player couldn’t step into a temporary job as a lineup regular. 

The Yankees minor league system has a handful of upper-level outfield candidates — Ronnier Mustelier, Melky Mesa and Thomas Neal are the ones with Triple-A experience — but there is no clear standout from that group, and since each one comes with questions, why not put Almonte into consideration? He’s a switch hitter who has a spot on the 40-man and hit .277/.322/.487 with 21 homers in Double-A last year.

“We have future everyday right fielder scouting grades on him,” Cashman said. “People want to rate — I don’t think accurately — that we don’t have things knocking on the door, but we do have some. Our biggest depth is down below, but Zoilo Almonte is one of those guys that we have future everyday right fielder scouting grades on. His throw yesterday, his home run to the opposite field, we’ve seen that.”

Is it enough to give Almonte a shot? Cashman didn’t necessarily go that far, but he certainly wasn’t in the mood for ruling anything out after today’s game. There’s no obvious choice, and the Yankees seem willing to look at every possibility.

“There’s going to be guys here who are going to get to play a lot,” Joe Girardi said. “We’ll have to try to figure out what we’re going to do. Is it a situation where it’s a guy who plays every day? Is it a platoon situation? There’s some things we’re going to have to look at.”

Here are a few other comments from Cashman, all coming from a pregame session that seemed far more significant before the Granderson injury.

On having enough time to get Derek Jeter ready for Opening Day
“Twenty days of Derek Jeter in spring training is still better than whatever the alternative we’re going to run out there. … He’s kind of doing everything but we’re not ready to run him out there for game activity. When we do, I think we’ll start him at DH and then expand.”

On the catching competition
“Well, we’ve got two guys (Stewart and Cervelli) out of options and one guy (Romine) with an option. I think the two guys (without options) are winning.”

On choosing a right-handed reserve outfielder
“You wouldn’t want a young buck to be sitting on the bench as a pinch hitter. That’s a different role altogether. That’s an experience that you have to learn. A number of these (young) guys, with their experience at the minor league level, we’re going to give them looks here. But I think going into this, without question, Juan Rivera and Matt Diaz — in theory — have a huge leg up on anybody else because of their major league experience and having to come off the bench.”
* This was said before Granderson’s injury

On the development of Dellin Betances
“(His) physical tools are overwhelming. He’s had a good spring; his bullpens are fantastic. If you’re sitting there scouting him, you’re going to be blown away, but when you’re at the level that (Betances is at) now in pro ball, you start to performance scout. It matters what he does between the lines, not just in major league spring training, but in season. He’s going to be a starter at Triple-A for us. Two years ago he was one of the premier young starters in the game and last year, he took a radical step back because of fastball command. His year last year, was it one of complete failure, or was it just a step back?”

Associated Press photos

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Sunday postgame notes: Youkilis happy with hitless game02.24.13

Kevin Youkilis was in the on-deck circle when J.A. Happ’s fastball hit Curtis Granderson’s forearm.

“It didn’t sound good,” Youkilis said.

Without question, Granderson’s injury is the story of the day, and there’s a chance it’ll be the story of the spring; another power hitter who’s going to miss some time and leave the Yankees searching for a replacement. Of course, Youkilis is already playing the role of replacement after the biggest story of the offseason. With no Alex Rodriguez for the first half of the season, the Yankees need Youkilis to bring some right-handed balance to the lineup, and that means improved numbers with his tweaked mechanics.

“Just figuring out the slot of my hands and figuring out my stance a little bit and taking it into a game situation,” Youkilis said. “There’s no result in the box score, but the way I hit the ball today, I feel really, really good.”

Technically, Youkilis took an 0-for-3, but he hit the ball hard in every at-bat, including a near grand slam his first time up.

“The one pitch I got up and in on an 0-2 pitch and turned on it, I don’t feel like I got to that ball that well last year,” Youkilis said. “… I feel like I can whip the bat again and not use my body like I was using too much before. It’s a long spring training. You’re going to get out of it too, and you have to get right back to that position. If I can come in every day and gets as close to that feel every day, that’s where I feel like I can have really good at-bats.”

• Before the Yankees got a diagnosis on Granderson, Happ sent a message to the Yankees clubhouse asking how Granderson was feeling. At the time, Granderson replied that he was fine. “He’s trying to work and come inside,” Granderson said. “It’s part of the game. Pitches get thrown inside a lot. It’s not going to be the first time, not going to be the last time, and sometimes you get hit. Hopefully you get hit in better spots than other spots.”

