Spring Training Game Thread: Baseball’s Back

2014 Season Preview: Fifth Starter Candidates
New collision rule is good news for Yankees and McCann
(Leon Halip/Getty)
Holy cow, the captain is looking pretty svelte. (Leon Halip/Getty)

One hundred and fifty days after their disappointing 2013 season ended unceremoniously with an extra-innings wins over the Astros, Yankees baseball returns this afternoon. Well, it actually returned on Tuesday, but today’s game is the first one we will be able to watch live thanks to the magic of television. It’s a good day.

Spring Training games are generally meaningless but today is no ordinary Spring Training game. Derek Jeter will start at shortstop, his first game action since being shut down with continued leg problems last September. He is coming back from a twice-fractured ankle and various leg muscle problems, all of which limited him to only 17 games last year. Jeter says he feels great and he has reportedly been moving well during workouts, but that and a couple bucks will get you on the subway. Today we’ll get to see him in action for ourselves.

The Pirates are making the short trip up from Bradenton for today’s game after beating the Yankees in yesterday’s Grapefruit League opener. Pittsburgh sent a skeleton crew lineup for the road game, but top prospect Gregory Polanco is playing center field and batting second. He’s a stud. Former Yankees Chris Dickerson and Chris Stewart are also in the starting lineup and righty Charlie Morton will be on the mound. Here is Joe Girardi‘s lineup, for the first few innings anyway:

  1. LF Brett Gardner
  2. SS Derek Jeter
  3. RF Ichiro Suzuki
  4. 2B Brian Roberts
  5. C Frankie Cervelli
  6. 3B Kelly Johnson
  7. DH Austin Romine
  8. 1B Russ Canzler
  9. CF Mason Williams

And on the mound is RHP David Phelps, who is making his first appearance of the spring. He’s competing for the team’s fifth starter’s spot.

Available Pitchers: RHP Jim Miller, RHP Chris Leroux, RHP Mark Montgomery, RHP Robert Coello, and RHP Yoshinori Tateyama are all scheduled to pitch. RHP Brandon Pinder, RHP Brett Gerritse, and LHP Jeremy Bleich are also available if needed.

Available Position Players: C J.R. Murphy, 1B Jose Gil, 2B Corban Joseph, SS Brendan Ryan, 3B Zelous Wheeler, LF Jose Pirela, CF Ramon Flores, and RF Adonis Garcia will all come off the bench.

It’s cloudy with temperatures in the low-60s in Tampa, and it’s supposed to rain later this afternoon. Hopefully it holds off until the end of the game, but even if the doesn’t, the regulars should all be done by time it arrives. First pitch is scheduled for 1:05pm ET and you can watch the game live on YES and MLB.tv or listen on WFAN. Enjoy.

Update: I have been informed that today’s game is MLB.tv’s free game of the day, so you can watch online even without a subscription.

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2014 Season Preview: Fifth Starter Candidates
New collision rule is good news for Yankees and McCann
  • The Great Gonzo

    BREAKING NEWS: Today’s game is MLB.tv’s FREE GAME of the day. I repeat, today’s game will be aired FREE on mlb.tv

    Stop pretending you were doing any real work and get it on.

    • Jim Is A (Bored) Peckerhead

      Of course today is one of the few days my handle is not accurate.

      • The Great Gonzo

        Why do I doubt that you’re not being a peckerhead today?

        Oh, you meant…. oh… yeah

        • Jim Is A (Bored) Peckerhead

          Once a peckerhead, always a peckerhead.

    • Jorge Steinbrenner

      Too close to data limit at the end of the month. The FAN it is.

  • Dalek Jeter

    No McCann, Ellsbury, or Beltran? I am disappoint.

    • Chip Rodriguez

      They all played yesterday, so understandable. But I’m excited to see Williams in the lineup.

  • Jorge Steinbrenner

    I missed you, John Sterling.

  • lightSABR

    It’s about freaking time. How do fans of sports with long offseasons survive?

    • Jorge Steinbrenner

      They eat their young.

  • Dan

    Yuck, Phelps is not making this team.

    • Jorge Steinbrenner

      Based on 1/3 of an inning anyone could have had.

    • The Great Gonzo

      Neither is Beltran based on yesterday’s equally relevant sample size

  • Jorge Steinbrenner

    FACT: Every team leading off ST with a strikeout has gone on to win the World Series.

    • nyyankfan_7

      I call bullshit

      • Jorge Steinbrenner

        Smart call.

  • nick

    is the mlb.tv feed working for anyone?

    • lightSABR

      It’s working for me, no problem. Well, there’s a problem for my productivity, but no problem with the feed.

  • TWTR

    Sterling is in midseason form.

    • Chip Rodriguez

      oh dear. What am I missing?

  • Jorge Steinbrenner

    I assume Polanco homered while I went to the restroom.

