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A New York Yankees blog by Chad Jennings and the staff of The Journal News


Saturday afternoon notes: Opening Day lineup set

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Misc on Mar 29, 2014 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Derek Jeter, Tony Pena, Carlos Beltran

Brian McCann in the cleanup spot, Brett Gardner batting seventh and Kelly Johnson at the very bottom of the order. That’s the lineup the Yankees expected to use this afternoon, and it’s the one they’re planning to use on Opening Day.

“There’s a pretty good chance we’ll use that Tuesday,” Joe Girardi said.

The Yankees had Gardner hitting leadoff for much of the last week, but that was strictly because Jacoby Ellsbury was playing in minor league games as a kind of rehab assignment to get back from a tight right calf. He was always going to be the leadoff hitter, and Derek Jeter was basically locked into the No. 2 spot from the day camp opened.

It seemed Gardner could have fit anywhere from seventh to ninth.

“He’s a guy that we feel we could hit anywhere in the top or anywhere down to give some speed,” Girardi said. “He had a pretty good year offensively last year, and that’s where we decided to put him.”

With switch hitters in the third, fifth and eighth spots, the Yankees have no back-to-back right handers and only one set of back-to-back lefties in Johnson and Ellsbury. The order, though, seems far less important than the fact that all of the Yankees regulars should be healthy and available on Opening Day. Last year, the Yankees broke camp without their shortstop, without their left fielder and without their first baseman.

“Last year we left, we were missing the middle of our order, the end of our order, the top of our order,” Girardi said. “This year we leave with pretty much everyone in our order that we expected to be there. I think it was a very productive spring. I thought it was a very competitive spring. I really liked what I saw from our team. I do. I feel good about it.”

Michael Pineda· Not everyone was on tonight’s flight to Houston. Several players stayed behind and will fly on their own either Sunday or Monday. Yangervis Solarte stayed behind so that he could pack, and he’ll fly on Sunday. Michael Pineda stayed behind so that he can pitch in a minor league game tomorrow morning. Brendan Ryan stayed behind to continue working his way back from a sore back.

· Ryan said he expects to take several weeks before returning, but he expects to be activated by May 1. “I would be pretty disappointed if it took that long,” Ryan said. “Granted, the player always wants to speed things up, but you’ve got to be responsible. We had one setback and there was really no way of seeing that happen. Probably not much regret there but we don’t want another one. I think it’s just a matter of stacking at-bats, getting innings under the belt, and getting rhythm and timing. All the things I was intending to do during the spring. So I’ll have my own kind of separate spring, I guess. I think they said they like guys to get 50 (at-bats).”

· With today’s game rained out, the Yankees pitchers who were scheduled to throw went inside and pitched simulated games.

· Eduardo Nunez, Cesar Cabral and Shane Greene were officially optioned to Triple-A. Zelous Wheeler, Antoan Richardson, Adonis Garcia, Jose Gil and Matt Daley were reassigned to minor league camp.

Joe Girardi, Masahiro Tanaka, Tony Pena· Before the rain came, the Yankees had two on-field ceremonies. The first was to present Masahiro Tanaka with the James P. Dawson Award as the outstanding rookie in spring training. It’s voted on by the writers. It was basically between Tanaka and Solarte. Either one would have been a solid choice.

· The second on-field ceremony was to honor Derek Jeter, who finished off the final spring training of his career. This stadium opened in 1996, the year Jeter made his first Opening Day roster, so he’s really been a constant at this place. He was given a key to the city of Tampa. “I live here, so now I can do whatever I want when I’m in Tampa,” he said. “I don’t know how long it unlocks the doors for. It always feels good to be recognized. I spend a lot of time here, I live here in the offseason, so thought it was very nice.”

· The Astros have announced that they’ll honor Jeter with a pregame ceremony on Wednesday. Both Andy Pettitte and Roger Clemens are scheduled to be there. “It was good to see Rock last year when Mo got honored out there,” Jeter said. “It’s always good to see those guys, especially Andy, being with Andy for so long. Rocket as well. I don’t know what they have planned, but I look forward to seeing them.”

· Might as well give the final word to Jeter: “We have a lot of talent, but you have to perform on the field. That’s the bottom line. Everyone tries to have predictions of where they feel each team is going to finish every year, but you have to perform on the field. I like the guys that we have. We’re healthy for the most part leaving spring training; that’s always important. The key for most teams is to stay healthy, but you’ve got to do your job on the field. It’s a long season and it takes a little while before you really get a great feel for what the team is capable of doing, but I’m pretty optimistic about this group.”