• Granderson when asked whether he expects to come back as a left fielder: “Everything up to this point was all just trial,” he said. “Just to see how it’s all going to be. Who knows? When I come back it may be something they consider, or they may just scrap it and get me back ready to go the best, easiest way possible.”

• Alfonso Soriano was asked what he would think about a trade to the Yankees as a Granderson replacement. “I’m not thinking I want to get traded,” Soriano said.

• Adam Warren said it was a two-seam fastball that hit Brett Lawrie, the first Blue Jays hitter after Granderson was plunked. There was no indication for either bench that the teams thought either hit batter was intentional. “It may have looked (intentional), but I can tell you it wasn’t,” Warren said.

• Speaking of Warren, he looked pretty sharp today. He struck out two through a pair of hitless innings. The hit batter was his only base runner. “Just pound the zone, eat some innings up,” Warren said. “For me, I’m just trying to get better, get into that rhythm of pitching and just try to show I can pitch at this level. That’s the big thing for me, to get comfortable early and try to stay that way.”

• Warren threw 25 pitches, 19 for strikes.

• No real update on Phil Hughes. “I just know he went swimming today,” Joe Girardi said.

• Brett Gardner said he felt good in center field today, but he did let a triple get well over his head. “The one ball that got over my head, the ball that Gose hit, I froze for a split second off the bat,” Gardner said. “I thought I was going to catch it, but it just kept going. I think if I had gotten a really good jump, I still wouldn’t have caught it. I was probably three solid steps from getting to it. It just kept going.”

• Gardner was at the plate for what seemed to be a hit-and-run in the second innings. Turns out, Chris Stewart had the green light and was trying to steal second base. His attempt was thwarted when Gardner hit a ball foul. “Gardy was trying to sabatoge me,” Stewart joked, saying Gardner didn’t want to give up the stolen base crown. Stewart was 2-for-2 stealing bases last season.

• The Yankees lost 2-0 but actually outhit the Blue Jays, 11-9. Gardner, Stewart, Ichiro Suzuki, Robinson Cano, Mark Teixeira, Travis Hafner, Adonis Garcia, Thomas Neal, Jayson Nix, Ronnier Mustelier and Gary Sanchez each had a hit. Hafner’s double was the Yankees only extra-base hit. Neal stole a base.

• In his second Yankees spring training, Matt Daley finally got in a game. He struck out two in a scoreless inning. He was injured all of last year.

• One random conversation on the field during batting practice: Addison Maruszak was carrying two gloves during batting practice, because when he went to take groundballs he took some at second base and some at first base. He’s also played shortstop, third base, catcher and the outfield in his career. “Every kind (of glove) you can get, that’s what I have,” he said.

• Today’s random clubhouse conversation was with Cito Culver. We spent a lot of time talking about his hitting approach — he’s changed his mechanics to eliminate unnecessary movement — but we also talked about playing with so many of the Yankees other prospects in the lower levels of the system. Culver was raving about Angelo Gumbs’ athleticism; said Gumbs still does things that Culver can’t believe. “It’s fun to go through and experience with guys who have the same goals as you,” Culver said.

Associated Press photos

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Granderson’s injury leaves plenty of lingering questions02.24.13

It was an inside fastball that hit Curtis Granderson on the right forearm, just above his wrist. Initially, Granderson thought it was no big deal.

“Not right away because it was just one specific spot (that hurt),” Granderson said. “Nothing moved up or down. No numbness. No tingling. Just that spot. Kind of felt like you hit your funny bone, but only in that spot. Even as we were waiting for the X-ray they were like, ‘Is it starting to tingle?’ I said, not really. He goes, ‘OK, that’s a good sign.’ Then they looked at it and said, there it is.”

Broken forearm. It’s expected to take 10 weeks for Granderson to be ready to rejoin the big league team, which puts him back in the lineup the first week of May. It leaves a month-long hole and some immediate uncertainty.

Who is going to fill the roster spot?
The Yankees have veterans Matt Diaz and Juan Rivera in camp. They also have older minor league outfielders like Ronnier Mustelier, Zoilo Almonte, Thomas Neal and Adonis Garcia. Brian Cashman mentioned that his scouts have just started watching games and it’s still too early to know which players might become available.

