The LoHud Yankees Blog

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


Thursday notes: “It’s got to be something”03.08.12

Ivan Nova knows the meeting is coming. At some point on Friday, Larry Rothschild is going to pull him in front of a video screen and show him the footage of today’s start in Dunedin.

“I know for sure tomorrow we’re going to talk about it,” Nova said.

Nova’s fastball hit 95 mph. He was happy with his slider and happy with his changeup, but much like his previous start against the Phillies, Nova’s command was unreliable at best. He fell behind often against the Blue Jays, and it was a 2-0 pitch that J.P. Arencibia hit for a home run. Hunter Pence homered on a 3-0 pitch from Nova five days ago.

“I throw, for me, perfect bullpens,” Nova said. “Once I get out there, sometimes, I guess I do too much. I think that’s what happened, maybe. I’ve got to figure it out… Sometimes you can be open too much or too quick. The first inning was really good, I wasn’t pushing my body or anything like that. The second and third inning (were bad). It’s got to be something.”

Nova said he doesn’t feel out of shape, and he’s encouraged that his velocity suggests his arm strength is where it needs to be. He just needs to get his mechanics ironed out. Joe Girardi said he’s still a long way from making a judgment about Nova.

“These guys are just getting ready to compete and getting their arm strength,” Girardi said. “We saw some velocity out of him today. We saw some 95s today. They’re still going through all of that.”

• The Yankees were on the verge of a second consecutive shutout when Colin Curtis hit a solo home run in the ninth inning to leave the Yankees with a 6-1 loss. Ramiro Pena was the only Yankee with two hit, and other than the Curtis home run, Pena’s double was the team’s only extra-base hit. Brett Gardner, Mark Teixeira, Brandon Laird, Justin Maxwell and Doug Bernier each singled in the game.

• David Phelps let one of Nova’s runners scored on a passed ball by Francisco Cervelli, but otherwise, Phelps pitched 2.1 innings allowing one hit, two walks and a strikeout. I didn’t think he was especially sharp, but he settled in a little bit.

• If he’s going to have a chance of making this team — and the Yankees seem to be giving him a legitimate look — Cesar Cabral is going to have to retire lefties. Giving up a home run to lefty Travis Snider didn’t exactly help his cause this afternoon. It also didn’t help that lefty Eric Thames singled off him later in the inning.

• Raul Ibanez looked fine in right field. He only had two chances to make a play and one of those was a ground ball. The other was a fly ball near the foul line, and Ibanez made a running catch for the out. Not the hardest play in the world, but he made it with no problem. “You have to take balls, and see more balls hit out there,” Ibanez said. “Today was a great thing to be able to go out there, spend a little time out there, and catch one. Angle off the bat is good.”

• Dellin Betances and Dan Burawa each pitched around some trouble to leave runners on base and pitch scoreless seventh and eighth innings. It was a better-than-last-time appearance for Betances.

• As you can imagine, everyone was pretty focused on Dave Robertson after the game. Most conversations centered on his injured foot, but Girardi really didn’t have many answers. “There’s always something in every camp,” Girardi said. “It seems like there’s something freaky that happens.”

Associated Press photos

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Noteswith 53 Comments →

Monday morning notes: Big enough to block the sun02.27.12

CC Sabathia and Michael Pineda are each listed at 6-foot-7. They’re intimidating figures at the best of times. Imagine seeing them on a mound, early in the morning, when you’re facing live pitching for the first time of the spring.

“It was good,” Colin Curtis said. “Because the sun was up there, and they were kind of blocking it.”

Sabathia and Pineda threw live batting practice to Curtis and Melky Mesa. At this point, we all know what to expect from Sabathia, but Pineda is still in the process of making a first impression. It was the slider that most impressed Curtis, but it’s still a little early to get a great read on a pitcher. Curtis said he didn’t see any changeups, but he saw a few thrown to Mesa.

