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.

Open Thread: March 23rd Camp Notes

The Yankees lost to the Nationals by the score of 7-6 this afternoon. Chris Young had a whale of a game, going 2-for-3 with two long home runs (off righties Doug Fister and Casey Janssen), a hit by pitch, and a nice running catch in the left-center field gap. Brian McCann hit a two-run homer and both John Ryan Murphy and Rob Refsnyder had a pair of hits.

Bryan Mitchell got the start and was wild, walking three and striking out two in 3.1 innings. He allowed four hits and was charged with two runs. Chase Shreve had his fourth straight rough outing, allowing two inherited runners to score and being charged with one run of his own in one-third of an inning. Shreve has allowed seven runs and eight base-runners in his last 2.1 innings (four appearances), which ain’t good. He probably pitched his way out of an Opening Day bullpen spot. Jacob Lindgren didn’t strike anyone out in his perfect inning. He got three ground balls instead. Here’s the box score, here are the video highlights, and here’s the rest from Spring Training:

  • It was pouring in Tampa, so all the minor league games were cancelled and Alex Rodriguez and Carlos Beltran had to hit inside in the batting cage rather than get actual at-bats. David Carpenter threw the day’s only bullpen session. Nathan Eovaldi is scheduled to pitch in a minor league game tomorrow while Esmil Rogers starts the Grapefruit League game. [Chad Jennings, Brendan Kuty]
  • Jacoby Ellsbury (oblique) is improving but there is no firm timetable for him to resume baseball activities. Jose Pirela (concussion) still doesn’t feel well and went through more tests today after crashing into the wall yesterday. Ivan Nova (Tommy John surgery) could begin facing hitters in live batting practice next week. [George King, Marly Rivera, Kuty]
  • Joe Girardi said both the backup catcher and fifth starter competitions are still wide open. He did say he would like to name his fifth starter by the end of the week “in an ideal world” so everyone else can shift to bullpen mode, however. [Kuty, Rivera]
  • Last, but certainly not least, our own Jay Gordon is participating in Walk MS to help raise money for research to fight multiple sclerosis and programs to benefit those dealing with MS. You can make a donation right here. Thanks in advance.

Here is tonight’s open thread. MLB Network will show the Reds and Rangers live later tonight, plus the Knicks, Nets, and Devils are playing as well. There’s no college basketball though. March Madness is on hiatus until Thursday. Talk about whatever you like here.

Spring Training Game Thread: Mitchell’s Last Chance?


By all accounts, the competition for the fifth starter’s spot is a two-man race between Adam Warren and Esmil Rogers. This afternoon’s start against the Nationals might be Bryan Mitchell‘s last chance to make some sort of statement and force his way into the fifth starter conversation. Or maybe his last chance to remain in the conversation for a big league roster spot in general, rotation or bullpen.

Mitchell has allowed four runs on eighth hits in four innings so far this spring, striking out four and walking one. The 23-year-old could use some more Triple-A time to work on his command, though I doubt he sees it that way. He wants to earn a big league job this spring, or at least make a good enough impression that he’s the first one called up when an extra starter is needed. If someone in Mitchell’s position isn’t thinking like that, then what’s the point of showing up to camp?

Today’s reason to watch: Mitchell, mostly. He needs to have a great outing to push his way into the fifth starter’s race and I’m not even sure that will be enough. An okay outing definitely won’t cut it. There’s also a nice crop of prospect power relievers slated to come out of the bullpen this afternoon. Chasen Shreve is scheduled to pitch again after pitching yesterday, making this his first set of back-to-back games in camp. Also, Bryce Harper’s playing for the Nats. That’ll be fun.

The Yankees are all the way on the other side of Florida to play the Nationals in Viera. Many of the minor leaguers who played in yesterday afternoon’s game stayed in a hotel last night rather than bus all the way to Tampa last night and back to Florida’s east coast again this morning. Here is Washington’s lineup and here is Joe Girardi‘s starting nine:

  1. LF Brett Gardner
  2. CF Chris Young
  3. C Brian McCann
  4. 1B Garrett Jones
  5. DH John Ryan Murphy
  6. SS Brendan Ryan
  7. RF Aaron Judge
  8. 2B Rob Refsnyder
  9. 3B Nick Noonan
    RHP Bryan Mitchell

Available Position Players: C Austin Romine, 1B Francisco Arcia, 2B Dan Fiorito, SS Cole Figueroa, 3B Jonathan Galvez, LF Tyler Austin, CF Ramon Flores, RF Slade Heathcott, and DH Eddy Rodriguez will be the second string off the bench. IF Ali Castillo and C Kyle Higashioka are the extra players.

Available Pitchers: RHP Kyle Davies, RHP Jose Ramirez, LHP Jacob Lindgren, RHP Nick Rumbelow, and LHP Chasen Shreve are all scheduled to pitch after Mitchell. RHP Danny Burawa, RHP Branden Pinder, RHP Kyle Haynes, RHP Cesar Vargas, and LHP Fred Lewis are the extra arms.

