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.

Open Thread: March 26th Camp Notes

The Yankees lost 6-5 to the Rays this afternoon. Adam Warren started and was good but inefficient — he needed 74 pitches to allow one run on four hits and a walk in only 3.2 innings. He struck out five. Despite the high pitch count, Warren all but locked up the fifth starter’s job with his start. Jose Ramirez (1.1 innings) and Chris Martin (one inning) both allowed two runs in the middle innings and Danny Burawa (one inning) allowed one run of his own.

Didi Gregorius went 2-for-4 with a double and John Ryan Murphy with 1-for-2. Brendan Ryan (three at-bats), Chris Young (four at-bats), and Garrett Jones (three at-bats) all went hitless. Rob Refsnyder, Slade Heathcott, and Ramon Flores all doubled. Flores also had a single, and Refsnyder committed his fifth error in 73 defensive Grapefruit League innings. Here’s the box score, here are the video highlights, and here’s the rest of the day’s notes from Spring Training:

  • Jacoby Ellsbury (oblique) hit off a tee and soft toss and said everything “went great.” He plans to get back into games by Tuesday. Chris Capuano (quad) hopes to throw off a mound next week. He said he’ll need four weeks of “Spring Training” to get ready once healthy. Jose Pirela (concussion) feels better but is still experiencing dizziness. He’s scheduled for more tests tomorrow. Austin Romine was scratched from today’s trip with some kind of stomach bug. [Pete Caldera, Bryan Hoch, Marly Rivera, Brendan Kuty]
  • David Carpenter threw an inning in a minor league game after pitching yesterday, so this was his first set of back-to-back games. Nathan Eovaldi and Esmil Rogers both threw bullpen sessions. [Donnie Collins, Kuty]
  • Transaction! The Yankees announced they have released Jared Burton. He was on a minor league contract and suffered a lat strain a week or two ago. The Yankees released him rather than pay the $100,000 retention bonus before Opening Day.
  • And finally, Joe Girardi said he does plan to get Alex Rodriguez into a game at first base this spring. “It’s coming up. I didn’t have a chance to talk to him, but I have it on the board,” he said. [Chad Jennings]

Here is your open thread for the night. This afternoon’s game against the Rays will be replayed on MLB Network, but not until 9am ET tomorrow morning. MLB Network is showing the Athletics and Giants live later tonight. All three local hockey teams are in action and March Madness resumes tonight as well. Talk about those games or anything else right here.

Site Note: Our Jay Gordon is participating in Walk MS to help raise money for research to fight multiple sclerosis and programs benefiting those dealing with MS. You can make a donation right here. Thanks in advance.

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.

Open Thread: March 25th Camp Notes

The Yankees lost 7-2 to the Mets this afternoon. Masahiro Tanaka had his worst start of the spring, allowing three runs (two earned) on four hits and a walk in 4.2 innings before hitting his pitch limit (60, he threw 59). He struck out seven. Pretty much every reliever who pitched stunk. Andrew Miller, Dellin Betances, David Carpenter … all of ‘em. Not a banner day for the relief crew.

Chase Headley once again had a big day at the plate, going 2-for-3 with a double. Mark Teixeira and Alex Rodriguez both went 1-for-3 and Didi Gregorius went 1-for-2 with a double. Brett Gardner and Carlos Beltran both went hitless in three at-bats. Headley drove in the first run and Nick Noonan drove in the other with a ninth inning single. That pretty much sums up the day offensively. Here’s the box score, here are the video highlights, and here’s the rest from Tampa:

  • Tanaka confirmed he is working on a two-seamer this spring and plans to use it this year more than his four-seamer, which was his least effective pitch in 2014. I like the idea. Tanaka’s not a guy with overpowering velocity, he succeeds by keeping hitters off balance with his offspeed stuff, and the two-seamer gives him something with a little wrinkle to stay off the barrel of the bat. [Bryan Hoch, Dan Barbarisi]
  • Jacoby Ellsbury (oblique) took dry swings and played catch. He continues to progress well. It’s unclear when Jose Pirela (concussion) will play again, but Joe Girardi hopes he can play before the end of camp. Chris Capuano (quad) is playing catch while sitting in a chair. CC Sabathia, Michael Pineda, Chasen Shreve, Bryan Mitchell, and Jacob Lindgren all threw bullpen sessions. [Hoch, Mark Didtler, Chad Jennings]
  • Brian Cashman all but confirmed Adam Warren will be the fifth starter, calling him the “Secretariat” of the race. “If we had to make a decision today, it’d obviously be Warren,” he added. Cashman wouldn’t confirm Tanaka will start Opening Day, though he did say A-Rod has shown enough this spring to be the everyday DH. [Mark Feinsand, Barbarisi]
  • And finally, know how Yankees recreated that scene from The Sandlot? Well apparently the players filmed a whole bunch of movie scenes that will be released throughout the season. They’re the new Foul Territory. Hell yeah. [Barbarisi]

This is your open thread for the night. If you want to see Tanaka’s outing for yourself, this afternoon’s game will be replayed on YES at 10pm ET. MLB Network is covering the Yankees as part of their “30 Clubs and 30 Days” series tonight, so you can watch that at 7pm ET. They’ll show the White Sox and Royals live after that. The Knicks and Nets are both playing tonight as well, so have at it.

Site Note: Our Jay Gordon is participating in Walk MS to help raise money for research to fight multiple sclerosis and programs benefiting those dealing with MS. You can make a donation right here. Thanks in advance.

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.

March 24th Camp Notes: Rotation, Eovaldi, Ellsbury, Pirela

The Yankees are playing the Tigers at home later tonight, so the regular game thread will be along a little closer to game time. For now, make sure you check out the above video of the Yankees recreating a scene from the Sandlot. Brian McCann steals the show, but man, they really dropped the ball by not having Alex Rodriguez play Smalls. Anyway, here are the day’s notes from Spring Training:

  • The upcoming rotation: Masahiro Tanaka (Wednesday), Adam Warren (Thursday), Michael Pineda (Friday), CC Sabathia (Saturday), Nathan Eovaldi (Sunday). Unless the team does something silly like start him on short rest, that schedule rules Sabathia out for Opening Day. It’ll be Tanaka, like I figured. [Erik Boland]
  • Eovaldi threw 75 pitches across 4.2 innings in a minor league game this afternoon, and everything went well. “I felt good overall. I was just excited to get out there,” he said. Sabathia, Warren, and Ivan Nova all threw bullpen sessions. [Brendan Kuty]
  • Jacoby Ellsbury (oblique) is “progressing great” and ran some sprints today. Joe Girardi said as long as Ellsbury is playing in games one week from today, he’ll be ready for Opening Day. Jose Pirela (concussion) is feeling better but there’s still no timetable for his return. [Bryan Hoch, Ryan Hatch, Marly Rivera]
  • A-Rod put some time in at first base today, working specifically on cutoffs and relay plays. Mark Teixeira gave him a crash course on positioning. [Sweeny Murti]

Site Note: Our Jay Gordon is participating in Walk MS to help raise money for research to fight multiple sclerosis and programs benefiting those dealing with MS. You can make a donation right here. Thanks in advance.