Last time Curtis faced live pitching? It was few weeks before spring training, and he badly wanted to get on a field, so he put together a scrimmage with some high school kids in his home town. Not exactly the kind of thing that prepares a guy for Sabathia and Pineda.

“Facing sophomores is a little different than facing these two guys,” Curtis said.

David Aardsma’s locker is still empty, but he’s now on the schedule for pitchers conditioning. He’s in a group with Mariano Rivera and Rafael Soriano. Aardsma was originally scheduled to arrive today, so he could show up at some point.

Joba Chamberlain said this morning that he’s scheduled to finally throw off a full mound tomorrow. He’ll do standard long toss and flat ground, then he’ll throw 20 pitches off a mound. He said the mound has felt huge during PFP, so he’s looking forward to making it feel familiar again.

Tomorrow’s early batting practice pitchers are Dave Robertson and Boone Logan. They’ll be pitching to David Adams and Corban Joseph.

Today’s batting practice pitchers:

Field 1
Phil Hughes (to Russell Martin)
Hiroki Kuroda (to Russell Martin)
Manny Banuelos (to Jose Gil)
Dellin Betances (to Kyle Higashioka)

Field 2
Freddy Garcia (to Gustavo Molina)
Cory Wade (to Gustavo Molina)
D.J. Mitchell (to J.R. Murphy)
Cesar Cabral (to Gary Sanchez)

Today’s batting practice groups are the same as yesterday. They’ll probably stay the same for a while now.

Group 1
Robinson Cano, Derek Jeter, Brandon Laird, Eduardo Nunez

Group 2
Eric Chavez, Ramiro Pena, Alex Rodriguez, Mark Teixeira, Doug Bernier

Group 3
Russell Branyan, Bill Hall, Jayson Niz, Jorge Vazquez, David Adams

Group 4
Francisco Cervelli, Jose Gil, Austin Romine, Gary Sanchez

Group 5
Brett Gardner, Curtis Granderson, Raul Ibanez, Andruw Jones, Nick Swisher

Group 6
Chris Dickerson, Justin Maxwell, Cole Garner, Dewayne Wise

Group 7
Zoilo Almonte, Colin Curtis, Melky Mesa, Corban Joseph

Group 8
Kyle Higashioka, Russell Martin, J.R. Murphy, Gustavo Molina

Same fielding groups too:

Group 1
C: Kyle Higashioka, Russell Martin, Gustavo Molina, J.R. Murphy
INF: Russell Branyan, Robinson Cano, Eric Chavez, Bill Hall, Derek Jeter, Brandon Laird, Eduardo Nunez
OF: Zoilo Almonte, Colin Curtis, Curtis Granderson, Raul Ibanez, Andruw Jones, Justin Maxwell

Group 2
C: Francisco Cervelli, Jose Gil, Austin Romine, Gary Sanchez
INF: David Adams, Doug Bernier, Corban Joseph, Jayson Nix, Ramiro Pena, Alex Rodriguez, Mark Teixeira, Jorge Vazquez
OF: Chris Dickerson, Brett Gardner, Cole Garner, Melky Mesa, Nick Swisher, Dewayne Wise

It seems that everyone made it through photo day with no problems. I’m sure that’s always a big concern.

Associated Press photo

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Noteswith 116 Comments →

Colin Curtis having surgery today04.15.11

Colin Curtis is having surgery today to repair his injured right shoulder.

The Yankees initially believed Curtis would be rehabbing for about a month after suffering a shoulder subluxation during spring training. At the time Curtis said he wanted to avoid surgery “at all costs.”

He hurt himself making a diving catch on March 6. Although he no longer seemed to be favoring the shoulder in the clubhouse, Curtis went for another exam while the Yankees were in Boston and the decision was made that he would need surgery.

It’s unclear at this time how much longer Curtis will be out.