It’s pouring in Tampa, so it’s a good thing this game is on the other side of the state. There is a chance of rain in Viera though, meaning the game could be sloppy, delayed, or even cancelled. We’ll just have to wait and see. If they do play, this afternoon’s game is scheduled to begin 1:05pm ET and you can watch live on both MLB Network and Neither will be blacked out in the team’s home market. Also, if you’re in the Nationals’ market, you can watch on MASN. Enjoy the game, y’all.

Open Thread: March 22nd Camp Notes

The Yankees were three-hit by Matt Harvey and the Mets this afternoon, losing 6-0. CC Sabathia allowed four runs on five hits in 2.2 innings, including three homers. One of the homers was an inside the park job when Jose Pirela crashed into the outfield wall. Sabathia struck out four and was again sitting in the low-90s, which was good to see. I’m not too worried he’s leaving fastballs up after a ten-month layoff. He needs to get that ironed out though, sooner rather than later.

Mark Teixeira, John Ryan Murphy, and Nick Noonan had the three hits, all singles. Chase Headley drew a walk. Teixeira also stole second base for some reason. That seems like an unnecessary risk on March 22nd given his injury issues. Scott Baker allowed one hit across 4.1 scoreless innings and Chasen Shreve allowed two runs on three hits in 0.2 innings. One of the two runs came on Eric Campbell’s solo homer. Campbell’s a righty hitter. Here’s the box score, here are the video highlights, and here’s the rest from Tampa:

  • While the Yankees were on Florida’s east coast, Alex Rodriguez and Carlos Beltran were back in Tampa getting at-bats in minor league camp. A-Rod went 2-for-5 and Beltran went 2-for-4 with a walk, if you’re interested. Masahiro Tanaka, Dellin Betances, Adam Warren, and Chase Whitley were among the guys scheduled to throw bullpen sessions. [Bryan Hoch, Brendan Kuty]
  • Betances will pitch Tuesday and Wednesday, his first set of back-to-back games this spring. Joe Girardi continues to decline to name a closer, meanwhile. “It’s kind of on the backburner for us,” he when asked about a timetable to name a ninth inning guy. [Hoch, Chad Jennings]
  • And finally, Brett Gardner was offered Derek Jeter‘s old locker since he is the longest tenured homegrown Yankee. “I told (equipment manager Rob Cucuzza) I thought he should leave it vacant. But he said he can’t leave it vacant forever, obviously,” said Gardner. What does Girardi think about someone taking Jeter’s spot so soon? “It’s a locker.” Yup. [Ken Davidoff]

This is your open thread for the evening. If you want to see Sabathia’s outing for yourself, this afternoon’s game will be replayed on YES at 7pm ET and both SNY and MLB Network at 8pm ET. The Knicks are playing right now, the (hockey) Rangers players play a little later tonight, and there’s a whole bunch of college hoops on as well. You folks know what to do with these threads by now, so have at it.

Spring Training Game Thread: Meet the Mets


The Yankees will be on the east coast of Florida for their next two games, including this afternoon’s match with the Mets in Port St. Lucie. It’s a brand name pitching matchup too: CC Sabathia vs. Matt Harvey. Surely Sabathia is pumped to Harvey, right? “Not really. He’s not on my team. I’m curious to see how Tanaka looks. That’s my guy,” he said to Chad Jennings. Right answer!

Today’s reason to watch: Sabathia vs. Harvey! But mostly Sabathia, who is making his second official spring start and is probably slated to throw three innings and 45 pitches or so. His first Grapefruit League start was a mixed bag — his first inning was excellent, his second not so much — and he said his changeup in particular was not cooperating. So let’s see if Sabathia irons that out this afternoon.

The Mets are playing all of their regulars this afternoon other than Daniel Murphy, who is nursing a hamstring injury. It’ll be a nice test for Sabathia by mid-March standards. Here’s the Mets’ lineup card and here is Joe Girardi‘s starting nine:

  1. SS Didi Gregorius
  2. 2B Stephen Drew
  3. 3B Chase Headley
  4. 1B Mark Teixeira
  5. RF Garrett Jones
  6. C John Ryan Murphy
  7. DH Brendan Ryan
  8. CF Jose Pirela
  9. LF Ramon Flores
    LHP CC Sabathia

Available Position Players: C Austin Romine, 1B Francisco Arcia, 2B Rob Refsnyder, SS Nick Noonan, 3B Cole Figueroa, LF Jonathan Galvez, CF Slade Heathcott, RF Aaron Judge, and DH Kyle Higashioka will be the second string off the bench. C Eddy Rodriguez, IF Dan Fiorito, and 1B/OF Tyler Austin drew the short straws and had to make the four-hour bus trip to be the extra players.

Available Pitchers: RHP Scott Baker, RHP Jose Ramirez, LHP Chasen Shreve, and RHP Chris Martin are scheduled to follow Sabathia. RHP Nick Rumbelow, LHP Jacob Lindgren, RHP Nick Goody, LHP Tyler Webb, and RHP Danny Burawa are the extra arms.

