Might not have looked like it at first glance, but the Yankees actually had quite a few potential regulars in today’s lineup.
Brett Gardner and Kevin Youkilis were there, and so was the apparent front runner for the catching job, Francisco Cervelli. Eduardo Nunez was at shortstop — still getting treatment that suggest he’s be at least a platoon starter this season — and potential third base option Jayson Nix was starting at second. At first base was Dan Johnson, who could be a left-handed replacement for Mark Teixeira; and in center field was Melky Mesa, who could be a right-handed replacement for Curtis Granderson.
The lineup might not have stood out as a strong collection of Opening Day starters, but Robinson Cano, Travis Hafner and Ichiro Suzuki were the only no-doubt-about-it April 1 regulars missing from the bunch. Amazing.
Obviously I was here in Tampa for the game — it was a 6-1 loss to the Marlins — but here are a few quick notes.
• Apparently Joe Girardi indicated after the game that Derek Jeter might get a start at designated hitter tomorrow. It would be Jeter’s first game of the spring, and it wouldn’t be even close to the biggest story of the day.
• David Aardsma has what seems to be a minor groin injury. He told Dan Barbarisi that he’s planning to throw a bullpen tomorrow.
• The Yankees were held to just five hits today. Two of them were by Mesa, who seems to have made the right choice by skipping the World Baseball Classic. I don’t think the WBC would have ruined his chances of making the big league roster, but he seems to be keeping himself in the mix here in Yankees camp.
• Unless there’s something I’m missing, Adam Warren’s pitching line seems to speak for itself: 4 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 1 BB, 0 K. Not a great start against a Marlins lineup that didn’t have Giancarlo Stanton.
• The Yankees didn’t make any errors today!
• Nunez had one hit, drew a walk and was picked off. … Thomas Neal had the Yankees only extra-base hit, a double. … Aside from Mesa, Nunez and Neal, the only other Yankees hit came from Luke Murton. … Another scoreless inning from Shawn Kelley. Also one scoreless from Branden Pinder. Mark Montgomery bounced back with a strikeout and a walk in his own hitless, scoreless inning.
Associated Press photo