The game recap may be in a different thread. Stay tuned.
One reason for that is because I want the title and purpose of this post to stay. Here is today’s lineup:
Derek Jeter SS
Nick Swisher RF
Mark Teixeira 1B
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Robinson Cano 2B
Jorge Posada DH
Curtis Granderson CF
Andruw Jones LF
Russell Martin C
RHP Freddy Garcia
Outside of Brett Gardner, what do you see? You see a lineup of regulars. No offense to the scrubs, but there are no bench players in the starting lineup today. No Nunez, Pena, Maxwell, Laird, Vazquez, Montero, Golson, etc. … Nope. What you see could be a lineup in July. With Garcia on the mound.
Not only that, Rivera should be making his first appearance in a game today. LoHud states: We’ll see a lot of the regular Yankees bullpen, with Rafael Soriano, Joba Chamberlain and Dave Robertson also scheduled to pitch.
Together with that lineup, it’ll seem like a regular season game.
Available in the bullpen today: Rivera, Soriano, Chamberlain, Robertson, Brackman, Romulo Sanchez, Steve Garrison, Ryan Pope, Eric Wordekemper and Dellin Betances. Everyone after Brackman seems to be a backup.
• Off the bench: C Gustavo Molina, 1B Eric Chavez, 2B Ronnie Belliard, SS Eduardo Nunez, 3B Kevin Russo, LF Melky Mesa, CF Austin Krum, RF Daniel Brewer and DH Kyle Higashioka.
In other words, NOW we get serious. Hopefully not much more (if any) looks at Rule 5 pitchers or pitchers AAA or AA bound that we know aren’t prospects (I’d love to see more of Banuelos and Betances, though). Now I also want to know how long the starters go. Six? Seven? No more three innings and out anymore.
Cuts should be today.
Something to watch out for: There is a nice piece by Phil Rogers today about a potential developing deal that could have serious ramifications for the AL and NL pennant races. As you know, Michael Young isn’t too happy with his situation in Texas. Young can play 2B, SS and 3B. The Phils have concerns about Chase Utley’s knee. Could Texas and Philly be working on a deal to send Young to Philly, maybe for a pitcher (no, not Halladay or Lee)? Rogers states that according to sources, the Phils proposed Blanton and Polanco for Young. After losing Jayson Werth via free agency to Washington, the Phils are top-heavy in lefty hitting. Young would alleviate that with his righty bat. Texas could get back some pitching help to alleviate the hit they took when Lee signed on with Philly. Rogers reports that the Phils (currently 2nd in payroll to the Yanks) wanted Texas to pick up the $16MM Young is owed in 2013, when Blanton’s and Polanco’s deals will be off the books. The Rangers passed, but it’s something to keep eyes on. It’s one of those deals that does make sense all the way around, and one that could have huge implications throughout both leagues. Could the Rangers hold out for Oswalt or Hamels and break up that Phab Phour before they get rolling? Who knows. I’ve wondered why the Phils don’t look at David Eckstein. He’s a free agent, and a pest who has won two WS rings and a WS MVP. Eckstein has no power and is 36, but is one of those players who knows how to win. He does all the little things (and no, that is not a joke on his height). I’d look at him if I were in that situation. Anyway, Rogers says that Texas CEO Nolan Ryan and Phils’ special assistant Charlie Kerfeld are good friends from when they were teammates on the 1986 Astros’ NL West Champs. He also states that both teams have been closely following each other. This is a good “heads up” by Rogers about something that has serious potential. Kudos to Rogers for the info.
Update from the Lower Hudson Journal (LoHud):
Looks like we have our first set of cuts. Adam Warren and D.J. Mitchell are clearing their lockers. The lockers for David Phelps, Hector Noesi, Brian Anderson, Andy Sisco and Buddy Carlyle are already empty.
Therefore we learn one thing. The #4 and #5 slots won’t go to longshots Phelps, Warren or Noesi. They’ll be AAA-bound. It’s between Nova, Colon, Garcia and Mitre.
Happy birthday, Manny Banuelos. The young phenom turns 20 today. As LoHud states, youngest guy in camp.
Also cut: Neal Cotts. More from Lohud:
The only minor league starters still in big league camp are Andrew Brackman, Dellin Betances and Manny Banuelos (and maybe Steve Garrison, depending on how the Yankees plan to use him this season). Might not be long before the Yankees have to send some of the Killer Bs down as well to give them innings.
(My note: midseason call possibilities?) Combined spring numbers for Mitchell and Warren: 8 G, 10.2 IP, 9 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 10 K, 2.53 ERA. Mitchell walked no one. Warren allowed just one earned run.