Grapefruit League Game 24: Yankees at Phillies
- Hello from Clearwater, where the Yankees and Phillies are facing off for the fifth time this spring. They’ve split the first four meetings; it’s in the high 70s and gorgeous here this afternoon, without a cloud in the sky. The flags are blowing moderately from right field to left field, and they’re doing brisk business at the Frenchy’s tiki hut next to the left field bullpen. I’ve said it before, but this place is what Spring Training is supposed to be.
- A few brief notes this morning — Phil Hughes said he has no disappointment with being the Yankees’ No. 3 starter, saying that “it honestly doesn’t make any difference.” His reasoning is that it all gets jumbled up during the year anyway, so the real concern is the playoff rotation. Yes, they can think this far ahead.
- Andruw Jones was scratched from the trip and will get at-bats in a Minor League game instead today. He’s on tomorrow’s trip to Port Charlotte vs. Tampa Bay.
- Joe Girardi said the assessment is that Austin Romine is still better defensively than Jesus Montero, but Montero “has closed that gap” this spring with his blocking, throwing and game-calling.
- This is the second time Brett Gardner has hit leadoff in front of Derek Jeter this spring. Girardi seems to be seriously entertaining the notion of doing it this year, pointing out that having Gardner’s high on-base percentage atop the lineup creates runs to be driven in by “the big boys” and could mean 50 to 75 more plate appearances for Gardner.
- Reggie Jackson arrived in camp today. He was slowed by back surgery in January.
- Don’t look now, but Alex Rodriguez now has a hit in all 13 spring games he’s played in. He doubled this afternoon off the Phils’ Joe Blanton.
- There are 11 days until Opening Day.