Spring Training Game Thread: Tanaka’s Last Tune-Up

(Presswire)
(Presswire)

Six days from now, Masahiro Tanaka will open the 2015 season for the Yankees at home against the Blue Jays after being named the Opening Day starter last week. This afternoon will be his final tune-up of the spring, and really it’s more about Tanaka getting his pitch count up than anything. His stuff and command have looked fine. Tanaka just needs to stretch it out up over 80 pitches this afternoon.

Today’s reason to watch: Tanaka! I’m not sure why anyone would need any more reason than that, but, if you do, prospects Rob Refsnyder, Greg Bird, and Eric Jagielo will play today as well.

The Yankees are in Fort Myers this afternoon to play the Twins, and not many regulars made the two-hour bus trip south even after yesterday’s off-day. The last thing they need is someone developing back spasms after spending four hours on a bus a week before the season. Here is the Twins’ lineup and here is the Yankees’ lineup:

  1. LF Brett Gardner
  2. 3B Brendan Ryan
  3. CF Chris Young
  4. 1B Garrett Jones
  5. C Austin Romine
  6. 2B Rob Refsnyder
  7. RF Ramon Flores
  8. SS Nick Noonan
  9. DH Eric Jagielo

Available Position Players: C Eddy Rodriguez, 1B Greg Bird, LF Taylor Dugas, and CF Mason Williams will be the second string off the bench. Jagielo is also slated to move from DH to third base. 1B/C Francisco Arcia, IF Dan Fiorito, OF Mark Payton, and UTIL Collin Slaybaugh are the extra players.

Available Pitchers: RHP Chris Martin, RHP Danny Burawa, RHP Branden Pinder, RHP Cesar Vargas, and RHP Nick Goody are all scheduled to pitch. RHP Kyle Haynes, RHP Chris Smith, and RHP Alex Smith are the extra arms.

The weather this spring has been pretty great and it continues today. It’s nice and sunny with temperatures in the low-80s in Fort Myers this afternoon. Today’s game will begin just after 1:05pm ET and you can watch live on both MLB Network and MLB.tv. Neither will be blacked out in the Yankees’ home market. Also, if you happen to live in the Twins’ market, you can watch on FOX Sports North. Enjoy the game.

Spring Training Game Thread: All Eyes On Dellin

(Presswire)
(Presswire)

The regular season is now nine days away, meaning ace righty reliever Dellin Betances has nine days to figure out whatever has caused his velocity to drop and his command to disappear. I’m concerned but not panicked at this point. Betances is scheduled to pitch this afternoon and he probably has two or three more Spring Training appearances left after today, so there isn’t much time for Dellin to straighten things out.

Betances is scheduled to come out of the bullpen, so he’ll be the focal point of this afternoon’s game. He told Kevin Kernan he found some mechanical issues while watching video — “I’ve been opening up a little too much with my front shoulder,” he said — and hopes to iron things out with more work this week. Fingers crossed. Betances may only be a reliever, but he’s a very important part of this Yankees’ team that is built to win close games.

Today’s reason to watch: Aside from Betances, bullpen candidates Scott Baker, Andrew Bailey, Chasen Shreve, and Jacob Lindgren are all scheduled to pitch as well. Some have a better chance of making the team than others, obviously. Baker had a disastrous spring debut (1 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 0 BB, 2 K) but has rebounded well with two strong outings (7.1 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 5 K) and could sneak onto the Opening Day roster as the long man. Another strong showing today will only help his cause.

The Orioles made the trip up from Sarasota for this afternoon’s game and, needless to say, they didn’t bring many regulars for the game. Teams are in full blown “don’t let a division rival see your regulars if possible” mode at this point of Spring Training. Here is the O’s lineup and here is the Yankees’ lineup:

  1. LF Brett Gardner
  2. 3B Chase Headley
  3. RF Carlos Beltran
  4. 1B Mark Teixeira
  5. DH Alex Rodriguez
  6. CF Chris Young
  7. 2B Stephen Drew
  8. SS Didi Gregorius
  9. C Austin Romine
    RHP Scott Baker

Available Position Players: C John Ryan Murphy, 1B Francisco Arcia, 2B Rob Refsnyder, SS Nick Noonan, 3B Jonathan Galvez, LF Ramon Flores, CF Slade Heathcott, and RF Garrett Jones will be the second string off the bench. C Kyle Higashioka, C Eddy Rodriguez, IF Ali Castillo, and OF Taylor Dugas are the extra players.

Available Pitchers: LHP Justin Wilson, RHP Andrew Bailey, LHP Chasen Shreve, LHP Jacob Lindgren, RHP Dellin Betances, and RHP Chris Martin are all scheduled to pitch. HP Nick Rumbelow, RHP Danny Burawa, RHP Diego Moreno, and LHP Tyler Webb are the extra arms.

It’s sunny and surprisingly cool in Tampa this afternoon. It’ll be in the upper-60s/low-70s for the game. This afternoon’s game will begin at 1:05pm ET and you can watch live on YES, MLB Network, and MLB.tv. MLB Network will be blacked out in the Yankees’ home market but MLB.tv won’t. Enjoy.

Spring Training Game Thread: Big Mike vs. the Phillies

BIG MIKE IS HERE

The rotation is set. Michael Pineda, this afternoon’s starter, will also start Game Two of the regular season in less than two weeks. Joe Girardi made it all official this afternoon. There was never any doubt Pineda would be in the rotation, it was just a question where he would slot in, which is meaningless about two weeks into the season anyway. The rotation order always gets jumbled around. Pineda just needs to get his pitch count up and prepare to face the Blue Jays on April 8th. That’s all.

Today’s reason to watch: Big Mike! His starts are always a treat. Jacob Lindgren is scheduled to pitch too. I want him in the Opening Day bullpen but who knows which way the Yankees are leaning. He’s pitched well in camp and this afternoon will be another chance for him to make his case. Also, the Phillies are starting righty Aaron Nola this afternoon.  He was the seventh overall pick in last year’s draft, though he is more of a high probability Mike Leake type than a big stuff Stephen Strasburg type.

The Yankees made the short trip over to Clearwater to play the Phillies this afternoon. Here is the Phillies’ lineup and here is Girardi’s starting lineup:

  1. LF Brett Gardner
  2. 3B Chase Headley
  3. RF Carlos Beltran
  4. 1B Mark Teixeira
  5. C Brian McCann
  6. DH Alex Rodriguez
  7. 2B Stephen Drew
  8. CF Chris Young
  9. SS Brendan Ryan
    RHP Michael Pineda

Available Position Players: C Eddy Rodriguez, 1B Jonathan Galvez, 2B Rob Refsnyder, SS Nick Noonan, 3B Cole Figueroa, LF Tyler Austin, CF Jake Cave, and RF Aaron Judge will be the second string off the bench. C Kyle Higashioka, C/1B Francisco Arcia, and C/1B Alvaro Noriega are the extra players.

Available Pitchers: RHP Scott Baker, LHP Jacob Lindgren, LHP Chasen Shreve, RHP Chris Martin, and RHP Nick Rumbelow are all scheduled to pitch after Pineda. RHP Danny Burawa, RHP Kyle Davies, and RHP Diego Moreno are the extra arms.

Bad news: It’s going to rain. It’s not raining in Clearwater right now but it’s scheduled to start very soon, within an hour or so, and continue right through until tonight. I can’t help but wonder if the Yankees will scratch Pineda and make him throw a simulated game inside or something. He needs to get his pitch count up and getting rained out after two innings won’t help. We’ll see.

Anyway, this afternoon’s game is supposed to start a bit after 1pm ET. There is no YES broadcast and MLB Network will replay the game later, so you’re stuck with MLB.tv if you want to watch live. Either than or Comcast SportsNet if you live in the Philadelphia area. MLB.tv will not be blacked out in the Yankees’ home market. Enjoy the game. Before it rains, anyway.

Spring Training Game Thread: Warren’s Chance To Clinch A Rotation Spot

(Presswire)
(Presswire)

Barring something unforeseen, Adam Warren will be the fifth starter at the start of the season. Brian Cashman basically confirmed it yesterday without actually coming out and saying it. Warren has outpitched Esmil Rogers this spring and it seems none of the other rotation candidates (Bryan Mitchell and Chase Whitley, specifically) were given serious consideration. With a strong performance today, Warren will erase any lingering doubt about his not yet official status as the fifth starter.

Today’s reason to watch: I’m not going to lie, this has the look of one of those uninteresting Spring Training games that will leave you wondering why you’re watching come the third or fourth inning. Warren is pitching and that’s important, plus some interesting non-top prospects are scheduled to play, but that’s about it.

The Yankees are on the road this afternoon, making the two-hour bus trip down to Port Charlotte to play the Rays. Not many regulars made the trip at all. There’s a bunch of bench players masquerading as regulars to meet MLB’s minimum requirement today. Here’s the Rays’ lineup and here’s the Yankees’ lineup:

  1. SS Didi Gregorius
  2. 2B Brendan Ryan
  3. 1B Garrett Jones
  4. CF Chris Young
  5. C John Ryan Murphy
  6. DH Rob Refsnyder
  7. LF Slade Heathcott
  8. RF Ramon Flores
  9. 3B Cole Figueroa
    RHP Adam Warren

Available Position Players: C Eddy Rodriguez, 1B Jonathan Galvez, SS Nick Noonan, LF Ben Gamel, and CF Jake Cave are scheduled to come off the bench. C Kyle Higashioka, C/1B Francisco Arcia, IF Ali Castillo, and OF Michael O’Neill are also on the trip as extra players.

Available Pitchers: RHP Chris Martin, RHP Danny Burawa, and RHP Jose Ramirez will follow Warren. LHP Tyler Webb, RHP Nick Rumbelow, RHP Cesar Vargas, RHP Branden Pinder, and RHP Nick Goody are the extra arms.

It it hot, cloudy, and humid in Port Charlotte, but there’s no rain in the forecast. This afternoon’s game will begin a little after 1pm ET and you can watch on MLB.tv. There is no YES broadcast and MLB Network is showing the game on a delay later, not live. MLB.tv won’t be blacked out in the Yankees’ home market and can watch on Sun Sports if you are in the Rays’ home market. Enjoy the game.

Spring Training Game Thread: Tanaka, Take Three

(Presswire)
(Presswire)

The Yankees have not officially announced anything yet, but all signs point to Masahiro Tanaka being this year’s Opening Day starter. CC Sabathia is starting Saturday, so he wouldn’t be able to start Game 1 without pitching on short rest at some point, either in his final Grapefruit League start or Opening Day. That ain’t happening. Tanaka will get an extra day of rest before his final spring and then another extra day of rest before Opening Day.

Anyway, Tanaka will be on the mound this afternoon for his second to last Spring Training start. He’s looked excellent in his previous two starts, allowing just two hits in 5.2 scoreless innings, striking out five and getting eleven ground ball outs compared to just one in the air. His fastball has shown its usual velocity, his splitter is falling off the table, and his slider is breaking like it did last year. If you didn’t know any better, you’d think his elbow is 100% healthy. Kinda like the doctors said it was last September. Amazing!

Today’s reason to watch: Tanaka, obviously. Also Dellin Betances, Andrew Miller, and Justin Wilson are all scheduled to pitch for the second straight day, the first time each guy is pitching back-to-back days in camp. They’re only going to face a batter or two each though, not throw a full inning. Andrew Bailey is also scheduled to make his third spring appearance. I don’t think he’s an Opening Day roster candidate, but if he’s healthy, we’ll see him in the bullpen at some point during the regular season.

The Mets took the long cross-state bus ride from Port St. Lucie to Tampa this afternoon. They sent a decent number of regulars — here’s their lineup — but not ex-Yankee Curtis Granderson. For shame. I’ve still got nothing but love for the Grandyman. Here is Joe Girardi‘s starting lineup:

  1. CF Brett Gardner
  2. 3B Chase Headley
  3. RF Carlos Beltran
  4. 1B Mark Teixeira
  5. DH Alex Rodriguez
  6. LF Garrett Jones
  7. 2B Stephen Drew
  8. SS Didi Gregorius
  9. C John Ryan Murphy
    RHP Masahiro Tanaka

Available Position Players: C Eddy Rodriguez, 1B Greg Bird, 2B Rob Refsnyder, SS Brendan Ryan, 3B Cole Figueroa, LF Jonathan Galvez, CF Slade Heathcott, and RF Ramon Flores will be the second string off the bench. C/1B Francisco Arcia, C Kyle Higashioka, and IF Nick Noonan are the extra players.

Available Pitchers: RHP Chase Whitley, LHP Justin Wilson, LHP Andrew Miller, RHP Dellin Betances, RHP David Carpenter, and RHP Andrew Bailey are all scheduled to pitch. My guess is Wilson, Miller, Betances, Carpenter, and Bailey face their hitters, then Whitley pitches the rest of the game to stay stretched out. Just a guess though. RHP Nick Rumbelow, RHP Alex Smith, RHP Chris Smith, and RHP Nick Goody are the extra arms.

It’s cloudy in Tampa this afternoon but there’s no rain in the forecast. Temperatures in the mid-80s with just enough humidity to make your legs stick to the stadium seats. This afternoon’s game is scheduled to begin at 1:05pm ET and you can watch on YES locally and both MLB Network and MLB.tv nationally. There is no SNY broadcast and the MLB Network broadcast will be blacked out in both teams’ home market. MLB.tv won’t be blacked out though. Enjoy the game.

Spring Training Game Thread: Esmil’s Last Chance, Maybe

(Presswire)
(Presswire)

The fifth starter competition continues tonight as Esmil Rogers gets what might be his last chance to convince the Yankees he deserves the job. Joe Girardi said yesterday he hopes to pick a fifth starter by the end of the week, and with Adam Warren lined up to pitch Thursday, Rogers is going to have to pitch well to force the issue. Of course, it seems like the job has been Warren’s all along, so maybe tonight doesn’t really matter.

Tonight’s reason to watch: The team’s three most interesting big league relievers (in my opinion) are scheduled to pitch after Rogers. That is Justin Wilson, Andrew Miller, and Dellin Betances. Betances’ last two outings were a little shaky, so let’s see if he’s gotten over whatever was troubling him. Dellin is scheduled to pitch tonight and tomorrow as he works back-to-back days for the first time in camp.

