Open Thread: March 26th Camp Notes

The Yankees beat the Blue Jays 4-3 this afternoon. Bryan Mitchell started and was fantastic again, allowing just one hit in four innings of work. He fanned four. Hard to think he won’t be on the Opening Day roster at this point. Branden Pinder tossed a scoreless frame and three-time Tommy John surgery guy Conor Mullee struck out the side in the ninth for the save. One strikeout per surgery. Mullee was up from minor league camp for the day.

Aaron Hicks led the game off a homer and both Carlos Beltran and Alex Rodriguez had base hits. Ronald Torreyes went 2-for-4 with a double off a wall after just barely missing a home run earlier in the at-bat. The ball sailed just foul. Pete Kozma had a hit as well. His chances of making the team are annoyingly high. Here is the box score, here are the video highlights, and here is the rest of the day’s news from Tampa:

  • Jacoby Ellsbury (wrist) took batting practice again today and said he’s good to go for tomorrow’s game. Rob Refsnyder, meanwhile, took a ground ball to the face for the second straight day. This one caught him in the cheek and he’ll see a doctor. The third base experiment is not going too well these days. [Bryan Hoch, Erik Boland, Mark Feinsand]
  • Masahiro Tanaka threw a bullpen session with increased intensity today after the team told him to stop holding back. “I heard some people talking about that he did turn it up a little bit today. We think that’s important because we have to get him going too and get him feeling good about himself,” said Joe Girardi. [Chad Jennings]
  • Meaningful roster cuts before today’s game: James Pazos and Nick Rumbelow were optioned to Triple-A Scranton, the Yankees announced. That effectively takes them out of the running for Opening Day bullpen spots. Chris Parmelee was sent to minor league camp after the game. The Yankees still have 40 players in camp by my unofficial count.
  • The upcoming rotation: Nathan Eovaldi (Sunday on TV) and Luis Cessa (Monday, no TV). The Yankees are playing the Tigers on Monday, and it seems Cessa is getting the start because they don’t want Detroit to see one of the regular starters. The Yankees play the Tigers in the second series of the regular season. [Jennings]
  • Dellin Betances pitched an inning in a minor league game today. Shane Hennigan has the day’s minor league lineups, if you’re interested. Aaron Judge hit a grand slam. [Hennigan]

This is your open thread for the night. MLB Network is showing the Giants and Cubs live right now, then they’ll show a bunch of games on tape delay throughout the night. All of the local hockey and basketball teams are in action tonight except the Devils, and there are two March Madness games as well. Talk about those games or anything else right here.

Spring Training Game Thread: Only One Week Left


One week from today, the Yankees will play their final exhibition game of the spring. We can finally see the light at the end of the Spring Training tunnel. These games are fun in their own way, but the novelty has more or less worn off at this point, and I’m ready for meaningful games. Soon.

The Yankees made the quick half-hour ride up to Dunedin to play the Blue Jays this afternoon. I’m not sure there is anything in particular to watch this game — Rob Refsnyder‘s play at third is worth monitoring, especially since he seems to be getting exposed of late — and that’s probably a good thing at this point of the spring. Here is the Blue Jays’ lineup and here is the Yankees’ lineup:

  1. CF Aaron Hicks
  2. RF Carlos Beltran
  3. DH Alex Rodriguez
  4. 1B Mark Teixeira
  5. C Austin Romine
  6. 3B Rob Refsnyder
  7. 2B Ronald Torreyes
  8. SS Pete Kozma
  9. LF Cesar Puello
    RHP Bryan Mitchell

Available Pitchers: RHP Anthony Swarzak and RHP Branden Pinder are scheduled to pitch. RHP Gio Gallegos, RHP Jonathan Holder, RHP Conor Mullee, RHP Matt Marsh, RHP Alex Smith, and LHP Caleb Smith are up from minor league camp and on the trip as well.

Available Position Players: C Carlos Corporan, 1B Deibinson Romero, LF Chris Parmelee, CF Lane Adams, RF Juan Silva, and DH Eddy Rodriguez will come off the bench. C Kyle Higashioka, IF Vicente Conde, IF Cito Culver, and IF Jose Rosario are on the trip too.

