Signing off from Dunedin
The sprinklers are on here at Dunedin Stadium, which means it’s time to say goodbye for the day (and the Yankees’ final spring road game of 2010). But here’s a few items to catch you all up on before we head out and resume packing up the place, trying to figure out how everything crammed into two suitcases on the way down back on February 13…
- Curtis Granderson will be in center field on Opening Night at Fenway Park; Brett Gardner will be playing left. Gardner will be playing left field in a big league game for the first time since 2008, when he made 15 starts and appeared in two other games there for the Yankees.
“I’ve played left field in Fenway before,” Gardner said. “I don’t really think it’s any different than anywhere else, except the wall is higher. Those higher line drives might hit the wall and come back in. If you can get to it, catch it. If not, back off and play it off the wall.”
- Jorge Posada’s stiff neck didn’t seem to be a concern as he walked out of the ballpark after BP, but Joe Girardi acknowledged that he wants to see improvement to make sure he’ll have his starting catcher on Sunday.
“Obviously you hope it goes away before Sunday,” Girardi said. “Long-term, no [concern], but short-term you want to get rid of it as soon as you can. Short-term, there’s a little concern.”
- A protective pad on Mark Teixeira’s right elbow didn’t seem to slow him down. The Yankees first baseman returned to action with a single and double in four at-bats on Thursday at Dunedin Stadium.
Teixeira was hit by a Jeremy Guthrie fastball on Tuesday against the Orioles in Sarasota, Fla., and had spent most of the past two nights icing his elbow and receiving treatment.
“You know your body,” Teixeira said. “When you’re getting better every day, you feel pretty good. I knew right away I was going to be fine.”
- A.J. Burnett’s final spring start saw him facing the man who caught his last starts of 2009, former Yankee Jose Molina, who has won a backup job with the Blue Jays. Molina flew out and grounded out against his old batterymate.
“He spit on some good curveballs,” Burnett said. “I was about to yell at him. They were like, ‘Change up the signs!’ I didn’t think he had them. It’s just, he sees it out of my hand enough. He puts a battle up there.”