The Yankees beat the Red Sox for their second straight Grapefruit League win on Sunday afternoon. Adam Warren allowed a solo homer to Mike Napoli but otherwise threw three very good innings. Jose Ramirez followed with three shutout innings of his own. Brett Gardner and Eduardo Nunez both singled, and a lot of New York’s runs came thanks to Boston errors. Thomas Neal hit an opposite field solo homer while both Tyler Austin and J.R. Murphy laced doubles. Solid game by the second stringers. Here’s the box score and here’s the rest from Tampa…
- Ichiro Suzuki is fine following a three-car accident yesterday. He was driving through an intersection when a car going in the opposite direction turned left in front of him. Ichiro‘s car was totaled and the Yankees are sending him to the doctor as a precaution, but apparently no one involved in accident was hurt. [George King & Bryan Hoch]
- Andy Pettitte (two innings) and Mariano Rivera (one inning) both threw simulated games this morning. Both went well and both guys feel great. Rivera said he’s ready to pitch in a game but will let Joe Girardi made the decision about when that actually happens. [Chad Jennings & Hoch]
- Phil Hughes played catch on flat ground, his first time picking up a baseball since a bulging disk sidelined him a little less than two weeks ago. He felt fine and has no pain. Boone Logan said he’s had a “little annoying thing” in his elbow for a while — he did say it wasn’t pain, for what it’s worth — and expects to be back on the mound in the middle of next week. [Sweeny Murti & Jennings]
- CC Sabathia, Joba Chamberlain, and David Robertson were the projected big leaguers to throw bullpen sessions today. Borderline big leaguer Cody Eppley, who could make the team if Logan’s elbow keeps barking, also threw. [Jennings]
- Unsurprisingly, Girardi said the Yankees are likely to bring Curtis Granderson back from his injury as a center fielder. “I’m not 100% sure, but that’s what we’ve talked about,” said the skipper. Their top priority will getting Granderson’s bat back into the lineup as soon as possible, not saving a handful of runs the rest of the season. [Dan Barbarisi & Murti]
- First baseman Greg Bird has been reassigned to minor league camp. The Yankees still have 73 players in big league camp, but that will number will continue to be whittled down in the coming weeks. [Jennings]
- Robinson Cano, Mark Teixeira, and bench coach Tony Pena all left for the World Baseball Classic today. Pena is managing Cano and the Dominican Republic team, and they’ll hold a workout at George M. Steinbrenner Field tomorrow. [Hoch]
- The Yankees, meanwhile, are off on Monday. It’s their first off-day of Spring Training. Their next game is against the Braves on Tuesday night, their first night contest of the year. David Phelps will start and the game will be available on YES.
Here is your open thread for the evening. The Rangers are playing plus MLB Network will air baseball all night, first Spring Training games then the World Baseball Classic. Talk about any of that and more here. Have at it.
As expected, the Yankees had someone on hand to scout Chien-Ming Wang during his World Baseball Classic start on Friday night and remain interested in signing him according to Joel Sherman and Jon Heyman. George King says his fastball was clocked in the 88-92 mph range, which is pretty good considering a) the extent of his shoulder injuries, and b) it’s only early-March. Wang, 32, held a weak Australia lineup to four singles in six scoreless innings despite the mandatory 65-pitch limit.
Meanwhile, Nick Cafardo says the Yankees were one of five teams with “major interest” in Javy Vazquez before he blew out his knee and required surgery. The 36-year-old reportedly threw the ball very well during his winter ball stint in Puerto Rico and was considering a return to MLB after sitting out last summer, though the knee injury is likely to keep him out all year. Despite Wang’s lack of success since his mid-2008 foot injury and Vazquez’s ugly stints in pinstripes, the Yankees aren’t leaving stones unturned as they search for a veteran starter to stash in Triple-A for depth. Wang looked pretty darn good the other night, I’d be cool with giving him a minor league deal if the medicals check out. · (31) ·
The Yankees are playing the Red Sox for the first time in 2013 this afternoon, at least in theory. New York sent a very unrepresentative roster to Fort Myers for the game, with Brett Gardner the only slam dunk big leaguer on the travel squad. The Yankees are off tomorrow, so this is a good opportunity to give the regulars two consecutive days off, or at least two light workout days in a row. Here’s the starting lineup…
- LF Brett Gardner
- SS Eduardo Nunez
- 2B Jayson Nix
- DH Juan Rivera
- 1B Dan Johnson
- CF Melky Mesa
- RF Zoilo Almonte
- 3B Corban Joseph
- C Bobby Wilson
This afternoon’s game is scheduled to start at 1:35pm ET and can be seen on YES and MLB.tv (no local blackout). Enjoy.
