ST Open Thread: The A-Team


(AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

For the first time all spring, Joe Girardi is trotting the A-lineup out there, starting all of the regulars in what is their expected Opening Day batting order spot. Of course those guys won’t play the full game, but Girardi did say that he was going to start tinkering with some lineup arrangements after yesterday’s off-day. Perhaps tomorrow we’ll get a look at Brett Gardner leading off with Derek Jeter batting second. He won’t bat eighth or ninth, so don’t get your hopes up.

On the mound will be Ivan Nova, who’s scheduled for 75 or so pitches. and could conceivably get five innings of work in. Here’s the starting nine…

Derek Jeter, SS
Nick Swisher, RF
Mark Teixeira, 1B
Alex Rodriguez, 3B
Robbie Cano, 2B
Jorge Posada, DH
Curtis Granderson, CF
Russell Martin, C
Brett Gardner, LF

Available Pitchers: Ivan Nova, Mariano Rivera, Rafael Soriano, Mark Prior, and David Robertson. Ryan Pope, Eric Wordekemper, Steve Garrison, and Romulo Sanchez are also in the house in case of emergency.

Available Position Players: Jesus Montero (C), Eric Chavez (1B), Doug Bernier (2B), Ramiro Pena (SS), Ronnie Belliard (3B), Eduardo Nunez (LF), Justin Maxwell (CF), Jordan Parraz (RF), and Andruw Jones (DH).

In other news, Sergio Mitre threw 26 pitches in the bullpen and felt “perfect.” He’d been battling some kind of oblique issue, but it appears all is (on its way to being) well. The game starts at 7:05pm ET and is being broadcast on YES. Smile, the regular season starts two weeks from tomorrow.


  1. Mike Axisa says:

    Nova’s a little wild today.

  2. Mike Axisa says:

    Cano’s a man when it comes to the pivot. Amazing.

  3. Stratman9652 says:

    The 6-4-3 never gets old.

  4. Simon says:

    Just random but, Is it me or does Jeter look like he is running very well?

    • Sheepmeister says:

      Its March, talk to me about it again in August and September

    • Urban says:

      I wasn’t really aware that he wasn’t running well last year. I was aware he wasn’t hitting well last year!

      He is getting older, and Girardi should try and reduce Jete’s playing time so he’s not locked into a 155 games at short. A little rest can go a long way for a 36-year-old athlete, no matter how good a shape he’s in.

    • mbonzo says:

      He had knee tendinitis last year. Girardi brought it up sometime around July or August, saying that it was affecting Jeter. Jeter said he had no idea what he was talking about. Classy.

      • bexarama says:

        I just realized I can’t see “Classy.” without thinking it’s sarcastic, even if it’s meant genuinely.

        (Unless this was sarcastic??)

        • mbonzo says:

          I felt the same way after I wrote it.

          Nope, it’s a genuine classy compliment.

          • whozat says:

            See…I don’t see that as classy. I see that at Jeter being stubborn and hurting the team with his pride.

            Take a couple days off! He wasn’t hitting well, he wasn’t defending well, and he was playing hurt, which certainly couldn’t have helped. Admit that you’re 35, take a couple days, and come back closer to full strength. That’s one of the reasons that his new contract concerns me so much. He’s demonstrated a refusal to adjust to getting older.

            • mbonzo says:

              You might see it that way, but a stubborn player wouldn’t tell his manager. If Jeter wanted to stay at shortstop for the sake of staying at short stop he wouldn’t have told anyone.

          • Levi says:

            What you did there…
            I have seen.

  5. Cult of Basebaal says:


    Good to see Cornflake is in mid-season base running form.

  6. cano is the bro says:

    i bet the grandyman goes deep today

  7. JGS says:

    Nova is showing great poise out there

  8. mbonzo says:

    Nova is gonna pitch a complete game shutout at this rate.

  9. Urban says:

    Whiskey Tango Foxtrot.

    Brackman has grown an inch since last year? The dude’s 25!

    • mbonzo says:

      Its all the nuclear waste in Trenton.

    • JobaWockeeZ says:

      Yeah seriously. I think I’m peaking 9 years earlier.

