Spring Training Game Thread: Split Squad

(AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

(AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

The Yankees are playing a pair of split squad games this afternoon. Half the team will stay in Tampa to play the Blue Jays while the other half travels to Kissimmee to play the Astros. You get one guess where the projected big league regulars will play. Hey, when you’ve made it to the show you don’t have to travel in Spring Training if it can be avoided.

Grapefruit League records mean nothing, but hot damn it would be nice if the Yankees won one of these games today just to keep up appearances. They’ve lost their last four games, including yesterday’s error-filled laughing stock. They’ll surely start winning some of these meaningless contests once the projected big league starters get into game action — Hiroki Kuroda will start tomorrow, coincidentally — but for now we’ll just have to wait. Here is the lineup for the home team in Tampa, which will be managed by Joe Girardi

  1. CF Brett Gardner
  2. RF Ichiro Suzuki
  3. 1B Mark Teixeira
  4. DH Travis Hafner
  5. LF Juan Rivera
  6. C Chris Stewart
  7. 3B Dan Johnson
  8. 2B Jose Pirela
  9. SS Gil Velazquez

And on the mound is the right-hander from the St. Louis suburbs, David Phelps. Here are the second string pitchers and positions players courtesy of Chad Jennings.

Available Pitchers: RHP David Aardsma, LHP Clay Rapada, RHP Branden Pinder, LHP Juan Cedeno, RHP Chase Whitley, and RHP Jim Miller will all come out of the bullpen

Available Position Players: C Bobby Wilson, 1B Kyle Roller, SS Addison Maruszak, 3B Rob Segedin, LF Thomas Neal, CF Slade Heathcott, RF Ronnier Mustelier, and DH Gary Sanchez will all come off the bench. I guess Pirela will play all nine innings.

Here is the lineup for the road team heading about 90 minutes northeast to play the Astros, which will be managed by bench coach Tony Pena…

  1. SS Eduardo Nunez
  2. 2B Jayson Nix
  3. RF Zoilo Almonte
  4. LF Matt Diaz
  5. CF Melky Mesa
  6. C Frankie Cervelli
  7. 3B Corban Joseph
  8. 1B Luke Murton
  9. DH J.R. Murphy

And on the mound is the right-hander from the suburbs of Houston, Brett Marshall. Here are the second stringers, again courtesy of Jennings.

Available Pitchers: RHP Dellin Betances, RHP Mikey O’Brien, RHP Shane Greene, RHP Kelvin Perez, RHP Corey Black, and RHP Zach Nuding are all coming out of the bullpen.

Available Position Players: C Austin Romine, 1B Greg Bird, 2B Walt Ibarra, SS Cito Culver, 3B Kevin Mahoney, LF Ramon Flores, CF Adonis Garcia, RF Tyler Austin, and DH Francisco Arcia are all coming off the bench.

Both games are scheduled to start a little after 1pm ET and can be seen on MLB.tv (no local blackouts). Only the home game will be available on YES. Enjoy.


  1. pat says:

    I know which I’ll be streaming. Road game FTW!!

  2. Dalek Jeter says:

    I wish Lettuce Man was with the home squad. Stuart/Wilson, Over/Under .5 One Base between the two today.

  3. J.R. says:

    The fact that Cervelli is travelling with the B squad gives us some insight into Giardi’s thinking…

  4. Jersey Joe says:

    Is there even a remote possibility that Dan Johnson will be a LF at some point in April/May? IMO, his hitting slightly outweighs the defense in LF, but I think Gardner and Ichiro could balance it out. Not many inspiring options, but Zolio and Ronnie are interesting ideas.

    • mitch says:

      I doubt it. I don’t think he’s proven enough at the plate in the majors to try to force him into the lineup that way. I think his best chance at making the club is by playing a solid 3B and taking Nix’s spot on the roster.

  5. Cuso says:

    I just watched the Francessa interview with Cano.

    Everyone will have their different impressions. I didn’t think I would get this impression, but I did. He’s not coming back.

  6. Pat D says:

    Yankees ranked 5th in ESPN’s organizational future ranks. Top 4 were Cardinals, Rangers, Rays and Nationals.

    • Guns says:

      That’s a pretty strong ranking. Can’t argue with that considering how much uncertainty there is over the next few years.

      Although I’d put more stock in a random drawing than any ESPN baseball ranking.