Got a handful of minor league updates for you, mostly coaching stuff. Everything comes from Josh Norris.
- Nardi Contreras is now a senior pitching instructor. We heard he was reassigned and replaced by Gil Patterson back in November. Going from minor league pitching coordinator to senior pitching instructor sounds like a promotion, no? Who knows.
- Tim Norton and Drew Henson will serve as the pitching and hitting coaches, respectively, for the club’s new second Rookie Level Gulf Coast League affiliate. Norton, a former righty reliever, started to make the transition to coaching last year due to continued arm problems. Henson re-joined the organization as a part-time assistant last fall with his eye on becoming a full-time coach this year.
- Remember RHP J.B. Cox and 3B Bradley Suttle? Well, both guys are listed in the Yankees’ 2013 media guide as players. Norris confirmed they are both still on the restricted list however, meaning they are unlikely to resume their playing career. False alarm. Cox never regained his stuff following Tommy John surgery while Suttle was hampered by multiple injuries, most notably right shoulder surgery. The former left the organization following 2010, the latter last spring.
The seven-game losing streak is over. The Yankees won their second game of the Grapefruit League this afternoon, pounding a bunch of Tigers minor leaguers while their regulars stayed home and played a split squad game. Brett Gardner continued his molten hot spring with two hits and two steals, though Robinson Cano, Mark Teixeira, Matt Diaz, and Jayson all had hits as well. Chris Stewart hit a homer (!), if you can believe that.
Ivan Nova threw two scoreless innings and was really, really sharp. He threw a ton of strikes and was living down in the zone. Hopefully that continues and carries over into the regular season. David Aardsma and Clay Rapada each allowed a run while southpaw Francisco Rondon continued to impress (at least me, I don’t know about you) with two strikeouts in a scoreless inning. He just needs to work on locating his fastball a bit better, but he’s got a real easy delivery and an out-pitch breaking ball. I’m a fan. Anyway, here’s the box score and here’s the rest from Tampa…
- The Yankees announced the first round of roster cuts following the game. First baseman Kyle Roller and right-handers Corey Black, Matt Daley, Nick Goody, Shane Greene, Bryan Mitchell, Zach Nuding, Mikey O’Brien, and Ryan Pope were all reassigned to minor league camp. Daley, who has a few years of big league time, is the only real surprise. The Yankees still have 74 (!) players in big league camp.
- Derek Jeter began moving side-to-side while taking ground balls. Unsurprisingly, he looked pretty stiff during the drill thanks to that surgically repaired left ankle. [John Harper]
- The Yankees have Eduardo Nunez and Mick Kelleher working on a new throwing motion in an effort to cut down on his errors. They’re basically shortening his motion and trading some arm strength — which Nunez has plenty to spare — for accuracy. Will it work? Unlikely. They tried this a few years ago as well. [George King]
- In case you missed it earlier, Phil Hughes (bulging disk) has been cleared to play catch while Boone Logan (elbow) and Slade Heathcott (thumb) will be shut down for a few days. MRIs came back clean.
- The travel squad for tomorrow’s game against the Red Sox is pretty light on projected big leaguers, with Gardner, Nunez, and Juan Rivera being the one ones to really qualify. Adam Warren gets that start and the game will be available on YES.
Here is your open thread for the night. The Nets are the only local team in action tonight, so talk about whatever you like. Enjoy.
Via Bryan Hoch & Sweeny Murti: Both Slade Heathcott (sprained thumb) and Boone Logan (sore elbow) are battling injuries. Both guys will be out a few days after MRIs came back clean.
Heathcott, 22, hurt himself (surprise!) when he ran into Ronnie Mustelier at full speed the other day (video). No word on his timetable yet. The Yankees have been taking it easy on the 28-year-old Logan so far in camp, but that apparently hasn’t helped. He’s coming off a career-high workload that included a league-leading 80 appearances. · (15) ·
Via Meredith Marakovits: Phil Hughes has been cleared to play catch as he works his way back from the bulging disk that has sidelined him for a little less than two weeks. Yesterday we heard he could start throwing this weekend if his workouts went well, and apparently they have. Hughes told George King that as long as he’s able to get into Spring Training games by March 14th, he’ll be good to go for the regular season. Good news obviously, but the right-hander isn’t out of the woods just yet. · (5) ·
Ivan Nova will make his Grapefruit League debut against the Tigers this afternoon, his first real step towards showing the second half of last year was an injury-hampered — remember he missed three weeks with a sore shoulder — fluke and not an indication of his MLB production going forward. We saw how good Nova can be during the second half of 2011, and that’s the guy the Yankees are looking to stick at the back of their rotation this year.
