Spring Game 19: Yankees at Tigers

We’re at Joker Marchant Stadium in Lakeland, Fla. this afternoon as the Yankees visit the Tigers for a 1:05 p.m. ET contest. Adam Warren gets the start for the Yanks, opposite Alfredo Simon. Old friend Joba Chamberlain is listed among the Tigers’ pitchers for this game.

The game will mark the first spring action for shortstop Brendan Ryan, as the Yankees toss him into a game at shortstop. Ryan was bouncing around the clubhouse back in Tampa, shouting loudly and wearing a backpack, so it’s safe to say he’s just a little excited to get out there. He’ll play four or five innings. Brett Gardner, Brian McCann and Alex Rodriguez also are in the Yanks’ lineup.

There’s no TV or radio, either New York or Detroit, for this game. Sorry about that. Here are the lineups, followed by some notes & quotes…

YANKEES (10-7-1)
Brett Gardner cf
Brendan Ryan ss
Brian McCann c
Alex Rodriguez dh
Garrett Jones 1b
Chris Young rf
Jose Pirela 3b
Rob Refsnyder 2b
Ramon Flores lf

Adam Warren rhp

In relief: Chase Whitley, Chris Martin

TIGERS (6-12-1)
Rajai Davis lf
Anthony Gose cf
Ian Kinsler 2b
J.D. Martinez rf
Yoenis Cespedes dh
Alex Avila c
Nick Castellanos 3b
Jordan Lennerton 1b
Jose Iglesias ss

Alfredo Simon rhp

In relief: Joe Nathan, Joba Chamberlain, Bruce Rondon, Joakim Soria

Tex messaging: Joe Girardi said that he has been happy with what Mark Teixeira has shown so far this spring.

“What I’ve seen is, he’s healthy, which I think last year was a struggle with his wrist on and off,” Girardi said. “It has been strong. He’s let it go. I’ve talked to him a couple of times after he’s played a couple of days, and he says he feels great. To me that’s encouraging.”

A-OK: A-Rod has one hit in his last 12 at-bats, but Girardi said he has no concerns there.

“I’m OK with his at-bats. That’s just normal for hitters to go through that,” he said. “The real importance is the last 10 days to feel that all our hitters are in a good spot leading up to the season. We’re not there yet. Still timing issues. I see some guys timing improving a lot the last few days. We want to continue that.”

For openers: CC Sabathia has started on Opening Day in each of his previous six seasons with the Yankees, but Girardi acknowledged on Friday that streak may be coming to an end. Girardi said he has four or five decent candidates to make the April 6 start vs. Toronto.

“I’ve got to make sure he’s ready,” Girardi said. “A lot of times it’s a big story for who’s the Opening Day starter, but after Opening Day, does anyone really care? I think it’s a bigger story who’s the Game 1 starter in the playoffs. That’s a bigger story to me, but I understand why it’s a big story because it’s Opening Day and there is a little something that goes with it. But I think when players look back on their career, they’re not going to say, ‘I was the Opening Day starter only 11 times instead of 12.’”

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