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Miscwith 89 Comments →

Tuesday notes: Jeter leading off against lefties, TBD vs. righties03.29.11

Joe Girardi has settled on one lineup decision: Derek Jeter will bat leadoff against left-handed starters. “You can bank on that,” Girardi said.

Who bats leadoff against right-handers remains up in the air.

Jack Curry reported today that the Yankees will open the season with Brett Gardner in the leadoff spot. I’m sure Curry’s right, but Girardi said he hasn’t settled on a lineup against right-handed pitchers.

“It’s something we’ll talk about on the plane,” Girardi said.

The Yankees face Justin Verlander on Thursday, and won’t face a lefty through the entire opening series against Detroit. The fact Girardi stuck with Gardner in the leadoff spot through the final two weeks or so of spring training seems to be a pretty good sign that he’s leaning that way for the regular season, but he’s said he won’t set anything in stone until Thursday.

“We’ll find out in a couple of day,” Gardner said. “I’m not worried about it.”

Gardner hit .260 this spring. His nine walks were tied with Jorge Posada for the team lead. Jeter hit .304 and struck out only three times. In the final weeks, he seemed to be driving the ball more often, and Girardi said that’s what stood out to him about his shortstop.

“Some of the balls that he’s pulled with authority,” Girardi said. “I’ve noticed that he seems to get to that better now, and I think it’s something that pitchers are going to have to think about. Everything he used to try to shoot the other way, and he would pull some breaking balls. I’ve seen him pull some heaters with authority. People are going to have to decide whether the risk is worth it now.”

• Pedro Feliciano might be out longer than two weeks. Girardi said Feliciano has been shut down for 10 days and is likely to be out at least three weeks. “He’s going to have to play catch and long toss and flat ground then get off a mound and then throw to hitters,” Girardi said. “I think you’re looking at at least three weeks.”

• Feliciano, Damaso Marte and Colin Curtis are all traveling with the Yankees to New York. They’ll all be checked out in the City, but they won’t necessarily stay with the team for their rehab work.

• Girardi made it clear that if Curtis Granderson isn’t able to open the season, Chris Dickerson is the next in line to take that roster spot. If Granderson does open the season, though, the Dickerson will open in the minors.

• Every healthy Yankees reliever pitched today. Mariano Rivera, Boone Logan, Joba Chamberlain and Dave Robertson pitched in a simulated game at the minor league complex. Rafael Soriano and Bartolo Colon combined for a hitless inning and a third in the big league game. Even 12th reliever candidates Luis Ayala and Steve Garrison pitched today.

• In his final spring start, Freddy Garcia went 4.2 innings, allowing one run on four hits and two walks. He struck out three. The one run came on a home run by Brennan Boesch.

• Meaningless spring information: Colon started the spring opener, and he threw the final pitch in today’s finale.

• Garrison faced four hitters today. He retired the two right-handers — including a strikeout of Jhonny Peralta — but both lefties singled. Ayala faced three hitters. Magglio Ordonez doubled, Miguel Cabrera grounded out and Victor Martinez flied out.

• Phil Hughes allowed one run through five innings at the minor league complex today. Granderson and Dickerson faced Hector Noesi and some other minor leaguers in their sim game. Thank you to Donnie Collins for the information.

• Austin Romine hit his second spring home run. The two homers came in back-to-back games. The Yankees only other extra-base hit was a double by Andruw Jones, but the Romine homer push the Yankees to a 2-1 win.

• Girardi was asked today if he might be more willing to pinch hit for his catcher this season because he has Jorge Posada as an emergency option. “It’s probably something I would be somewhat reluctant to do,” Girardi said.

• Francisco Cervelli is no longer wearing his protective boot. “I don’t think it’s out of the question to have him May 1,” Girardi said.

• Speaking of Cervelli: “He asked me if I wanted (the boot),” Girardi said. “I said no, I don’t.” Only Cervelli would ask if someone else would like to keep his protective boot.