    • Urban says:

      I’m a touch over 6 foot, but think I was 5’11″ at 15 and added just a little more than an inch over the next three years before my body declared it over!

      I wonder if this is all that helpful to Brackman. Part of the problem very tall pitchers have is mastering their mechanics. He doesn’t even have a set size to try and master yet! Hopefully he’s done, although it would be interesting if we had a 7′ pitcher.

    • Gonzo says:

      Hope for Banuelos!

  10. Stratman9652 says:

    Oh Vlad. Keep swinging at bouncing curves.

  11. cano is the bro says:

    nova’s looking real good…

  12. mbonzo says:

    Dammit Tex stop getting so many hits. You need to have your slump now in stead of later.

  13. Cult of Basebaal says:

    Goodness, is it possible that Teixeira will get off to a decent start?

  14. Cult of Basebaal says:

    Hip Hip!

  15. Urban says:

    Have we had a single starter complete five innings this spring yet?

    • Mike Axisa says:

      I think just CC and Colon in yesterday’s simulated game, which doesn’t really count. They’ll start getting into 5+ innings this weekend, Nova tonight.

      • Urban says:

        Hadn’t focused on it until I noticed pitchers on some other teams were going five and six. Nova is through five. Be interesting to see if comes back out for the sixth since his pitch count is low. Perhaps not. They need to get work for the other guys too.

  16. Kim Mattingly says:

    Gameday is making it appear that almost every Orioles batter has put the first pitch in play…or is this actually happening??

  17. mbonzo says:

    I hope they keep Nova in to face the Orioles a third time. He’s only at about 50 pitches.

  18. Rick says:

    According to Gameday, Nova has thrown 22 pitches and has 5 outs!
    Can that be right?

  19. Gonzo says:

    I didn’t get any laughs when I said Gilbert Gottfried posts on NoMaas.

  20. Rick says:

    Ok, Nvm

  21. Xstar7 says:

    As I was watching the top of the 5th inning Jack Curry brought up an interesting argument. Jorge Posada has played with the Yankees his entire career and has posted numbers phenomenal for a catcher. But as his contract is expiring and he is no longer able to play catcher consistenly will the Yankees resign him after this year? And does whether or not he hits well this year this factor significantly into that? Personally I can’t imagine him playing for any other team but can’t think of any other reason the Yankees would resign him if he doesn’t play well. Sounds a little like that Derek Jeter fiasco doesn’t it?

    • JerseyDutch says:

      I suppose it comes down to how well he performs at DH this year and how much he’s asking versus other DH prospects. It wouldn’t surprise me if they sign him year to year from now on.

      • Xstar7 says:

        Jorge Posada is my favorite current Yankee but pretty soon I believe he’ll have to call it quits.

        • OldYanksFan says:

          As a DH only FA, he is only worth $3-$6m on the FA market. Will he take a big paycut to play another year? Frankly, as a BUC, he might have had some value to us for another year. But if he is done catching, he’s a tough fit for the 2012 Yankees.

          He’s also 4 years older then Jeter, and can’t really play his primary position at all. Different situation.

          • Xstar7 says:

            Exactly why it’s most likely he’ll retire. He is not accustomed to being a DH and can’t take the physical strain of catching regularly anymore. And the market for DHs is rough these days.

    • Urban says:

      I think this is going to be Posada’s last year on the Yankees, although much can change during the season to change the situation.

      I’m not convinced Montero can be the everyday catcher, which means if he’s restricted to 40-50 games behind the plate, that means he’s the DH the rest of the time. The Yankees can’t have both Posada and Montero holding down the DH spot.

      I don’t expect Posada to get more than 450 PAs, if that, because they will need to find DH time for A-Rod and Jeter, as well as some of their other regulars, and eventually Jesus Montero.

      Put it all together, unless the Yankees trade Montero, I can see them going into 2012 with Montero as the part-time catcher and full-time DH, making Posada’s time on the Yankees over.

