Alfonso Soriano said he hasn’t heard what exactly his role will be this season. Hasn’t heard how often he’ll play left field. Hasn’t heard whether he’ll be the regular designated hitter. Hasn’t heard any plan for rotating the outfielders. But he’s been around long enough to recognize the situation.
“The most important thing is to just be in the lineup,” he said. “If I’m in the lineup, now matter how — DH, play defense — I’m fine. I just want to be able to help the team. … I’m just focused to get ready in spring training, and I don’t want to put nothing in my mind. I want to just wait for Girardi to talk to me and see what’s going on. Right now, I don’t control that situation. I just want to get ready to get my swing, working on my defense. When he talks to me, I want to know what’s my role here.”
For the time being, Soriano is getting ready for anything. He’s taking fly balls in left field and right field, and the Yankees told him to get a few reps at first base just in case. Soriano brought a first-baseman’s mitt to camp this spring.
“I have some work at first base just in case,” Soriano said. “But I’m just here to help the team to win. I have to be DH, outfield, play once in a while at first base. I’m hoping (to play) because I’m here to help the team.”
Mark Teixeira is scheduled to make his spring debut tomorrow, but the Yankees don’t really have a standout first base alternative should Teixeira struggle or suffer some sort of setback. For now, Soriano seems to see first base as a just-in-case situation. He’s doing some drills at the position, but he doesn’t expect to become a first baseman. Have to wonder, though, if that might change if Teixeira’s situation changes.
· Have to make these notes really quick so I can get on the road to Port Charlotte. Truth is, there wasn’t a ton of action in the Yankees clubhouse. This is, however, the one-year anniversary of Mark Teixeira’s wrist injury. He hurt himself on this date during the World Baseball Classic. Today, he took live batting practice against reliever David Herndon. He’s scheduled to hit some more later this morning.
· Masahiro Tanaka will make his first true spring start tomorrow. He said he’s looking forward to pitching the first three innings because it increases the possibility of seeing regular big league hitters.
· One note about Tanaka’s start: Francisco Cervelli is not making the trip, but Brian McCann is. Looks like McCann will catch Tanaka this time around. Previously this spring, Cervelli had been getting most of the reps with Tanaka.
· Pitchers Manny Barreda and Caleb Cotham are up from minor league camp to provide just-in-case arms for today’s game.
· Batting practice groups in Tampa:
Group 1: Derek Jeter, Brian Roberts, Francisco Cervelli, Brian McCann, Alfonso Soriano
Group 2: Carlos Beltran, Jacoby Ellsbury, Brendan Ryan, Scott Sizemore, Mark Teixeira
· Bullpen sessions in Tampa:
· Today’s second string: C Pete O’Brien, 1B Jose Gil, 2B Corban Joseph, SS Dean Anna, 3B Zelous Wheeler, LF Antoan Richardson, CF Mason Williams, RF Adonis Garcia, DH Jose Pirela
· Today’s available relievers: Dellin Betances, Matt Daley, Yoshinori Tateyama, Robert Coello, Jim Miller
· Tomorrow’s travel squad to Clearwater:
Pitchers: Bruce Billings, Dan Burawa, Cesar Cabral, Preston Claiborne, Brian Gordon, Chris Leroux, Fred Lewis, Mark Montgomery, Masahiro Tanaka, Chase Whitley
Catchers: Francisco Arcia, Jose Gil, Brian McCann, John Ryan Murphy, Pete O’Brien, Gary Sanchez
Infielders: Derek Jeter, Kelly Johnson, Corban Joseph, Jose Pirela, Brian Roberts, Brendan Ryan, Scott Sizemore, Yangervis Solarte, Mark Teixeira
Outfielders: Carlos Beltran, Ramon Flores, Adonis Garcia, Brett Gardner, Antoan Richardson, Alfonso Soriano, Mason Williams
Associated Press photos