      • Pat D says:

        I’ll believe their baseball guys over MLBN or any other site out there. It’s their local guys (cough*WallyMatt*cough) who suck.

        • Guns says:

          Not that MLBN is much better, but who’s opinion do you respect at ESPN? Kurkjian is fun to listen to but not much for analysis. Keith Law is the only opinion I respect and pretty much the only one who uses and has a demonstrated knowledge of advanced metrics.

          John Kruk, Jim Bowden, Schoenfield, Jim Caple?? No thanks.

          • Pat D says:

            I’m just referring to their website, not so much the TV side. I definitely don’t care what John Kruk and Curt Schilling would ever say.

            KLaw is obviously the best guy. Schoenfield, believe it or not, has grown on me. I think the SweetSpot blog is decent enough. Olney is good. Stark and Kurkjian are OK, I’m selective about what I read from them. Caple I only read for humor, not for actual analysis. I like his CSI:Boxscore segment.

  7. I am not the droids you're looking for... says:

    Tough day when two squads added together don’t yield a single squad that inspires much confidence.

  8. Guns says:

    Here’s to another impressive spring for Phelps

  9. MannyGeee says:

    to risk riling up the Preppers and the “Cashman SUX” crowd, saw this on LoHud:

    FAMILIAR NAMES: Two opposing outfielders are pretty familiar. For the Blue Jays it’s left fielder Melky Cabrera. For the Astros it’s center fielder Justin Maxwell. After being designated for assignment last spring, Maxwell settled in with the Astros and actually became one of their standouts. He might be the best player on that team.

  10. MannyGeee says:

    for the record, BOTH games are on Gameday audio.

  11. MannyGeee says:

    And the Toronto radio guys are being cheeky about the old and brittle Yankees.

    • Robinson Tilapia says:

      Let the plebians have their moment.

    • Chip Off the Ol'Knoblauch says:

      I was amused by the

      Announcer 1: “Is all the outrage because Stewarts not a superstar?”
      Announcer 2: “Well, it’s because he’s soooooo not a superstar”


      I’ll admit I begrdugingly laughed at that then immediately sobbed into my desk.

      • Pat D says:

        I just love how everyone forgets that the dynasty teams were not a team of superstars.

        • Robinson Tilapia says:

          The #1 sign that you’ll never, ever know what it’s like to be the Yankees is when you think you’ve got pegged what the Yankees are and wind up missing badly.

          Fuck em. It may, or may not, be this season, but they’ll continue to eat at a lot of crow.


          • Pat D says:

            Yea, I’ve greatly enjoyed pointing out to friends, co-workers and random people on ESPN comments how wrong they are when they say something about the Yankees.

        • Chip Off the Ol'Knoblauch says:

          Very true. It’s because of the dynasty years that they became superstars. I’d like to have an average starting catcher than a backup catcher pretending he can start though. Hopefully it’s not as bad as I think it’ll be.

        • Guns says:

          Girardi, Posada >>>> Cervelli, Stewart

        • Improbable Island's Dirty Midget Whores (formerly RRR) says:

          They weren’t “superstars” I guess. They were just nearly all awesome.

      • MannyGeee says:

        It was the “bubble wrap” comments that turned me…

        • Chip Off the Ol'Knoblauch says:

          Yea…the pot shots are starting to pile up. I just wanted to listen to how Phelp’s start goes.

          • Robinson Tilapia says:

            I’d rather have nothing but John and Suzyn for the rest of my life than have to listen to these two for an entire game.

            Oh FUCK YOU for dismissing Chris Stewart’s OPS like that.

    • pat says:

      Reyes and that turf? Lol.

  12. Robinson Tilapia says:

    Playing the part of front desk receptionist this afternoon? Me. Maybe I can sneak some of this game in.

    • Pat D says:

      I thought you had people to do that.

      • Robinson Tilapia says:

        And sometimes they leave on medical appointments and sometimes the high school work/study kids we have as backup don’t show up and the workers are busy doing the work that actually meets contractual obligations.

        The stuff they never tell you about being in charge is sometimes, someone has to sweep the floor when no one else is going to, and that usually winds up being the person in charge.

        • Pat D says:

          So being in charge sucks like any other job, huh? Glad to know.

          • Robinson Tilapia says:

            Not that I’m THAT high up or anything, but never forget that, the higher up you go, the more you’re beholden to someone else (much nicer way to say that than the “someone else’s bitch” I was initially going to type in.)

