It’s easy to understand Lyle Overbay’s confusion. He rushed into Yankees camp on Tuesday, saw an upcoming road game against the Nationals, and assumed he’d be taking a bus across the state to Space Coast Stadium in Viera. He didn’t realize until this morning that he was actually a few hours away from flying to Washington D.C.
“I didn’t have any clothes,” he said. “I thought we were going to Washington tomorrow, to their spring training facility. … My wife took a two-and-a-half hour drive to Fort Myers to get my stuff and come back up. She’s got about nine hours of driving. She’s a trooper.”
Get ready for even more traveling, Sarah Overbay, because it looks like your husband is on his way to the Bronx.
Can we all remember this moment next winter when we’re trying to project the Yankees Opening Day roster? Two and a half weeks ago, the Yankees didn’t have Overbay, Vernon Wells, Brennan Boesch or Ben Francisco under contract. Now it seems that all four will almost certainly break camp with the team, but none seems less likely than Overbay, who didn’t sign with the Red Sox until late January and didn’t know he was being released until early Tuesday.
“I felt like this opportunity was probably one of the better ones, if not the best, so I wanted to get it done and get up here as soon as possible,” he said. “… I just had a change of clothes. I jumped in my car literally to get here as soon as possible. I wasn’t even thinking about two days.”
Girardi said Overbay’s defense was a significant factor in the decision to cut Juan Rivera. Girardi didn’t specifically mention Eduardo Nunez, but it’s worth noting that Nunez has been intentionally bouncing some of his throws — it’s better than sailing them into the stands — and Overbay is a good defensive player who can make those scoops.
“I’m just along for the ride and to see what I can do,” Overbay said. “It’s hard to know what to expect and what to show them. I just try to be as professional as you can and try to work good at-bats and show them what you’ve got in a short amount of time. … It’s a whirlwind, but I didn’t have anything else to do.”
• Was Mustelier going to make the team? “He had an outside chance,” Girardi said. “But with the addition of some of the other guys, it changed.” In other words, no, he was not.”
• Cashman on the decision to release Juan Rivera: “Juan had a great camp, but as camp developed we also increased our options with Ben Francisco coming in and Boesch coming in. We had to made a decision on Juan today, and we just did. He did everything he needed to do. We just increased our options and he fell short because of that.”
• Boone Logan is scheduled to pitch again tomorrow, and he said he’s still hoping to do that despite today’s comebacker that hit him in the left side. Girardi said he’s not sure that will happen, but he’s still confident Logan will be ready for Opening Day. “I don’t know if that’s in his cards right now,” Girardi said. “We’ll see how he is. He might have been able to pitch (after the comebacker). I just said, it’s silly. During the season, I’m going to try to let him throw a couple.”
• David Aardsma replaced Logan after the comebacker. He allowed a single, a walk and threw two wild pitches. The past two days, Girardi has seemed a bit down on Aardsma, but given the 40-man issues, I still find it hard to believe that Aardsma doesn’t have a bullpen spot locked up.
• For whatever it’s worth, Overbay said he’s felt pretty good at the plate and has already developed a good working relationship with Kevin Long, who he was excited to work with. Overbay had an RBI double today and said he’s a little bit out front of pitches — even fastballs — but that’s better than being late. “That’s a good thing, in my mind,” he said.
• Terrific start for Hiroki Kuroda who went six scoreless in his final spring outing. “The main thing was staying healthy rather than thinking about mechanics,” he said.
• Brennan Boesch had a double, and just like yesterday’s home run, it was off a left-handers. … Thomas Neal had his fourth double of the spring and broke camp with a .289 batting average. He was quietly pretty good this spring. … A triple for Francisco Cervelli, who also had a throwing error. Of course, the error is easier to overlook when he’s had such a strong defensive spring. … Cody Eppley pitched 1.1 scoreless. I still wonder if he could sneak onto the roster because of the 40-man situation.
• Cashman said the Yankees will finalize an Overbay decision after tomorrow’s game. Their Opening Day roster has to be finalized on Sunday.
Associated Press photos