Archive for the ‘ Dailies ’ Category

Yanks have a rotation decision: Burnett No. 2 starter

A.J. Burnett will be the Yankees’ No. 2 starter and Phil Hughes is the No. 3 starter, Joe Girardi confirmed today.

Girardi said that it was their plan all along to have Burnett following CC Sabathia in the rotation, but they wanted to use the spring to evaluate the pair of right-handers.
“It’s what we brought him here to do,” Girardi said of Burnett, who was 10-15 with a 5.26 ERA last season for New York.
Burnett lines up to make his first start April 2 against the Tigers at Yankee Stadium; Hughes follows him the next day against Detroit.
Earlier in the day, Burnett said he’d accept whatever decision was made. 
“It shows they have faith in what they brought me here to do,” Burnett said. “Either way, just give me the ball.”
  • The Yankees have sent Andrew Brackman and Dellin Betances to Minor League camp. Brackman will start the year at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre; Betances will begin at Double-A Trenton.
  • Russell Martin was in New York’s original lineup today but Girardi decided to rest him after he took a beating catching Burnett’s four innings yesterday against the Blue Jays in Dunedin, starting Austin Romine instead. Martin is fine physically and will catch Sabathia tomorrow against the Phillies in Clearwater.
  • Ivan Nova will pitch a simulated game tomorrow at George M. Steinbrenner Field. 
  • In case you’re looking ahead, Manny Banuelos will pitch on Monday against the Rays in Port Charlotte behind Bartolo Colon.
  • As I sit here in the press box writing this blog post, Dante Girardi is taking batting practice off his dad. He belted one homer into the right-field party deck (OK, so he’s hitting with a metal bat from shallow right field. Still, that’s not bad for 8 years old!).

A pitch away, Garcia gives one up

Freddy Garcia was one pitch away from a quality start when David Cooper unloaded on a well-hit two-run homer, landing in the right-field party deck at George M. Steinbrenner Field and bouncing out of the ballpark.

Garcia knows he needs to pitch well this spring to secure one of the Yankees’ open rotation slots, and this effort is a bag of mixed results. He bent backwards near the mound after the Cooper homer in frustration.
He started strong, facing the minimum through three innings, but allowed three Blue Jays runs in the fourth inning and finished permitting five runs in six innings. He walked none and struck out six.
Mariano Rivera threw a scoreless seventh inning for his third spring appearance, setting the Blue Jays down in order – strikeout looking, strikeout looking, groundout to first base. He’s ready for Opening Day.

Cashman: Fifth starter will be decided soon

The Yankees have been saying, in Joe Girardi’s voice, that the battle for the two vacant slots in the rotation could go down to the final week of Spring Training. But general manager Brian Cashman said Saturday that they may hurry that decision along sooner.

With Ivan Nova seemingly in line for at least one of the spots after firing six hitless innings against the Orioles his last time out and Sergio Mitre heading for a long reliever role, it appears to be down to Bartolo Colon and Freddy Garcia for the last slot. 
Both have outs in their contracts that could make them free agents, and it is unclear if both pitchers would accept assignments to the bullpen. 
“I think we’re going to have to make that [decision] sooner than later,” Cashman said. “Ultimately, we have guys who have outs in their contracts with Garcia and Colon. We have to stretch guys out and start defining roles sooner than later.”
Speaking before Garcia took the mound against the Blue Jays on Saturday, Cashman said that he has been pleased with the competition thus far. 
“Everybody’s working hard, they’re doing a good job,” Cashman said. “It’s probably the best scenario that we could have hoped for as we entered camp with everybody, having a good strong competition. Anybody can make their case and we’re going to have to make a call here shortly.”

Grapefruit League Game 22: Yankees at Blue Jays

March 18, 2011, 1:05 p.m. ET – Florida Auto Exchange Stadium – Dunedin, Fla.
TV: None / Radio: None

YANKEES (8-11-2)

