Spring Game 23: Yankees at Braves
Hello from Walt Disney World’s ‘Wide World of Sports’ complex, where the Yankees are visiting the Atlanta Braves this afternoon at 1:05 p.m. ET. There is no Yankees radio or TV coverage of today’s game; the Braves have a radio broadcast.
The Yankees are playing with a DH this afternoon; the Braves are not. Here are the lineups:
Brett Gardner CF
Derek Jeter SS
Carlos Beltran DH
Brian McCann C
Alfonso Soriano RF
Brian Roberts 2B
Kelly Johnson 3B
Adonis Garcia LF
Jose Gil 1B
Ivan Nova RHP
Also scheduled to pitch: Danny Burawa, Dellin Betances, Cesar Cabral and Shane Greene.
Jason Heyward RF
B.J. Upton CF
Freddie Freeman 1B
Evan Gattis C
Justin Upton LF
Chris Johnson 3B
Dan Uggla 2B
Andrelton Simmons SS
David Hale RHP
News and notes from Joe Girardi’s morning interview session in Tampa:
— Girardi said that he has seen an improvement in maturity this spring from Ivan Nova, who makes his fifth start of the spring today.
“I’ve seen a guy that’s come into spring training that, it seems like he realizes how good he can be,” Girardi said. “And I think that’s important. I think for all young players, there’s that doubt always a little bit: can I do this on a consistent basis? Can I do it start after start, or game after game if you’re a position player? Do I need to look over my starter? Is there someone always doubting what I can do? I think he’s realized that, you know what, I can be pretty good. He came back last year and was really good, and I think that was kind of the eye-opener for him.”
— Girardi has been very encouraged by Mark Teixeira‘s health.
“What I’ve been most pleased is, you look at this whole spring training and there’s never been a point where he was scheduled to work that he had to say, ‘I could use a day,'” Girardi said. “That’s really encouraging to me. Everything that he’s been scheduled to do, he has done.”
He added that there is no longer any apprehension with Teixeira or Derek Jeter‘s health.
“I think they pretty much put it to rest,” Girardi said. “Obviously you worry about your guys when they’re playing out there every day, but I haven’t seen anything to lead me to believe that they’re not going to be healthy this season.”
– Adam Warren and Vidal Nuno aren’t likely to start again this spring, unless it comes in a Minor League game. They’re running out of innings to go around, and players like CC Sabathia and Masahiro Tanaka need to take those starts. Nuno will relieve David Phelps tomorrow in Fort Myers, and Warren relieves Sabathia on Friday against the Pirates.
– There’s no decision yet on the fifth starter, but Girardi has been encouraged by the strong spring from this group.
“I have confidence in our guys. I believe in what they’re capable of doing,” Girardi said. “I’ve seen it. I’ve seen them do it on a pretty consistent basis. I believe that our rotation can be pretty good, I do. I think it can be really good. Obviously you have to avoid injuries. That always helps. With this competition for the fifth spot, these other guys have shown that, if we do have something to awry, that they can step in and do a pretty good job. I feel that we have a good rotation, we will have a good rotation, and we have depth.”
Girardi volunteered the names of Danny Burawa and Shane Greene, saying that they have “shown that they’re getting pretty close and they’re knocking on the door.”
– Girardi said they’ll “continue to discuss” using Alfonso Soriano as a backup first baseman, but they’re leaning more toward Kelly Johnson, who should get another start at first base this weekend.
“Kelly’s going to play a lot,” Girardi said. “I like what I’ve seen from him, and he’s going to play a lot.”
– Girardi said no decision has been made for a backup infielder at second and third bases. He carefully listed his candidates alphabetically so no one could read into it: Dean Anna, Eduardo Nunez, Scott Sizemore, Yangervis Solarte and Zelous Wheeler. Sizemore, by the way, has been out with a quad problem. Girardi said he could play by the end of the week. What you can read into that is that Nunez is, by no means, a lock to make this team.
– Brendan Ryan is still on track to play tomorrow against the Red Sox in Fort Myers. He has been out since the first week of March with a lower back/oblique issue.