Archive for Spring Training
The Yankees have swung a trade late in Spring Training in each of the last three seasons, and if they’re going to do the same this spring, they’ll have to do it soon. Opening Day in Houston is only 12 days away. Infield help figures to be the top priority at this point but adding another arm, specifically for the bullpen, wouldn’t be a bad idea. It’s not like you can have too many relievers.
This time of year, most trades involve players who are out of options and can’t go to the minors without passing through waivers. Teams don’t want to lose them for nothing, so they’re traded if don’t make the roster. That’s how the Yankees wound up with Chris Stewart in Spring Training 2012 and why they traded away Sergio Mitre in Spring Training 2011. MLBTR has this year’s list of out of options players and one of the most well-stocked teams is the Pirates, who have four out of options pitchers for three bullpen spots. Both Travis Sawchik and Tim Williams expect a trade before Opening Day, not someone to be placed on waivers. Is there a trade match with the Yankees? Let’s look.
If the name rings a bell, it’s probably because Gomez threw a perfect game against Double-A Trenton back in May 2009. The 26-year-old right-hander was the Pirates swingman last summer, pitching to a 3.35 ERA (3.85 FIP) in 80.2 innings across eight starts and 26 relief appearances. Gomez is a classic low-90s sinker, low-80s slider, low-80s changeup guy who gets grounders (55.4%) but doesn’t miss bats (15.9 K%) or really limit walks (8.4 BB%). On the bright side, he did not have much of a platoon split last year, holding righties to a .269 wOBA and lefties to a .278 wOBA. Not the sexiest pitcher in the world, but for a swingman, you could do worse.
Mazzaro, 27, is local guy from Hackensack who really blossomed after moving in the bullpen full time last year, posting a 2.81 ERA (3.31 FIP) in 73.2 innings. He’s a low strikeout (15.1 K%), low walk (6.9 BB%), high ground ball (52.2%) pitcher despite a mid-90s two-seamer and upper-80s slider. Mazzaro had a small reverse platoon split in 2013, holding righties to .286 wOBA and lefties to a .269 wOBA. Given his two power pitches, there’s a chance the Yankees and pitching coach Larry Rothschild would be able to really unlock his strikeout potential, something they’ve done with guys like Shawn Kelley and Boone Logan in recent years.
Morris came over from the Dodgers in the Jason Bay/Manny Ramirez trade way back in the day, but it wasn’t until last season that he got extended time in the big leagues. The 26-year-old had a 3.46 ERA (4.89 FIP) in 65 innings, getting … wait for it … lots of grounders (57.5%) but few strikeouts (13.7 K%). His walk rate (10.4 BB%) was really high and lefties gave him a bit of a hard time (.320 wOBA) as well (.295 for RHB).
The numbers aren’t anything special but what makes Morris interesting is that he’s shown increased velocity and a new pitch in camp. Sawchik says scouts have clocked Morris’ four-seamer at 97 mph and his cutter at 91 mph this spring, both up 2-3 from last season. He’s also added a two-seamer in the mid-90s. A hard low-90s slider is his breaking ball. Morris has battled elbow and shoulder problems over the years and once upon a time Baseball America (subs. req’d) said he had “a 92-94 mph fastball that has hit 96 mph” and “the stuff of a frontline starter.” It could simply be that his old velocity has just started to fully return now that he’s a few years away from his last arm injury.
Pimentel, 24, was part of last winter’s Mark Melancon-Joel Hanrahan trade. He made his big league debut last September (1.93 ERA and 1.76 FIP in 9.1 innings) after pitching to a 3.35 ERA (~3.96 FIP) in 169.1 innings split between Double-A and Triple-A. His minor league strikeout (17.3 K%) and walk (7.9 BB%) weren’t anything to write home about. In their 2014 Prospect Handbook, Baseball America said Pimentel “sits at 92-94 mph … topping out at 95″ and has an “excellent, mid-80s split-changeup,” though they caution “he’s probably not quite ready for prime time” and will “have to earn his stripes in low-leverage work.”
