Simulating innings as Florida stays soggy

Could Andy Pettitte make it through the whole spring without pitching against another team? It’s starting to look that way, but Joe Girardi promises they’ll find a way to get him into a game with four starts remaining.

Baseball wasn’t meant to happen today, though, as the Yankees got about 80 miles up the interstate before spinning the bus back around toward Tampa – washed out against the Nationals in Viera.

Instead, Pettitte threw a three inning simulated game at George M. Steinbrenner Field, the same way that A.J. Burnett did after last night’s washout. Girardi said that he didn’t consider altering the rotation to have Pettitte go Saturday in one of the Yankees’ split-squad games, believing that Pettitte knows how to handle himself after so many springs.

“If it wasn’t a veteran, you might make him pitch tomorrow,” Girardi said.

Javier Vazquez will start against the Orioles tomorrow in Tampa, with Chad Gaudin going against the Tigers in Lakeland. Alfredo Aceves, Royce Ring and Dave Robertson will pitch against Baltimore, while Grant Duff, Boone Logan, Sergio Mitre, Amaury Sanit and Zack Segovia have all been listed on the travel roster to see Detroit.

Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, Mark Teixeira and Nick Swisher are among those heading to Tiger Town on what should be a much nicer day for baseball.

Other notes as we close up shop on what might just be a half-day in Tampa (though I’d bet against it…):

  • A-Rod has “a bounce in his step every day,” Girardi said. Rodriguez has been able to limit the amount of hip exercises he does to loosen up compared to last season, and Girardi thinks he looks more like the player who was healthier and more confident in September and October.
  • Aceves has been managing some back stiffness well. He’s been skipping fielding practice on some of the days he pitches, instead heading inside to do core work. It’s not considered a serious issue at this point.
  • Chan Ho Park should throw batting practice tomorrow. That puts him on the Mariano Rivera (3/16) and Damaso Marte (3/17) schedule for getting into games.
  • Girardi’s lineup had Curtis Granderson in left field today, and he might be back there tomorrow with Brett Gardner in center field. Girardi wants to see how Granderson reacts to the balls hit on different angles.
  • “It makes it real easy when you have players that are willing to do anything you ask,” Girardi said. “That’s a manager’s dream. It just shows you that they check their egos when they come in the clubhouse.” 

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