The Opening Day 25-man roster has to be set by Sunday, but the Yankees got a head start and started making some cuts and additions. Here’s what manager Joe Girardi and the Yankees did after the Yankees 4-2 win over the Nationals.
4. David Aardsma was designated for assignment by the Yankees today. The reason behind it was that Girardi felt the Yankees already felt that they had enough one inning pitchers. Didn’t seem the need to carry another one.
5. Shawn Kelley made the team. Girardi liked his approach on the mound as well as the fact that he’s a strikeout pitcher.
6. Vidal Nuno along with a handful of other players were reassigned to minor league camp. I guess winning the Dawson Award didn’t mean much in the Yankees eyes.
7. Before the game today, Joe Girardi and Mark Teixeira were watching Brennan Boesch do first base drills while Teixeira was giving him pointers. It seems as if the Yankees plan on carrying Boesch as the emergency first baseman although the Yankees didn’t officially announce that as of yet.
8. After the Yankees released David Adams, he became a free agent today and the Yankees re-signed him. Seemed like a lengthy process to get him off the 40-man roster and back into the organization.
The more we chant “It’s Just Spring Training”, the more frustrated we become. Why? Because the Yankees last (and only) win came one week ago, tomorrow. Now, the fans don’t like to see the Yankees lose, but the Yankees are playing sloppy baseball. That’s what summed up today’s 10-5 loss against the Phillies. Sloppy.
There was more bad than good that came out of the game, a game that was plagued with four errors. Now, let’s try to look at the bright side, because that’s all that we can do at this point.
Francisco Cervelli: Francisco Cervelli is seemingly pulling himself away from the catchers competition, going 2-for-2 with a walk, and throwing out yet another runner. Chris Stewart hasn’t played since the second inning of yesterday’s game, where he was ejected for allegedly pointing at the umpire after the umpire warned him not to point, so it gives Cervelli an edge so far this Spring.
David Robertson: D-Rob came into another tight jam, relieving Hiroki Kuroda who only went 1.2 IP and allowing 4 runs (1 earned). In five pitches, Robertson got out of the jam and stopped the game from further damage at that point. I said it once and I’ll say it again: D-Rob is in midseason form.
Hiroki Kuroda: Now, some people will argue that Kuroda had a bad outing, but when you watched the game, the numbers don’t translate to how he actually pitched. He actually got the ground-balls when he needed them, unfortunately, the infielders were unable to field the ball and their positions, allowing three unearned runs to score. Was Kuroda sharp? No. But did he look decent for his first time on the mound? Yes.
Melky Mesa: If the Yankees are looking for someone to take Curtis Granderson‘s spot for the next 4-6 weeks, then I strongly suggest Melky Mesa. He played the entire game, and hit another home run. He hit one yesterday vs. the Astors as well, making his total 2 HR’s and 4 RBI’s in the last two days. His bat’s on fire, and just in time too. He’s planning on going to the World Baseball Classic.
— The Yankees will try again to get their second win of the Spring tomorrow against the Detroit Tigers, who are coming from Lakeland to Tampa. Robinson Cano and Mark Teixeira are both slated to play their last game with the Yankees before heading off to their separate teams for the World Baseball Classic. That game will be at 1:05 p.m. on YES Network.
Ir seems to me that things aren’t turning out the way the Yankees planned during Spring Training. However, we have to remember a couple of things before we get crazy about the standings (which we shouldn’t be doing).
1. The Yankees Major League starting pitchers haven’t even been in a game so far.
2. The Yankees hitters have only went about 5-6 innings before getting taken out.
3. It’s Spring Training. Almost everyone’s rusty.
However, it would be nice to see the Yankees win a game or two. Let’s break down the good (and bad) that came out of each game. That seems like an easier way to recap the split-squad games.
Blue Jays vs. Yankees
Gardner & Ichiro are locked in: If the season started today, Brett Gardner and Ichiro Suzuki wouldn’t mind. At all. Both of them as of right now are easily the best hitters on the team, with both of their batting averages over .500. Gardner went 1-for-3 today, now successfully hitting in four-straight games. Ichiro also had a 1-for-3 day, extending his hitting streak. It’s nice to know that out of the gate the two speedsters are ready for the 2013 season. Now if everyone else behind them can catch up, that would be great.