    • lightSABR

      You know what this means, Jorge. If they make the postseason, I expect you to hold it until October’s over.

      • Jorge Steinbrenner

        I’ll only hold it during Polanco at-bats.

        Do we even play the Pirates this year?

        • Thurdonpaul

          In the world series ?

  • TWTR

    Waldman mentions that yesterday Ellsbury saw 7 pitches in an AB and that Gardner would learn by watching him:

    Career P/PA

    Ellsbury: 3.78
    Gardner: 4.27

  • Jorge Steinbrenner

    “I thought they were going to trade Gardner…..until the signed Tanaka.”

    John Sterling Logic.

    • vicki

      i would assume he meant he thought they’d trade him for a starting pitcher? logical, actually.

  • Jorge Steinbrenner

    Ten people played 3B for the Yanks last season. Off the top of my head, I’ve got:

    Nelson
    Youk
    Gonzalez
    Reynolds
    Cruz
    Nix

    • lightSABR

      Didn’t Nunez see some time there?

      • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

        Nunez, David Adams, Vernon Wells (!). Still one more though…

        • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

          Oh, hah. A-Rod is the last one.

          • Jorge Steinbrenner

            Wow.

          • The Great Gonzo

            lolz. Says alot about 2013 doesn’t it…

        • Jorge Steinbrenner

          Nice call on Wells.

          • Dalek Jeter

            Yeah, I was listening in the car while getting lunch and I had everybody but Wells.

    • Dan

      Adams
      Wells also played an inning there

  • lightSABR

    And Jeter’s first GIDP of the year. I really wish they wouldn’t bat him second.

    • Tanaka palooka Floozy

      He’s clearly off the juice. Just look at that picture. Dude looks emaciated.

    • Giuseppe

      Seriously. Love the captain but he should not be batting better than 6/7. Of course, he’ll always get the benefit of the doubt.

      • lightSABR

        I like the idea (I think Mike came up with it a few years ago) of batting him ninth. That way he’s less likely to bat in a double play situation, but likely still to be on base when the big bats get to the plate.

  • goterpsgo

    Couple of initial thoughts:

    1. There’s no one else but retirees in the stands!
    2. I forgot they traded away Chris Stewart for a bag of balls.

    • Tanaka palooka Floozy

      My initial thought is that the starting line up looks an awful lot like our team last year!

  • Mandy Stankiewicz

    All freshly released/traded Yankees grow bad facial hair, and Chris Stewart is no exception.

    • goterpsgo

      Where’s Tim Gunn when you need him???

      • Jorge Steinbrenner

        I’d pay to see him travel the country with Joba Chamberlain.

        • Mandy Stankiewicz

          ..in a motorcycle sidecar.

          • Jorge Steinbrenner

            The shots of Tim trying to get the mud off his suit every episode would be gold.

            • Betty Lizard

              Having Tim and Joba do an MLB “What Not to Wear” would be heaven.

              (And, nothing like playing hooky and watching MLB. Oh baseball, I’ve missed you.)

  • Jorge Steinbrenner

    “Chris Stewart knows how to put the ball in play.”

  • TWTR

    Waldman: “The Yankees have a plethora of young, tradeable catchers. I don’t mean Cervelli.”

    She wants to trade a young catcher not named Cervelli?

    • Jorge Steinbrenner

      I think it’s more she thinks Cervelli is not one of more of these things:

      1. Young
      2. Tradable
      3. Catcher
      4. Needed to constitute a plethora

      • Jorge Steinbrenner

        One OR more.

      • TWTR

        Oh, ok.

    • The Great Gonzo

      SO GLAD I get to watch today’s game instead of listen. I am not emotionally ready for John & Suzyn yet.

      Its 15 degrees out and I don’t see any grass. If I had to go Sterling/Waldman today, I’d probably go for the bleach cocktail.

    • vicki

      daniel rathman on BP this morning had us trading murph + someone for gordon beckham or rickie weeks. ick.

  • chris z.

    Does the free preview not work on the smartphone app? It keeps asking me for money. You can barely do anything on the app without paying for content. What a money grab.

  • Jorge Steinbrenner

    “I have to ask Cashman about Dean Anna. I mean, he had a tremendous year last year. Why would San Diego give him up?”

    • The Great Gonzo

      John Sterling…. #FREEDEANANNA Gold Card Member

  • Jim Is A (Bored) Peckerhead

    No runs? Ugh. This team is going nowhere.

    • Dalek Jeter

      Trade everybody! CASHMAN FAILED!

  • Dalek Jeter

    Who is number 57?

    • Mandy Stankiewicz

      Chris LaRue

  • The Great Gonzo

    OK, Imma say it. High Def is not Meredeth Marakovits friend. Jenny Dell FTW.

    • Dalek Jeter

      I’d still do it, no questions asked.

