Notes from Friday • 04.02.10
After being rained out twice and forced into an intrasquad game once, Andy Pettitte got Dave Eiland’s forecast for Friday’s game well ahead of time. “Dave told me several days ago there was a zero percent chance (of rain),” Pettitte said. “I was still waiting for a black cloud to move in, but there wasn’t a cloud in the sky today.”
Pettitte pitched well in only his second full start of the spring. He pitched 4.1 scoreless innings, allowing seven hits but consistently stranding the base runners. Only one of the seven hits went for extra bases. He also walked one and struck out one.
“”I felt like my command maybe could have been a little bit better with my fastball,” Pettitte said. “Other than that I felt really good. I did get a little tired there at the end which I knew was going to happen because even though I threw 100 pitched my last time out, you just can’t simulate the adrenalin and having batters in there… The biggest reason I needed it was to build my stamina up, because you can’t build your stamina up in simulated games because it’s just not real.”
Here’s the Joe Girardi audio from this afternoon. He talked mostly about the series of injuries that have hit his team in the last week of spring training.
• After Mariano Rivera hit Felix Pie with a pitch, Girardi ran to the mound to check on his closer. Rivera said it was because he’s been sick and Girardi was checking on him, but Rivera might have simply been being polite, not wanting to call out the Orioles’ bench. “Something (was said) from their dugout,” Girardi said. “He just walked off the mound, got back on the mound… It might have been in response to my frustration the other day. It’s okay.” You might remember that Girardi got upset with the Orioles when Jeremy Guthrie hit two Yankees on Monday.
• Royce Ring was reassigned to minor league camp, leaving only Boone Logan competing to be a second lefty in the Yankees bullpen. Turns out, Zack Segovia was sent down yesterday.
• Alex Rodriguez confirmed a Daily News story that he has already met with investigators from Major League Baseball concerning his connection to Dr. Tony Galea.
• Forgot to mention this earlier: Damaso Marte said his current shoulder injury is nothing like last year’s, and might actually have been caused by his exercises that were intended to strengthen his shoulder. “Maybe too much workout for my shoulder,” Marte said. “I’ve been working hard this month on my shoulder. I never felt like this. This is new.”
• Nice job by minor leaguer Josh Schmidt to get out of a jam and strand two runners for Pettitte in the fifth. Schmidt had terrific numbers in Double-A last season and had a great winter in Venezuela, but his raw stuff has never wowed scouts.
• Nick Swisher hit his second spring home run today and will finish with a .313 Grapefruit League batting average. He’s made some adjustments that he’s hoping will lead to a higher batting average this season.
• Catcher Mike Rivera played in a game for the first time since March 20.
• The Yankees will play a group of organizational, minor league all-stars tomorrow at 1:05 p.m. Javier Vazquez will start for the Yankees and most of their regulars will be in the lineup, though they aren’t expected to play very long (especially given the injury bug that’s floating through camp). There’s still no word on which minor leaguers will be involved.
Those are obviously Associated Press photos.
Looking for a surprise • 03.23.10
Aside from the 25 players who seem to be favorites for the Opening Day roster, there are still 14 others in big league camp with the Yankees. Could any of these play their way onto the roster?
Two straight seasons on the opening day roster, but that trend will probably come to an end this spring. He’s really struggled with a sinker that hasn’t sunk. On the roster? On his way to Scranton to get things worked out. He was pitching very well at the end of last season.
Might be on waivers, but he’s still in camp. Pitched well for the Yankees last season, but he seems to have been passed by Sergio Mitre. On the roster? It obviously doesn’t look good.
He’s on the 40-man and he’s had a nice spring — .300/.364/.550 with plus speed and defense — but he has yet to prove himself as a consistent hitter in the minor leagues. On the roster? More likely in Scranton trying to prove himself with the bat.
Joe Girardi seems to view a second lefty as a luxury, not a necessity. Logan has an option remaining, so he can be sent to Triple-A. That’s probably not good news for him. He has pitched well, though. On the roster? Not if the Yankees plan to keep the four remaining fifth-starter candidates.