Associated Press photos of Jeter, Garcia and Rodriguez

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Noteswith 149 Comments →

Uncertainty in the outfield03.22.11

The Yankees will find out tomorrow whether Curtis Granderson’s oblique injury is worth legitimate concern. Already this spring, the Yankees have seen one oblique injury take two or three days, another take roughly a week, and another take exactly two weeks.

In all three cases, the player in question — Sergio Mitre, Joba Chamberlain and Greg Golson — said the injury was not serious.

“The way (Granderson) was talking, it’s not that serious,” Andruw Jones said.

That’s obviously the best-case scenario. If Granderson is out for a couple of days, it’s a non-issue. If he’s out a couple of weeks, though, the Yankees might have to look into an extra outfielder to carry at the start of the regular season.

Colin Curtis might have been the perfect fit here.

As a left-handed hitter, Curtis would have been a nice compliment to the right-handed Jones, and he would have given the Yankees another option behind Brett Gardner in center field (I’m betting Curtis is better in center than Jones at this point).

Without Curtis, the Yankees still have two good options. Both Greg Golson and Justin Maxwell fit the profile of fourth/fifth outfielders who can play all three spots and offer some speed of the bench, but this is one situation in which a healthy Curtis might have jumped into roster contention.

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Miscwith 526 Comments →

Thursday morning notes: Borrowed bats and stolen hits03.10.11

It’s not unusual for a hitters to borrow one another’s bats from time to time. Especially in spring training, players like to try different things, and might take an at-bat with a heavier bat or a longer bat just to see how it feels.

This spring, Eric Chavez has been borrowing some of Brett Gardner’s bats, and Chavez is hitting .474 with a lot of sharp line drives.

“He’s taking all my hits,” Gardner said.

Of course, Gardner’s not exactly having a bad spring so far. With his adjusted, two-handed approach, Gardner is batting .286 with a .500 on-base percentage and .571 slugging. He said he’s been comfortable with the mechanical change, but he’s been drawing so many walks that he hasn’t taken quite as many swings as he’d like.

Gardner leads the team with six walks. A sign that his two-handed swing actually is leading to more consistent contact: He’s struck out only once.

• Colin Curtis was diagnosis with a shoulder subluxation. What does that mean? “I don’t know,” Curtis said. He was kidding. Basically, Curtis partially dislocated his shoulder. Looks like he’ll be rehabbing for a month.

• Gardner has yet to play center field this spring, but he’ll probably be there on Saturday. “I don’t feel like I need to,” Gardner said. “But it wouldn’t hurt.”

• Speaking of defensive assignments, Jorge Posada gets his first spring start at first base today. “It just gives us more options,” Joe Girardi said. The Yankees are planning to carry an extra corner infielder — and Nick Swisher can play first — but the Yankees want to give Posada a little bit of time at first, just in case they need to use him there this season.

• Putting Posada in the field seems to be a good sign for his surgically repaired knee. “His knee has not been a hindrance at all,” Girardi said.

• Robinson Cano is on this trip so he can get some time in the field with Ramiro Pena. Girardi said he also wants Cano to get some time with Eduardo Nunez at short, and he wants Derek Jeter to get some time with Pena and Nunez at second.

• The tarp is on the field here in Clearwater, but it seems likely we’ll have a game. These fields drain very well, and the rain seems to have stopped.

Available in the bullpen: Dave Robertson, Mark Prior, Brian Anderson, Eric Wordekemper, Ryan Pope, Romulo Sanchez, David Phelps, Robert Fish and Daniel Turpen.

Off the bench: C Gustavo Molina, 1B Brandon Laird, 2B Kevin Russo, SS Doug Bernier, 3B Bradley Suttle, LF Jordan Parraz, CF Justin Maxwell, RF Daniel Brewer, DH Austin Romine

Tomorrow’s travelers today: With a split squad, most of the Yankees regulars are staying in Tampa for tomorrow’s home game. The only everyday travelers going to Dunedin are Curtis Granderson and Nick Swisher.