The weather is nice in Port St. Lucie this afternoon. Mostly sunny with temperatures in the mid-to-high-80s but not oppressive humidity. This afternoon’s game is scheduled to begin at 1:10pm ET and can be seen on both YES and SNY locally as well as nationally. There’s no local blackout for Enjoy the game, folks.

Open Thread: March 21st Camp Notes


Thanks to a three-run rally in the bottom of the ninth, the Yankees walked off with a 3-2 win over the Astros this afternoon. Eddy Rodriguez doubled in two runs to tie the game and Jake Cave sealed the win with a sacrifice fly. Carlos Beltran went 1-for-3, Mark Teixeira went 2-for-3, and both Brian McCann and Didi Gregorius went 1-for-2. Brett Gardner, Chase Headley, Chris Young, and Stephen Drew were all hitless.

Michael Pineda started and allowed two runs on four hits in 3.2 innings. Both runs and three of the four hits came in the first inning. Pineda struck out six. Justin Wilson (1.1 innings), Andrew Miller (one inning), and Andrew Bailey (one inning) each struck out two and did not allow a run. Jacob Lindgren fanned one and allowed a hit in his scoreless inning. The bullpen allowed one hit, one walk, and struck out eight in 5.1 innings. Here’s the box score — the game wasn’t on television so are no video highlights available — and here’s the rest from Tampa:

  • Jose Ramirez was optioned to Triple-A, the Yankees announced. He’s officially out of the running for a bullpen spot. By my unofficial count, there are still 47 players in big league camp.
  • Bryan Mitchell and Masahiro Tanaka are starting Monday and Wednesday, respectively. Nathan Eovaldi, Esmil Rogers, and Mitchell were among the pitchers to throw bullpen sessions. [Sweeny Murti, Brendan Kuty, Chad Jennings]
  • The next two games are on Florida’s east coast, so the minor leaguers making the trip will play both games and stay in a hotel rather than ride the bus back and forth to Tampa. [Jennings]

This is your open thread for the evening. All the local hockey and basketball teams are in action except the Knicks. MLB Network is replaying some games tonight (not the Yankees) and of course there’s March Madness as well. Talk about whatever.

Open Thread: March 20th Camp Notes


The Yankees wrecked the Tigers this afternoon, beating them 11-2 thanks to a six-run first inning against Alfredo Simon in Lakeland. Alex Rodriguez (solo) and Rob Refsnyder (two-run) both went deep while Brett Gardner, Jonathan Galvez, and Slade Heathcott tripled. Brendan Ryan went 1-for-3 with a double in his Grapefruit League debut after dealing with a back problem for a few weeks. Brian McCann also went 1-for-2 with a walk.

Adam Warren started and took a firm hold on the fifth starter’s spot with five innings of one-run ball, striking out three and scattering four hits. Chase Whitley threw three scoreless innings out of the bullpen and is a long shot for the fifth starter’s job, but we shouldn’t forget about him either. One more pitching injury thrusts him into a more prominent role. There are no video highlights of this afternoon’s game because there was no broadcast, but here’s the box score and here are the rest of the day’s notes from Tampa:

  • The Yankees announced another round of roster cuts today: Tyler Austin, Danny Burawa, and Jose DePaula were all optioned to Triple-A while Mason Williams was optioned to Double-A. Wilking Rodriguez was reassigned to minor league camp as well. There are still 48 players in big league camp by my unofficial count.
  • Dellin Betances threw a simulated game this afternoon. His last two Grapefruit League outings were shaky and a simulated game better allows him to work with coaches and tweak his mechanics than a regular game. Ivan Nova, Jose Ramirez, and Vicente Campos threw bullpens today. [Brendan Kuty, Chad Jennings]
  • Joe Girardi remains non-committal about his Opening Day starter. Both CC Sabathia and Masahiro Tanaka line up to pitch that day — Sabathia if he stays on a regular five-day schedule for the rest of spring, Tanaka if he stays on a six-day schedule as planned — and Girardi says they’ve yet to make a decision “because we haven’t got them built up enough to feel comfortable that they’re ready to go.” [Bryan Hoch, Jennings]
  • Jacoby Ellsbury (oblique) told reporters yesterday he feels better and is “fully confident” he will be ready in time for Opening Day. The Yankees say they won’t worry unless he isn’t ready to return to game action by April 1st, five days before the start of the season. [Bryan Hoch]
  • The Yankees will be on Florida’s east coast the next two days, so A-Rod and Carlos Beltran will stay behind in Tampa and get a bunch of at-bats in minor league games. Alex is coming off his suspension and Beltran is coming back from offseason elbow surgery. [Mark Didtler]
  • Ty Hensley was among those to pitch in minor league camp today, which is great news. He was viciously attacked over the holidays and had his jaw wired shut, but he’s recovered well enough to return to game action. Great news. [Josh Norris]

Here is your open thread for the evening. MLB Network is showing the Reds and Giants live later tonight, if you’re desperate to see some baseball. The Devils, Knicks, and Nets are all playing and you’ve got a full slate of March Madness to watch as well. Have at it.

Update: Apparently there is one video highlight from today’s game. Here’s A-Rod’s homer: