Spring Training: Day 5 Notes

Jacoby Ellsbury 4

It was a pretty quiet day overall, except for Lloyd McClendon and Kevin Long getting involved in a word war about Robinson Cano, so let’s end the day (barring some breaking news happening in the next couple of hours) with some notes from camp today.

Jacoby Ellsbury showed up to camp today, the day before position players are slated to report. Ellsbury has already been told by Joe Girardi that he will be the Yankees lead-off hitter and center fielder. The move means Brett Gardner will move lower in the lineup and will be the Yankees left fielder.

Kelly Johnson (who seems to be the utility man for every position) brought three sets of gloves with him to Spring Training. He brought an outfield glove, an infield glove and a first base glove. I think it would be a good idea for the Yankees to find someone who can help Johnson be the backup to every position on the field.

Brendan Ryan knows he isn’t Derek Jeter, so he expects to be booed when he plays backup in the Captain’s final year with the Yankees.

“When I heard the news that this was his last year I was like, oh man, I don’t know if that’s good news or bad news,” Ryan said. “I’m still trying to process that just from a selfish standpoint. … (Friends have) been encouraging, but they’ve also been prepared — reminding me it’s not going to be a standing ovation every time.

“You identify certain guys with certain teams,” Ryan said. “It can be disappointing, but it’s hard to play 162. … I apologize to those fans who come when he’s not playing.”

— Brian Cashman was in camp today watching Ivan Nova throw to live hitters, but he wasn’t necessarily evaluating him.

“It’s so early,” Cashman said. “As long as everybody is free and easy, there’s really not much to tell from the bullpen sessions or batting practice. … I’ve seen Tanaka throw once. It applies to everybody, to be honest. As long as they’re free and easy, right now that’s all you can hope for.”

— Tomorrow is when the remaining position players will report (I’m looking at you Gardner, Ichiro Suzuki and Alfonso Soriano) but the main event will be Derek Jeter’s retirement press conference. I would expect the entire Yankees team to be there just like last year when Mariano Rivera announced his retirement.

If Cashman had known Jeter was going to retire after this season, would he have spent any any differently during the offseason?

“No,” Cashman said. “We got the players we wanted.”

Yu Darvish jokingly told the media that the Yankees paid Masahiro Tanaka too much money to play for them. Unfortunately, the media thought he was serious, which led to some backlash. Darvish apologized and all ended well. That was easy.

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