Spring Training Dual Game Thread: Big Mike and the Split Squads


The Yankees finally get to leave Florida tomorrow — they will make a quick one-game stop in Washington to play the Nationals on Saturday before arriving in New York — but they have to play three games before fleeing Tampa, including two this afternoon. Half the team is home in Tampa to play the Pirates and the other half is 45 minutes up the road in Lakeland to play the Tigers. There will be video broadcasts of both games too, so hooray for two Yankees games at the same time!

Reason to watch today’s home game: Big Mike! He’ll be on the mound making his final spring tune-up start. Dellin Betances is also scheduled to pitch and he’s still working through whatever’s been hampering him in camp. Stephen Drew is playing shortstop for the first time this spring — he told reporters yesterday he hasn’t even taken grounders at short, though Brendan Ryan‘s calf injury means the Yankees need Drew to be an option there. Also, Alex Rodriguez is starting at first base for the second time this spring. And finally, old buddy A.J. Burnett will be on the bump for the Pirates. It’s already been three years since he was traded away. Time flies.

Here is the starting lineup for the home game against the Buccos:

  1. CF Jacoby Ellsbury
  2. 1B Alex Rodriguez
  3. C Brian McCann
  4. DH Austin Romine
  5. RF Garrett Jones
  6. LF Chris Young
  7. SS Stephen Drew
  8. 2B Rob Refsnyder
  9. 3B Eric Jagielo
    RHP Michael Pineda

Available Position Players: 1B Greg Bird, 2B Tyler Wade, SS Cito Culver, LF Ben Gamel, CF Jake Cave, and RF Aaron Judge will be the second string off the bench. Romine is also scheduled to move from DH to catcher. C Jesus Aparicio, C Radley Haddad, IF Dan Fiorito, and UTIL Jose Rosario are the extra bodies.

Available Pitchers: RHP David Carpenter, LHP Andrew Miller, RHP Dellin Betances, and RHP Jose Ramirez are all scheduled to pitch. RHP Branden Pinder, LHP Chasen Shreve, and LHP Fred Lewis are the extra arms.

Reason to watch today’s road game: Didi Gregorius returns to the lineup after missing a few days with a minor wrist sprain. He landed on it awkwardly last week and was able to go through a full workout yesterday with no issues. Some rarely seen minor leaguers are scheduled to come off the bench as well. That’s pretty much it for this game. Here is the starting lineup:

  1. SS Didi Gregorius
  2. 3B Chase Headley
  3. 1B Mark Teixeira
  4. C John Ryan Murphy
  5. RF Ramon Flores
  6. CF Slade Heathcott
  7. LF Taylor Dugas
  8. DH Kyle Roller
  9. 2B Nick Noonan
    RH Bryan Mitchell

Available Position Players: C Eddy Rodriguez, 1B Jonathan Galvez, 2B Ali Castillo, SS Cole Figueroa, 3B Dante Bichette Jr., LF Dustin Fowler, CF Mason Williams, and RF Mark Payton will come off the bench to replace the starters. C Kyle Higashioka, UTIL Collin Slaybaugh, and IF Vince Conde are the extra players.

Available Pitchers: RHP Kyle Davies, RHP Danny Burawa, LHP Jacob Lindgren, RHP Diego Moreno, and LHP Tyler Webb will following Mitchell out of the bullpen. RHP Kyle Haynes is the lonely extra arm.

The weather for both games will be the same: a little cloudy will temperatures in the low-80s and a bunch of humidity. Both games will start at 1:05pm ET and you can watch the home game against the Pirates on YES and the road game against the Tigers on ESPN. Both games will be on MLB.tv as well. There won’t be any blackouts in the various home markets for ESPN or MLB.tv. Enjoy the games.

Open Thread: April 1st Camp Notes

The Yankees lost 3-0 to the Rays this afternoon. Chase Whitley started and was really good, allowing one run on four hits in four innings. He struck out six and walked zero. At this point I would be surprised if Whitley wasn’t in the Opening Day bullpen. Esmil Rogers (1.1 innings) and Chasen Shreve (0.2 innings) each allowed an unearned run. Nick Rumbelow faced the minimum six hitters in his two innings of work and struck out three.

