Spring Training Game Thread: Fifth Starter Competition Continues

(Leon Halip/Getty)
(Leon Halip/Getty)

The fifth starter competition continues this afternoon, assuming there actually is a fifth starter competition. Ivan Nova is making his fourth Grapefruit League start, and he is likely scheduled for something like five innings or 75 pitches today. Ivan has pitched well this spring and that’s pretty much all he can do if he wants to force the Yankees to make a tough decision. I have a hard time believing they’d go with Nova over CC Sabathia, but we’ll see.

The Yankees are on the road in Fort Myers to play the Twins this afternoon. It’s a two-hour ride, so most of the regulars are back at home in Tampa. Here is the Twins’ lineup — former Yankee/serial killer John Ryan Murphy is starting and batting eighth — and here is the Yankees’ lineup:

  1. LF Brett Gardner
  2. CF Aaron Hicks
  3. C Brian McCann
  4. 3B Chase Headley
  5. 1B Dustin Ackley
  6. DH Chris Denorfia
  7. SS Pete Kozma
  8. 2B Ronald Torreyes
  9. RF Ben Gamel
    RHP Ivan Nova

Available Pitchers: RHP Bryan Mitchell is scheduled to follow Nova, according to Fred Kerber and George King. He and Nova might be the only pitchers used today since they’re both pretty stretched out. RHP Anthony Swarzak is on the trip as well, says Rhett Bollinger.

Available Position Players: Bollinger says Chris Parmelee and Deibinson Romero made the trip as well. Not sure who else is there.

It is pretty cloudy in Fort Myers and there’s some rain in the forecast this afternoon, though not a ton. Today’s game will begin at 1:05pm ET and there is no YES or MLB Network broadcast. If you’re in the Twins’ home market, you can watch on FOX Sports North. Otherwise MLB.tv is your only option. Enjoy the game, folks.

Update: X-rays negative after Jacoby Ellsbury takes pitch to the right wrist

5:49pm ET: X-rays and a CT scan on Ellsbury’s wrist were negative, the Yankees announced. Negative is good! Ellsbury has two weeks and one day to get over any lingering soreness before the start of the regular season.

4:13pm ET: The Yankees say Ellsbury was hit in the wrist and he is heading for x-rays.

3:59pm ET: Jacoby Ellsbury left today’s game after being hit by a pitch in his right hand or wrist in the fifth inning. It might have even hit his forearm. It was in that general area. Here’s the pitch:

Ellsbury was in obvious pain and Joe Girardi pointed him right to the clubhouse, which was no surprise. They’re always going to play it safe with something like in Spring Training. No sense in lobbying to stay in.

The Yankees have not yet released an update on Ellsbury but we’ll get one soon enough. I’m sure he’s headed for x-rays and all that. Those pitches to the hand/wrist area are always scary. So many tiny little easy to break bones in there.

Should Ellsbury miss time, the Yankees have plenty of outfield depth to cover for the injury, plus they have a ready made leadoff hitter replacement in Brett Gardner. Ben Gamel, Slade Heathcott, and Chris Denorfia would all be candidates to land on the roster. Hopefully it doesn’t come to that.

Open Thread: March 19th Camp Notes

The Yankees won for the fourth time in five games earlier today, beating the Braves 3-2. Michael Pineda started and allowed one run on four hits in four innings. He struck out four and did get some help from his defense for sure. Aroldis Chapman allowed a run on two hits in his inning, and Chasen Shreve retired all three men he faced. Shreve’s line this spring: 6.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 6 K. That’ll do.

Starlin Castro went 2-for-3 and was the offensive star by default. Alex Rodriguez, Mark Teixeira, Carlos Beltran, and Chase Headley each had one hit as well. Jacoby Ellsbury made a great diving catch in the outfield and Chris Denorfia threw a runner out at the plate, both to the benefit of Big Mike. Here’s the box score, here are the video highlights, and here’s the latest from Tampa:

  • In case you missed it earlier, Ellsbury left today’s game after taking a pitch to the right wrist. The Yankees have not yet released an update other than to say he is going for x-rays. Fingers crossed.
  • Tyler Cloyd, Richard Bleier, Mark Montgomery, and Vinnie Pestano no longer have nameplates on their lockers. Pretty good indication they’ve been sent to minor league camp. The Yankees haven’t announced anything yet though. [Brendan Kuty]
  • Update: The Yankees optioned Ben Gamel to Triple-A Scranton and reassigned Cloyd, Bleier, Montgomery, Vinnie Pestano, Jonathan Diaz, and Donovan Solano to minor league camp, the team announced. There are still 45 players in big league camp by my unofficial count.
  • Once again, Brian Cashman and Joe Girardi said the fifth starter’s spot will go to the best man for the job. “It’s open competition. Everybody knows that. Let’s see where it takes us,” said the GM. We’ll see. [Jack Curry]
  • Ivan Nova will be on the mound tomorrow as he continues to make his case for the rotation. The Yankees will be on the road to play the Twins. There will be an MLB.tv broadcast for that one.
  • And finally, the Yankees had a special visitor in camp today. Some guy who used to wear No. 42.

This is tonight’s open thread. This afternoon’s game will replayed on YES after tonight’s Nets game, so figure it’ll start around 10-10:30pm ET or so. MLB Network is showing the Dodgers and White Sox right now, then they’ll show other games on tape delay through the night. The (hockey) Rangers are playing right now and the other local hockey and basketball teams are all playing tonight. And there’s all the March Madness action. Talk about all of that right here.

Spring Training Game Thread: Rain Rain Go Away


First, the good news: this afternoon’s game was not on the YES Network’s original Spring Training broadcast schedule, but they picked it up at some point, so we’ll be able to watch. Hooray for that.

Now, the bad news: it’s raining in Tampa. The weather forecast doesn’t look particularly promising either. The internet tells me it’s going to continue raining pretty heavily until about 5pm ET. This is only a Spring Training game, so they’re not going to wait out a rain storm. They’ll cancel the game sooner rather than later and let the players do their work inside.

The Braves made the 70-mile trip down from Disney for this afternoon’s game. Hopefully the weather clears up and they can play a few innings. I could really use some baseball today. Here is the Braves’ lineup and here is the Yankees’ lineup:

  1. CF Jacoby Ellsbury
  2. SS Didi Gregorius
  3. DH Alex Rodriguez
  4. 1B Mark Teixeira
  5. RF Carlos Beltran
  6. 3B Chase Headley
  7. 2B Starlin Castro
  8. C Carlos Corporan
  9. LF Chris Denorfia
    RHP Michael Pineda

Available Pitchers & Position Players: Not sure, sorry. Probably not going to matter anyway with the rain.

This afternoon’s game is scheduled to begin a bit after 1pm ET. If they do manage to play at some point, you’ll be able to watch on YES locally and MLB.tv everywhere. This is no MLB Network broadcast. Not even on tape delay. Enjoy hoping it doesn’t rain.

Update (12:54pm ET): The Yankees say the game will begin at 1:30pm ET.

Update (1:28pm ET): The start time is now 2:10pm ET.

Spring Training Game Thread: Refsnyder at Third, Again


For the seventh time in his 12 Grapefruit League games, Rob Refsnyder is playing third base tonight. He’s played more innings at third (29) than second (22) so far, and everything seems to be going well. About as well as the Yankees could have hoped, really. Things can change in an instant, but right now Refsnyder seems like a safe bet for a bench spot.

In other news, both Aaron Hicks (stye) and Brett Gardner (wrist) are back in the lineup tonight, so they’re doing well. CC Sabathia is also on the mound looking to shake off the rough outing he had last time out. His first two spring starts were fine though. The Orioles made the trip up from Sarasota for tonight’s game. Here is the O’s lineup and here is the Yankees’ lineup:

  1. CF Jacoby Ellsbury
  2. LF Brett Gardner
  3. C Brian McCann
  4. 1B Mark Teixeira
  5. DH Alex Rodriguez
  6. 2B Dustin Ackley
  7. RF Aaron Hicks
  8. SS Didi Gregorius
  9. 3B Rob Refsnyder
    LHP CC Sabathia

Available Pitchers & Position Players: Not sure, sorry. Seems like Andrew Miller and Dellin Betances are lined up to pitch tonight though.

