Spring Training Game Thread: Under the Lights

(AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

(AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

For the first time in 2013, the Yankees are playing a night game. The Braves and their ridiculously awesome outfield are in town for the nightcap, though B.J. Upton will be at DH rather than his customary center field. Yankees fans have seen enough of him over the years though, Justin Upton and Jason Heyward are where it’s at. You can make a really strong case they are two of the three best 25-and-under corner outfielders in baseball along with Giancarlo Stanton, and Atlanta has both (and the elder Upton) under control for the next three years. Jealous.

Anyway, the Yankees are coming off their first Spring Training off-day and the name of the game right now is survival. Curtis Granderson is out until May with a fractured forearm and this afternoon Mark Teixeira had to leave Team USA because of a forearm strain. Between that stuff and Phil Hughes‘ back, let’s just get through the rest of the week with no more injuries, okay? Okay. Here’s the lineup…

  1. CF Brett Gardner
  2. LF Ichiro Suzuki
  3. 2B Jayson Nix
  4. DH Travis Hafner
  5. SS Eduardo Nunez
  6. C Chris Stewart
  7. 1B Dan Johnson
  8. RF Zoilo Almonte
  9. 3B Corban Joseph

And on the mound is the right-hander from suburban St. Louis, David Phelps. Here are tonight’s second stringers, courtesy of Chad Jennings.

Available Pitchers: RHP David Robertson, RHP Joba Chamberlain, RHP Branden Pinder, LHP Francisco Rondon, RHP Mark Montgomery, and RHP Shawn Kelley are all scheduled to come out of the bullpen.

Available Position Players: C J.R. Murphy, 1B Luke Murton, 2B Jose Pirela, SS Addison Maruszak, LF Ramon Flores, CF Melky Mesa, and RF Thomas Neal will all come off the bench. I guess Hafner and Joseph will play all nine innings.

Tonight’s game is scheduled to start a little after 7pm ET and can be seen on YES and (no local blackouts). Enjoy.


  1. Manny's BanWagon says:

    Don’t be jealous Mike.

    Our outfield of Gardner, Ichiro and “fill in the name of scrub” should be OK until Granderson gets back.

  2. Sweet Dick Willie says:

    Big Game David Phelps. Yes!

  3. Winter says:

    Chris Stewart hitting 6th? Oh wait, it’s spring training and doesn’t matter.

  4. Barry's Gift Basket says:

    Jeez, BJ Upton is 25? I thought he was like 28…

    It seems like he’s been around forever.

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

    FoxsportsNext has a prospect magazine out with a Top 300 list.
    Yankees placed 13 on the list.
    29 Sanchez, 43 Williams, 62 Austin, 80 Heathcott, 89 Banuelos, 123 Hensley, 131 Montgomery, 194 DePaula, 238 Almonte, 244 Gumbs, 255 Marshall, 278 Campos, 281 Flores
    I was a bit surprised at Campos and Flores being that low.

    The list was done by Frankie Piliere of I’m not sure how strong his credentials are, but I thought I’d share anyways.

    • Seems like they ranked Banuelos a little high, guess they are not fazed by his TJS.

      • MannyGeee says:

        Oh, if only RAB fans could be so high on him and not phased by TJS.

        • forensic says:

          Personally, it’s not so much the TJS. It’s more that he’s essentially missed his age 21 and 22 seasons after having a somewhat questionable age 20 season. Once he returns at age 23 he’ll need to regain some form and still needs to experience some sort of success at the AAA level.

          In all likelihood, he won’t be seen in the Bronx until his age 24 season in 2015, and that’s only if he can find his control again.

          He’s still a fine pitching prospect, but losing all that time and delaying his projected debut knocks a lot of the shine off him.

          • MannyGeee says:

            Banuelos never really had control issues until the shoulders popped up. He’ll find it again, but what will he have behind it out of the gate is my biggest concern.

      • CountryClub says:

        Frankie is legit. He’s very optimistic in general, though.

  6. vicki says:


  7. Very upset that I am in my bull shit MBA management class and not seeing all that OF goodness tonight.

  8. vicki says:

    how did i miss before now that don wakamatsu had joined the coaching staff?

