On a day dedicated to the long-man in the bullpen competition, we learned that the Yankees might not carry a long man at all. That’s a shame for Brett Tomko, who pitched three scoreless innings en route to a 6-4 Yankees win over Atlanta. Alfredo Aceves also made a decent case for himself, allowing just two hits, a walk, and an earned run in his three-inning audition. Yet there’s a chance that neither makes the team, given Girardi’s comments after the game.
According to Mark Feinsand, the Yanks could opt to carry Jon Albaladejo, who would meld with Phil Coke to form a long-man. That would give Girardi an extra look for short relief, and would work with a seven-man bullpen. It would also mean the best relievers make the team, regardless of stamina.
One guy who almost certainly won’t make the team is Dan Giese. Not only did he allow three runs and walk two in his 2.1 innings, but he needed Edwar Ramirez to come finish the job. Edwar, by the way, continued his magnificence, striking out one of the two batters he faced.
The Yanks offense pelted the 23-year-old Jurrjens for six runs, three earned, over five innings of work, collecting nine hits. Teixeira and Cano both homered in the fifth, which accounted for the team’s only extra base hits. The other four runs, all plated in the second, came on walks and singles. Melky, getting the start in center, went 3 for 4. Looks like he won’t let Brett Gardner get the starting job so easily.
Meanwhile, Jorge Posada, Chien-Ming Wang, and Nick Swisher got in reps with the AAA squad. Posada doubled and gunned down a runner at second. Wang surrendered four runs in five innings, allowing nine hits and striking out three. Says Jennings: “Chien-Ming Wang gave up two home runs in the first inning. Both should have been flyouts to left but the wind was almost as bad Saturday in Tampa as it was Friday in Bradenton. One of the other runs scored off Wang came after a double in the fourth when the wind blew the ball over Nick Swisher’s head.” Swisher went 1 for 5 with a homer and two strikeouts.
Also from Feinsand, David Robertson has been sent down to AAA. If Albaladejo makes the team, Robertson will probably be the first bullpen arm up, and could force his way back to the bigs with a strong start.
Derek Jeter bruised his pinky and is day to day. Given the at bats he wants from here forward, I’d expect him in the lineup tomorrow. (Hey, remember when Mattingly hurt his pinky and took a day or so off? Didn’t he get a lot of flak for that?)
A major league scout has some kind words for Ramiro Pena (h/t Pinto). Takeaway quote: “…now I can see him as an everyday shortstop.” While the utility infielder job could still go to Angel Berroa, Pena should get plenty of time to prove himself in AAA this year.