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The Yankees have several guys just like Gomez in David Phelps, Adam Warren, and Vidal Nuno, and as interesting as his two-pitch mix may be, Pimentel wouldn’t really move the bullpen needle all that much this year. Mazzaro and Morris are decent middle relievers with the type of power stuff the Yankees love, though the strikeout numbers don’t back it up. It’s obvious New York values having strikeout pitchers in their bullpen for what I think are obvious reasons. For what it’s worth, Rob Biertempfel and Ken Davidoff say everyone but Pimentel is available.
What would the Pirates want in exchange for Mazzaro or Morris? How do you value an out of options middle reliever? Stewart had knee surgery and will likely miss 4-6 weeks according to Sawchik, but would the Yankees really deal a spare catcher for a middle reliever who might not last the season? Maybe Austin Romine, but even then that feels like a stretch. Remember, the Yankees have a full 40-man roster, so they’d not only have to give up something in a trade for these guys, but they’d have to clear a 40-man spot as well (which they could do in the trade, obviously). Pittsburgh has some extra interesting arms, but I have a hard time seeing a trade fit here. Then again, the Yankees and Pirates get together for a trade every other week it seems, so who knows what’s cooking now.
In a rare non-televised Spring Training game, the Yankees beat the Braves by the score of 7-0 this afternoon. Ivan Nova was dynamite, allowing just two hits and no walks in 6.1 innings. He struck out five and got seven outs on the ground compared to three in the air. That’s Nova at his best. Danny Burawa, Shane Greene, Cesar Cabral, and Dellin Betances got two outs apiece to close out the game.
Carlos Beltran was the star at the plate, going 3-for-4 and driving in a pair of runs. Brett Gardner went 0-for-1 with three walks and both Alfonso Soriano and Brian Roberts had a single. Derek Jeter‘s rough spring continued with an 0-for-4. He surely came to camp rusty after missing just about all of last season, and he has another eleven days to get ready for Opening Day. The Yankees drew eleven walks as a team while striking out only eight times. No television means no video highlights, but here’s the box score and the rest from camp.
- Jeter said his twice-fractured ankle feels great and has been a non-factor in camp. He has been moving well all spring. “I haven’t worried about that for a while. I haven’t worried since I got here,” he said. “If you’re comparing the two years, it’s completely different. Just walking around last year was a struggle. This year, I haven’t thought about it at all.” [Dan Martin]
- Jacoby Ellsbury (calf) feels “substantially better” and did some running and outfield work today. He still is unlikely to play before Friday. Brendan Ryan (oblique) and Scott Sizemore (calf) are both expected to play tomorrow. Russ Canzler, who recently missed time with a hip problem, now has a back issue and was scratched from today’s lineup. [Andrew Marchand, Jose Castillo]
- Vidal Nuno and Adam Warren will pitch in relief Friday and Saturday, respectively. Sure seems like they’ve been ruled out as fifth starter candidates. Warren and Hiroki Kuroda threw their scheduled bullpen sessions when Preston Claiborne pitched in a minor league game. [Chad Jennings]
- Also from Jennings: Alfonso Soriano is not longer taking ground balls at first base. They tried it and will now they’ll focus on more important stuff.
This is your open thread for the evening. MLB Network will show the Cubs and Rockies live later tonight, plus both the Knicks and Nets are playing. Talk about Nova, the games, or anything else right here.
Even though he caught an awful lot of crap, the Yankees had a pretty reliable lefty reliever in Boone Logan over the last few years. They wisely walked away when the Rockies offered Logan a total of $16.5M across three years this winter, instead opting to sign the veteran Matt Thornton to a more sensible two-year, $7M pact. Lefty reliever is a hardly a position worth big free agent bucks.
Logan is recovering from offseason elbow surgery and has yet to appear in a Spring Training game for Colorado while the 37-year-old Thornton has made four Grapefruit League appearances so far this spring. They’ve been four pretty terrible appearances: 14 batters faced, seven hits, one strikeout, three runs charged. He has only faced four left-handed hitters but three have hits. The other grounded out. Not ideal, but it is only spring.