Associated Press photos

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70 Responses to “Saturday afternoon notes: Opening Day lineup set”

  1. tomingeorgia March 29th, 2014 at 6:05 pm

    Go, Dayton Flyers!

  2. tomingeorgia March 29th, 2014 at 6:07 pm

    I signed with Trisha in January for 94 wins, and I see no reason tho change it. This is a good lineup.

  3. Hankflorida March 29th, 2014 at 6:16 pm

    J. Alfred Prufrock March 29th, 2014 at 5:50 pm
    I have no hope of Almonte making it here. There will always be a “safer” veteran type not requiring that period of adjustment in which the player struggles to find his footing, and tries to catch up to match his talents with results. The Yankees do not have the patience. Besides, Beltran was signed for three years, Ellsbury for seven (so much for Mason Williams or Heathcott ever getting a shot).

    I would prefer to see Almonte as the fourth outfielder as he has power potential. If I am correct, then if he plays in the outfield with Beltran, the Yankees have two RbI’s players with one table setter. I am not saying that a table setter could not be a clutch hitter with men in scoring position but that is not their roll on a team especially when the outfielders play shallow when they are up.

  4. J. Alfred Prufrock March 29th, 2014 at 6:29 pm

    Hank – The Yankees already have told Chad they think he’s little more
    Than 4th OF material.

  5. j9d March 29th, 2014 at 6:36 pm

    Go Flyers indeed, tomingeorgia. They are holding tough but not making great decisions. Clearly nervous.

  6. pete2 March 29th, 2014 at 6:36 pm

    I am glad ST stats mean nothing because the opening day lineup hit 6 HR in almost 400 AB and batted 220. Pitching was great though, so lets hope ST meant something there.

  7. bbb51 March 29th, 2014 at 6:43 pm

    pete2 March 29th, 2014 at 6:36 pm
    I am glad ST stats mean nothing because the opening day lineup hit 6 HR in almost 400 AB and batted 220. Pitching was great though, so lets hope ST meant something there.

    Funny, Cervelli and Solarte alone hit that many.

  8. J. Alfred Prufrock March 29th, 2014 at 6:47 pm

    There’s another team called the Flyers? One is quite enough, I would say.

    jmills, if you are still in here; re the discussion about “we have a great group of guys,” the one thing hockey players always say, and which my brother, sister and I always parody, is the old standby that “we were fortunate.”

    All Canadian hockey players say they are “fortunate.”

    As a Canuck, can you explain this??

  9. pete2 March 29th, 2014 at 6:49 pm

    ” bbb51 March 29th, 2014 at 6:43 pm

    “Funny, Cervelli and Solarte alone hit that many.”

    They will be in the lineup sooner or later.

  10. j9d March 29th, 2014 at 6:51 pm

    JAP

    Now that’s what I call a true underdog when an elite 8 team sounds redundant. I am not a flyers fan (either one) but love the underdog in March madness.

  11. Hankflorida March 29th, 2014 at 6:55 pm

    J. Alfred Prufrock March 29th, 2014 at 6:29 pm
    Hank – The Yankees already have told Chad they think he’s little more
    Than 4th OF material.

    When I was a kid, I never knew much of the minor leagues and was surprised when Yogi Berra came up in September and showed his potential. The fact that you have given us the scoop on Almonte in the minors and feel that he may do better then Swisher is enough to want him around and not Ichiro in case of injury. If Ellsbury is going to continue swinging like Ichiro and not for the bomb, then I would prefer a Swisher type of corner outfielder playing with him and Beltran. When a pitcher is bearing down with runners in scoring position, what makes a players like Gardener or Ellsbury clutch hitters when they were never considered to be one before? Someone on this blog, please explain this to me as table setters were supposed to be the one’s in position to score.

  12. yankeefeminista March 29th, 2014 at 6:59 pm

    Is it OD yet?

    The true underdog is in the college hockey quarterfinals, the Robert Morris Colonials vs. #1 ranked UofM (Minnesota)…

  13. pete2 March 29th, 2014 at 7:00 pm

    Red Sox released Cordero. I wonder if the Yankees are interested. He looked good in ST but the Red Sox pen is stacked so no room for him. 8 IP, 8 K, 5 H, 1 BB, 0.00 ERA

  14. J. Alfred Prufrock March 29th, 2014 at 7:08 pm

    Hank, I have not looked at Ellsbury’s numbers with RISP but he is a pretty good hitter who makes contact, and I’m sure we’ll see some line drive HRs from him into the short porch and a few to RCF. Gardner had a big leap as a hitter last year and was showing the same kind of approach in ST, better line drives, etc.

