S.T. Game 2. A-Rod homers, but Yanks lose 13-4

Alex Rodriguez hit a 2-run HR in his first at bat, but the Yanks lost to the Phillies, 13-4.

A few things I take out of today’s game.

It’ll be an interesting spring for Ivan Nova. Right now it appears that he is the sixth man in a five man rotation. Will there be an injury that puts Nova into the rotation? Will the young Luis Severino show that he needs more minor league time, hence putting Nova in the rotation? Will Nova have to go to the bullpen and become this year’s “Adam Warren”, a long reliever who is on the ready to spot start or fill in the rotation should another starter go down?

Or will Nova be showcased as trade bait?

Nova hasn’t had a good time of it since 2013, when he went 9-6, 3.10 but missed about 1/3 of the season. Since then, he is 8-13 with a 5.65 ERA, and has gone through Tommy John surgery.

This is a very important spring training for him as far as re-establishing value and determining his role—whether it is with the Yankees or with another team.

Nova pitched two innings today, giving up one run.

It wasn’t a good day for a couple of youngsters trying to step up and take the role that Justin Wilson had last year as a setup man. Wilson, as we know, was traded to the Tigers. We also know that Aroldis Chapman won’t be available until May 9. So for the first month, we will see what we saw last year, Betances setting up Miller.

But it is who comes before them that is in flux. Chasen Shreve is back, but Warren and Wilson are gone and replacements must be found this spring.

For Jacob Lindgren and James Pazos, today wasn’t a good day. The two combined to pitch one inning and to give up seven runs.

Others didn’t stand out either.

But it’s early. Hopefully they do better next time. In Lindgren’s case, no command. 1 HBP, 3 walks and all four runners scored.

But there are a couple of storylines for you this spring. Where does Nova wind up, and who are going to be the setup guys—the bridge to the Big 3 of Betances, Miller and Chapman?

Today’s pitching line:

Nova 2 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 0 walks and 1 K.
Moreno (BS) 2 IP, 1 R, 3 hits, 0 walks and 3 K. Gave up HR
Lindgren 1/3 IP, 4 R, 0 hits, 3 walks, 0 K, 1 HBP
Swarzak 1 IP, 2 R, 4 H, 0 walks and 0 K
Pazos 2/3 IP, 3 R, 2 H, 1 walk and 0 K. 1 HBP
Pinder 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 walks and 2 K. The best of the bunch today.
Webb 1 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 1 walk and 0 K
Lail 1 IP, 1 R, 1 H, 0 walks and 0 K. Gave up HR.

A couple of days ago, the Yanks signed Chris Denorfia to a minor league deal. The 35 yr. old outfielder is a righty bat. He hit .269-3-18 for the Cubs last year (OPS+ 89). His 162 g. average is .272-8-39, 11 SB, OPS+ 103. He has played for the Reds, A’s, Padres, Mariners and Cubs in his career.



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