  9. Fuji says:

    Fellow true Yankee fans, we cannot sit by idly as Jason Nix, yes, Jason Nix represents this great and proud franchise as its 3 hole hitter, a spot in the Yankee lineup that has been graced by HOFers since 1920 regardless of what time of year it is.
    This is the first night game of the spring and they are facing off against a revamped, much talked-about Braves team on national tv. Either we simply don’t have a capable lineup to go out there and compete, or Cashman is missing a valuable opportunity to make a statement to the nat’l media about the confidence he has in his team- and apparently he has none.
    If Cashman doesn’t recognize this, I have to question his ability to be GM of this team

    • TomH says:

      Well, it is merely a spring training game. But your general point is well taken. The A’s improved themselves. The Jays did the same–as did various other teams. The Yankees spent the winter with one thumb up their collective behind and one in their mouth.

      I would, though, give Cashman a pass. This is Hal the Finance Guy’s work.

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

        The Yankees will have the second highest payroll in baseball this year, well above the third place team. If Cashman can’t build a contender with a $200M+ payroll, he definitely doesn’t deserve a pass.

        • Manny's BanWagon says:

          I’m certainly not the biggest Cashman fan around and in fact I think he’s average to slightly above average as a GM however in all fairness, it’s not like he started with a clean slate and $200 million and couldn’t build a contender.

          He had a roster filled with big money long term deals some of which had nothing to do with signing and on the fly was told to cut the payroll so it’s not really the same thing.

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

            Really the only current long-term deal that he had nothing to do with was ARod’s. Take away ARod’s entire contract and they’d still have the second highest payroll in the league.
            The change of plans certainly hurts, but the cuts haven’t really even started yet. Their payroll this year is going to end up about the same as last year’s payroll.

            • Manny's BanWagon says:

              Yeah but the fact that he has to cut payroll for next year I’m sure impacted his ability to better the team this year since not everyone could be brought in on 1 year deals.

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

                Sure. But the fact that the one player he was willing to commit $$ in 2014 for is a 39 y.o. who has been mediocre-bad for most of the past 2 years doesn’t help his argument in that regard. And he could have signed players for longer deals, as they will have some money to spend next year even with the budget. He’s just chosen to mostly delay the decision on who to commit to for 2014 (not necessarily a bad thing, but a choice that could hurt this years team).
                I’m not saying Cashman should get all the blame. I also think he’s about an average or maybe slightly better GM. I’m just saying he doesn’t get a complete pass for the current roster state.
                The ownership payroll plan has certainly limited his flexibility, though I’m not sure it would have made much difference unless the owners decided to increase payroll instead of cutting or maintaining.

                • Havok9120 says:

                  The only reason I give him much of a pass beyond what you are is that the free agent class didn’t really have much available that I would have wanted to spend 189 dollars on. Swisher was not an option under those circumstances (though I would’ve probably taken him back at the deal he signed), and most of the other guys weren’t people I was interested at all.

                  The Martin and Ichiro deals were the only ones I can really complain about given the current landscape. No other deals/non-deals that I can think of off the top of my head seem deserving of my ire.

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

                    I mostly agree with that, but I’m not sure Swisher would have been signed even without the 189M plan. The Yankees have been operating in the same general payroll range (about $215-$225M in luxury tax payroll) for several years now, and will fall in that range again this year. Even if the $189M plan never existed, and the Yankees just continued operating in the same payroll range they have been, I’m not sure the current team problems would be any or much different. It still would have been a somewhat weak free agent class. They likely still would’ve signed Kuroda, Mo, Youkilis and Pettitte, leaving very little room in the 2013 payroll budget with which to address OF, C, and DH.

      • DC says:

        His general point is nothing more than whining about a spring training game.

    • Havok9120 says:

      Here, here!!


      Wait, what?

    • Alkaline says:

      You realize this is Spring Training, right?

    • DC says:

      Another Dalelama protege.

    • Robinson Tilapia says:

      I see you’re providing tonight’s entertainment.

      Here’s a quarter. Dance on your head and tell me the sky is falling.