Singles by Brett Gardner, Carlos Beltran, Mark Teixeira, and Ramon Flores were the team’s only hits of the day. Alex Rodriguez, John Ryan Murphy, Brendan Ryan, and Chase Headley drew the four walks. Jacoby Ellsbury went 0-for-3 with a strikeout in his return to game action after missing two weeks with an oblique issue. He seemed to be moving around just fine. Here’s the box score, here are the video highlights, and here are the rest of the day’s notes from Tampa:

  • Ryan suffered a right calf strain this afternoon and Joe Girardi said he would “be surprised” if his backup infielder is healthy in time for Opening Day. Stephen Drew will play shortstop in one of tomorrow’s split squad games just so he could be an option there with Ryan and Didi Gregorius (wrist) banged up. [Dan Barbarisi, Bryan Hoch]
  • Speaking of Gregorius, he went through a full round of workouts this afternoon. Ground balls, batting practice, the works. He said he could have played today but the Yankees didn’t want to push it. Gregorius will play shortstop in the other split squad game tomorrow. [Chad Jennings]
  • The rotation for the rest of spring: Michael Pineda and Bryan Mitchell (tomorrow’s split squad games), CC Sabathia (Friday), and Nathan Eovaldi (Saturday). I assume Adam Warren, who was officially named the fifth starter, will throw in a simulated or minor league game Sunday to stay on turn. Everyone’s lined up to make their first start of the season on extra rest. [Jennings]
  • Jose Pirela (concussion) is a “long shot” to be ready for Opening Day. He feels fine and could resume swinging a bat tomorrow, but for now he’s limited to riding a stationary bike. A-Rod will play first base tomorrow. [Brendan Kuty, Marly Rivera, Hoch]
  • The Blue Jays have set their rotation. The Yankees will see Drew Hutchison, R.A. Dickey, and Daniel Norris in their first series of the season next week. [Gregor Chisholm]

This is your open thread for the night. This afternoon’s game will be replayed on both YES (11pm ET) and MLB Network (12pm ET). The Knicks and Nets are playing each other as well. Use this thread to talk about whatever you like.

Spring Training Game Thread: Ellsbury’s Return


After spending two weeks sidelined by a minor oblique injury, Jacoby Ellsbury returns to Grapefruit League play this afternoon. He played went through the usual rehab progression — dry swings, hit off a tee and soft toss, hit in the batting cage, full batting practice on the field — before playing in a minor league game yesterday, which he came through just fine. Ellsbury has four spring games remaining to get tuned up for the season.

Today’s reason to watch: Ellsbury’s return, first and foremost. Missing two weeks isn’t a huge deal, but it is Spring Training, so he does have some catching up to do. Also, Chase Whitley and Chasen Shreve will make either their last or second to last appearances before the final two bullpen spots are decided. This might be their last chance to make a statement.

The Rays are up from Port Charlotte for this afternoon’s game. Here is Tampa Bay’s lineup and here is Joe Girardi‘s starting lineup:

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

Available Position Players: C John Ryan Murphy, 1B Garrett Jones, 2B Rob Refsnyder, SS Nick Noonan, 3B Cole Figueroa, LF Taylor Dugas, CF Jake Cave, and RF Ramon Flores will be the second string off the bench. C Austin Romine and C Eddy Rodriguez are the extra players.

Available Pitchers: RHP Esmil Rogers, LHP Chasen Shreve, RHP Andrew Bailey, RHP Nick Rumbelow, RHP Jose Ramirez, and LHP Tyler Webb are all scheduled to pitch. LHP Jacob Lindgren, RHP Diego Moreno, and LHP Fred Lewis are the extra arms.

It’s a little cloudy in Tampa but there’s no rain in the forecast and the temperature is in the low-80s. This afternoon’s game will begin at 1:05pm ET and you can watch live on YES and MLB.tv. The game won’t be blacked out on MLB.tv in either team’s home market. Enjoy.

Open Thread: March 31st Camp Notes

The Yankees lost 3-1 to the Twins this afternoon. Masahiro Tanaka started and was shaky, allowing three runs on seven hits in 4.1 innings before reaching his pitch count (75). He struck out one and walked zero. His next start will be Opening Day. Tanaka, Michael Pineda, and Nathan Eovaldi have combined for 44 strikeouts and two walks in 44 innings this spring, by the way. Bullpen candidate Chris Martin retired all six Twins he faced, including five via strikeout.

Brett Gardner, the only everyday player in the lineup, went 1-for-2 with a walk. Brendan Ryan and Garrett Jones both went hitless in three at-bats while Chris Young went 1-for-3. Ramon Flores went 2-for-4 and singled in the team’s only run. Rob Refsnyder went 1-for-3 with a walk and committed his sixth error in 78 defensive innings this spring. Yeesh. Here’s the box score, here are the video highlights, and here’s the rest from Spring Training:

This is your open thread for the evening. MLB Network is showing the Padres and Royals live later tonight, plus the (hockey) Rangers, Devils, and Nets are all in action. Talk about whatever. Have at it.

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


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.

Open Thread: March 29th Camp Notes


The Yankees beat the Astros 7-0 this afternoon. Chase Headley (3-for-4 with a double and a homer) and Rob Refsnyder (2-for-3 with two doubles) were the stars on offense. Stephen Drew and John Ryan Murphy both went 1-for-4 with a double and Alex Rodriguez went 1-for-1 with a walk. A-Rod played three innings at first base and supposedly did fine, though he only had to make routine plays.

