With Joe Girardi out of town for the next couple of days, Rob Thomson will get a chance to manage the Yankees–well, what’s left of the Yankees. The Yankees called up some minor league help from across the street to fill in for the “big name” players that flew to Panama to honor Mariano Rivera in the two game series this weekend.
Thomson’s first order of business–watching David Phelps take on the Minnesota Twins this afternoon at 1:05 p.m. The Twins are playing a split squad series, meaning former Yankee Phil Hughes will stay at the Twins home ballpark and pitch against the Baltimore Orioles. It’s kind of a bummer, I was looking forward to the Yankees possibly seeing Hughes this Spring but I’m sure there will be many chances during the season.
— Brian McCann was looking forward to going to Panama, until Girardi told him the change of plans on Wednesday. McCann wasn’t disappointed, as he took this as a new opportunity to get to know the pitching staff.
“I’m catching quite a bit because I need to see these guys,” McCann said. “I’m going to start catching back-to-back. I’ve done it once, I’ll do it again, and by the end I’ll probably catch three in a row, which in spring training you don’t usually do. Down here I need to see everybody multiple times. … I have to. I need to. It’s a big deal to see them.”
— Manny Banuelos will pitch for the Yankees today. He should be one of the first pitchers out of the Yankees bullpen.
— Russ Canzler is playing another position on the field for the first time this Spring. Canzler has a long shot to make the team out of camp but if he can show versatility defensively, he could hook onto the Yankees roster as the season goes on.
Update: Canzler was just scratched from the lineup with stiffness. Rob Segedin will play third base and bat ninth.
— The minor league players that will fill in for the major league players for the next couple of days are: RHP Branden Pinder, LHP Aaron Dott, LHP James Pazos, C Wes Wilson, 2B Rob Refsnyder, SS Carmen Angelini, 3B Rob Segedin, UT Ali Castillo, OF Ben Gamel, OF Taylor Dugas, OF Jake Cave.
— The Yankees that did go to Panama City arrived last night. They’re planning to visit the Panama Canal and have a team official dinner tonight with Mariano Rivera. Tomorrow is when the two game series begins with CC Sabathia taking the mound for the Yankees.