Brett Gardner LF, Russell Martin C, Curtis Granderson CF, Nick Swisher RF, Jorge Posada DH, Eric Chavez 1B, Eduardo Nunez 2B, Ronnie Belliard 3B, Ramiro Pena SS
Pitching: A.J. Burnett RHP (1-0, 2.00 ERA)
Also scheduled to pitch: Sergio Mitre, Andrew Brackman
BLUE JAYS (10-9)
Corey Patterson CF, John McDonald SS, Jose Bautista 3B, Adam Lind 1B, Juan Rivera RF, Travis Snider LF, Jose Molina C, Eric Thames DH, Mike McCoy 2B
Pitching: Brandon Morrow RHP (1-0, 1.29 ERA)
Also scheduled to pitch: Jon Rauch, David Purcey, Mike Hinckley
  • Hello from Dunedin, where the Yankees and Blue Jays are meeting for the second time this spring. It’s in the mid-70’s without a cloud in the sky, a perfect sunny Florida day, and the flags are lightly blowing in from right-center field while the Spin Doctors’ “Two Princes” plays on the left-center field speakers.
  • Slow morning at Yankees camp, but Joe Girardi did have a couple of small tidbits. Lefties Pedro Feliciano and Boone Logan are both being slowed by aches – Feliciano has a little dead arm soreness near his left triceps, and Logan had back spasms after throwing a scoreless inning last night vs. Tampa Bay. Feliciano will throw a bullpen tomorrow; Logan might be out for four or five days.
  • Joba Chamberlain is scheduled to throw a bullpen tomorrow.&n
  • Girardi promises he’ll have the regular season order of A.J. Burnett and Phil Hughes in the Yankees rotation tomorrow. They’ve gone through camp with Hughes following CC Sabathia.
  • Girardi seems to love the idea of having Eric Chavez on the bench. “I think there’s some upside there,” he said. “You watch him swing the bat – I saw him hit a double over the left fielder’s head, he has pull power. We know that he can play defense. He’s an interesting guy to have, for sure.”
  • Alex Rodriguez has homered in three straight games, driven in a run in five straight and hit in all 11 of his spring contests. He’s not on today’s trip, though. Last night’s homer outdid Jorge Vazquez for the longest Steinbrenner Field blast of the spring – they don’t offer tape measure distances, but it cleared the center-field batters eye with plenty of room to spare.
  • Sergio Mitre returns to action today in relief. They have A.J. Burnett slated for 75-80 pitches.
  • There are 13 days until Opening Day.

Grapefruit League Game 21: Yankees vs. Rays

March 17, 2011, 7:05 p.m. ET – George M. Steinbrenner Field – Tampa, Fla.
TV: None / Radio: None

RAYS (8-9-1)
Ben Zobrist 2B, Johnny Damon LF, Evan Longoria 3B, Manny Ramirez DH, Matt Joyce RF, B.J. Upton CF, Dan Johnson 1B, Reid Brignac SS, John Jaso C 

Pitching: Chris Bootcheck RHP (0-2, 10.80 ERA this spring)

YANKEES (7-11-2)

Brett Gardner LF, Derek Jeter SS, Mark Teixeira 1B, Alex Rodriguez 3B, Robinson Cano 2B, Nick Swisher RF, Jorge Posada DH, Curtis Granderson CF, Jesus Montero C
Pitching: Phil Hughes RHP (0-0, 5.00 ERA this spring)
Also pitching: Boone Logan, Romulo Sanchez, Luis Ayala
  • Happy St. Patrick’s Day from George M. Steinbrenner Field. Brett Gardner moves into the leadoff spot tonight as Joe Girardi continues to play with ideas of how to stack his lineup for the regular season. Gardner led the Yankees in on-base percentage last year and fits the bill for what they want from a leadoff hitter. “Obviously you want a guy that gets on all the time and has the ability to score runs in a lot of different ways,” Girardi said.
  • Of course, they’re not ready to commit to this just yet. Derek Jeter is still expected to hit at the top of the order, so the two-hole could work for him, but they also are in no hurry to bump Nick Swisher out of the No. 2 spot. Girardi did say he believes Swisher is one of several versatile Yankees who can hit anywhere needed in the order. Girardi said the Yankees have eight or nine more games in which they can toy with it.
  • Rafael Soriano threw 21 pitches in a Minor League game on Thursday but said he did not feel like his fastball and slider were up to snuff. He next expects to pitch Sunday at Philadelphia.
  • Switch-pitcher Pat Venditte is here tonight as a backup in case they need him.
  • Injury updates – Sergio Mitre (oblique) will pitch tomorrow in relief against the Blue Jays. Joba Chamberlain (oblique) threw a light side session today on flat ground.
  • Leonel Vinas, the right-hander signed from Hank Steinbrenner’s “Hank’s Yanks” youth team, debuted today. He threw a scoreless inning with a strikeout for Class-A Charleston against Class-A Tampa. 
  • There are 14 days until Opening Day.

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