      I can see Posada deciding to continue on with his career, playing for another team. He’s viewed by many as a borderline HOFer. It would be to his advantage to add some counting stats, and achieve some milestones, such as 300 career HRs to enhance his case. Being a HOFer is worth a lot of money. I don’t know if players think that way, but if the Yankees don’t want him and he can still hit, he should take his act on the road for as long as he can.

      • Xstar7 says:

        Call me pessimistic but I think Montero doesn’t work out and the Yankees trade him. Hopefully for a starting pitcher who can hold down the second or third spot in the Yankees rotation which would take some pressure off of CC and Hughes. But that’s besides the point. Realistically speaking I can see three things happening. Posada either calling it a career after this season and retire in the pinstripes, the Yankees resigning him to a one year deal if he stays relatively productive, or he signs with a different American League team like the Athletics or Indians to be the DH and or back up catcher/first basemen (which I would hate to see.) As for Posada’s hall of fame case, It would take at least one or two more years similar to last year (but with a higher average) and him reaching 300 homeruns for him to get in. As things stand right now him getting in the Hall of Fame is a long shot even though I think he belongs there. And he definitely won’t get in in the first or second ballot. Maybe around the 4th or 5th.

    • MikeD says:

      I think Jorge’s end will be more like Bernie’s. The Yankees will either decide to offer him a contract or not. In Bernie’s case, they opted to not offer him a contract and Bernie decided it was the Yankees or no team. Jorge may be faced with a similar decision, but he has his own fate in his hands. Have a good year and he call his own shots…mostly.

  22. Cult of Basebaal says:

    Spring training or not, facing the Orioles or not, that’s a Hell-of-a start for Nova.

  23. mbonzo says:

    I expect that Nova’s day is done. He really looked unbelievable.

  24. cano is the bro says:

    wish they would let nova stay in and go for the no-no, haha

  25. Cuso says:

    Ladies and germs, your #4 starter

  26. JerseyDutch says:

    No hits, no walks, four K’s, one HBP. Can’t you do any better, Mr. Nova?

  27. cano is the bro says:

    seeing Tex get hit on the hand like that in ST is scary

  28. Mike Axisa says:

    Save it for the season, Alex.

  29. JerseyDutch says:

    Kaboom! A-Rod might be on the cusp of a very scary year…

  30. cano is the bro says:

    an a-bomb, from a-rod!

  31. Sean C says:

    He should’ve known not to pitch like that to Alex, haha.

  32. Rick says:

    They should have taken Tex out by now.

  33. Rick says:

    Nova is back for the 7th?

  34. Rick says:

    Nvm, here comes Mo!

  35. Kit says:

    Mo in high socks…amazing.

  36. cano is the bro says:

    dammit vlad…

  37. Cult of Basebaal says:

    Way to blow the no-no, Mo!

  38. Kit says:

    You’re playing too hard, Swish.

  39. Cult of Basebaal says:


    With the +1!

  40. mbonzo says:

    Swisher just really want to pitch again.

  41. Sean C says:

    That would have been awesome if Swish would’ve pulled that off. But then again, that was a really stupid thing to do.

  42. JerseyDutch says:

    Mo refuses to throw more than 12 pitches an inning in ST…

  43. Dave the Ox says:

    Why is Javier Vazquez telling me I’m listening to WCBS-New York?

  44. Cult of Basebaal says:

    That was a fun interview with Nova. Man, he was almost giddy.

  45. steven says:

    off topic but had to ask …has it ben brought up for brett to bat second??

    • mbonzo says:

      I’ve seen a couple discussions. People were saying that he doesn’t have enough power. I don’t buy it. I still think he’d be a better lead off hitter, even if Jeter is gonna have another double play crazy season, at least Gardner can steal second.

  46. Angryankee says:

    Just got back from the game… I am upbeat! Good to see Buck and Willie Randolph too…

  47. Rick says:

    Who took over for Mo?

  48. Stratman9652 says:

    Flies out to left fielder Eduardo Nunez. What????

  49. Steve H says:

    So Nova pitched great, but is throwing no changeups really a smart thing to do in ST?

    • Tom Zig says:

      He said he threw them in the bullpen after.