    • MannyGeee says:

      How can you honestly see if the sky is falling when your head is jammed that far up your ass?

  10. flamingo says:

    I am even happy to hear Susyn Waldman’s voice.

    Baseball has been gone for too long.

    • Cris Pengiucci says:

      This is a joke, right? RIGHT?!?!?

      (Although, given the fact that I’m far from NY, I might be able to listen to her for part of a game.)

  11. Cool Lester Smooth says:

    Oh, CoJo…

  12. vicki says:

    dan johnson with the leather. smells teix’s blood in the water.

  13. Manny's BanWagon says:

    Teixiera apparently injured his wrist, not his forearm and is heading to NY to be seen by an Orthopedic Hand specialist.

    Sounds a little more than just some forearm strain/sprain.

  14. Mickey Scheister says:

    That ball bounced.

  15. Yogiism says:

    I have a though that I would like some help with…

    Phelps has been looking good this spring and he was good last year as well. Nova looks better and I guess I’m wondering if the team is better with a rotation of CC, Kuroda, Pettitte, Phelps and Nova in that order? Could Hughes in theory come back, pitch a few spring games (good or bad) and maybe be traded before opening day? Maybe Rangers? Understandably the Yanks wouldn’t get anything really good in return. A few things: I know people say having depth is good and I agree, but sending Nova back to the minors at the start of the season would probably be a bad baseball move for the kid. My guess is that he wouldn’t take it well if he has a really good spring and what screw with it at this point. Phelps could be a swing man and spot starter, but are the Yanks really maximizing their value with him? Seems like the kid might be better as a full-time starter and could really stretch out long term and only improve. Another reason I think about Hughes is because this is his last season under Yankee control and while he likely won’t be prohibitively expensive to resign, I wonder what could happen if this whole scenario were to unfold with Nova and Phelps. They would technically have Warren as their depth and I’m reading a few things on Jose Ramierz. Seems the Yanks like the kid and I guess Pineda could be a factor late June/July.

    Love to hear some thoughts on this.

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

      If anything, the Yankees should be looking to add depth, not subtract it, especially if they aren’t getting anything great in return.
      If both Nova and Phelps are pitching well, it wouldn’t be the end of the world for Phelps (or Nova, I suppose) to serve as swing man until the inevitable rotation injuries occur. I would imagine both will end up getting plenty of starts to show what they can do regardless of what role they begin the season with.

    • vicki says:

      i think hughes will be more valuable this season than what he’d fetch in a trade right now.

    • Barry's Gift Basket says:

      I disagree.

      Let me answer your question about maximizing Phelps’ value with another question;
      Are the Yankees maximizing their chances to win the division, or a WC berth, without Hughes and putting Phelps on the rotation+the return for that potential trade (wich wouldn’t be much IMO)? I don’t think so.

      Phelps probably will be a full-time starter for the Yankees anyway, maybe this year because of injury or somebody sucking, maybe next year. That’ll happen without the need of trading Hughes.

      • Robinson Tilapia says:

        Yeah, I very much agree here.

      • Yogiism says:

        Well, at least there are few different opinions on this, which is cool. I guess the only thing I’l comment on in response is that Phelps and Nova could in fact be the best thing for the Yanks. No ones knows yet, which is why I asked the question. You’re all pretty much right that Hughes isn’t likely going anywhere and I wasn’t really advocating that the Yanks need to trade him. I’m really just asking if the Yanks have a better chance with Phelps and Nova rounding out the back of the rotation. I’m not entirely sure I’d want to stick Phelps in the pen at this point and might rather see him as a starter, but that’s probably not going to happen unless someone is injured.

    • MannyGeee says:

      Or Nova starts as the long man and Hughes goes back to the rotation when he’s healthy. There is NO SUCH THING as too much MLB ready pitching.

    • Trading Hughes would not be conducive to winning in 2013 . Nova was awful last year and Phelps hasn’t proven anything yet. Hughes might not be the best pitcher on the planet but you can be fairly certain that he can go out win 15-18 games have an ERA under 4.50 and strike out 160-180 batters. That is too valuable to give up since the offensive is worse than it was the last few years.

