Johnson, Gardner and Cervelli make spring debuts

Kelly Johnson

The first Spring Training game of the 2014 season is today (unfortunately no radio and no T.V.) but the lineup was posted. Brett Gardner, Kelly Johnson and Francisco Cervelli will all make their Spring debuts today; Gardner will play center field, Johnson will play third base and Cervelli will go behind the plate. Sure, it’s a game against Florida State University, but it’s still an exciting time nonetheless. We get to see what kind of fielder Kelly Johnson is at third base. He has played the position before as a Tampa Bay Ray, so he wasn’t learning the entire process; instead he was refining the way he plays third.

When you’re an infielder, when you play baseball, you’ve got an eye on other positions,” he said. “You kind of know. I think we’ve all got an idea before we can go somewhere what we’ve got to do. It’s not like you’re just completely fresh and new. … I think the one thing that’s kind of stood out that I’ve had to concentrate on is catching the ball and being in the best position to get the throw to first as strong and accurate as possible. Trying to cut out any little things. There’s always something. You kind of catch and at second you kind of have a little more time, so it’s not as important that your fielding mechanics, your throwing mechanics are as perfect. Now, I’ve got to make sure my shoulder is pointed to the bag. Don’t get too turned. Don’t (do) anything extra that could give the runner an advantage. Just stuff like that. Be a little more aware of having a little less time.”

The rest of the team did their workouts prior to the game. Shawn Kelley, David Robertson, Matt Thornton and Yoshinori Tateyama threw bullpen sessions while the rest of the hitters stretched and participated in batting practice.

The players in the starting lineup are only slated to play 1-2 innings, so here are the second string players, along with the pitchers slated to come out of the bullpen during today’s game:

Today’s second string: C Gary Sanchez, 1B Jose Gil, 2B Corban Joseph, SS Dean Anna, 3B Jose Pirela, LF Antoan Richardson, CF Mason Williams, RF Ramon Flores, DH Pete O’Brien

· Today’s scheduled relievers: Brian Gordon, Shane Greene, Bryan Mitchell, Francisco Rondon (Chase Whitley, Fred Lewis and Dan Burawa are listed as just-in-case backups).

Vidal Nuno will get the ball for the Yankees and first pitch is at 1:05 p.m.

Photo: Jim McIsaac/Getty Images North America

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