Just a few random thoughts on this Wednesday morning…
• I know it’s unusual, especially for Joe Girardi, but I think he’s doing the right thing if he sticks with three consecutive lefties at the top of the order. It should chance once Derek Jeter is healthy, but for now, I can’t see a viable alternative to Brett Gardner – Ichiro Suzuki – Robinson Cano. There’s no right-handed hitter who’s a better fit at the top. Could make a case for Youkilis in the No. 2 spot, but with so many power hitters gone, the Yankees need him in the middle. And I wouldn’t trust Eduardo Nunez up there just yet. Not strictly for the sake of splitting left-handers.
• I was talking to one of the Yankees position players two days ago and he was raving about how good Boone Logan has looked this spring. I know he hasn’t pitched much because of that elbow issue, but this player said Logan’s been spotting a lot of fastballs and throwing a really good slider.
• Here’s an unexpected event that happened when Vernon Wells walked into the Yankees clubhouse yesterday: He went quickly to shake hands with David Phelps, who he clearly knew by name. Turns out, Wells and Phelps got to know one another a little bit after Wells hit a home run that was the first hit Phelps ever allowed in the big leagues.
• Doubt Lyle Overbay would be in Yankees camp if Dan Johnson were having a decent spring. Before all the injuries, Johnson had some chance of making the team as an Eric Chavez type (left-handed corner infielder off the bench), then he had a great chance to make the team as a first baseman to replace Mark Teixeira. But Johnson has more errors than hits this spring, and his slim chances of making the team must have disappeared with the Overbay signing.
• If I had to guess right now, I’d guess that Overbay, Juan Rivera and Brennan Boesch will each make the team. I would not be stunned to see Ronnier Mustelier make it ahead of one of those guys, but if I had to make a guess right here, right now, I’d guess Musty will open in Triple-A.
• Out of curiosity, I looked up Abe Almonte’s numbers in Mariners camp. He got into four big league spring training games with a total of two at-bats. Speaking of former Yankees in other camps, Eric Chavez is hitting .343/.351/.543 for the Diamondbacks … Chris Dickerson is hitting .297/.409/.514 for the Orioles … Justin Maxwell is hitting .167/.250/.389 for the Astros. … Jesus Montero is hitting .405/.450/.730 and Raul Ibanez is hitting .340/.377/.700 for the Mariners. … Nick Swisher is hitting .426/.500/.638 for the Indians. … Russell Martin is hitting .143/.286/.229 for the Pirates.
• The fact Chris Stewart caught CC Sabathia last night makes me think we’ll see Stewart behind the plate on Opening Day. That said, I still expect Francisco Cervelli to get the bulk of the playing time. Maybe Cervelli catches Hiroki Kuroda, Ivan Nova and Phil Hughes while Stewart catches Sabathia and Andy Pettitte?
• I still can’t figure out the David Adams decision. That’s a real puzzle to me.
• Speaking of the Adams decision… If the Yankees have already reached the point that they’re releasing a legitimately promising young infielder, what’s going to happen this weekend when the Yankees have to add at least two and maybe three or four players to the 40-man?
• Could the 40-man crunch basically make the Yankees pitching decisions for them? Phil Hughes and Clay Rapada are both expected back fairly quickly, so why replace them with someone not already on the 40-man? The Yankees could carry Adam Warren as a long man until Hughes comes back, and carry Shawn Kelley or Cody Eppley until Rapada comes back. Not sure it’s worth losing another Adams-type prospect just to carry Vidal Nuno for a week.
• Can’t reveal my vote until the award is announced, but the beat writers voted a for the Dawson Award just a few days ago. The award goes to the best rookie in camp, and the two favorites were Nuno and Mustelier. Who would you have picked?
Associated Press photos