      • Dalek Jeter says:

        I agree with you, but you left out the most important part, he (Hughes) will give you anywhere from 180-200 innings, that many slightly above average innings guaranteed is much better than hoping that Nova or Phelps gives you that.

        • forensic says:

          Hughes has been called a lot of things, but a guaranteed innings eater is about the last thing on that list…

          if it’s even on the list at all.

          • Dalek Jeter says:

            Okay, throw in the quantifier “if…then” If Hughes stays healthy, then he’ll give you 180-200 innings.

            • forensic says:

              Which is basically the same thing you can say about the vast majority of starters in baseball, including Nova and Phelps.

              I don’t see how that sets him apart, especially since the qualifier applies to him vastly more than it does Nova and Phelps.

        • Yogiism says:

          Not sure about 180-200 innings guaranteed from Hughes. I think that’s overstating his past results.

          And I’m not “hoping” that Phelps or Nova can give the team innings. I think they have both proven that they can give at least as many innings as Hughes and both have shown a little better health in their first few seasons other than being hit on the forearm, etc. Hughes has been DL’d a handful of times because of his back.

    • forensic says:

      My preference all off-season leading into this year is to have Nova and Phelps in the rotation and Hughes in the bullpen either as the long/swing man or a shorter guy.

      It’s possible that it may put a small dent in their chances for this season, but moves shouldn’t be made with only one season in mind. Hughes is almost certainly gone after this year (at least in my opinion), so I put the two guys who will still be here for the next couple of years in the rotation and let them continue building innings and gaining experience in that role. With Hughes gone, I don’t care if he’s still in a starters mindset or role once he hits the FA market.

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

    CoJo not doing much to show the Yankees he can handle third.
    Looks to be cementing a trip to AAA until either Cano or maybe Hafner get injured.

  17. Cool Lester Smooth says:

    Bullpen Banter has their Yankees Top 15 out. Here’s the link:

    because I know RetroRob won’t want to find it himself.

  18. TomH says:

    I keep getting different “looks” to the comments when I “refresh” the page. Sometimes the classic look appears (like now), sometimes a new format (like a minute ago). I haven’t been drinking. But I could be hallucinating.

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

    So Carrie Fischer is going to reprise her Princess Leia role in Episode VII.

    Hopefully there is no gold bikini involved this time.

    • Dalek Jeter says:

      Hopefully the big three from the Trilogy are background characters in the Sequel Trilogy. I want a fresh story not “lets cram all the guys from the original movies into new movies just cause,” in the way the prequels were done. I don’t want to get into it, BUT to this day the inclusion of 3-PO and R2 was pointless.

      • Manny's BanWagon says:

        I think it would be awesome to get the old crew together, even for a small role. Gonna be tough to compete with the last released movie-episode 3-which I thought was ridiculously great IMO.

        • Dalek Jeter says:

          I…you…what? No, no. I refuse to nerd out. I could write a manifesto against Episode 3. But I wont.

          • Manny's BanWagon says:

            I loved it though I’m sure if you get all Big Bang Theory about it, you can find problems.

            • Dalek Jeter says:

              Really the biggest problem is Hayden Christensen, for 3/4ths of that movie he is terrible. Seriously, until he slaughters the younglings, the fact that his whiney ass becomes Darth-Fucking-Vader infuriates me.

    • Preston says:

      I wonder if they are going to try to get her “fit” for the role. She’s obviously had some hard living the last few decades and not quite maintained a movie star physique. Although from what I understand they are only going to be cast in tertiary roles, so maybe they won’t care what she looks like if it’s only a cameo.

      • Robinson Tilapia says:

        I’d imagine an older Princess Leia would have a very different place in the galaxy. I’m sure a nice, long flowing robe is in her future.

        I’m loving this so far.

        • Havok9120 says:

          If they handle her the way the Expanded Universe handles Leia at that age, it’ll work pretty perfectly.

    • Robinson Tilapia says:

      Mark Hamill’s holding out for free breakfast.

      • Dalek Jeter says:

        Haha, I saw a web comic a few years ago:

        Random Guy: Here you go Harrison Ford, just sign this and you will have a long and productive acting career, and in fact go down in history as a role model to multiple generations of children.