The Tigers made the short trip down from Lakeland to Tampa for tonight’s game. Here is their starting lineup and here is Girardi’s starting lineup:

  1. CF Brett Gardner
  2. 3B Chase Headley
  3. RF Carlos Beltran
  4. 1B Mark Teixeira
  5. C Brian McCann
  6. DH Alex Rodriguez
  7. 2B Stephen Drew
  8. LF Chris Young
  9. SS Didi Gregorius
    RHP Esmil Rogers

Available Position Players: C John Ryan Murphy, 1B Francisco Arcia, 2B Ali Castillo, SS Nick Noonan, 3B Jonathan Galvez, LF Ramon Flores, CF Slade Heathcott, RF Aaron Judge, and DH Kyle Higashioka will be the second string off the bench. C Eddy Rodriguez, IF Cole Figueroa, and 2B Rob Refsnyder are the extra players on the bench.

Available Pitchers: LHP Justin Wilson, LHP Andrew Miller, RHP Dellin Betances, and RHP Nick Rumbelow are all scheduled to pitch. RHP Diego Moreno, LHP James Pazos, and RHP Chris Smith are the extra arms.

It’s cool and clear in Tampa tonight. Temperatures in the low-to-mid-70s and not a cloud in the sky. Tonight’s game is scheduled to begin a little after 7pm ET and you can watch live on YES locally and both MLB Network and MLB.tv nationally. MLB Network will be blacked out in the Yankees’ home market but MLB.tv will not. Enjoy the game.

Spring Training Game Thread: Mitchell’s Last Chance?

(Presswire)
(Presswire)

By all accounts, the competition for the fifth starter’s spot is a two-man race between Adam Warren and Esmil Rogers. This afternoon’s start against the Nationals might be Bryan Mitchell‘s last chance to make some sort of statement and force his way into the fifth starter conversation. Or maybe his last chance to remain in the conversation for a big league roster spot in general, rotation or bullpen.

Mitchell has allowed four runs on eighth hits in four innings so far this spring, striking out four and walking one. The 23-year-old could use some more Triple-A time to work on his command, though I doubt he sees it that way. He wants to earn a big league job this spring, or at least make a good enough impression that he’s the first one called up when an extra starter is needed. If someone in Mitchell’s position isn’t thinking like that, then what’s the point of showing up to camp?

Today’s reason to watch: Mitchell, mostly. He needs to have a great outing to push his way into the fifth starter’s race and I’m not even sure that will be enough. An okay outing definitely won’t cut it. There’s also a nice crop of prospect power relievers slated to come out of the bullpen this afternoon. Chasen Shreve is scheduled to pitch again after pitching yesterday, making this his first set of back-to-back games in camp. Also, Bryce Harper’s playing for the Nats. That’ll be fun.

The Yankees are all the way on the other side of Florida to play the Nationals in Viera. Many of the minor leaguers who played in yesterday afternoon’s game stayed in a hotel last night rather than bus all the way to Tampa last night and back to Florida’s east coast again this morning. Here is Washington’s lineup and here is Joe Girardi‘s starting nine:

  1. LF Brett Gardner
  2. CF Chris Young
  3. C Brian McCann
  4. 1B Garrett Jones
  5. DH John Ryan Murphy
  6. SS Brendan Ryan
  7. RF Aaron Judge
  8. 2B Rob Refsnyder
  9. 3B Nick Noonan
    RHP Bryan Mitchell

Available Position Players: C Austin Romine, 1B Francisco Arcia, 2B Dan Fiorito, SS Cole Figueroa, 3B Jonathan Galvez, LF Tyler Austin, CF Ramon Flores, RF Slade Heathcott, and DH Eddy Rodriguez will be the second string off the bench. IF Ali Castillo and C Kyle Higashioka are the extra players.

Available Pitchers: RHP Kyle Davies, RHP Jose Ramirez, LHP Jacob Lindgren, RHP Nick Rumbelow, and LHP Chasen Shreve are all scheduled to pitch after Mitchell. RHP Danny Burawa, RHP Branden Pinder, RHP Kyle Haynes, RHP Cesar Vargas, and LHP Fred Lewis are the extra arms.

It’s pouring in Tampa, so it’s a good thing this game is on the other side of the state. There is a chance of rain in Viera though, meaning the game could be sloppy, delayed, or even cancelled. We’ll just have to wait and see. If they do play, this afternoon’s game is scheduled to begin 1:05pm ET and you can watch live on both MLB Network and MLB.tv. Neither will be blacked out in the team’s home market. Also, if you’re in the Nationals’ market, you can watch on MASN. Enjoy the game, y’all.