Pitchers on the road tomorrow: Warner Madrigal, D.J. Mitchell, Ivan Nova, David Phelps, Ryan Pope, Romulo Sanchez, Andy Sisco, Daniel Turpen, Adam Warren and Eric Wordekemper

Players on the road tomorrow: Jose Gil, Kyle Higashioka, Jesus Montero, Ronnie Belliard, Doug Bernier, Eric Chavez, Brandon Laird, Ramiro Pena, Kevin Russo, Jorge Vazquez, Daniel Brewer, Curtis Granderson, Melky Mesa, Jordan Parraz and Nick Swisher.

PHILLIES
Jimmy Rollins SS
Shane Victorino CF
Placido Polanco 3B
Ben Francisco LF
John Mayberry Jr. 1B
Delwyn Young RF
Carlos Ruiz C
Matt Miller DH
Josh Barfield 2B

RHP Roy Halladay

Associated Press photos of Gardner and Posada

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Noteswith 271 Comments →

Tuesday morning notes: Stranded in Sarasota03.08.11

After last night’s game in Sarasota, the Yankees clubhouse was not the most alert or busy place this morning. “I had to ask what day it was,” Joe Girardi said.

The Yankees bus is making it way to Orlando for this afternoon’s game against the Braves. Girardi’s not on the players bus, but we can be sure he won’t be driving himself. Turns out, his keys went missing last night in Sarasota and he had to leave his rental truck at the Orioles ballpark.

Kevin Long is a suspect in the case. He apparently borrowed the keys to get his hat out of Girardi’s truck. Long claims he gave them back. Girardi doesn’t remember getting them.

It’s a very sensitive and delicate situation.

• Still no diagnosis on Colin Curtis, who still has his arm in a sling. He can’t move it up and down too well. “Kind of unlucky,” he said. “Sick catch though.”

• No significant concern about Greg Golson, who felt some stiffness in his rib cage yesterday. Girardi said there are no tests scheduled. Turns out, Golson felt some discomfort when he woke up yesterday, but he thought it was normal soreness and decided to play through it. He had to be taken out of last night’s game. “Hopefully it’s not too long,” Girardi said.

• Ronnie Belliard is doing hitting, fielding and base running drills this morning. He’s expected to get in a game later this week. “He’s actually progressed a little bit quicker than we thought (he would),” Girardi said.

• Jorge Posada could get in a game at first base later this week.

• Andrew Brackman will make his first spring appearance today. The Yankees have been wildly impressed by Manny Banuelos and Dellin Betances, now it’s Brackman’s turn. He’s been slowed by a groin injury, and Girardi said the only concern is that he’ll try to do too much to make up for lost time. “We have to make sure we watch that,” Girardi said.

• By the way… Any chance Brackman could eventually pitch his way into the bullpen this year? “I think that’s something you could definitely consider,” Girardi said.

• Phil Hughes, David Phelps and Steve Garrison had sides today.

Available in the bullpen: Dellin Betances, Dave Robertson, Andrew Brackman, Robert Fish, Warner Madrigal, Romulo Sanchez, Daniel Turpen, Brian Anderson and Eric Wordekemper.

Off the bench: C Gustavo Molina, 1B Jose Gil, 2B Kevin Russo, SS Doug Bernier, 3B Brad Suttle, LF Austin Krum, CF Melky Mesa, RF Jordan Paraz.

• There is no backup DH listed, suggesting the Yankees are going to let Posada get a full game of at-bats.

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Noteswith 96 Comments →

Late Monday notes: Nunez making his case03.07.11

Given the state of the Yankees rotation, the flurry of swing changes in camp, the emergence of Jesus Montero as a roster favorite and possible resurgence of Eric Chavez, the position battle that’s gone completely overlooked this spring is between Eduardo Nunez and Ramiro Pena for the utility job. The importance of a utility man will be diminished if a big hitter is available to backup at third, but clearly Derek Jeter isn’t going to play 162 games at short. One of these two is going to get fairly regular at-bats.