Cashman said this morning that he wouldn’t want a young guy in a part-time, right-handed platoon role. But that’s not necessarily the case for a situation like this.

“Now we’ll be forced to really evaluate that aspect of it,” Cashman said. “You’re not asking guys (to sit for a long time). Could you bring a guy up right now for the first month in an everyday situation? We’ll look at that. We’ll look at it all. We have no choice. When these things happen you adjust, so we’ll be forced to adjust.”

Will the Yankees bring Granderson back as a left fielder?
This spring, the Yankees were planning to test Granderson in left. It was meant to be a time for the team to evaluate and for Granderson to adjust. Now the Yankees don’t have that same adjustment time, and it might be easier to bring Granderson back at his most comfortable position.

“I don’t know about that,” Cashman said. “The plan we were having was an experiment. I haven’t though that far ahead, but that experiment is over.”

Does this mean Brett Gardner is the Opening Day center fielder?
Girardi announced Brett Gardner as his starting center fielder, then hedged a little by saying there’s a chance the Yankees could carry a Granderson replacement who’s only comfortable in center. In that case, the Yankees might let the new guy play center while Gardner moves back to left. That said, both Melky Mesa and Adonis Garcia — the young center fielders in camp — have experience in the corners, so they wouldn’t necessarily bump Gardner. Girardi wouldn’t completely rule out the idea of putting Ichiro Suzuki in left field if the Yankees add a guy who’s more comfortable in right.

“Whoever it is that comes up, you probably want him to be most comfortable,” Girardi said. “You don’t want to ask him to try do too much and maybe learn a position that he hasn’t played a lot of.”

A few odds and ends

• Cashman didn’t totally rule out the idea of Eduardo Nunez in left, but he said he was leaning against it. “Not necessarily for me,” Cashman said. “But it could be for other people. I don’t see that as something that is an option from my perspective.”

• Girardi said the Yankees don’t have to replace Granderson with someone who can play center field. The Yankees could go a month with Ichiro as their backup in center. “Ichiro’s done it for us,” Girardi said. “You’re not looking at a long-term fix, you’re looking at a short-term fix, so whatever we have to do for short-term, that’s what we’re going to try to do.”

• Granderson said he had a similar situation with the Tigers (broke his hand when he was hit by a pitch in spring training). “I think the estimate at the time was four to eight weeks, and we were back in like five,” Granderson said. “Then piggybacking off of that, I’ve had injuries in the past with the oblique and the groin and again, the range of the amount of time, I’ve typically been on the short end of it. Hopefully that remains the same.”

Associated Press photo

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Granderson to miss 10 weeks02.24.13

Curtis Granderson has a fractured forearm and will miss 10 weeks before being big league ready. That should be 10 weeks from today.

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Spring training Game 2: Yankees vs. Blue Jays02.24.13

YANKEES (1-0)
Brett Gardner CF
Ichiro Suzuki RF
Robinson Cano 2B
Mark Teixeira 1B
Curtis Granderson LF
Kevin Youkilis 3B
Travis Hafner DH
Eduardo Nunez SS
Chris Stewart C

RHP Adam Warren (7-8, 3.71 in Triple-A last year)
Warren has never faced any of the Blue Jays (at least not in the big leagues)

BLUE JAYS (1-0)
Anthony Gose CF
Emilio Bonifacio 2B
Melky Cabrera LF
Brett Lawrie DH
Luis Jimenez 1B
Henry Blanco C
Ryan Langerhans RF
Andy LaRoche 3B
Lance Zawadzki SS

LHP J.A. Happ (10-11, 4.79 ERA last year)
Happ vs. Yankees

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

WEATHER: Temperatures in the 70s, but with about a 50 percent chance of rain. Been cloudy most of the day.

UMPIRES: HP Vic Carapazza, 1B Marty Foster, 3B David Rackley

WELCOME HOME: Today is the Yankees spring training home opener. It’s the team’s 18th consecutive season at Steinbrenner Field (formerly called Legends Field).

ANOTHER LEFTY: For the second time in two games, the Yankees will face a left-handed starter. Of course, this time they’re using — for the most part – their regular right-handed lineup. Travis Hafner isn’t going to get many starts vs. lefties in the regular season.