        Ford: Idk…Mark, what do you think?

        Hamill: I didn’t sign it, I’m sure it’s just a scam

        Ford: Meh, I’ll sign it anyway, just in case.

        • Robinson Tilapia says:

          Made a couple of duds. Did some theater. Maybe we’ll be looking at Daniel Radcliffe the same way one day. At least these sorts of actors can get visibility doing indies now.

          • Dalek Jeter says:

            I really, really hope not. Harry Potter caught me at that perfect age. The first book came out when I was like 9 and I read it in a week, and I was young enough when the movies came out that my friends and I never felt like we were going to “kids movies,” so Radcliffe basically was Harry Potter. That would be my equivalent to Mark Hamill I guess.

            • Manny's BanWagon says:

              He’s so type cast now, it’s gonna be hard to take him seriously in anything else.

              • Dalek Jeter says:

                Could be, but Emma Watson broke away from Hermoine very well w/ Perks of Being a Wallflower…then again she is honestly just a much better actor than Radcliffe or Grint.

              • Havok9120 says:

                Yeah. I saw him in the Woman in Black and it was like that. Granted, it wasn’t the greatest-written movie of all time, but his presence was distracting more than anything else.

  20. Dalek Jeter says:

    Rondon just made that guy look silly.

    • Vern Sneaker says:

      You’ve got to like his stuff — beat him with two fastballs and then that slider. He’s looked good all ST so far.

      • vicki says:

        his stuff, yes, but also his self-assurance. the more striking after watching monty all atremble.

        • Dalek Jeter says:

          Yeah, I will say that, Rondon has AWESOME presence on the mound. He looks like he knows what he’s doing, and regardless of the situation he looks confident and like he belongs out there.

        • Vern Sneaker says:

          “Atremble”. Like that.

  21. Dalek Jeter says:

    Does anybody else think Kate Smith’s rendition of God Bless America is terrible? Or is it just me?

  22. Eddard says:

    With James Shields in KC there’s only one big game pitcher in the AL East and it’s Dave Phelps. Gardner and Phelps will be spark plugs for us all year.

  23. Manny's BanWagon says:

    Am I the only one disappointed by CM Punk as the Taker’s opponent in WM? After his epic battle with Triple H last year, Punk seems like a letdown as good as he is.

    Only way IMO it becomes interesting is if the Shield intervenes and beats Taker within an inch of his life before he rises up and crushes Punk.

    • Robinson Tilapia says:

      I think Punk’s a great opponent for him. I’d even consider putting him over Undertaker and ending the streak. They think enough of him that they allowed him to have the longest title reign since Hogan and, at some point, these part-timers need to put the guys over who’ll replace them.

      I didn’t like the set up at all, though. I thought the set-up should have been Punk coming out after losing to Cena and saying, “I’m moving on from you and the Rock. I don’t need the belt. I already had the longest streak in modern history. I’ve got my eyes on another streak,” not have four guys come out and fight it out. Just silly.

      • Dalek Jeter says:

        I would’ve been okay with Punk and Sheamus butting heads the next couple of weeks and eventually fighting each other for the chance at the Undertaker. Also, with the way the announcers and Vicky were talking about it last night I think Punk will break the streak because they kept saying “go to Wrestlemania AND break the streak” not “go to Wrestlemania for a chance to break the streak.”

  24. Robinson Tilapia says:

    Speaking of wrestling, this Cashman interview calls for a Mr. Socko cameo.

  25. vicki says:

    i have a flight to tampa thursday. if this bitch storm screws up my trip i will be very, very angry.

  26. Dalek Jeter says:

    I got in really late (just in time to see Montgomery balk in a run) How did Phelps look?

  27. flamingo says:


  28. forensic says:

    Kind of odd that Robertson was scheduled to pitch but then didn’t. Hopefully they just changed their mind and it’s not yet another injury.

  29. Yankees & Canes says:

    Was at the game tonight. Joseph’s two errors at 3B were rough to watch, and the catcher sent a couple flying past Nix as well. Nunez did good though.

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