      Otherwise I agree. I think every Yankee starting pitcher needs to learn the changeup

      • Steve H says:

        That’s good to hear. I just hope he wasn’t too focused on results as opposed to focusing on getting better with all pitches, especially considering his 3rd time through weakness.

      • Monteroisdinero says:

        Nova has a good changeup. He doesn’t need to learn it. Burnett and Hughes need to work on that pitch more than Nova.

        After all the talk on Banuelos today, nice to have the “crafty veteran” Nova take charge tonight.

  50. Urban says:

    I would disagree. Posada backing up Girardi did hurt Posada.

  51. nsalem says:

    88 posts so far and only two short references about 20 year old Mexican lefties.
    Somebody has finally fallen asleep.

  52. Dax J. says:

    Hey, so I was participating in some Mock Drafts and this is the team I ended up with. Can you guys tell me if I did good?

    1. Troy Tulowitzki (Col – SS)
    2. Mark Teixeira (NYY – 1B)
    3. Félix Hernández (Sea – SP)
    4. Dan Uggla (Atl – 2B)
    5. Joe Mauer (Min – C)
    6. Zack Greinke (Mil – SP)
    7. Jason Heyward (Atl – OF)
    8. Justin Upton (Ari – OF)
    9. Jayson Werth (Was – OF)
    10. Matt Cain (SF – SP)
    11. Yovani Gallardo (Mil – SP)
    12. Pedro Alvarez (Pit – 3B)
    13. Ben Zobrist (TB – 1B,2B,OF)
    14. Casey McGehee (Mil – 3B)
    15. Chad Billingsley (LAD – SP)
    16. Pablo Sandoval (SF – 1B,3B)
    17. Stephen Drew (Ari – SS)
    18. Madison Bumgarner (SF – SP)
    19. Daniel Bard (Bos – RP)
    20. Jorge Posada (NYY – C)
    21. Carlos Quentin (CWS – OF)
    22. Jeremy Hellickson (TB – SP,RP)
    23. Omar Infante (Fla – 2B,3B,SS,OF)

    • Mike Axisa says:

      Sheesh, was it a six-team league? That’s an exceptionally good club, very strong up the middle (C, SS, 2B) with three dynamite outfielders. Pitching’s very good as well.

      • Dax J. says:

        It was an 8 team league

        • mbonzo says:

          Its hard for me to critique your lineup since just about every lineup in an 8 team league is loaded. You did a very good job though.

          Imo, I’d stay away from Greinke and Werth. Greinke just doesn’t seem reliable enough to pick him so early in the draft, and Werth is gonna be hitting against some insane pitching from the Phillies and Braves, and don’t forget guys like Josh Johnson.

          I expect great things from Cain, Gallardo and Billingsley so nice job there. Bumgarner should have a great year too.

          I would stay away from Pedro Alvarez, theres a lot of other good options around this pick, and Alvarez BABIPed way too high last year for me to think he’s figured things out yet. I’d go for an OF instead like Chris Young, Colby Rasmus, Corey Hart, or Curtis Granderson. I also think Matt Wieters is gonna have a break out season, so he’s a big target for me.

          Casey McGehee is very underrated in this draft, 3b is pretty terrible and he’s been way above average at a young age. Same with Sandoval and Drew, good picks there.

          The end of your draft is somewhat a mess. You’re only relief pitcher is Bard, who’s not even a closer. If you want some sleepers in the Yahoo draft, go after Joe Nathan, Matt Thornton, and I’m sure people are pretty sheepish on Bailey now. If you can’t find a closer left, I’d go after someone like Hong-Chih Kuo since he’s probably the best non-closer reliever for stats and theres a decent chance he takes over for Broxton.

          Infante is a good utility guy, but don’t expect him to hit .320′s this year. Doesn’t expect much from Hellickson, he’s a good prospect but its his first year in the AL East, I’d rather go after someone like Edinson Volquez, Daniel Hudson, Matt Garza, Jaime Garcia, or John Danks. Last, I think Moustakis could be in the bigs way before June, and he has the ability to tear things up so if you have an extra pick left for a position player I’d go after him.

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