As instructed, Eduardo Nunez and Yangervis Solarte showed up this morning with no bags packed. They rolled into the Yankees clubhouse around 10:30 a.m. — not together: Nunez first, then Solarte — and got dressed like this was any other spring training game.
The Yankees don’t have to set their major-league roster until tomorrow afternoon, so there’s a chance both will leave here today still not knowing whether they’ve made the team. For whatever it’s worth, Solarte is playing second base and Nunez is playing third base off the bench today. If that tells you much of anything, you’re clearly reading the cards better than I am.
It’s known that Solarte has the ability to opt out. Just a few days ago he indicated that he would be willing to go to Triple-A if he felt it was his best opportunity to get to the big leagues eventually, but at this point the situation has become rather bizarre and hard to predict. Could be a trade. Could be a signing. Could be a DFA. Could be an opt out. Take your pick, the Yankees are leaving every option on the table, and they’re apparently willing to wait until the last possible moment before making a decision.
· The Yankees are going to have a pregame ceremony to honor Derek Jeter. First of many this season. Today is Jeter’s final spring training game as a player. Kind of crazy if you think about it. The first year the Yankees were in this stadium was 1996, the year Jeter first broke camp on the Opening Day roster.
· Interesting adjustment to the lineup. Putting Jacoby Ellsbury in the leadoff spot was inevitable, and it seemed that Brett Gardner could land anywhere from seventh to ninth. Didn’t really expect Brian McCann to move up to the cleanup spot, though (it’s what I expected when spring trainings started, but Girardi seemed to have settled on Mark Teixeira in that spot. Wonder if Brian Roberts will hit ahead of Kelly Johnson in the regular season.
· Dean Anna is getting a taste of what it’s like to be Jeter’s teammate. This morning, Jeter was giving Anna a hard time about NCAA Tournament picks. It was both merciless and hilarious. Jeter’s good at that sort of thing, treating new players and young players like they’re just one of the guys. It’s unavoidable that he’s Derek Jeter and they’re not, but he manages to use that status to actually make things more comfortable, not less comfortable.
· Danny Burawa and Fred Lewis are each still in big league camp, basically up for the day to serve as just-in-case relievers. Have to think that’s a kind of reward for having eye-opening springs. Matt Daley is also still here, so are Jose Gil, Adonis Garcia and Zelous Wheeler, and Mark Montgomery is up for the day.
· Today’s second string: C Francisco Cervelli, 1B Jose Gil, 2B Yangervis Solarte, SS Dean Anna, 3B Eduardo Nunez, LF Zelous Wheeler, CF (none listed), RF Adonis Garcia
· Today’s scheduled relievers: Dave Robertson, Matt Thornton, Shawn Kelley, Adam Warren, David Phelps, Matt Daley, Vidal Nuno
Associated Press photos