3/25 Camp Notes: Ellsbury, Rotation, Herndon

Spring Training Game Thread: Spot Start
Rangers checked in on Cervelli; Yankees not interested in Frandsen

The Yankees lost their fifth-to-last Grapefruit League game on Tuesday night, getting shut out 6-0 by the Phillies. Joe Girardi cycled through nine pitchers in nine innings, including Adam Warren (two walks, one strikeout), David Phelps (one unearned run), Vidal Nuno (two solo homers), David Robertson (one walk), Matt Thornton (perfect inning, one strikeout), and Shawn Kelley (one strikeout). Apparently if you showed up to the park, you got a chance to pitch.

Brett Gardner had a big day, going 3-for-3 and throwing a runner out at the plate. Well, kinda. Domonic Brown made a boneheaded base-running play and got hung up between third and home. Derek Jeter, Carlos Beltran, and Kelly Johnson all went 1-for-3, though Johnson misplayed two balls for errors. He has five this spring. Mark Teixeira, Brian McCann, and Alfonso Soriano went a combined 0-for-10 with five strikeouts. Here is the box score, here are the video highlights, and here is the rest from Tampa.

  • Jacoby Ellsbury (calf) got six plate appearances in a minor league intrasquad game, going 1-for-4 with two walks and a strikeout. He has been running the last few days but did not run hard in the game. He’ll play in another minor league game tomorrow. Ellsbury is confident he will ready for Opening Day while Girardi feels “pretty good about it.” [AP, Chad Jennings, Erik Boland]
  • Girardi said he will be “really surprised” if Brendan Ryan (back) doesn’t start the season on the DL. Still nothing on the bench and bullpen announcements. Tyler Austin (wrist) played right field in a minor league game today, his first game action of the spring. [Boland, Jennings]
  • More from Jennings: Both Hiroki Kuroda and Masahiro Tanaka will pitch Friday. Kuroda will only throw two innings in his final tune-up, Tanaka more because he has a longer layoff before his first start. Kuroda, Tanaka, and CC Sabathia all threw their scheduled bullpens.
  • David Herndon can opt-out of his contract on Sunday if he’s not added to the 25-man active roster. He’s had a nice spring and reportedly intends to use the opt-out if not added to the roster so he can look for a big league job elsewhere. Could influence the bullpen decision. [Chris Cotillo]
  • The Yankees are planning to use more infield shifts this season in an effort to compensate for their range-challenged infield. They haven’t been very good at shifting the last few years, so hopefully that will change. [Pete Caldera]
  • Another roster cut: John Ryan Murphy has been optioned to Triple-A Scranton, the team announced. There are still 45 players in big league camp by my official count, so these next few days will be a little busy.

The Yankees will be on the road in Bradenton Dunedin to play the Pirates Blue Jays tomorrow afternoon. A handful of regulars will make the trip to play the day game after a night game, including Jeter, Beltran, Johnson, Roberts, Gardner, and Soriano. Chris Leroux, who has quietly been excellent in camp, will make the spot start. Dellin Betances and a gaggle of minor league relievers will follow.

Spring Training Game Thread: Spot Start
Rangers checked in on Cervelli; Yankees not interested in Frandsen
  • forensic

    Hopefully Johnson settles down over at third (and in the shift) as the season moves on. I never expected him to be great over there, but at least make the plays that are hit right to you, like basically both were tonight (including one right through the five-hole.

    • Tom

      He’s been slightly below average at 2nd base over his career so I think that is the probably about the upside over at 3rd given he has virtually no experience over there. He has the arm for 3rd so other than coming in on bunts (I have no idea if he is good or bad at this) it seems like his defense at 2nd should translate to 3rd. I guess the shortened reaction times might give him a little trouble too.

      It’s not like he’s going to be Miguel Cabrera over there, but I think a few folks around here were getting ahead of themselves on him. I think someone even called him at least average and a potential plus 3rd baseman the other day.

      • Jim Is A (Bored) Peckerhead

        He has been above average in severely limited innings. The 40 spring training innings don’t mean any more than the 150 he’s played their before.

        • Jim Is A (Bored) Peckerhead


          • Tom

            You are absolutely correct. Now perhaps you can actually READ my comment – he’s been a below average 2nd baseman… for his career

            which is only about 6800 innings… so that could be a small sample too. Why would you expect a guy who’s been a slightly below average 2nd baseman for nearly 7000 innings to magically transform into an above average 3rd baseman based on a few spring training observations?

            But that probably doesn’t mean anything more than 40 ST innings either.


  • dkidd

    still feels like a trade is going to come out of nowhere

    • mustang


    • Mandy Stankiewicz

      Your your lips to god’s ears

  • forensic

    Also, I’m pretty surprised they’re not having Tex make the trip tomorrow. I would think they (and he) would want him to play 4 of the last 5 games (like many of the regulars will be) given his terrible hitting this spring, history of terrible starts, and his need to work on two different swings.