It is cloudy with temperatures in the low-80s in Dunedin, and there are some thunderstorms in the forecast. Doesn’t look like it’ll be anything long-lasting though. Maybe just a quick shower. We’ll see. There is no YES or MLB Network broadcast for this afternoon’s game. If you’re in the Blue Jays’ home market, which I’m pretty sure is all of Canada, you can watch on Sportsnet. Otherwise is your only option. Enjoy the game.

Open Thread: March 25th Camp Notes

The Yankees lost 11-10 to the Orioles this afternoon, and if it were a regular season game, it would have been a Very Bad Loss. Nick Rumbelow gave up a homer in the ninth to blow the save, the Yanks took a 10-8 lead in the top of the tenth, then the Orioles scored three runs in the bottom half to walk-off with the win. Rob Refsnyder committed two errors at third base in that tenth inning. Tough fake loss.

Anyway, Ivan Nova started and got roughed up, allowing six runs (five earned) on five hits and three walks in 4.2 innings. He struck out five. Nova allowed three homers, and to be fair, the wind was blowing out this afternoon. “I put myself in a really bad position. I didn’t help myself today,” he said to Pete Caldera after the game when asked about the fifth starter’s competition.

Chris Denorfia whacked a three-run home run — like I said, the wind was blowing out — and Brett Gardner had two hits. One was a beautiful bunt single, the other was a triple off the wall. Didi Gregorius doubled off the wall. Dustin Ackley and Chase Headley each had a base hit as well. Here is the box score, here are the video highlights, and here are the day’s notes from Tampa:

  • Jacoby Ellsbury (wrist) took full batting practice today. “I felt very good today. I felt confident in my swing. I was able to drive the ball to all gaps. (Thursday) was just nice and easy batting practice to see how I felt and today I was taking my normal swing. I walked away today feeling very pleased how it went. It was a nice progression,” he said. Ellsbury is going to track pitches tomorrow and hopefully play Sunday. [George King, Jared Diamond]
  • On his second error in that tenth inning, Refsnyder took a hard hit ground ball to the face. It took a weird hop and jumped up on him. He was bloodied and left the game with a cut up near his eye. That’s the only damage. Just the cut. The third base experiment will continue, according to Joe Girardi. [Bryan Hoch]
  • Michael Pineda threw five scoreless innings in a minor league game. Austin Romine caught him. No surprise there. Romine is on track to be the backup catcher and he needs to learn the pitching staff. Andrew Miller, Luis Severino, and Luis Cessa threw bullpens. [Erik Boland, Chad Jennings]
  • For what it’s worth, CC Sabathia went back to using an old two-seam changeup grip last night. He had a 6/1 GB/FB in that start after having a 14/10 GB/FB in his first three Grapefruit League starts. Eh, we’ll see. I’m not sold on a new changeup grip solving Sabathia’s problems. [Brendan Kuty]
  • Shane Hennigan has the day’s minor league lineups. Cito Culver batted tenth for Triple-A Scranton. I’m not joking. Rain screwed up the minor league travel plans this afternoon, so the Yankees had their players stay in Tampa and play a bunch of intrasquad games. [Hennigan]
  • Prior to last night’s game, Severino and Gary Sanchez were named the 2015 Kevin Lawn Award winners as the Yankees’ minor league pitcher and player of the year, respectively. It was Severino’s second straight Kevin Lawn Award. Congrats to the two of them.
  • Among the players making tomorrow’s road trip are Alex Rodriguez, Mark Teixeira, Aaron Hicks, Carlos Beltran, and Bryan Mitchell. I assume Mitchell is starting. Pineda had been lined up to start that game. That will be one of those only games. No YES or MLB Network. [Mark Feinsand]
  • Some non-Yankees news: Collin McHugh will start the second game of the season for the Astros (behind Dallas Keuchel), and Evan Gattis (hernia) is expected to start the year on the DL. The Yankees open the season at home with three games against the ‘Stros. [Evan Drellich]

This is tonight’s open thread. This afternoon’s game will be replayed on YES at 7pm ET, if you’re interested. MLB Network is showing the Angels and Athletics live right now, then they’ll have games on tape delay all throughout the night. The Devils and Islanders are both playing, and you’ve got the four March Madness games too. Have at it.

Spring Training Game Thread: Ivan’s Last Chance?