Clay Rapada is unstoppable (and undefeated): Clay Rapada had the quickest 1-2-3 inning, that if you went to the kitchen to get a glass of water and come back, the inning would be over due to his sheer brilliance on the mound. There’s also an interesting fact that YES gave about Rapada: He’s been in 148 games and his overall record is 8-0 in the Majors. That means that Clay Rapada has never lost a game in his Major League career. Never. Ever. Just judging by today’s game, I would already have a nice roster spot for Mr. Rapada. He looked in mid-season form.
Chris Stewart ejected: Chris Stewart only had one at-bat. And that one-at bat would be the last at-bat that he would have on the day. He hit into a bang-bang play at first base. YES instant replay showed Stewart’s foot touched the bag before the ball went into the first baseman’s glove. However, Marty Foster called him out. Stewart said something and then was ejected from the game, making him the first ejection of the Spring. Just so you know, Spring Training ejections don’t happen very often, so that must mean Marty Foster in in mid-season form.
David Phelps pitches strong: David Phelps had another strong outing, going 3 innings, giving up 2 hits, 1 walk and 1 strikeout. Phelps’ future with the Yankees could be either one of two things at this point: he could either be in the rotation, taking the 5th spot from Ivan Nova, or he could be in the bullpen, helping out in later innings. I don’t see him going back to the minor leagues, at all.
Yankees vs. Astros:
Melky Mesa has great game: The young CF looks to be in the front running of who could take Curtis Granderson‘s job for the next 4-6 weeks after the big day he had at the plate. The young CF went 2-for-3 with 3 RBI’s on the day. I wonder what John Sterling’s HR call would be for the young OF if he ever had a chance to play on the big league club–and if he homered.
Nunez helmet won’t stay on: Another day, another chance to see Eduardo Nunez‘s helmet fall off his head. Just as I had hoped that Nunez would be able to keep the helmet on while running down the first baseline, it came off when he hit a lead-off single in the first inning. Maybe someone should add a chin strap or get him a helmet like Francisco Cervelli‘s. That way it can’t come off.
Cervelli’s strong day behind the plate: Speaking of the young catcher, Cervelli had a great day behind the plate, throwing out two runners who were attempting to steal. Offensively, he went 0-for-3. Maybe it didn’t help that Chris Stewart was ejected because judging by what happened today, it looks like Cervelli took the lead in the catching competition.
Marshall has a good start: Another Brett on the Yankees ball-club had a great day as well, and his name is Brett Marshall. Through three innings, he struck out three and only allowed one hit. Now that is some impressive numbers from the young starter, who is one of the few players actually impressing this Spring Training.
— The Phillies will take the drive from Clearwater to Tampa in order to play the Yankees at GMS Field tomorrow. Robinson Cano is expected to be in the lineup tomorrow and Saturday before leaving on Sunday for the World Baseball Classic. The game will be at 1:05 p.m. on the YES Network.
David Phelps knew how vital this start could be in the factoring decision on whether or not he would get the fifth rotation spot. So far, so good for the young pitcher who is entering his sophomore season in the majors with the Yankees and is desperately trying to win a roster spot, whether it be in the rotation or in the bullpen.
Yesterday, Joe Girardi said he expected Phelps to go two innings or throw 37 pitches. Phelps made it through his two innings, not allowing a single run. Phelps’s final line was 2 innings, no runs, three hits, no strike outs and no walks.
The Yankees bats were quiet for the first two innings but a third inning where the Braves committed two errors, a pass ball and a wild pitch opened the door for them when Zolio Almonte hit a two run homer, bringing home Melky Mesa. Eduardo Nunez also reached on an error and Robinson Cano reached on poor fielding, putting on a four spot in the third. Cano homered in the fifth inning, extending the Yankees lead while Austin Romine hit a two run single with the bases loaded and two outs in the seventh.
The Yankees displayed both Francisco Cervelli and Austin Romine in the game, Cervelli throwing out a runner in the second and Austin showing off his bat in the seventh.
Major League Players Look
— Robinson Cano went 1 for 3 with a HR and an RBI.
— Mark Teixeira went 0 for 3, grounded into a double play and has an RBI on a fielders choice.
Back at Yankees camp:
— Derek Jeter ran on the field back in Tampa, showing progress on trying to make it back to the Yankees by Opening Day.
The Yankees will take on the Toronto Blue Jays tomorrow afternoon at 1 p.m, the first televised Yankees game by YES. Players such as Brett Gardner, Curtis Granderson, Ichiro Suzuki and Kevin Youkilis are expected to be in the lineup. Adam Warren is slated to start the game.