      • The Great Gonzo

        Well…. YEAH!

        • Jorge Steinbrenner

          She’s a pretty regular-looking person a bit glammed-up on TV, but she’s certainly not ugly.

          Ah, the memories of the “we’re not supposed to talk about Meredith Marokavits” meme.

      • Jorge Steinbrenner

        Meredith’s a no-brainer. Well within reason.

      • Jim Is A (Bored) Peckerhead

        Anyone who says they wouldn’t is ignoring the celebrity to regular person exchange rate.

        • The Great Gonzo

          Quite valid. Does she count as a celebrity?

          • Jorge Steinbrenner

            She meets celebrity criteria. Yes.

          • TWTR

            For a night.

          • Jim Is A (Bored) Peckerhead

            IMO anyone on TV in a role that is usually played by an attractive woman qualifies on the celebrity side of the aisle; whether or not they’re famous.

    • vicki

      she’s pretty dazzling in person. six feet tall and plenty of that whatchacall charisma.

  • The Great Gonzo

    Dickerson is exactly the kind of player we need on this Yan…. oh what now?

    Oh

  • Darren

    I’m shocked Jeter made an out (well, two) already. Really thought he was gonna go 850 for 850 this year, including Spring Training.

    Oh well, watch him hit a 5 run homer to make up for it!

    • TWTR

      He doesn’t waste his time on unclutch hits.

  • The Great Gonzo

    Kelly Johnson is a natural at 3rd!

  • Dalek Jeter

    Cervelli going first to home on a double, love it.

  • Mykey

    True Yankee yet?

    • TWTR

      Or raising his trade value enough to be a True (ex)Yankee.

      #InfieldDepthAnIssue

      • The Great Gonzo

        Otherwise known as “Soon to be Embedded Yankee”

        • The Great Gonzo

          Which is a memo that Chris Dickerson apparently didn’t get

  • Peter R

    Love how honest Cashman is on WFAN esp. when talking about Kelly (Dan) Johnson’s defense. lol

  • The Great Gonzo

    This just in: Adonis Garcia takes the early lead for “guy they shoulda brought up” with that reaching on error.

  • Dalek Jeter

    John. Ryan. Murphy.

  • Jorge Steinbrenner

    None of the comments here in the past hour mean anything to me, as I’m in between supervision sessions at the moment. I only know it’s 2-2 and that Ramon Flores just GIDP’ed.

    • The Great Gonzo

      Mel Rojas Jr just tattooed that thing.

      • The Great Gonzo

        And reply fail

    • vicki

      just a bunch of kids and non-prospects (and robert andino) running around to no real avail.

      coello getting rocked.

      • Mandy Stankiewicz

        I feel bad for Coello. They gave him Joba’s number.

      • Mandy Stankiewicz

        I feel bad for Coello. They gave him Joba’s number.

        • The Great Gonzo

          And his control, as it happens

  • Wheels

    Looks like they won’t be retiring Joba’s number, ha.

    • vicki

      i hope somebody cool gets it eventually. i have a 62 home jersey (no name, natch).

      it was a gift, okay??!

      • Wheels

        I’d be stoked to own that.

  • Dalek Jeter

    Doom!

  • The Great Gonzo

    Crazy Hypothetical time:

    Chris Owings or Didi Gregorius for John Ryan Murphy and some fodder… who hangs up first?

    • Dalek Jeter

      D-backs. Both figure to be starting caliber guys, so to me it’d have to be more than “some fodder.”

      • The Great Gonzo

        In fairness, Montero has fallen off a cliff, and they have 3 SS’s in their top 30 prospects…

        Yes, this game is boring me so I am trolling mlbtr.

    • forensic

      I’m not sure how much I’d really want Gregorius, but I might take a flyer on Owings. Though, I don’t consider losing Murphy to be that big a deal so I might still deal with getting Gregorius.

      I don’t think the D-Backs would do either though.

  • Wheels

    Adonis ripped that one.

  • The Great Gonzo

    Adonis Garcia doing Spring Training things…

  • lightSABR

    Wait… Cody Eppley? How many former Yankees does Pittsburgh have on its roster?

    At least four:
    Martin
    Stewart
    Dickerson
    Eppley

    Anybody I’m missing?

    • forensic

      Melancon
      Tabata
      Ishikawa
      Santos
      Grilli
      Cole

      Guess it depends how far you want to stretch the definition of ‘Former Yankee’.

    • Michael

      Tabata

  • Mike HC

    Only caught the first couple of innings, but my initial reactions are that Phelps is still who we thought he was (jack of all trades reliever) and Jeter’s ankle looks mighty ginger. Hopefully that improves as the year goes on, rather than deteriorates.

  • Jorge Steinbrenner

    I see Robert Coello got himself a nice ERA of 135 today.

    Spring Training: Where I count games blown by guys who won’t make the team anyway as wins.