Not only did the Padres never put Dean Anna on their 40-man roster, they never even invited him to big league camp. Anna’s first stint in major-league spring training came with a locker four feet away from Derek Jeter. And wouldn’t you know it, Anna actually has a chance to make the Yankees Opening Day roster.
“Oh man, after I was in San Diego, I don’t think about any of that stuff,” Anna said. “It’s out of my control, I can guarantee that. I just go about my business day by day. Obviously I should probably get a little more playing time because of (Brendan Ryan’s) situation, but I just kind of take it day by day.”
With nursing his second back injury of the spring, there’s a solid chance the Yankees are now in the market for yet another infielder. They had one opening when camp opened, but as a left-handed hitter, Anna wasn’t a great fit for that spot (Eduardo Nunez and Scott Sizemore seemed to be favorites for the role). Ryan’s injury, though, opens the door for someone else to play at least a short-term role.
There’s still a chance Ryan will be ready, but if he’s not, the fact Anna is on the 40-man roster — and the fact he’s played well at second, third and short — gives him a realistic chance. He’s hit just .233 without an extra-base hit, but he’s shown such an eye at the plate that his on-base percentage is .361.
“I’ve been just preparing to get ready for the season anyway,” Anna said. “Him getting hurt a little bit, obviously I’ll maybe get a little more playing time, but I always plan to play every single day. If I’m out (of the lineup), oh well, but I still take my BP and my practices getting ready for the season. It hasn’t really changed my approach of trying to make the team or doing whatever. I’m just trying to stay focused on what I can control or what I can do.”
· Joe Girardi has not yet met with the media, but it’s interesting that Mark Teixeira is hitting cleanup today. When Teixeira was getting at-bats as the No. 3 hitter earlier this spring, Girardi acknowledged that Teixeira would ultimately hit lower in the order, but he never made it clear whether that meant fourth, fifth or sixth. Today’s middle of the order could be an indication of the way Girardi’s thinking about lining up his key run producers.
· Yesterday Girardi said he was hoping to have Jacoby Ellsbury take batting practice today, but right now Ellsbury is not listed in any of the batting practice groups. At the very least that suggests he won’t be hitting on the field. Not necessarily a big deal, but something to keep in mind.
· Adam Warren and Vidal Nuno each pitched six innings in minor league games yesterday. Keeping them stretched out for the time being. At some point one or both might move into a bullpen role to prepare to pitch in relief this season.
· Looks like the Yankees are beginning to line up their bullpen for the regular season. Dave Robertson is the last pitcher listed for today’s game, with Shawn Kelley next to last. Suggests Robertson is going to pitch the ninth and Kelley the eighth for the first time this spring.
· Russ Canzler is playing for the first time since that hip issue following a mild collision with a railing last Thursday. Seems likely to open the season as Scranton/Wilkes-Barre’s regular first baseman.
· Ivan Nova (to Austin Romine), Michael Pineda (to Francisco Cervelli) and Jim Miller (to Jose Gil) are scheduled to throw bullpens today.
· Today’s scheduled relievers: David Herndon, Matt Thornton, Shawn Kelley and Dave Robertson (with Danny Burawa, Shane Greene and Fred Lewis available if necessary)
· Batting practice groups:
Group 1: Derek Jeter, Brian Roberts, Brian McCann, John Ryan Murphy
Group 2: Carlos Beltran, Brett Gardner, Alfonso Soriano, Ichiro Suzuki
Group 3: Kelly Johnson, Mark Teixeira, Francisco Cervelli, Austin Romine
Group 4: Dean Anna, Russ Canzler, Yangervis Solarte, Zelous Wheeler
Group 5: Zoilo Almonte, Eduardo Nunez, Scott Sizemore, Jose Gil
Group 6: Adonis Garcia, Antoan Richardson, Casey Stevensen, Pete O’Brien
· Tomorrow’s travel squad to Fort Myers:
Pitchers: Danny Burawa, Shane Greene, Fred Lewis, Masahiro Tanaka, Yoshinori Tateyama
Catchers: Francisco Cervelli, Jose Gil
Infielders: Dean Anna, Kelly Johnson, Eduardo Nunez, Scott Sizemore, Yangervis Solarte, Zelous Wheeler
Outfielders: Zoilo Almonte, Adonis Garcia, Brett Gardner, Antoan Richardson
Pitchers from minor league camp: Aaron Dott, Mark Montgomery, Jeremy Bleich, Pat Venditte
Position players from minor league camp: Wes Wilson (C), Raybell Herrera (C), Francisco Arcia (C/1B), Ali Castillo (INF), Carmen Angelini (INF), Mason Williams (OF), Ramon Flores (OF)
Associated Press photos