Spring Training Game Thread: Ellsbury’s Return

(Presswire)
(Presswire)

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

(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.

Open Thread: March 29th Camp Notes

(Presswire)
(Presswire)

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.

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.

Open Thread: March 27th Camp Notes

The Yankees walloped the Phillies 10-0 in five innings and change this afternoon. The game was called early due to rain. Stephen Drew (3-for-3 with a double) and Brendan Ryan (2-for-3 with two doubles) led the offensive attack. Yup. Brett Gardner, Mark Teixeira, and Brian McCann all went 1-for-3 while both Carlos Beltran and Alex Rodriguez each went 1-for-2 with a walk. Chase Headley went 1-for-4 and Tyler Austin ended the day with a bases-clearing double.

Michael Pineda started and was pretty sharp, scattering five singles in five innings. Two of the singles were ground balls with eyes and two others were bloops. Only one was hit moderately hard. Big Mike struck out five and didn’t walk anyone. He was the team’s only pitcher of the afternoon thanks to the rain. Here’s the box score, here are the video highlights, and here’s the rest of the day’s notes from Spring Training:

  • In case you missed it earlier, Masahiro Tanaka was officially named the Opening Day starter. The rest of the rotation order was also announced, though the team still hasn’t named Adam Warren the fifth starter. That should happen soon. Ivan Nova, Andrew Miller, Chase Whitley, and Vicente Campos all threw bullpen sessions while Tanaka did some flat ground work. [Chad Jennings]
  • A-Rod is scheduled to play five innings at first base Sunday, his first game action at the position. Jacoby Ellsbury (oblique) did more tee and soft toss hitting today. Garrett Jones went over to minor league camp this morning for some extra hitting work. He’s had a crummy spring. [Bryan Hoch, Donnie Collins, Jennings]
  • Jared Burton, who was released yesterday, still has a locker in the clubhouse and has agreed to a deal to remain with the team. My guess is he will sign a new minor league contract soon after Opening Day so the Yankees don’t have to pay him the $100,000 retention bonus. Burton is sidelined with a lat strain. [Brendan Kuty]
  • And finally, CC Sabathia will not be starting tomorrow as scheduled. He’s instead going to pitch in a minor league game while Scott Baker starts against the Orioles. The Yankees don’t want Sabathia facing a division rival so close to the regular season. [Hoch]

This is your open thread for the evening. This afternoon’s game against the Phillies will be replayed on MLB Network, but not until 6am ET tomorrow. MLB Network is showing the Mariners and Royals live tonight, both the Knicks and Nets are playing, and there’s lots of college basketball on too. Talk about anything and everything right here.