      • MannyGeee says:

        I just assumed this was his repayment for playing hookey staying home with no babysitter yesterday…

  13. pat says:

    Nunez in midseason form!!

  14. jjyank says:

    Just keep doing that, Ichiro. Please.

  15. Pat D says:

    I wonder how many more years of declining offense it will take before a movement to “ban the shift” starts.

  16. pat says:

    Damn, Cervy. That was literally a perfect throw. Altuve is fast, too.

  17. 22'Yankees says:

    Cervelli showing off :-)

  18. Robinson Tilapia says:

    Which game should I listen to here?

  19. Robinson Tilapia says:

    I picked Toronto. Who the hell is this play-by-play guy? That is NOT a baseball voice.

  20. MannyGeee says:

    Juan Rivera!

  21. jjyank says:

    One point for Rivera in that debate.

  22. Guns says:

    Chris Stewart with the intensity!

  23. MannyGeee says:

    Chris Stewart fighting for his right to party!

  24. Eddard: Back and better than never says:

    I love the fire and passion from Chris Stewart. He doesn’t take any game lightly, even Spring Training.

  25. Guns says:

    I think now Gary Sanchez will catch most of the game? Thank you Chris Stewart.

  26. Pat D says:

    Marty Foster is a fucking moron.

  27. teddy says:

    wow at the first base ump tossing out chris stewart

  28. pat says:

    Marshall flashing a niiiiiice change.

  29. jjyank says:

    Stewart showing some fire!

  30. MannyGeee says:

    Bobby Wilson in for Chris Stewart. NO Sanchez

  31. MannyGeee says:

    Dan Johnson flashing some leather

  32. teddy says:

    no gary sanchez

  33. Pat D says:

    Perfect throw from Wilson.

  34. Robinson Tilapia says:

    They must have some great weed in the Toronto booth.

  35. Pat D says:

    Robby Alomar didn’t lead off for Toronto, Kenny.

  36. MannyGeee says:

    This in from the Toronto announcers…. Melky was a “not a good” Yankee, came into his own in KC and SF… and they want to see if he is as good as last year without the “extra help”

  37. Stratman9652 says:

    Wow, Nobody will ever run on the Yankees again.

  38. Guns says:

    Try not to break any bones out there today, Happ.

  39. Robinson Tilapia says:

    Nice job, Mr. Marshall.

  40. Stratman9652 says:

    Think everyone should go up to the plate against Happ with a catchers leg protector strapped to his arm.

  41. MannyGeee says:

    “It wasn’t Happs fault that Granderson decided to jump on front of Happs pitch….”

    Those shit bricks on Toronto’s radio network

  42. pat says:

    OO Dellin coming in? I’m kind of dreading this.
    Wonder if he’s learned to keep his head more straight up when he throws.

  43. pat says:

    If Betances was an Oriole he would have been in the show two years ago and brained at least 10 Yankees by now.

  44. jjyank says:

    Aardsma looked pretty good. Keep it up!

  45. Stratman9652 says:

    Betances goes 0-2 on Altuve then plunks him. Shocking.

  46. Pat D says:

    Personally, I’d love to see Dikembe Mutombo randomly showing up and swatting things away in my life. So long as he wasn’t doing them to me.

    • Guns says:

      Hahahaha awesome! I can picture my ex-girlfriend calling to bother me for the third time this week and Mutombo crashing into her room and swatting the shit out of her.

      “Nah ah ah! Not today!!! AHHH HAHAHA!”

      • jjyank says:

        It’d be great if I could get him to hide in the bushes by my mailbox and leap out when the mailman comes and swat away my student loan bill and/or my Comcast bill.

    • Dalek Jeter says:

      That would be brilliant!!

  47. Robinson Tilapia says:

    Houston announcers a ton better. Lacking personality, but know their stuff.

  48. Dalek Jeter says:

    Apparently I missed some stuff…anyway who is number 99 on the Yankees?

  49. pat says:

    Ahh the old “Throw it over his head and hope it hits the bat routine”

  50. jjyank says:

    David Aardsma is now “Aardy”.


    I like you, Girardi, but you gotta stop forcing these nicknames.

  51. Need Pitching & Hitting (but mostly hitting) says:

    Betances being Betances I see.

