Spring Game 1: Yankees at Phillies

Hello from Bright House Field in Clearwater, Fla., where the Yankees will open their Spring Training schedule this afternoon against the Phillies. First pitch is scheduled for 1:05 p.m. ET, and the game can be seen live on MLB.tv. It will be broadcast tonight by MLB Network on tape delay at 9 p.m. ET. Conditions are expected to be partly cloudy and in the low 80s — a perfect day to open up the Grapefruit League schedule.

Here’s a glance at some of the topics that came up in Joe Girardi’s early press conference back at Steinbrenner Field –

Batting Jacoby Ellsbury leadoff and Brett Gardner second:
“It’s definitely a possibility. I think that both of them are capable of leading off. Ells has done it a little more in his career than Gardy, but I just kind of like the combination of those two guys together. We’ll take a look at it a lot this spring as we try to keep the outfielders together a lot early on, and the infielders together, just to see how it works. Left-handed, right-handed, in my mind right now I’m not really worried either way.”

Having Ellsbury and Gardner steal more in 2015:
“I would love it to be a successful tool whenever they can do it. That’s the key. Our success rate was really good last year. The one thing you don’t want to do is run yourself out of innings. But they’re both capable of stealing a ton of bases, creating a lot of pressure. Putting pressure on defenses, pitchers; maybe taking 10 percent, 15, 20 percent of their attention off the hitter, which is always great for the hitter, and I like that.”

The positive reaction from Steinbrenner Field fans for Alex Rodriguez:
“Everyone is going to look at it differently. Some people are going to look at that he was caught, and he paid his time, and now he’s back, and he’s a Yankee, and we’re going to cheer for him. Some people are going to say, you know what, I might have a hard time cheering for him. And some people are just fans, and they fall in love with a player, and no matter what they do, it doesn’t matter. So I’m not really surprised necessarily. He’s one of the guys that has been here a long time. He was part of our championship in 2009, and I think people still understand that. And I think people are curious how he’s going to do. There are probably a lot of people that are cheering for him to do well.”

Watching Luis Severino’s excitement level during his spring debut:
“You see a lot of times young players trying to do too much, and I bring it up a little bit, (David) Phelps and (Adam) Warren, the growth that we saw from one Spring Training to the next is amazing, because I think the second Spring Training that they came in they were much more relaxed. Our job is to guard against him trying to do too much and if he gets into a situation where we see that, maybe he doesn’t go quite as long as he was supposed to. But I mean he should be excited and that’s normal. We all went through that. I can remember how excited I was. As you tell players that you’re going to have nerves, that’s a good thing, actually. It’s not a bad thing. It’s adrenaline and you care and you to impress, but we’ve got to make sure they don’t overdo it.”

Here are the lineups:

Jacoby Ellsbury cf
Brett Gardner lf
Chris Young rf
Garrett Jones 1b
Jose Pirela 2b
Austin Romine c
Kyle Roller dh
Jonathan Galvez 3b
Nick Noonan ss

Adam Warren rhp

Probable relievers: Luis Severino rhp, Jacob Lindgren lhp, Branden Pinder rhp, Nick Goody rhp and Diego Moreno rhp.

Ben Revere cf
Freddy Galvis ss
Grady Sizemore lf
Ryan Howard 1b
Carlos Ruiz dh
Domonic Brown rf
Cody Asche 3b
Cesar Hernandez 2b
Cameron Rupp c

Jerome Williams rhp

Here’s how we covered the game: 

Yanks of future make big statements in spring opener

Ellsbury-Gardner tandem could top Yanks’ lineup often

Severino’s battle with Howard opens Yanks’ eyes

Hulking Judge announces presence with force

A-Rod excited for spring debut Wednesday

Versatile Warren an asset to Yanks regardless of role

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