    That said, I say Almonte has more than flash power with a regular gig, but he’s not going to get it. He’s a much better LHB than Swisher (although Swisher is a good RHB) and has shown a good two-strike approach since I first saw him down here, and has since cleaned up his strikeouts as well. The only way he’ll be taking a turn in the OF is if people go down.

    Who knows, maybe they trade him. Surely, someone other than Cashman and Eppler can see that he has legit hitting talent and pop. But if I had my way, he’d be playing a COF spot this season in the Bronx.

  15. J. Alfred Prufrock March 29th, 2014 at 7:11 pm

    j9d March 29th, 2014 at 6:51 pm

    JAP

    Now that’s what I call a true underdog when an elite 8 team sounds redundant. I am not a flyers fan (either one) but love the underdog in March madness.
    ///

    Enjoy. Never got into March Madness because very early on in life, I discovered it’s either basketball or hockey – you can’t do both. And any Flyer is better than the Philadelphia variety.

  16. jmills March 29th, 2014 at 7:14 pm

    http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=lul-Y8vSr0I

    chicken_stanley, since we were talking about William Shatner the other night, this one’s for you!

  17. J. Alfred Prufrock March 29th, 2014 at 7:15 pm

    tomingeorgia March 29th, 2014 at 7:05 pm

    j9d,
    Condescension is the name of the game. Rooting for a Pittsburgh hockey team and not caring about about the NCAA is the mark of superior intelligence, and we are barely worthy to be in the same space, consuming oxygen.
    ///

    What the hell are you even talking about?

  18. yankinvegas March 29th, 2014 at 7:25 pm

    I am totally psyched for the start.
    I see that David Schoenfield on ESPN.com has already written that we are better than he thought. The first of many “experts” who will come to this realization. At least he saw the light before any games were played,
    During the season, I don’t comment during the game thread because I am watching a game TV and the Yankees on my iPad. And in April and May I am also watching NHL and NBA playoff games. I usually post late night out here, early AM back east. I look forward to reading all of you this season and to being a positive contributor to the blog.
    94 wins, AL East champs and we will go on from there in October!!

  19. jmills March 29th, 2014 at 7:26 pm

    tom, my friend hates Kyle Busch – Earnhardt supporter Sr and Jr ( don’t worry, he hates jacques villenueuve, we can double team him ) I think they blackballed jacques in NASCAR after that little incident with Danica Patrick. Jacques rightly said, ” it had nothing to do with me “. He had just been pushed into the dirt covering his tyres in crap, he had every right to go after the lead.

  20. j9d March 29th, 2014 at 7:26 pm

    Tom

    I was just saying I don’t know who the Flyers are in hockey. You say Pittsburgh but I thought it was Philly. But don’t follow hockey so not sure. I don’t follow the Dayton Flyers either. Just saying it is nice to see an underdog get so far in March madness. Didn’t quite understand your note but hope this clarifies. No intention to condescend at all.

  21. tomingeorgia March 29th, 2014 at 7:27 pm

    JAP,
    I’m talking about archness and dismissive language.

  22. jmills March 29th, 2014 at 7:29 pm

    Alfred, tom, love you both. I prefer hockey in Penguin outfits too.

  23. jmills March 29th, 2014 at 7:30 pm

    tom, alfred is never in dismissive language.

  24. Revenge of Stoneburner March 29th, 2014 at 7:31 pm

    the manager

  25. jmills March 29th, 2014 at 7:34 pm

    Stone, hi! Tell me what you think about Dustin McGowan!

  26. J. Alfred Prufrock March 29th, 2014 at 7:34 pm

    jmills,

    Thank you. I have no idea what that was about, and I don’t need to know.

  27. J. Alfred Prufrock March 29th, 2014 at 7:36 pm

    j9d,

    JFTR: I was making a joke at the Philadelphia Flyers’ expense, certainly not at yours.

  28. j9d March 29th, 2014 at 7:36 pm

    Tom

    I just looked up archness in the dictionary. It means knowing or superior. I’m pretty sure if you have to look it up, it’s a good sign you are not an archy type of person. ;). And for someone saying they don’t know who the flyers are I. Either sport, I would day I was decidedly unknowing in my comment.