“I know where I need to make improvements,” said Thornton to Brendan Kuty earlier this week. “The off-speed is coming along. I can use it in any situation. I was talking to Brian McCann after [my last] outing. He feels confident with any pitch we’re throwing out there, whether it’s the four-seamer, two-seamer slider or split, but you still have to get ahead. The next few outings I’m going for strike one, no matter what it is. You can’t fall behind guys.”
Thornton was once one of the top relievers in the game regardless of handedness, but, as I detailed in the season preview, his performance has slipped with age and he’s strictly a lefty specialist at this point. The Yankees know this and Joe Girardi is usually very good with platoon situations, so I don’t expect it to be much of an issue. He’ll be a glorified Clay Rapada rather than someone who is asked to get righties out with any sort of regularity.
As it stands right now, it seems unlikely the Yankees will carry a second lefty in the bullpen come Opening Day. Cesar Cabral continues to pitch unimportant late innings in spring games and appears to have been passed by Fred Lewis on the depth chart. Lewis has been impressive in camp but doesn’t have a promising minor league track record. Vidal Nuno is the most likely candidate for a potential second lefty spot, and he could wind up in Triple-A stretched out as the sixth starter.
Michael Pineda looked fantastic yesterday and solidified his hold on the fifth starter’s spot, meaning David Phelps and Adam Warren moved one step closer to the bullpen. That leaves only two open bullpen spots, one of which will go to Dellin Betances based on his performance this spring. Nuno could grab that last spot, it wouldn’t be that surprising, but Cabral and Lewis are a bit more off the radar. The Yankees could take a second lefty north if they’re concerned with Thornton, but I think they’ll go with him as the only southpaw until he shows he’s not up to the task in the regular season.
One thing I’ve come to understand over the years is the order of the starting rotation at the beginning of the season means very little. It’s all symbolism. The Opening Day start usually goes to a veteran who has been with the team a while, not necessarily the best pitcher. Being designated as the staff ace and actually pitching like an ace are two different things. Scheduled off-days and rain-outs throw a wrench into the rotation after a few weeks and the order gets all mixed up anyway. It’s fun to talk about, but the importance is small.
Spring Training ends in less than two weeks — the final Grapefruit League game is next Saturday — and the Yankees have started to line up their rotation for Opening Day and the start of the regular season. I’m sure it has actually been plotted out and planned for a few weeks now, but now that we can see the light at the end of the Spring Training tunnel, the plan is a little more concrete. Courtesy of Chad Jennings, here is the rotation through the weekend according to Joe Girardi:
With Vidal Nuno and Adam Warren nowhere to be found, it’s likely both have already made their final starts of the spring. That makes sense, they always seemed to be the distant third and fourth contenders for the final rotation spot. Girardi confirmed Warren will make the team in some capacity a few weeks ago, so he’s headed to the bullpen. Nuno could very well wind up in Triple-A as the sixth starter.
Michael Pineda has been fantastic this spring with the obvious caveats: he’s coming off major shoulder surgery, it’s mid-March, he isn’t stretched out all the way, he hasn’t faced the greatest lineups, etc. Everything we’ve seen so far is encouraging and even though Girardi stopped short of anointing him the fifth starter — “The other guys are throwing pretty well too. We’ve got to figure out what’s best for our team as a whole,” he said to Bryan Hoch yesterday — it sure seems like Pineda is the favorite to start the season in the rotation, relegating David Phelps to the bullpen. So, with that in mind, here’s how next week’s rotation lines up:
- Monday, March 24th: OFF DAY (Nova throws a simulated or minor league game)
- Tuesday, March 25th vs. Phillies: Phelps on regular rest
- Wednesday, March 26th @ Blue Jays: Sabathia on regular rest
- Thursday, March 27th @ Pirates: Kuroda on regular rest
- Friday, March 28th vs. Marlins: Tanaka with one extra day of rest
- Saturday, March 29th vs. Marlins: Nova on regular rest, Pineda???