Last night, CC Sabathia had his best start of the spring (two runs in five innings) as he supposedly competes for the fifth starter’s spot. His primary competition, Ivan Nova, gets the ball this afternoon. For Nova to win the job, he’s going to have to show he is clearly the best option. Anything close to a tie is going to go to the veteran making huge money. Ivan has to dominate today to stay in the hunt. It might be his last chance to make a case for the rotation.

The Yankees made the 60-mile trip down to Sarasota to play the Orioles this afternoon. Not many regulars on the trip following the night game last night, as you could imagine. Pretty soon the regular season will begin and we’ll see the starters every day. Can’t wait for meaningful baseball. Here is the Orioles’ lineup and here is the Yankees’ lineup:

  1. LF Brett Gardner
  2. SS Didi Gregorius
  3. 2B Starlin Castro
  4. 3B Chase Headley
  5. 1B Dustin Ackley
  6. C Carlos Corporan
  7. DH Chris Parmelee
  8. RF Chris Denorfia
  9. CF Cesar Puello
    RHP Ivan Nova

Available Pitchers: RHP Johnny Barbato, RHP Nick Goody, LHP James Pazos, and RHP Nick Rumbelow are all scheduled to pitch. LHP Matt Tracy, RHP Eric Ruth, and LHP Caleb Smith are up from minor league camp and made the trip as well.

Available Position Players: C Eddy Rodriguez, 1B Deibinson Romero, 2B Ronald Torreyes, SS Pete Kozma, 3B Rob Refsnyder, LF Ben Gamel, CF Dustin Fowler, and RF Jake Skole will be the second string off the bench. C Radley Haddad, C Kyle Higashioka, and IF Dan Fiorito, also made the trip.

It is cloudy and humid in Sarasota, and there is a chance of some rain throughout the afternoon, though nothing too heavy. They shouldn’t have much trouble getting the game in. This afternoon’s game will begin just after 1pm ET and you can watch on YES locally and everywhere. (And MASN if you’re in the O’s home market.) It’s the only YES road game of the spring. Enjoy the game, folks.

Open Thread: March 24th Camp Notes

The Yankees are playing the Rays at home this evening, and unfortunately there is no broadcast. No YES or Sun Sports, so no MLB Network or either. Baseball is taking place and we can’t watch. That’s a shame, even if it is only Spring Training.

CC Sabathia is starting tonight and you know, it would be nice if he had a clean outing, if only for everyone’s sanity. The Yankees say there’s a fifth starter’s competition, and if true, Sabathia had better start getting some outs. We’ll see. Here is the Gameday link. You can follow that way. Here are the day’s notes from Tampa:

  • Jacoby Ellsbury (wrist) is not in tonight’s lineup as tentatively scheduled. He did take batting practice today and Joe Girardi said he wanted to wait one more day before putting him back into the lineup. Sounds like Ellsbury will play tomorrow. [Mark Feinsand, Bryan Hoch]
  • Pitching coach Larry Rothschild said Masahiro Tanaka has to “get back to the basics” because he’s thinking too much about his mechanics. Tanaka was not in camp today because he has family in town, presumably his newborn son. He’s physically fine and will be back tomorrow. [Erik Boland]
  • Mariano Rivera is still hanging around camp as a guest instructor, by the way. And yes, he’s still shagging fly balls. Brendan Kuty has video. How many spring innings do you think Mo would need to be game ready? I say no more than ten.
  • Shane Hennigan posted the day’s minor league lineups. The Yankees have had Aaron Judge work with Reggie Jackson recently. “Getting better,” said Mr. October. [Jon Heyman]
  • The Yankees will play the Orioles tomorrow afternoon and, thankfully, that game will be on TV. It’s a rare YES road game. Only one of the spring. Ivan Nova is the scheduled starter.

This is tonight’s open thread. Both ESPN (Cubs vs. Giants at 7pm ET) and MLB Network (Dodgers vs. Indians at 10pm ET) are showing live games tonight. The Knicks, Nets, and Devils are playing, plus the NCAA basketball tournament resumes tonight. Talk about those games, the unwatchable Yankees-Rays game, or anything else right here.

