Spring Training Game Thread: Baseball’s Back

(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.


  1. The Great Gonzo says:

    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.

  2. Dalek Jeter says:

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

  3. Jorge Steinbrenner says:

    I missed you, John Sterling.

  4. lightSABR says:

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

  5. Dan says:

    Yuck, Phelps is not making this team.

  6. Jorge Steinbrenner says:

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

  7. nick says:

    is the mlb.tv feed working for anyone?

  8. TWTR says:

    Sterling is in midseason form.

  9. Jorge Steinbrenner says:

    I assume Polanco homered while I went to the restroom.

  10. TWTR says:

    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

  11. Jorge Steinbrenner says:

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

    John Sterling Logic.

  12. Jorge Steinbrenner says:

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


  13. lightSABR says:

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

    • Tanaka palooka Floozy says:

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

    • Giuseppe says:

      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 says:

        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.

  14. goterpsgo says:

    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.

  15. Mandy Stankiewicz says:

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

  16. Jorge Steinbrenner says:

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

  17. TWTR says:

    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?

  18. chris z. says:

    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.

  19. Jorge Steinbrenner says:

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

  20. Jim Is A (Bored) Peckerhead says:

    No runs? Ugh. This team is going nowhere.

  21. Dalek Jeter says:

    Who is number 57?

  22. The Great Gonzo says:

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

  23. The Great Gonzo says:

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


  24. Darren says:

    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!

  25. The Great Gonzo says:

    Kelly Johnson is a natural at 3rd!

  26. Dalek Jeter says:

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

  27. Mykey says:

    True Yankee yet?

  28. Peter R says:

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

  29. The Great Gonzo says:

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

  30. Dalek Jeter says:

    John. Ryan. Murphy.

  31. Jorge Steinbrenner says:

    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.

  32. Wheels says:

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

  33. Dalek Jeter says:


  34. The Great Gonzo says:

    Crazy Hypothetical time:

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

    • Dalek Jeter says:

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

      • The Great Gonzo says:

        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 says:

      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.

  35. Wheels says:

    Adonis ripped that one.

  36. The Great Gonzo says:

    Adonis Garcia doing Spring Training things…

  37. lightSABR says:

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

    At least four:

    Anybody I’m missing?

  38. Mike HC says:

    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.

  39. Jorge Steinbrenner says:

    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.

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