- Sunday, March 30th: OFF DAY
According to Jennings, Girardi “hinted that someone will pitch at the complex” during the Monday’s scheduled off-day. Nova lines up perfectly for that day, so he seems to be the guy. Phelps, Sabathia, and Kuroda follow with their final Grapefruit League starts on regular rest, then Tanaka goes with one extra day. The team has said they are planning to give him the extra day here and there. It’s also worth noting that regardless of whether he starts Thursday or Friday (or Saturday or Sunday for that matter), Tanaka will have faced only one AL club this winter (the Twins this coming Saturday). I doubt this was a coincidence. The Yankees kept him hidden from the direct competition while still getting him innings against MLB caliber hitters. Clever.
Anyway, following Tanaka’s start, Nova closes out the Grapefruit League schedule on regular rest next Saturday. What happens with Pineda at that point is anyone’s guess. He could come out of the bullpen to replace Nova, he could throw a simulated game, or he could start a minor league game. The Yankees have options. Pineda will be working on one extra day of rest Saturday and it’s good to give him that little break following his surgery and long rehab. They have to take it easy on him and not work him too hard, too soon.
With that all laid out, here’s how the rotation lines up the following week:
- Monday, March 31st: OFF DAY
- Tuesday, April 1st @ Astros: Sabathia with one extra day of rest
- Wednesday, April 2nd @ Astros: Kuroda with one extra day of rest
- Thursday, April 3rd @ Astros: Nova on regular rest
- Friday, April 4th @ Blue Jays: Tanaka with two extra days of rest
- Saturday, April 5th @ Blue Jays: Pineda with two extra days of rest
Nova’s the only guy who wouldn’t make his first start of the season with extra rest and since he’s young and healthy (and not coming over from Japan), he probably needs the extra rest the least. Pineda could throw a simulated game or pitch in a minor league game on Sunday the 30th instead of Saturday the 29th, allowing him to make that first regular season start on one extra day of rest rather than two. There is such a thing as too much rest, remember. He can get out of rhythm or something like that. Tanaka is used to starting with six days of rest, so the two extra days should be no big deal to him.
The Yankees have indicated Tanaka will start the fourth game of the season rather than the third for two specific reasons. One, they want to split him and Kuroda up since they have very similar styles as fastball/splitter/slider pitchers. (It’s not just a racial thing, you know.) Two, they want to give Tanaka extra rest when they can, and by starting him in the fourth game, he’ll be able to make his third start of the season with an extra day of rest. If he starts the third game of the season, he’d have to make both his second and third starts with normal rest. Anything to help the transition.
Sabathia was pretty terrible last season but he’s getting the nod on Opening Day for past performance. The guy was pretty awesome from 2009-12. Like I said before, the Opening Day start is a novelty more than anything. It doesn’t have any kind of real value to the team. The Game One starter for a postseason series, now that actually matters. Opening Day? Nah, not worth getting upset over. The rotation is all lined up for the start of the season and everyone who needs an extra day or two of rest will get it, and that’s it the most important thing.
The Yankees walloped the Red Sox 8-1 this afternoon in a game that included a seven-minute bee delay in the third inning. A swarm of bees took over left field. Joe Girardi made a Tommy Boy joke during an on-air interview and everyone had a nice laugh at Mark Teixeira‘s expense. It was pretty great. Here’s the video.
Anyway, Michael Pineda was clearly the story the day, holding an admittedly weak Red Sox lineup to four hits in 4.1 scoreless innings before reaching his pitch limit. He struck out five and walked no one, giving him 14 strikeouts and one walk in nine Grapefruit League innings. Forty-five of his 60 pitches were strikes and he was anywhere from 88-94 mph on the YES gun with a filthy slider. Most importantly, everything was free and easy. Pineda wasn’t laboring or overthrowing. Looked very natural, unlike two springs ago.
Brett Gardner (3-for-4), Alfonso Soriano (2-for-4 with a monster homer), Frankie Cervelli (2-for-3 with a triple), and Brian Roberts (2-for-3 with a stolen base) all had pretty great days at the plate. Teixeira went 1-for-2 with two walks while Derek Jeter and Carlos Beltran both went 1-for-4. Beltran doubled. David Robertson struck out two of three batters faced and Shawn Kelley chucked a perfect inning. Pretty solid game all around. Here is the box score, here are the video highlights, and here is the rest from Tampa.
