Let’s just jump straight into the notes this time.
• CC Sabathia allowed five earned runs through 2.2 innings this afternoon. The Yankees other starters — including all four back-of-the-rotation candidates — have combined to allow one earned run through 18 innings.
• To line him up properly, Sabathia will get an extra day of rest at some point this spring, but it won’t come on the scheduled off day March 15. That will be Sabathia’s day to pitch, and rather than have him take a day off to pitch the 16th, Sabathia will throw a simulated game that morning. Joe Girardi actually apologized to the beat writers for making us come to the stadium that day.
• One last Sabathia note: Just in case you were concerned, Sabathia had reached his pitch limit, which is why he came out of the game in the third. He’s not hurt. Probably goes without saying, but had to make sure.
• Rafael Soriano will throw another simulated game on Monday. He could be in a game a few days after.
• Still no set-in-stone plan for Mariano Rivera. “He’s still a little ways away,” Girardi said. “He’s further away than Soriano.”
• Next time Andrew Brackman pitches, it will likely come in an actual game. “We were really pleased with his BP slash simulated game (this morning),” Girardi said. “He threw like 10 pitches of BP, then got three outs pretty quickly.”
• Nice game from Brett Gardner who had a double and a triple as part of that eight-run fourth inning. Both hits were legitimately driven into the corners, one to left field and the other to right. Gardner has three hits this spring, all for extra bases.
• Two more hits, two more RBI and one more double for Jorge Vazquez. It would be an upset if he made the roster — Eric Chavez’s left-handed bat is a better fit on the bench — but he’s forcing the Yankees coaching staff to take notice. “He’s definitely opening eyes,” Girardi said.
• Speaking of which, Chavez had his fourth hit of the spring and is hitting .364. “He’s swung the bat really well,” Girardi said.
• Dave Robertson and Robert Fish were the only Yankees starters to not give up a hit today — Fish went two innings without a hit — and Ryan Pope closed the game with one of the few scoreless innings. “When we made a mistake in the middle of the plate, they hammered it,” Girardi said. “We didn’t get away with anything today.”
• Those pitching problems started with Sabathia, but Joba Chamberlain didn’t do much to help. After cleaning up Sabathia’s mess in the third, Chamberlain was charged with two runs of his own in the fourth. “He threw the ball OK, and then it looked like he made a couple of mistakes with his fastball,” Girardi said. As far as I know, Chamberlain didn’t speak to anyone after the game. It’s not unusual for the big league guys — all but the starting pitcher — to get out of the park quickly as soon as they’re finished.
• The Nationals top overall draft pick Bryce Harper had two at-bats in the game. He grounded to first against Daniel Turpen, then single to right against Romulo Sanchez. “It’s pretty amazing to be 18 years old and be doing what he’s doing,” Girardi said.
• Looking back through Cervelli’s history of spring injuries I found this post from almost exactly one year ago. Funny that, at this time last year, Cervelli was hurt and Girardi immediately dismissed the idea of Jesus Montero making the team. Veteran Mike Rivera was next in line. This year, Montero has become the favorite, and the veteran Gustavo Molina is strictly emergency insurance.
Associated Press photos of Sabathia, Gardner and Montero with Girardi