  29. mick March 29th, 2014 at 7:37 pm

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RmAqpRFGzRQ

  30. Revenge of Stoneburner March 29th, 2014 at 7:37 pm

    jmills March 29th, 2014 at 7:34 pm
    Stone, hi! Tell me what you think about Dustin McGowan!

    ******

    hey jmills. Is McGowan really 32 years old now?? How did that happen?

    He starts the 4th against the Yanks for Skydome’s opener – so we shall see later this week. Thought it would be interesting if McGowan faced off against Pineda – two shoulder surgery casualties trying to make it back, but McGowan will draw Tanaka.

    http://sports.nationalpost.com.....a-starter/

  31. j9d March 29th, 2014 at 7:38 pm

    JAP

    No worries at all. I think there was a bit of a misunderstanding with Tom and me. No harm intended.

  32. mick March 29th, 2014 at 7:38 pm

    j9d

    mr tom wasn’t referring to you.

  33. J. Alfred Prufrock March 29th, 2014 at 7:41 pm

    j9d,

    Same here. :D

    jmills knows I have no use for Bobby Clarke’s Broad Street Bullies.

  34. jmills March 29th, 2014 at 7:42 pm

    Stone, I’m really happy about McGowan!

  35. Revenge of Stoneburner March 29th, 2014 at 7:44 pm

    Marly~ESPN Deportes ?@MarlyRiveraESPN 4h
    Nunez got called into office first, so Solarte told me he thought he was out, went to get ball to get Jeter’s signature and say goodbye #wow

    I feel like that should have been a scene in Major League

  36. mick March 29th, 2014 at 7:44 pm

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=46IQu0yuJzU

  37. Revenge of Stoneburner March 29th, 2014 at 7:46 pm

    jmills March 29th, 2014 at 7:42 pm
    Stone, I’m really happy about McGowan!

    ***

    It appears as if you should be. But apologies in advance if I am not have happy thoughts about McGowan this Friday when he pitches against the Yanks!

  38. jmills March 29th, 2014 at 7:46 pm

    When my #1 hockey guy, Darryl Sittler, was horribly dumped to Philly, he had another great year and was supposed to be named Flyer captain that summer as Clarke was retiring. On the day that Sittler was going over to be named, he got dumped again, this time to Detroit. Darryl Sittler is my #1 centre of all time.

  39. jmills March 29th, 2014 at 7:48 pm

    McGowan-Tanaka this is going to be a lot of fun!

  40. j9d March 29th, 2014 at 7:50 pm

    Mick — thanks. I got crossed up on that one … misunderstood.

    JAP — got it. Thanks

  41. mick March 29th, 2014 at 7:50 pm

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w-WxWv5RgEc

  42. Hankflorida March 29th, 2014 at 7:51 pm

    Hank, I have not looked at Ellsbury’s numbers with RISP but he is a pretty good hitter who makes contact, and I’m sure we’ll see some line drive HRs from him into the short porch and a few to RCF. Gardner had a big leap as a hitter last year and was showing the same kind of approach in ST, better line drives, etc.

    Alfred, one of the best clutch hitter that the Yankees had as seen by the sports writers and who they deemed “Old Reliable” was Tommy Heinrich.” He was not a .300 hitter but his hits produced runs when needed. There is an optimism on this blog that the players assembled this year have more of a chance of emulating “Old Reliable” then the Yankee team of 2012. In other words, we have clutch contact hitters who will deliver more times rather then strikeout or hit the three homer. Roberts and Johnson replacing Cano and A-Rod does not give me that feeling of clutch, and I wish we had Warner Wolf to say, “Let’s go to the video tape!”

  43. J. Alfred Prufrock March 29th, 2014 at 7:58 pm

    Hank,

    They’re definitely better hitters than the Swisher-Teix-Martin all-or-nothing swingers we were plagued with in 2012, but that was a lineup that was no match for good pitching over the course of a series. It was going to be exposed, and it was not just exposed, it was humiliated.

    Beltran is the best hitter of the three new guys, I would say, but he’s 36 years old, so let’s hope they can take advantage of his presence in the first of his 3 years here, and in Derek Jeter’s very last.