- The Yankees announced their largest round of roster cuts so far: C/1B Francisco Arcia, OF Tyler Austin, RHP Bruce Billings, RHP Robert Coello, RHP Brian Gordon, IF Corban Joseph, RHP Mark Montgomery, C Peter O’Brien, UTIL Jose Pirela, RHP Chase Whitley, and OF Mason Williams were reassigned to minor league camp while OF Ramon Flores was optioned to Triple-A Scranton. Whitley will be stretched out as a starter, which makes sense given Scranton’s rotation needs following the Nik Turley and Jose Ramirez injuries. There are still 46 players in big league camp by my unofficial count. [Chad Jennings]
- Jacoby Ellsbury went through a fairly normal workout today but still felt “something” in his calf. He will not play until Friday at the earliest. Austin (wrist), Brendan Ryan (oblique), and Scott Sizemore (calf) all took batting practice and figure to return to game action in the coming days. David Phelps, CC Sabathia, and Masahiro Tanaka threw their usual between-starts bullpen sessions. [Jack Curry, Jennings]
- Andrew Bailey, who is working his way back from surgery to repair a tore shoulder capsule, is currently making 50 throws from 90 feet on flat ground as part of his rehab. He hopes to stretch it out to 120 feet next week. Bailey is unlikely to return to a big league mound until August or September, according to the team. [Jorge Castillo]
- Tanaka’s next start will be Saturday on the road against the Twins. He will be on one extra day of rest. Hiroki Kuroda will stay behind in Tampa and pitch in a minor league game on normal rest that day. [Bryan Hoch]
Here is your open thread for the night. This afternoon’s game will be replayed on YES tonight (7pm ET) and on MLB Network early tomorrow (7am ET). MLBN will air the Cubs and Rangers live later tonight and all three local hockey clubs are in action as well. Talk about anything and everything here.
The fifth starter competition takes another step forward this afternoon, as Michael Pineda makes his second Spring Training start and third overall appearance. He was reportedly very impressive in his first outing and slightly less so last time out, though he was hardly bad. Pineda will get stretched out a little bit more this afternoon, probably up to four innings and 60-65 pitches, so it’ll be good to see how he holds up later in games. He was hitting a wall around the 70-pitch mark during his Triple-A stint last summer.
The Red Sox are up from Fort Myers for this afternoon’s game, so I hope you’re ready for some over-analyzed Grapefruit League action. If you can’t beat ‘em on March 18th, when can you? Boston didn’t bring any of their top players, with only Jackie Bradley Jr., Jonny Gomes, Xander Bogaerts, and David Ross coming close to qualifying as regulars. Left-hander Felix Doubront will be on the mound. Here is Joe Girardi‘s starting lineup:
- LF Brett Gardner
- SS Derek Jeter
- RF Carlos Beltran
- 1B Mark Teixeira
- DH Alfonso Soriano
- C Frankie Cervelli
- 2B Brian Roberts
- 3B Kelly Johnson
- CF Ichiro Suzuki
SP Michael Pineda
Available Pitchers: RHP David Robertson, LHP Fred Lewis, RHP Shawn Kelley, RHP Matt Daley, and RHP David Herndon are all scheduled to come out of the bullpen. RHP Jim Miller, RHP Yoshinori Tateyama, RHP Chris Leroux, and RHP Danny Burawa are the extra arms.
Available Position Players: C Austin Romine, 1B Jose Gil, 2B Eduardo Nunez, SS Dean Anna, 3B Zelous Wheeler, LF Yangervis Solarte, CF Adonis Garcia, and RF Zoilo Almonte will be the second string off the bench. C John Ryan Murphy and OF Antoan Richardson are also available.
It’s cloudy and cool in Tampa but there is no rain in the forecast after yesterday’s downpour. Hooray for that. First pitch is scheduled for 1:05pm ET and you can watch live on YES, ESPN, and MLB.tv. Enjoy the game.
As of right now, with a little less than two weeks to go before Opening Day in Houston, the Yankees have not tipped their hand about the fifth starter’s spot. One some days it seems Michael Pineda is the frontrunner, on others it seems to be David Phelps. Then Vidal Nuno chucks four one-hit innings against the Orioles’ mostly-regular lineup to re-enter the conversation. Adam Warren has allowed two runs while striking out nine in 8.2 innings this spring. No one has pitched themselves out of consideration yet.