Nathan Eovaldi started and was again very good, striking out five and allowing three hits in 4.2 innings. He threw 89 pitches, so it wasn’t his most economical outing. Eovaldi has 14 strikeouts and no walks in 13.2 Grapefruit League innings. Chase Whitley (one out) and Esmil Rogers (five outs) combined for two perfect innings, and Chasen Shreve retired four of the five batters he faced. There was no video broadcast for this afternoon’s game, so there are no highlights to watch. For shame. Here’s the box score and here are the rest of the day’s notes from Tampa:

  • The Yankees announced another round of cuts: Scott Baker was released, Bryan Mitchell and Ramon Flores were optioned to Triple-A, and Kyle Davies, Francisco Arcia, Cole Figueroa, Jonathan Galvez, Slade Heathcott, Kyle Higashioka, Jacob Lindgren, and Nick Rumbelow were all reassigned to minor league camp. So much for Lindgren on the Opening Day roster. Brian Cashman said the team hopes to re-sign Baker, presumably after Opening Day so they don’t have to pay the $100,000 retention bonus. I unofficially count 36 players still in big league camp. [Bryan Hoch]
  • Dellin Betances threw an inning in a minor league game. He allowed an unearned run on one hit, throwing 14 of 16 pitches for strikes and sitting 91-94 mph. “I executed my pitches instead of thinking about mechanics. I felt a lot better. I’m definitely going in the right direction,” he said. [Bob Klapisch]
  • Mark Teixeira took a pitch to the right knee during a minor league game. He left the game, walked it off, and told reporters he was fine. The Yankees say he has a contusion and no tests are scheduled. Didi Gregorius (wrist) feels better today and expects to be ready for Opening Day. Jared Burton (lat) has resumed playing catch. [Klapisch, Hoch, Dan Barbarisi, Chad Jennings]
  • And finally, old buddy Hiroki Kuroda made his first regular season start back with the Hiroshima Carp yesterday. He struck out five and scattered five hits and a walk in seven scoreless innings. Hiroshima won 2-1. Poor Hiroki still can’t get any run support. Here’s some video of his outing.

Here is your open thread for the evening. The Gonzaga-Duke game is going on right now, as is the Islanders game. MLB Network will replay a handful of non-Yankees games tonight as well. You folks know how these threads work by now, so have at it.

Open Thread: March 28th Camp Notes

The Yankees lost to the Orioles 10-2 this afternoon. The two runs came on solo homers by Alex Rodriguez and Stephen Drew. Based on the video above, A-Rod knew it was gone off the bat. Carlos Beltran singled for the team’s only other base hit. Brett Gardner, Chase Headley, Mark Teixeira, and Chris Young all took 0-for-3s.

Scott Baker started and got roughed up, allowing five runs on five hits in two innings. He struck out three. Dellin Betances allowed a run for the fifth consecutive appearance and is still fighting whatever it is he’s fighting. The YES gun had him up to 94 mph, so I think it’s just mechanical. He needs to fix it soon though. Justin Wilson allowed two runs in 1.1 innings of work. Here’s the box score, here are the video highlights, and here’s the rest from Tampa:

  • Minor scare this afternoon: Didi Gregorius landed awkwardly on his left wrist diving for a ball and has been diagnosed with wrist strain. X-rays came back negative and he is day-to-day. Exhale. Joe Girardi said they hope Gregorius will be back in the lineup by Wednesday. [Chad Jennings]
  • CC Sabathia pitched in a minor league game this afternoon and allowed four runs on five hits (two homers) and two walks in five innings. He struck out seven, sat 88-91 and touched 92, and threw 69 total pitches. Masahiro Tanaka and Adam Warren threw bullpen sessions and Jacoby Ellsbury (oblique) took full batting practice for the first time since getting hurt. [Wally Matthews, Brendan Kuty, Nicholas Flammia, Erik Boland]
  • Weird moment in the Double-A game today: Gary Sanchez accidentally hit Bryan Mitchell while trying to throw out a runner attempting to steal second. The trainers came out to look at Mitchell and he remained in the game. Phew. [Kuty]
  • The Yankees still have not announced Adam Warren will be the fifth starter, but Esmil Rogers is making tomorrow’s road trip and is listed as a reliever. Evidence keeps mounting. [Bryan Hoch]
  • And finally, the Yankees named Luis Severino and Rob Refsnyder their 2014 Minor League Pitcher and Player of the Year, respectively. Congrats to both.

This is your open thread for the evening. This afternoon’s game against the Orioles will be replayed on YES at 10pm ET, if you’re interested. The Knicks and Devils are playing tonight and there’s a bunch of college hoops on as well. Talk about those games or anything else here.