One rocky outing, but otherwise he’s been solid this spring. The Chan Ho Park signing probably crowded out any chances he had of breaking camp with the big league club. On the roster? Not now. Check back in June.
Remember when the Yankees signed Nick Johnson? That was the day Miranda was bumped out of the big league mix. He’s insurance at this point. On the roster? Not as long as Johnson is healthy.
In camp to help handle the extra pitchers but has almost no chance of breaking camp with the team. Needs a chance to play regularly at Triple-A, but obviously Jesus Montero stands in the way. On the roster? A simple, no.
Veteran depth behind the plate, Rivera is around as insurance. He’s clearly behind Francisco Cervelli, and his .125 spring average probably hasn’t helped. On the roster? Not unless someone gets hurt.
Another pitcher who has done well this spring but seems crowded out of the bullpen. Even if the Yankees were to carry a second left, Logan might be the better bet. On the roster? Probably battling Logan for a call-up from Scranton.
He’s a polished hitter, and he’s proven that this spring, but his limited experience at shortstop and in the outfield leaves him as a tough fit for the Yankees. On the roster? Probably not on Opening Day, but keep an eye on his Scranton numbers.
I’ll be perfectly honest: I was surprised Sanit even got a big league invite, but the Yankees clearly saw some things and he’s proven worth the spot with a terrific spring. He won’t break camp with New York, but if he keeps this up he could push for a call-up. On the roster? No, but made a more compelling case than expected.
Minor league veteran was signed to a minor league deal this winter. He’s been solid this spring, but he’s pretty far down on the depth chart. On the roster? It’s a bit difficult to even find a spot for him in Scranton.
Not at all flashy, but the guy knows how to hit and he’s shown it time and again this spring. Being left-handed takes his slim chances and makes them almost nil. On the roster? No. But he might have opened some eyes.
One of the more interesting minor league free agent signings, Winfree is still just 24 and has shown good power. The Yankees say he’s competing for a bench role, but it’s hard to see that happening with Thames in the mix. On the roster? Might be the only guy who could give Thames a challenge, but it still seems unlikely. Mid-season replacement? Very possible.
Notes from Thursday • 03.04.10
Nick Johnson said he could have played today. He “for sure” would have played if this were a regular-season game, but he felt something in his lower back and the Yankees decided to play it safe.
“You’re cautious in spring training because it’s a time when you can give guys a couple of days,” Joe Girardi said. “And as a DH you can make up at-bats pretty easy.”
Girardi said he didn’t treat Johnson any differently because of his injury history, and Johnson said his injury history didn’t cause him to overreact to today’s relatively mild situation. To be on the safe side, Girardi said Johnson will likely sit out tomorrow as well.
“It won’t be too long,” Johnson said. “I’m not really worried about that.”
• Joba Chamberlain should be good to go tomorrow. Girardi had no update on him this morning, but said this afternoon that he expects Chamberlain to be healthy enough to pitch. “He’ll be OK tomorrow unless something comes back,” Girardi said.
• Nice work by Boone Logan today. He retired all four batters he faced, and three of them were lefties.
• Speaking of relievers pitching well, Mark Melancon looked sharp today. He struck out two in his one inning of work, and made Jayson Werth look pretty bad on a curveball.
• Zack Segovia, Zach McAllister and Ivan Nova each pitched a hitless inning… Jose Gil and David Winfree each had ninth-inning RBIs… Colin Curtis had another hit… Greg Golson pinch ran, stole a base and scored a run.
• Jesus Montero singled in his first spring at-bat. I was in the clubhouse at the time, but I assume it circled the globe before dropping into right field.
• I know it’s spring training and it’s too early to be especially impressed or disappointed by a pitcher, but Roy Halladay looked awfully good this afternoon. He threw 24 pitches, 21 for strikes. “He hasn’t changed much, that’s for sure,” Girardi said. “That’s who he is, he’s a strike-throwing machine who knows how to locate with movement.”
• Turns out, Melancon grew up near Halladay and watched him pitch in high school. When Melancon was younger, Halladay actually called to give him some advice about the draft.