As you surely know by now, Ivan’s strikeout and walk rates took major steps forward last summer despite the disappointing year. He needs to work on his overall command and keeping the ball out of the middle of the plate, the main reason he led the league in extra-base hits allowed despite only throwing 170.1 innings. The first Spring Training outings tells us very little, but it sure would be nice to not see Nova get smacked around again. Here’s the starting line…
- CF Brett Gardner
- RF Ichiro Suzuki
- 2B Robinson Cano
- 1B Mark Teixeira
- 3B Kevin Youkilis
- DH Travis Hafner
- LF Matt Diaz
- SS Jayson Nix
- C Chris Stewart
And on the mound is the right-hander from San Cristobal, Ivan Nova. Here is the day’s second string, courtesy of Chad Jennings.
Available Position Players: C Kyle Higashioka, 1B Luke Murton, 2B Corban Joseph, SS Gil Velazquez, 3B Dan Johnson, LF Ramon Flores, CF Adonis Garcia, RF Tyler Austin, and DH Francisco Arcia are all coming off the bench.
Today’s game is scheduled to start a little after 1pm ET and can be seen on YES and MLB.tv (no local blackout). Enjoy.
Via Chad Jennings: Melky Mesa has informed the Yankees he will skip the World Baseball Classic. He made the decision on his own and wasn’t asked by the team to skip the event. A little more than a week ago we heard the outfielder was planning to suit up for the Dominican Republic.
Mesa, 26, is 4-for-15 (.267) with two homers and two steals in Spring Training so far. He has a decent chance of making the big league team thanks to Curtis Granderson’s fractured forearm, so it seems like a wise move on his part to skip the tournament and remain with the Yankees. It’ll be difficult to beat out veterans Matt Diaz and Juan Rivera, but Mesa is the most well-rounded player in the outfield competition thanks to his power, speed, defense, and throwing arm. I ranked him 26th on my preseason top 30 prospects list. · (27) ·
Seven, seven Grapefruit League losses in a row! Ah ah ah! [/The Count]
The Yankees dropped another error-filled laugher on Friday afternoon, with four total errors leading to six unearned runs. Kevin Youkilis was the only big leaguer to screw something up, getting caught on an in-between hop at third. Frankie Cervelli continued his strong spring with a single, a double, a walk, and another base-runner thrown out trying to steal. He’s now 5-for-6 when it comes to throwing out runners. Juan Rivera also had a pair of knocks while Melky Mesa and Ronnie Mustelier each hit a solo homer.
Hiroki Kuroda made his Spring Training debut and allowed four runs (one earned) in 1.2 innings. David Robertson struck out the only batter he faced, Joba Chamberlain allowed two runs in one inning (after retiring the first two men he faced), and Cody Eppley was charged with four runs (one earned). Vidal Nuno had the best day on the mound for either team, striking out four in three hitless and scoreless innings. Here’s the box score and here’s the rest from Tampa…
- Unsurprisingly, Robinson Cano did not want to talk about the “significant offer” he received from the Yankees. He did acknowledge that his contract situation is on his mind though, saying it’s “never going to (be) out of your head.” [Bryan Hoch & George King]
- Phil Hughes (bulging disk) could pick up a baseball as soon as Sunday if his workouts go well today and tomorrow. He’s been sidelined for a little less than two weeks now. [Mark Feinsand & Meredith Marakovits]
- Michael Pineda (shoulder) and Cesar Cabral (elbow) both threw fastballs and changeups during the 30-pitch bullpen session this morning. It was the second such session for each. We heard Pineda was going to begin stretching out his rehab work last week. [Chad Jennings]
- David Adams (back) began swinging a bat earlier this week and he could begin to start working out on the field relatively soon, as in this weekend. [Jennings]
- Within that same link, Jennings reports Boone Logan faced hitters in live batting practice for the first time this morning. The Yankees have been taking it slow on their primary left-hander this winter.
- Brian Cashman is going to jump out of a plane with the Army Golden Knights on Monday to help raise awareness for The Wounded Warrior Project. [Dan Barbarisi & Sweeny Murti]
- Ivan Nova will make his Grapefruit League debut against the Tigers tomorrow afternoon. That game will be televised on YES.
Here is your open thread for the evening. The Knicks and Nets are both playing, plus MLB Network will air a Spring Training game as well. Talk about any of those games or anything else you want right here. Enjoy.