I was away from Yankees camp for the past two days, which feels a bit awkward this late in spring training. So what did I miss?
Derek Jeter played the field for the first time, Andy Pettitte pitched in a game for the first time, and Ben Francisco played for the Yankees for the first time. So far so good for all three. Jeter is back at shortstop this afternoon, and it would be good for him to get more than one play this time. Francisco had an RBI double in his first Yankees at-bat. He’s off today after playing the past two games.
Hughes’ next step
Phil Hughes got through his first round of batting practice and is scheduled to throw a simulated game on Monday. “I felt like the ball was coming out pretty good,” Hughes said. “So that’s a first step.”
There’s one first base option off the list. Tim Brown reported last night that Derrek Lee has turned down the Yankees offer to fill in for Mark Teixeira. I guess that leaves Juan Rivera as the favorite for the job, unless Ronnier Mustelier really proves himself at third, frees Kevin Youkilis to shift to first and leave Rivera to play regularly in the outfield.
Adam Warren, Zoilo Almonte and Corban Joseph – each of whom had at least some chance of making the big league roster — were technically reassigned to minor league camp, though Warren and Joseph are still up with the big leaguers to fill some playing time. I can’t help wondering if Warren might come back up from the minor league complex if Hughes suffers a setback, David Phelps has to start and the Yankees need a long man. Joseph struggled quite a bit this spring, and Almonte cooled considerably after a hot start. It’s worth noting that, without Almonte, the Yankees really don’t have a platoon option to fill in for Curtis Granderson. Barring a Slade Heathcott surprise, the Yankees don’t have an extra left-handed outfield option in big league camp.
• For those who asked, Francisco is wearing No. 40. You might have figured that out already.
• Michael Pineda and Cesar Cabral threw 35-pitch bullpens this morning. Same as last time. They threw all of their pitches. Just another step in the process.
• Boone Logan is throwing batting practice tomorrow. Ramon Flores and Rob Segedin will come back up from minor league camp to face him.
• The workout list was extremely light today. No mention of non-rehab pitchers throwing bullpens or anything like that. There will be full batting practice, but it doesn’t look like there will be anything out of the ordinary.
• Today’s second string: C Francisco Arcia, 1B none, 2B Gil Velazquez, SS Addison Maruszak, 3B Jose Pirela, LF Matt Diaz, CF Melky Mesa, RF Thomas Neal, DH Bobby Wilson
• Today’s scheduled relievers: Vidal Nuno, Dave Robertson, Joba Chamberlain, Mark Montgomery
• The Yankees are a split squad tomorrow, with a day game here in Tampa and an unusual 5 p.m. first pitch at Disney. The travel roster is extremely light.
Pitchers: Preston Claiborne, Jim Miller, David Phelps, Branden Pinder, Josh Spence
Catcher: Francisco Cervelli
Infielders: Dan Johnson, Corban Joseph, Jayson Nix, Eduardo Nunez, Jose Pirela
Outfielders: Matt Diaz, Ben Francisco, Melky Mesa, Thomas Neal
• As you might expect, the Yankees are going to bring up some guys from minor league camp to fill out tomorrow’s travel roster: LHP Jeremy Bleich, RHP Tom Kahnle, RHP Ryan Pope, C Austin Romine, C Hector Rabago, SS Cito Culver, INF Kevin Mahoney, INF Ali Castillo, OF Ben Gamel, OF Neil Medchill
Associated Press photos