March 23rd Camp Notes: Ellsbury, Miller, Slade, Williams

The Yankees got spanked 13-0 by the Nationals earlier this evening. They committed four errors in the eighth inning alone, two by Cesar Puello. Ah, spring baseball. Masahiro Tanaka had his second straight rough outing, allowing seven runs on nine hits and a walk in four innings. He struck out three. Tanaka has one more Grapefruit League start to get things straightened out.

Not much happened offensively. Brett Gardner had two hits, and Dustin Ackley, Austin Romine, Rob Refsnyder, and Chris Denorfia had one each. Gardner also threw a runner out at the plate. This was some uninspired baseball. Here is the box score, here are the video highlights, and here are the day’s notes from Spring Training:

  • Jacoby Ellsbury (wrist) hit off a tee and soft toss today, and said he was “very happy” with the way things went. He is tentatively scheduled to play tomorrow, but he’s going to take batting practice first and they’ll see how he feels. [Chad Jennings, Erik Boland]
  • Michael Pineda threw his between-starts bullpen session and Andrew Miller threw a simulated inning. That’s notable because Miller pitched in last night game. This was his first time pitching back-to-back days this spring. [Jennings]
  • Slade Heathcott has a sore right (non-throwing) shoulder. It’s the kind of thing he could play through during the regular season, but there’s no reason to push it in March. Mason Williams (shoulder) is still taking batting practice and throwing from 90 feet. That’s all right now. Domingo German (elbow) has resumed throwing bullpens. [George King, Jennings]
  • Joe Girardi said “you could surmise” Tanaka will be the Opening Day starter. This is getting so silly that I assume it’s on purpose. Tanaka’s been lined up to start Opening Day since his first Grapefruit League appearance. [Ryan Hatch]
  • Shane Hennigan posted the day’s minor league lineups and workout groups, if you’re interested. Wilkerman Garcia is listed under rehabbing players for whatever reason. He was working out on the minor league side earlier in camp. Not sure what happened there.

The Yankees have another night game tomorrow, at home against the Rays. There is no broadcast for that game. CC Sabathia is the scheduled starter.

Spring Training Game Thread: Tanaka on the Road


Masahiro Tanaka is making the fourth of his five Grapefruit League starts this afternoon. He says he’s been struggling with fastball command this spring, which makes sense. He’s coming off surgery to remove a bone spur from his elbow and command is usually the last thing to come back following elbow surgery. Tanaka has two starts to iron it out.

In other news, Austin Romine is starting behind the plate, which is pretty notable. Romine caught Nathan Eovaldi in a minor league game yesterday and he’s catching Tanaka today. He’s also batting higher in the lineup than Gary Sanchez. I’m not saying Romine’s definitely getting the backup catcher’s job, but there are more and more signs pointing in that direction with each passing week.

The Yankees made the long cross-state trip to Viera to play the Nationals this evening. As you can imagine, they didn’t bring many regulars. They’re not going to send guys on long bus trips this late in camp if at all possible. Here is the Nationals’ lineup and here is the Yankees’ lineup:

  1. LF Brett Gardner
  2. CF Aaron Hicks
  3. 2B Dustin Ackley
  4. C Austin Romine
  5. 1B Chris Parmelee
  6. DH Gary Sanchez
  7. 3B Rob Refsnyder
  8. RF Chris Denorfia
  9. SS Ronald Torreyes
    RHP Masahiro Tanaka

Available Pitchers: RHP Johnny Barbato, RHP Luis Cessa, RHP Nick Goody, LHP Tyler Olson, RHP Nick Rumbelow, RHP Anthony Swarzak, LHP Tyler Webb, and RHP Matt Wotherspoon are all on the trip according to Chad Jennings. I’m not sure who is scheduled to pitch after Tanaka though.

Available Position Players: C Carlos Corporan, C Francisco Diaz, IF Deibinson Romero, IF Pete Kozma, IF Tyler Wade, IF Donovan Solano, IF Jose Rosario, OF Cesar Puello, OF Juan Silva, and OF Lane Adams are all on the trip, says Jennings. No idea who’s going to come off the bench to play.

Today’s game will begin just after 5pm ET and the internet tells me it is mostly sunny with temperatures in the mid-70s in Viera. There is no YES Network broadcast of today’s game, but you will be able to watch live on MLB Network and There is no blackout for either, so yes, you watch on MLB Network in New York. And also MASN if you live in the Nats’ home market. Enjoy the game, ladies and germs.