“I think I have a good chance,” Nunez said. “I’m working hard.”

Nunez and Pena are friends. They seem to be around one another constantly at the Yankees spring training complex, and their lockers are only a few feet apart, but they seem to be jockeying for one spot. The Yankees know what they have in Pena — terrific glove, big league experience, very little offense — but Nunez is something of an unknown with only 50 big league at-bats, and limited experience away from shortstop.

“I am getting more comfortable with Nuney at second,” manager Joe Girardi said. “He’s an exciting player. The young man has a lot of talent. It’s just a matter of putting it all together.”

This offseason, Nunez spent seven weeks working with Robinson Cano in the Dominican Republic. He said they worked on hitting and general fitness, but Cano also worked with him at second base, including some work on turning a double play. He’s looked pretty good there this spring, and today he hit a three-run homer that brought his spring average up to .286. Pena just picked up his first hit.

• Turns out Greg Golson hurt his rib cage during tonight’s game. “I’m not exactly sure what he did,” Girardi said. “He came in and said it was bothering him.” Doesn’t sound too bad, but the Yankees should know more tomorrow.

• With three more hits this afternoon, Eric Chavez is continuing to make a strong impression on the Yankees. “You could see it right away that he had life, that the ball was jumping off his bat when we first started,” Girardi said. “He looks good to me. I watched him run the bases. There’s nothing that I’m seeing from him that would tell me he’s been hurt the last couple of years. Let’s keep it that way.”

• Andrew Brackman is scheduled to make his spring debut tomorrow.

• Here’s Girardi explaining the Colin Curtis situation: “He’s going to be out a while. I don’t have the exact diagnosis for you yet. He took the MRI today and Dr. Ahmad is going to look at it. My sense is he’s going to be out a while.”

• Rafael Soriano’s spring debut will be either Wednesday or Thursday. He pitched a simulated inning this morning but had to face one extra hitter because he got three outs too quickly.

• Girardi said we could start to see all of the Yankees regulars in the same lineup as soon as Sunday. “We’re getting closer to playing with some different things (with the lineup),” he said. This morning, the Daily News reported that there’s a strong push for Brett Gardner to slide into the leadoff spot.

• When asked about A.J. Burnett’s outing, Girardi cited the exact same at-bat that Burnett talked about this afternoon. “The way he finished getting (Wilson) Valdez,” Girardi said. “Strike after strike after strike, in a 2-2 count, down and away. I was really happy.”

• Four pitchers likely to make the big league roster pitched today (Burnett, Chamberlain, Feliciano and Mitre). They combined for eight scoreless innings with six strikeouts and no walks. Burnett, Chamberlain and Feliciano carried a perfect game through the fifth inning of this afternoon’s game.

• Mark Prior pitched another scoreless inning in the afternoon game. He’s still an extreme long shot to make the team, but he’s allowed just one hit through three innings. There might still be something left in that arm.

• Sergio Mitre made his first start after two relief outings. He went three innings, having not thrown more than two in either of his previous appearances. Mitre said he felt no fatigue and got better as the game progressed. “I’m trying to make their (rotation) decision as hard as possible,” Mitre said.

• Mitre’s three scoreless innings were also thanks to a terrific throw by Golson, who threw out Mark Reynolds at the plate, making an on-the-fly throw from mid center field. “We saw (his arm) last year,” Mitre said. “It’s a cannon. Saves runs.”

• Curtis Granderson hit his second spring homer, part of a two-hit day. Jorge Posada also had two hits. Of course, those came in today’s first game. The second game was a scoreless tie with four Yankees hits: Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, Melky Mesa and Damon Sublett. Adam Warren and D.J. Mitchell each pitched two scoreless innings in the nightcap, Andy Sisco and Ryan Pope pitched a scoreless inning apiece.