Having four possible starters for one rotation spot is one of those “good problems” people like to talk about. It’s not really a problem of course, pitching depth is a wonderful thing to have. The baseball gods have taken it upon themselves to remind teams and fans of that the (very) hard way over the last week or so. Look at this recent run of pitching injuries:
- Sunday, March 9th: Kris Medlen of the Braves left his start holding his elbow. After getting a second opinion, he is having his second Tommy John surgery in the last four years this morning.
- Monday, March 10th: Medlen’s teammate Brandon Beachy left his start with what is called biceps tightness. Tests show ligament damage and he is likely headed for his second Tommy John surgery in the last three years.
- Friday, March 14th: Jarrod Parker of the Athletics was scratched from his start with a forearm issue. A visit to Dr. James Andrews revealed a torn ligament. He needs a second Tommy John procedure after having his first in 2009.
- Saturday, March 15th: Diamondbacks’ ace and native New Yorker Patrick Corbin left his start with elbow pain and is currently deciding between Tommy John surgery and rehab, the latter of which never seems to work.
Four the game’s best young pitcher are out for the season and it happened in the span of a week. It doesn’t end there though. Luke Hochevar blew out his elbow two weeks ago. The Padres lost lefty Cory Luebke to his second Tommy John surgery last month and are on the verge of losing prospect Joe Wieland to the same fate. Mike Minor’s shoulder is acting up (the Braves signed Ervin Santana because they had so many injuries), Jon Niese has been dealing with shoulder and elbow problems, Cole Hamels has yet to appear in a game because of a shoulder issue, on and on it goes. Pitchers get hurt, we know this, but this recent rash of injuries around the league has been something else.
Last season the Yankees were the ones hit hard by injuries, though most of them hit the position players. The pitching staff has remained healthy this spring, knock on wood, but that tells us nothing about future durability. CC Sabathia has a ton of innings on his arm, Hiroki Kuroda is approaching 40, Michael Pineda is coming off two lost years following shoulder surgery … it wouldn’t be a surprise if any of those guys missed time in 2014. That and all these pitching injuries around the league are a reminder that the Yankees’ pitching depth — Phelps, Warren, Nuno, etc. — is not really expendable. The Yankees have not gotten through a non-strike season using fewer than eight starters since 1975, so all of those guys figure to be needed at some point this year.
It’s easy for us to starting thinking about a trade whenever the team has an extra something, be it pitchers or catchers or whatever. Heck, just last week I wrote about the possibility of the Yankees trading one of their spare arms to the Braves in the wake of their injuries, thinking it would be one way to improve the infield. Pitching, especially potential starters, have to be treated differently though. You know you’re going to need several extras throughout the season, moreso than any other position, so dealing away a spare arm is always risky. I don’t think we needed all the recent injuries to drive the point home, but it’s pretty clear the Yankees are best off holding onto guys like Phelps, Warren, and Nuno. They will come in handy at some point, probably sooner rather than later.
For the first and hopefully only time this spring, the Yankees were rained out this afternoon. Their game against the Pirates in Bradenton was canceled due to the weather and will not be made up. Scheduled starter Hiroki Kuroda instead threw a five-inning, 75-pitch bullpen session in Tampa, the Yankees announced, so the rotation will remain on schedule. Here is the rest of the day’s news from camp.
- Jacoby Ellsbury (tight calf) hit in the batting cage but Joe Girardi does not expect him to play tomorrow. Brendan Ryan (oblique) and Tyler Austin (wrist) both took batting practice on the field, usually the last step before returning to game action. Scott Sizemore hit on the field as well. He’s been nursing a minor quad issue. [David Lennon, Chad Jennings]
- Some more from Jennings: CC Sabathia is scheduled to start Friday on normal rest and it appears Masahiro Tanaka will pitch Saturday with an extra day of rest, though it’s unclear if he will travel or stay in Tampa to throw a simulated game. Vidal Nuno and Adam Warren are not listed as starters this week and there’s a chance both have made their final spring starts.