  52. Jersey Joe says:

    Would Kyle Lohse accept a 3 year 20 million deal? I think with Kuroda and Pettitte gone that it makes too much sense to take advantage of his status. He wants years and stability at this point, and we want cheap. Is there a tiny bit of a match? I know that there has been much doubt surrounding signing Lohse, but I want to see it happen.

    • Dalek Jeter says:

      Reasons I don’t like Kyle Lohse, in no perticular order:

      He’s coming off two years were his babip against is over 30 points under his career norm.

      He’s only ever had one season w/ a better than 6.5 k/9 ratio, way back in 2006

      Before 2011 he never had a WHIP below 1.3

      His fastball has been trending downward since 2007

      He’s never thrown more than 190ip in back to back seasons.

  53. TomH says:

    This is the thing about the Toronto radio guys: it’s an America/Canada tension and a New York/Toronto tension. Remember Chicago’s alleged Second City Syndrome, vis-a-vis New York. Same thing, on an international plane. Toronto has always felt itself underestimated by New York. Canada has always felt itself disrespected by the US. (See the fuss in Canada about whether the country’s role was properly represented in that recent movie, Argo.)

    In the Jays’ glory days, the Canadian press (including broadcasters) were unspeakably smug. Then they fell apart, and I’m told that Yankee caps began outselling Blue Jay caps across the country.

    Now they’re convinced it’s payback time for being cast into the shadows for 20 years.

    Let the Yankees NOT be in the hunt this year, and this attitude will become the norm, coast to coast, border or no border.

  54. Dalek Jeter says:

    I’m pretty sure I’m faster then who ever #85 on the Yankees is, and that is seriously saying something.

  55. pat says:

    Jose Pirela is definitely not a pudgy white pitcher. Who’s pitching now for the Yanks?

  56. MannyGeee says:

    Rick Ankiel has been resurrected in Houston. IN other news, Rick Ankiel is alive.

  57. nyyankfan_7 says:

    Wow I have never hated two announcers more than these idiots from Toronto – just example #6749 of why Canada sucks.

  58. Pat D says:

    During KLaw’s chat today, someone asked him this:

    Craig (NJ)
    NYY offer the Marlins: B Gardner, I Nova, and D Phelps for G Stanton… Who says no?

    Klaw (1:11 PM)
    Let me guess. You’re a Yankee fan, right?

    He also answered a question about someone supposedly saying Montgomery’s slider is the best that person had ever seen, which he summarily dismisses.

  59. Pat D says:

    Well that was fucking scary.

  60. Dalek Jeter says:

    Heathcott with a perfect openfield tackle on Mustlier.

  61. Need Pitching & Hitting (but mostly hitting) says:

    Heathcott not content with just injuring himself. Now he wipes out teammates as well.

  62. Cy Pettitte says:

    Slade needs to chill, it’s ST.

  63. Vern Sneaker says:

    Yikes that was scary.

  64. pat says:

    I nominate that Nunez limbo for our double secret probation bonus gif today.

  65. jjyank says:

    Holy crap guys, it’s spring training! Take it easy.

    On another note, Heathcott covered a ton of ground there.

  66. pat says:

    These Houston announcers are awesome. Their mid inning interviews are really good.

  67. Pat D says:

    They do God Bless America during Spring Training? Jeez. Time to go get a snack.

  68. CountryClub says:

    I won’t be shocked to see the Yanks trade Heathcott. It’s hard to give someone a ML starting position if you don’t feel comfortable that they’re ever going to stay healthy. My guess is the Yanks don’t think he’ll stay healthy because of his style.

    • pat says:

      He’s too athletic for his own good.

    • Dalek Jeter says:

      I would be upset if they trade him “because he plays to hard.”

      • CountryClub says:

        I understand. But staying healthy is a skill and if he’s always running into walls (and teammates) he’s never going to be very good at it.

    • Heismanziel says:

      Heathcott might play wreckless, but by the same token he leaves it all out on the field and hustles on EVERY play.Those are things fans wish they could get from every player. I think as he gets older he will start to understand that he has to reel it in a bit and start to figure out when and when not to take such risk out on the field. Lets not forget that this is a 22 year old kid trying to impress the Yankees and make it to the show. Way too much talent to just trade away because he plays a bit crazy at this point in his career.

      • jjyank says:

        I agree with this, especially the last part there. He has every reason at this point in his career to go balls-to-the-wall. He’s trying to make it to the Bigs.

      • CountryClub says:

        I wasn’t saying they should trade him. But I could see why a team would be willing to trade that type of player. Especially if he helps bring something legit back in return.

        • Heismanziel says:

          I get what your saying.. but why trade away a position of need? Your talking about a outfielder with pretty close to if not elite speed and defense potential. The Yankees need outfielders. What is mason williams or Austin don’t pan out? I don’t think the Yankees would trade away Heathcott before they knew for sure what they have with the other two guys and what the state of our outfield looked like.

          • LitFig says:

            I think he covered that in his statement.

            His main point is that given Slade’s style of play, he could see the Yanks moving him down the line. He doesn’t endorse that decision, just feels that the Yanks would trade him due to the propensity to get hurt.

            • Heismanziel says:

              I understand that. But who are you trading him for and what position? Were locked up for years at multiple positions. One area of need is the outfield. Heathcott already projects out to be a borderline elite defensive outfielder with tremendous speed and a pretty good bat. You don’t think other teams are aware of his style of play either? I just see no way they would even entertain the idea of trading heathcott until they know for certain what they have in Williams and Austin. Way too much talent to just trade away because he plays wreckless at 22.

  69. pat says:

    Zoilo with a very pretty bloop into RF. Went with the pitch and dumped it over the SS head.

  70. Barry's Gift Basket says:

    Zoilo FTW.

  71. pat says:

    Diaz with the fundamentals.

  72. Dalek Jeter says:

    The only thing the knife commercial on YES just succeeded in is making me want ribs.

  73. Get Phelps Up says:

    Melky 2.0 with a 3 run bomb!

  74. pat says:

    And that’s what Melky mesa brings to the table, with plus D at each OF position.

  75. Barry's Gift Basket says:

    Melky 2.0 FTW.

    • pat says:

      He was fooled on that and still blasted it to LF.

    • Barry's Gift Basket says:

      I already said this earlier but i’ll go again;

      I’d like to see a platoon of Melky and Zoilo for LF to start the year.

      TBH, screw Die-ass and Juan Rivera.

      • Need Pitching & Hitting (but mostly hitting) says:

        fwiw, Mesa vs. LHP 2011-12: 216/285/357

        He may not be an ideal platoon candidate.
        I could see him as an everyday option until Granderson returns though.

        • Barry's Gift Basket says:

          Yeah, I know he is no great shakes and his splits are shaky to say the least, but he has the tools to get the job done for a month with Zoilo kinda helping too.

          Plus, aparently, he is a solid defender.

      • jjyank says:

        Well they’ll probably lose Diaz and Rivera if they don’t make the MLB roster. Considering Grandy’s only out for a month or so, I’d prefer to keep some of that depth by taking one of Mesa/Almonte and one of Diaz/Rivera. This is of course assuming that Diaz and Rivera don’t shit the bed for the rest of spring training.

        • Barry's Gift Basket says:

          Fair enough.

          And even if they shit the bed, at least one of them, most likely than not, will make the team. It’s how the yankees go about business.

          I think Dalek Jeter was commenting on this earlier, and i agree with him. The Yankees love their veterans, wich isn’t an irrational love, but they sure hold some young guys sometimes.

        • Need Pitching & Hitting (but mostly hitting) says:

          This. I think most likely it’ll be one of the vets (Rivera/Diaz) to go along with one of the 40-man roster guys (Mesa/Almonte). I see them wanting to avoid sacrificing too much depth.

  76. TomH says:

    I’m agnostic on Melky 2.0, but I would like to see the Yankees beat the Jays today, on analogy to the 1949 ST game between the Yanks and the Red Sox, with the Yanks as the aged team, without an injured Dimaggio, and with the sun (apparently) setting on them.

  77. pat says:

    Laird with the big FU grand slam.

  78. Heismanziel says:

    I cannot wait for MLB the show to come out next week. Going to have that sweet outfield of Heathcott, Williams, Austin, Obviously Gary Sanchez behind the Dish, A healthy Pineda ( beast mode), and of course DJ,MO,Robbie,and the gang. Glorious.

  79. Eddard: Back and better than never says:

    Phelps was brilliant. This kid is going to be something special. Let’s just hope they don’t treat him like Hughes and Joba, stunting both of their growth and running one right out of town.

  80. pat says:

    Tyler fuckin Austin. Picture perfect. That, to turn a phrase, was a professional at-bat.

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