FAMILIAR FACE: Former Yankees outfielder Melky Cabrera is back at Steinbrenner Field after spending the past two years with teams that do spring training in Arizona.

WHAT TO WATCH: Yankees starter Adam Warren could be this year’s David Phelps if enough doors open. … This will be our first look at Brett Gardner in center field and Curtis Granderson in left; also worth seeing whether Gardner or Ichiro Suzuki make an early case for the leadoff spot. … It’s the Yankees debut for Kevin Youkilis and Travis Hafner. … Chris Stewart gets his first turn behind the plate in this spring’s catcher competition.

UPDATE, 1:11 p.m.: Quick inning for Warren: Strikeout, ground out, strikeout. He’s through the first inning.

UPDATE, 1:15 p.m.: Pretty good at-bat and a leadoff single for Gardner.

UPDATE, 1:22 p.m.: Looked like Granderson was hit in the right wrist. He’s coming out of the game. Not a great sign.

UPDATE, 1:24 p.m.: Deep fly ball for Youkilis in his first at-bat. Came a few feet away from a grand slam, instead left the bases loaded.

UPDATE, 1:27 p.m.: Passed ball for Stewart.;Cervelli wins the job. I fully expect an official announcement postgame.

UPDATE, 1:32 p.m.: Warren looked pretty sharp in his two innings. He hit a guy, but that was his only base runner. He just ended teh second inning with a runner stranded at second.

UPDATE, 1:36 p.m.: Chris Stewart with a base hit. But of course offense doesn’t matter. Cervelli still clearly in the lead for the everyday job.

UPDATE, 1:39 p.m.: Here’s Eppley to pitch.

UPDATE, 1:48 p.m.: Gose triples to center, well over Gardner’s head, and Bonifacio follows with an RBI single to put the Blue Jays in front 1-0.

UPDATE, 2:05 p.m.: Single for Mustelier, but the innings ends with a line out by Youkilis (he’s hit the ball hard twice today with nothing to show for it).

UPDATE, 2:06 p.m.: Bruised right forearm for Granderson. Sent for precautionary X-rays. That’s all we know for now.

UPDATE, 2:18 p.m.: Leadoff double for Hafner, got to third on a Nunez grounder. Now it’s up to Gardner to drive in the run with two outs here in the fourth.

UPDATE, 2:22 p.m.: Here’s lefty Francisco Rondon. Added to the 40-man this season. Yankees love his arm, just needs to get his command worked out.

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Cashman: Jeter will play March 1002.24.13

Brian Cashman just said the Yankees plan to have Derek Jeter in a game at DH on or around March 10.

Other notes from Cashman:

- He corrected a previous email to me. Turns out Francisco Cervelli is out of options. Cashman said he realized yesterday that he had told me the wrong thing earlier this winter. I told him I clearly need to get a better source.

- Matt Diaz and Juan Rivera are heavy favorites for the right-handed outfield role. The Yankees do not want a young guy in that role.

- Dellin Betances will open the season as a Triple-A starter.

- Phil Hughes will do three to five days of pool work before picking up a ball.

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Sunday morning notes: Early look at the big league lineup02.24.13

Is it fair to read into today’s lineup? I’m sure Joe Girardi will say no, but at the very least it seems fair to make some assumptions based on the middle of the order.

Cano to Teixeira to Granderson to Youkilis to Hafner. If Girardi isn’t planing to hit those five in that sequence, why put them in that sequence today? If he were thinking of hitting Robinson Cano cleanup instead of third, why not put him cleanup in a lineup that has back-to-back lefties at the top?

There are no significant surprises in today’s lineup — I did wonder whether Kevin Youkilis and Travis Hafner might be switched — but it’s an early glance, one of the few times we’ll see this many regulars in the same lineup during spring training. Put Derek Jeter second, drop either Brett Gardner or Ichiro Suzuki to the No 8 spot, and we might very well be looking at the Opening Day lineup.

This early in spring training, that’s worth watching.

• Phil Hughes said he’s not sure what exactly he’ll do in the pool today. Might jog — the Yankees have a pool with a treadmill — and he might swim. Whatever it is, it’ll be the next step in his recovery from a bulging disc, and so far Hughes seems optimistic that this problem is going to disappear quickly.

• Mark Montgomery will face hitters today.

• The Blue Jays are scheduled to start lefty J.A. Happ today.

• When Girardi said Cano and Teixeira would play quite a bit in these early games, I still didn’t expect back-to-back games at the very beginning. It’s not earth shattering, but it’s a bit unusual. Obviously those two are on accelerated schedules because of the World Baseball Classic.

• Most of the big names in the Yankees farm system — Heathcott, Austin and Flores in particular — played in yesterday’s game, but today will be a chance to see Cito Culver in the field and Gary Sanchez at the plate. Sanchez is the backup at designated hitter. I wonder how many defensive opportunities there will be given the catcher competition. I know people would love to see Sanchez and J.R. Murphy, but surely it’s a priority to give time to Chris Stewart, Francisco Cervelli, Austin Romine and Bobby Wilson.  

• Today’s second string: C Bobby Wilson, 1B Addison Maruszak, 2B Jayson Nix, SS Cito Culver, 3B Rob Segedin, LF Ronnier Mustelier, CF Adonis Garcia, RF Thomas Neal, DH Gary Sanchez

• Today’s pitching order: Adam Warren, Cody Eppley, Matt Daley, Francisco Rondon, Preston Claiborne, Juan Cedeno and Jim Miller (that’s very subject to change, but it’s the order they’re listed in the clubhouse, which is usually the order in which they enter a game). Guys like Corey Black, Shane Greene and Bryan Mitchell — guys who are scheduled to pitch tomorrow — are listed as backups for today. They’ll pitch if one of the other pitchers has trouble getting his assigned outs.

• Dave Robertson (to Francisco Cervelli) and Andy Pettitte (to Austin Romine) will throw sides today.

Today’s live batting practice:
Facing Greg Bird, Corban Joseph, Luke Murton and Jose Pirela
Hiroki Kuroda (Sanchez)
Mark Montgomery (Higashioka)
Dellin Betances (Arcia)

Pretty good group of pitchers staying behind to throw sim games tomorrow:
Facing Francisco Arcia, Rob Segedin, Melky Mesa and Thomas Neal
Ivan Nova
CC Sabathia
Mariano Rivera
David Aardsma
Clay Rapada
Shawn Kelley
Tom Kahnle

Tomorrow’s travel squad:
Pitchers: Corey Black, Shane Greene, Bryan Mitchell, Zach Nuding, Vidal Nuno, Mike O’Brien, Kelvin Perez, Branden Pinder, Ryan Pope, Jose Ramirez, Josh Spence, Chase Whitley
Catchers: Francisco Cervelli, Kyle Higashioka, Austin Romine, Gary Sanchez
Infielders: Greg Bird, Cito Culver, Walter Ibarra, Dan Johnson, Corban Joseph, Addison Maruszak, Jayson Nix, Jose Pirela, Kyle Roller, Gil Velazquez
Outfielders: Zoilo Almonte, Tyler Austin, Matt Diaz, Ramon Flores, Brett Gardner, Curtis Granderson, Slade Heathcott, Ronnier Mustelier, Juan Rivera

Today’s batting practice groups (changed around quite a bit):

Group 1
Robinson Cano, Travis Hafner, Derek Jeter, Chris Stewart, Ichiro Suzuki
Group 2
Brett Gardner, Curtis Granderson, Mark Teixeira, Kevin Youkilis
Group 3
Francisco Cervelli, Cito Culver, Dan Johnson, Juan Rivera, Gary Sanchez
Group 4
Matt Diaz, Slade Heathcott, Melky Mesa, J.R. Murphy, Gil Velazquez
Group 5
Thomas Neal, Jayson Nix, Eduardo Nunez, Bobby Wilson
Group 6
Zoilo Almonte, Tyler Austin, Kyle Roller, Austin Romine
Group 7
Adonis Garcia, Addison Maruszak, Ronnier Mustelier, Rob Segedin
Group 8
Francisco Arcia, Ramon Flores, Kyle Higashioka, Walter Ibarra

UPDATE: Blue Jays lineup
Anthony Gose CF
Emilio Bonifacio 2B
Melky Cabrera LF
Brett Lawrie DH
Luis Jimenez 1B
Henry Blanco C
Ryan Langerhans RF
Andy LaRoche 3B
Lance Zawadzki SS

Associated Press photos

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Miscwith 435 Comments →

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