- The Yankees who went to Panama arrived back in Tampa a little after midnight last night, so most of the veterans who made the trip were given the day off. [Andrew Marchand]
- And finally, the Yankees open their season in Houston two weeks from
todaytomorrow, and this morning Astros manager Bo Porter announced right-hander Scott Feldman will be their Opening Day starter. Just in case you were wondering.
Here is your open thread for the night. MLB Network was supposed to replay this afternoon’s game at 11pm ET, so I assume they’ll slot in another game instead. The Nets are the only local basketball or hockey team playing, so talk about that game or anything else right here.
1:52pm: The game has been canceled due to the rain. It’s Spring Training, they’re not making it up. No word on what this does to the upcoming rotation, but I’m sure we’ll find out later today.
1:00pm: The Yankees will look to win their third Spring Training game in the span of 24 hours this afternoon when they make the short trip south to play the Pirates in Bradenton. Hiroki Kuroda gets the start and is scheduled to throw five innings or 75 pitches, whichever comes first. Here are the Yankees and Pirates lineups. The game will not be broadcast live on YES or MLB Network, so it’s MLB.tv or nothing if you live outside the Pittsburgh area. The weather forecast isn’t all that pretty, so there’s a chance they won’t even play. Talk about the game here.
The Yankees had a good day on Sunday, winning two games in two different countries. In Tampa, Masahiro Tanaka helped the club to a 7-4 win over the visiting Braves. He allowed one run on three hits and two walks in 4.1 innings before hitting his pitch count, striking out six. Forty-four of his 74 pitches were strikes, according to David Lennon. Ichiro Suzuki, Eduardo Nunez, and Ramon Flores all went 2-for-3 while Brian McCann had a two-run double. Mark Teixeira went 0-for-2 with a walk. Dellin Betances had his first shaky outing of the spring, allowing a run on a hit, a walk, and a hit batsman in one inning of work. Here are the box score and video highlights for that game.
Meanwhile, in Panama, the Yankees responded to being no-hit on Saturday by holding the Marlins to one hit on Sunday, shutting them out 7-0. CC Sabathia retired 15 of 16 batters faced (five strikeouts), with the only exception being an error by third baseman Zelous Wheeler. I couldn’t get the online feed to work, so I have no idea how Sabathia actually looked as far as command and velocity, but Bryan Hoch says he was sharp. Carlos Beltran singled, Yangervis Solarte went 3-for-5, Frankie Cervelli went 3-for-3, and Gary Sanchez hit a homer. Brett Gardner, Derek Jeter, and Alfonso Soriano went a combined 0-for-9. David Robertson walked one in an otherwise perfect inning. Here’s the box score (no highlights) for that game, and here is the rest from camp.
- Another roster cut: Manny Banuelos has been optioned down High-A Tampa, the team announced. Brian Cashman said Banuelos may start the season with High-A Tampa rather than Triple-A Scranton because of the weather, but nothing is decided yet. There are still 58 players in big league camp by my unofficial count. [Chad Jennings]
- Ivan Nova, David Phelps, and Michael Pineda were among those to throw their scheduled bullpen sessions. Tyler Austin (wrist) took batting practice and is expected to get into a game this week. Brendan Ryan (oblique) hit and fielded grounders today, and is expected to have a full workout tomorrow. Russ Canzler (hip) is feeling better but he is still receiving treatment and has yet to resume workouts. [Jennings]
- Sabathia said he planned to speak to Mariano Rivera about his work-in-progress cutter while in Panama. Couldn’t speak to a better guy about the pitch, but I wouldn’t expect Sabathia’s to become lethal like Rivera’s just because they chatted. [Dan Barbarisi]
- And, in case you were wondering, the Yankees did bring a jersey to Panama for Rivera. They were lobbying him to play center field, but Joe Girardi said the jersey was so Mo could spend a few innings in the dugout. [Barbarisi]
This is your opening thread for the evening. If you missed Tanaka earlier or just want to see him again, YES is replaying this afternoon’s game at 7pm ET. MLB Network will re-air two games later tonight as well. Feel free to talk about whatever you like right here.