  44. jmills March 29th, 2014 at 8:00 pm

    mick, Janis is a special person :D

  45. mick March 29th, 2014 at 8:12 pm

    i knew youd appreciate mills

  46. mick March 29th, 2014 at 8:14 pm

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tUttnRlXrJk&index=5&list=PLF65EE379DA5A2105

    just gotta love the beach boys

  47. jmills March 29th, 2014 at 8:16 pm

    J9d, keep writing!, and sell it if u can! :D

  48. mick March 29th, 2014 at 8:18 pm

    just look at these guys

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Y-0nWVdBH4

  49. mick March 29th, 2014 at 8:19 pm

    too bad todays kids will have nothing to look back on…

  50. mick March 29th, 2014 at 8:23 pm

    WOW!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qqyx4TW4Ptw

  51. mick March 29th, 2014 at 8:29 pm

    did i offend anyone?

  52. mick March 29th, 2014 at 8:31 pm

    Last one.(it started it and couldn’t think of he name)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kdDtOOJgTzc

  53. mick March 29th, 2014 at 8:41 pm

    I am a blog killer…

  54. mick March 29th, 2014 at 8:42 pm

    …but one more i know mills loves it (read the counterculture comments toward bottom)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kdDtOOJgTzc

  55. jmills March 29th, 2014 at 8:47 pm

    mick, not much of a Beach Boys fan here, I appreciate Pet Sounds, but Jim et les Doors are much bettah’, ( including over the Beatles, they wrote some pretty nauseating stuff ).

  56. tomingeorgia March 29th, 2014 at 8:48 pm

    mister mick,
    I feel your pain.

  57. jmills March 29th, 2014 at 9:01 pm

    tom, I’m not sure aboot anybody’s pain at the moment. Am sticking avec gilles and jacques villeneuve. Danica Patrick can hate me if she wants.

  58. tomingeorgia March 29th, 2014 at 9:04 pm

    My boy Kyle is on the pole tomorrow. Screw Jr.

  59. trisha - true pinstriped blue March 29th, 2014 at 9:07 pm

    Just came back from a fundraiser for my best friend’s cousin, who has brain canc*r. She has two young daughters and is divorced. No health insurance. She has a real tough road ahead of her, healthwise and financially She’s on chemo for good because the tumor is too deep to operate. Her name in Tina. If you’re inclined to pray, please add one for her. Thanks.

    ***************

    I definitely had the wrong order for the rotation, but I called the lineup pretty well.

  60. jmills March 29th, 2014 at 9:08 pm

    tom, I’ll talk to my Earnhardt Jr friend. The guy is so against jacques villeneuve, you can’t believe. I say, ” $crew it! “, jacques is a premium driver, don’t you forget it!

  61. trisha - true pinstriped blue March 29th, 2014 at 9:10 pm

    Check you out later.

  62. jmills March 29th, 2014 at 9:10 pm

    Hi trish, McGowan getting ready for Tanaka, happy days!

  63. nyyankee23tnmn March 29th, 2014 at 9:14 pm

    This is my first time commenting, but i just wanted to say thanks for posting all the beach boys links!

  64. tomingeorgia March 29th, 2014 at 9:21 pm

    Tar,
    First of all, I’m not nick. We share some opinions, so what?
    Second, what kills the blog is repetition and negativity.
    Third, I’m too old to worry about flattering myself.
    Fourth, I claim no superior foreknowledge about how any particular young man will do in the bigs. If I did, I’d have a job doing it..
    Fifth, I don’t hate anyone, player, FO guy, MLB or MLBPA. They’re all doing it to make millions, and to entertain me, which they do.
    Got a beef with that?

  65. jmills March 29th, 2014 at 9:24 pm

    I’m not mick either – just some messed up soul :(

  66. RhapsodyInBlue March 29th, 2014 at 9:57 pm

    mick

    Don’t worry Baby is my favorite from the BBs.

  67. RhapsodyInBlue March 29th, 2014 at 10:03 pm

    I can still remember those summer night dances outdoors at St Clare’s Church dancing with my sweetheart to Don’t Worry Baby.

  68. Tar March 29th, 2014 at 10:14 pm

    Where are my manners….. nyyankee23tnmn welcome.

    Don’t worry about us bickering, we are like a big giant family.

    Did I mention dysfunctional? :D

  69. Tar March 29th, 2014 at 10:21 pm

    Nice visual RIB.

    For those interested, another great game on now… Zona vs the Badgers

  70. David in Cal March 29th, 2014 at 11:00 pm

    Does Joe call him Yangee?

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