It is cloudy in Tampa tonight, but there’s no rain in the forecast, so that’s good. Tonight’s game will begin a bit after 6:30pm ET. You can watch on YES locally and MLB.tv anywhere. MLB Network will show the game on tape delay beginning at 7pm ET. Enjoy the game, y’all.

Open Thread: March 17th Camp Notes

The Yankees won their third straight Grapefruit League game this afternoon, beating the Pirates 7-2. Masahiro Tanaka really labored in his two innings, allowing two runs on four hits. He also threw over 50 pitches. Yikes. After the game Tanaka told Bryan Hoch his fastball command stunk. Luis Severino came out of the bullpen and allowed two hits in four scoreless innings. He fanned five.

Starlin Castro and Rob Refsnyder both clubbed two-run home runs (hooray second base depth!) with Castro’s clearing the batter’s eye in center field. How about that? Dustin Ackley had a pair of knocks — he’s yet to strike out in 25 plate appearances this spring — while Brian McCann and Chase Headley had one each. Nice day for the offense. Here is the box score, here are the video highlights, and here are the rest of the day’s notes from Tampa:

  • The upcoming rotation: CC Sabathia (Friday on TV), Michael Pineda (Saturday), and Ivan Nova (Sunday on TV). Pretty soon the guys will be going four or five innings. [Hoch]
  • Girardi is not yet ready to name Tanaka his Opening Day starter. “My thought process now is I don’t anticipate it being a problem, but let’s just wait,” said the skipper. [Hoch]
  • Aaron Hicks was scratched from today’s lineup with a stye. He went to see the eye doctor. I’ve never had a stye, but I know they’re annoying as hell and kinda gross. Hopefully this clears up in a few days. [Hoch]
  • Slade Heathcott, meanwhile, did not play today because he missed the bus to Bradenton. Not ideal, Slade. [Anthony Rieber]

This is tonight’s open thread. This afternoon’s game will be shown on tape delay on MLB Network at 6am ET tomorrow morning, if you’re going to be awake. ESPN is showing the Diamondbacks and Cubs right now, MLB Network will show the Giants and Padres live later tonight, all of the local hockey and basketball teams are in action except the Knicks, plus there’s a bunch of college hoops on as well. Feel free to talk about your bracket being busted.

Spring Training Game Thread: McCann Returns


Four days after taking a foul tip to the knee, Brian McCann returns to action this afternoon and will indeed squat behind the plate. He’s not easing back into things as the DH. This seems like one of those injuries McCann would have played through during the regular season, but because it’s Spring Training, the Yankees gave him a few days. No reason to push it.

On other news, Masahiro Tanaka is on the mound this afternoon, making his third start of Grapefruit League play. I imagine he’s scheduled for something like four innings and 60 pitches. Tanaka has two more spring starts after this one and he remains on track to start Opening Day. All good news so far. Here is the Pirates’ lineup and here is the Yankees’ lineup:

  1. SS Starlin Castro
  2. RF Carlos Beltran
  3. C Brian McCann
  4. 3B Chase Headley
  5. 1B Dustin Ackley
  6. 2B Rob Refsnyder
  7. LF Chris Denorfia
  8. DH Carlos Corporan
  9. CF Slade Heathcott
    RHP Masahiro Tanaka

Available Pitchers: RHP Luis Severino, according to Chad Jennings. With Tanaka going four innings and Severino presumably ready to go five innings, those two might be the only pitchers the Yankees use this afternoon.

Available Position Players: Not sure, sorry. None of the reporters in Florida have tweeted out photos of the lineup card the last few days, so we’re in the dark. Surprises are fun anyway. It’s like Christmas morning.

It’s a nice Florida spring afternoon in Bradenton, meaning sunny, temperatures in the 80s, and just enough humidity to make fans stick to their seats. There is no YES broadcast or live MLB Network broadcast of today’s game. If you’re in the Pirates’ home market, you can watch on ROOT Sports. Otherwise your only option is MLB.tv. MLB Network will show the game on tape delay at 6am ET tomorrow morning. Yeesh. I love baseball, but I’m not waking up that early to watch it. Enjoy the game.