Associated Press photos of Nunez, Granderson and Posada

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Noteswith 532 Comments →

Quick notes: Curtis, Brackman, Soriano, Swisher03.07.11

A few very quick notes before tonight’s game.

• Colin Curtis is going to be out for a while. Joe Girardi said there’s no definite diagnosis yet, but he expects Curtis to be out for an extended period of time.

• Andrew Brackman will make his spring debut tomorrow.

• Rafael Soriano threw his second sim game this morning, and he’ll get into a game before the end of the week.

• Nick Swisher tumbled over a railing making a catch this afternoon, but Girardi said he’s fine. Russell Martin is also feeling good after back-to-back starts behind the plate. “It probably felt better today than it did yesterday,” Martin said.

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Noteswith 43 Comments →

Sunday notes: Rodriguez still a “pretty good player”03.06.11

A lot of balls got some help from the wind this afternoon. Alex Rodriguez’s home run in the fifth inning did not. Off to a strong start this spring, Rodriguez’s first home run was legitimate, continuing his strong start this spring.

“It doesn’t matter,” Rodriguez said. “It feels good to be getting my work in.”

Rodriguez is hitting .462 with four doubles and today’s home run. Only Jorge Vazquez, who homered in his first two games, has better spring numbers for the Yankees.

“I did take notice, I thought (Rodriguez) was pretty locked in from day one,” Joe Girardi said. “He’s a talented player. His offseason workouts, he works out extremely hard, and that’s the only thing I can really say. He’s a pretty good player.”

Rodriguez said this is the result of a winter spent training instead of rehabbing. He’s a little bit lighter, said he feels a little more flexible, and Hitting coach Kevin Long met with him more than once this offseason.

“(Spring training is) just a continuation of what we started in November,” Rodriguez said.

• Rodriguez has talked about being more relaxed than in the past. Today’s home run came maybe an inning after Cameron Diaz took a seat behind home plate, and when Rodriguez nearly hustled out of the clubhouse without talking to reporters, one writer joked with him, “What, do you have a date?” Upset him? Not this time. Rodriguez just laughed. “Behave yourself,” he said.

• Russell Martin had his first two hits this afternoon. He also stole a base, suggesting his knee is feeling pretty good. The Yankees will have him catch tomorrow’s home game, giving him back-to-back starts behind the plate.

• And how is Martin behind the plate? “He’s got a good idea back there,” Phil Hughes said. “He’s a good receiver, catches the ball well, frames pitches well and gets some (calls) you might not get with a guy that doesn’t stick as well as he does.”

• Derek Jeter had two more hits today and has his spring batting average up to .357. It’s still too early to know much of anything, but he’s looked a little better at the plate day by day.

• Five Yankees, aside from Martin and Jeter, had two hits today: Eduardo Nunez, Robinson Cano, Andruw Jones, Jordan Parraz and Justin Maxwell. Mark Teixeira and Eric Chavez had a hit apiece, continuing their strong springs. Greg Golson homered.

• Steve Garrison continues to be stretched out in big league camp. He went three innings today, a pretty clear indication that the Yankees are looking at him as a starter instead of a reliever (he’ll open in the minor leagues). On a day like this, giving up one run on three hits was awfully good.

• Converted outfielder Brian Anderson had a tough day on the mound. He faced seven batters, and five of them had a hit.

• Dan Brewer had a stolen base and a double, and Colin Curtis made two nice catches and threw a runner out at the plate, but both left the game with injuries. Right field was apparently not the place to be today.

• I never saw him, but apparently Roger Clemens was here to see his son Koby, who plays for the Astros.

• As you can tell from the picture above, Yogi Berra made the trip to Kissimmee.

Associated Press photos of Berra with Cano; Rodriguez after the home run; Jeter looking back at Jones

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Noteswith 131 Comments →

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