Prior to yesterday’s game, Joe Girardi said there’s a chance he will announce his rotation for the start of the season on Tuesday. The fifth starter competition is technically still alive, though it seems both Vidal Nuno and Adam Warren have already been ruled out. It’s down to David Phelps and Michael Pineda, and based on how he’s thrown this spring, it’s hard to think Pineda won’t be the rotation if he stays healthy over the next ten days or so.
Pineda is making his third start and fourth appearance of Grapefruit League play this afternoon. The first three outings were pretty good overall, and the most important thing is that his fastball velocity has gradually crept upwards each time out. He topped out at 92 mph in his first game, then topped out at 93 mph in his second game, and in his last outing he hit 94 mph. I don’t know if Pineda will ever throw as he hard as he did with the Mariners a few years ago, but what we’ve seen so far is encouraging. He’s probably scheduled for something like 75-80 pitches this afternoon.
The Blue Jays made the short trip across the causeway from Dunedin for this afternoon’s game. Most of their regulars made the trip, including Jose Bautista, Edwin Encarnacion, Brett Lawrie, Colby Rasmus, and former Yankee Melky Cabrera. Should be a nice test for Pineda. Mark Buehrle will be on the bump. Here is the Yankees’ starting lineup:
- LF Brett Gardner
- SS Derek Jeter
- RF Carlos Beltran
- 1B Mark Teixeira
- C Brian McCann
- DH Alfonso Soriano
- 2B Brian Roberts
- 3B Eduardo Nunez
- CF Ichiro Suzuki
SP Michael Pineda
Available Pitchers: RHP Chris Leroux, RHP Matt Daley, RHP Preston Claiborne, RHP Dellin Betances, LHP Cesar Cabral, RHP Jim Miller, RHP Danny Burawa, RHP Shane Greene, LHP Fred Lewis, RHP Manny Burawa, and RHP Branden Pinder.
Available Position Players: C Jose Gil, 1B Russ Canzler, 2B Zelous Wheeler, SS Yangervis Solarte, 3B Scott Sizemore, LF Zoilo Almonte, CF Antoan Richardson, RF Adonis Garcia, C Austin Romine, C John Ryan Murphy, and IF Dean Anna.
It’s cloudy but warm in Tampa, temperatures in the mid-to-high-70s with no threat of rain. This afternoon’s game is scheduled to start a little after 1pm ET, and you can watch live on YES, MLB Network, and MLB.tv. Enjoy.