  • Get Phelps Up

    The Yankees are playing the Blue Jays tomorrow, no?

    • forensic

      Yup, but it almost feels like it’ll be Thursday since MLBN isn’t showing it on tape delay until early Thursday morning.

  • M-Three

    The Yankees better not let Herndon’s opt out clause effect their bullpen decisions. It’s not like he is irreplaceable. If he was then he would either already be on the 40 man roster or still be with the Phillies. We should take the 7 best relievers and Herndon is not one of them. If any of the non roster reliever is going to be added to the 40 man it should be Fred Lewis. He has been the most impressive of the group.

    The bullpen should be D-Rob, Thornton, Kelley, Phelps, Betances, Warren and 1 of Cabral/Nuno/Claiborne/Lewis.

    • forensic

      Though I certainly agree with you on Herndon, I’m not sure where all this love for Lewis has suddenly come from and how he’s jumped over Cabral. In the end, it’s probably splitting hairs between the two of them, but Lewis just last season finally got to High-A, at the age of 26. Either way, I think if the organization had to decide between the two of them, I think they’d take Cabral since he’s already on the 40-man.

      Personally, I wouldn’t take either of them and would prefer to go with Daley (even though he would also require a 40-man move). What I think will happen is that they’ll take the six you listed and Claiborne as the 7th. This despite getting smacked around this spring, continuing the beatings he took the last couple of months last season, just because he’s got the ‘MLB/Yankees seniority’ and wouldn’t require a 40-man move.

      • vicki

        yep, all this, including Who does david herndon think he is.

        if matt daley doesn’t break camp with the ballers it’ll just be a matter of time. watch!

  • TWTR

    So according to the often unreliable George King, the Rangers asked about Cervelli but were told he in “not available.”


    But that can’t be true.

    • Wheels

      Nice, they’re playing it just right.

    • forensic

      Flat out ‘not available’ is likely a bit of exaggeration or hyperbole, but I don’t blame them at all for not being overly aggressive in dealing him. Given what I consider to be complete unknowns at the MLB level in both Romine and Murphy, Cervelli’s great spring combined with what he did last year, and the guaranteed appearances that back-up catchers get (especially if McCann runs into more injuries like the last couple of years), I’d absolutely hold onto him and see how far he can hopefully continue to advance in his career (unless of course they suddenly said something like, ‘hey, we’re desperate, want Profar for Cervelli?’) given that he probably has much more value to the Yankees right now than to other teams in a trade scenario.

      • vicki

        it’ll be years yankee fans overstate the significance of the backup catcher. last year was a crucible. but, for example, jose molina had 155 plate appearances in 2009, and that was in support of a starter much older than mccann is now.

        brains isn’t just a buc. he’s a smart platoon option. he’s a talented spazz who doesn’t believe his projections. and cheap. give me half what he’s worth, i’ll think about it. thing is, nobody will.

      • TWTR

        I think you have to balance that v. the depth (or lack there of) if the infield issues, and because of those potential issues, even if Cervelli hits, he is non-necessity.

    • The Great Gonzo

      Read: Not available to the Rangers, because fuck the Rangers.

  • fred robbins

    speaking of brains and bucks, how is that while Boston has a Sizemore hitting and fielding like a gem at a zero risk contract, while the Yankees have an already hurt Ellsbury at 155 million and a Sizemore who it seems is not even on the team. And as food for thought, how long will it take or how many games will the Yankees lose with Jeter and Tex going 0-4 near the top of the lineup. This infield, coupled with a possibly constantly hurt Ellsbury makes this team very suspect in almost every way– outside of what could be a great pitching staff– although I think the confidence in Kuroda is vastly misplaced and he looks tired and old. I can’t see him winning 10 games but I hope I am wrong— I love that Pineda gets a chance, but Phelps in the pen is a scary thought– he can’t miss a bat unless it’s a wild pitch and pretty much- every good team out there– has power arms in the pen… Phelps is an emergency 6th starter or a guy you can bring in to save innings on Pineda if the Yankees are up by 6 runs in the 6th
    This season will prove what kind of Leader Jeter is– will his ego drive him to stay out there long enough to hurt the team, or is this spring training just a mirage and his bat and legs will actually work starting next week?

    • The Great Gonzo

      Is it too soon to O:S here? Anyone??

      • Jim Is A (Bored) Peckerhead

        he should have been o:s’d years ago.

    • TWTR

      It is not even April yet. That is all.

    • Craig Sagermetrics

      Kill yourself.

      • giuseppe

        harsh but true.

  • Algernon Blackwood

    Willie Randolph is the man. When I was a kid I would send all my favorite Yankees a letter and ask for an autograph. Willie Randolph sent me back an autographed 86 topps card. I still have it to this day. The only other player to ever write me back was Dan Pasqua with an autographed photo.

    • Wheels

      That’s awesome.