The Yankees are playing an intrasquad game today in preparation for their Grapefruit League opener tomorrow. It would be the first “baseball game” the Yankees have played since last September, and for Alex Rodriguez, it would be the first game he’s played in almost two years. As the games begin tomorrow, I had some thoughts about what happened over the last week and a half and I figured I’d share some of my musings before the baseball season begins tomorrow.
— A lot of the focus has been on Alex Rodriguez, and I mean a lot. Over the last week, there has been non-stop coverage of A-Rod and fairly so: he’s been out of the game for the last two years and everyone is interested in seeing whether he can return to playing form. So far, I’ve heard Rodriguez is doing pretty well: he’s been hitting batting practice homers and fielding grounders. It’s not the same as actually getting into a Spring Training game, but it’s something.
— The attention surrounding Didi Gregorius has almost been mute, which is the opposite of what people were expecting. Greogrius is replacing Derek Jeter, so you would think Gregorius would get most of the attention. But because of Alex Rodriguez’s return to baseball, Gregorius–like most of the Yankees–have flown under the radar.
— Joe Girardi announced who he was taking with him to Clearwater tomorrow as the team faces the Philadelphia Phillies. The list included Jacoby Ellsbury, Brett Gardner, Chris Young, Garrett Jones, Rob Refsnyder, Aaron Judge, John Ryan Murphy, Austin Romine, Adam Warren, Luis Severino and Jacob Lindgren. If there is anyone from this list that I’m excited to see, it has to be Luis Severino. I was incredibly impressed with his stuff during the “Future’s Game” last year, and he’s one of the top prospects in the organization. Tuesday’s game also seems to be the beginning of the Murphy vs. Romine back-up catching competition. Murphy is the favorite to win, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Romine got the job simply because he no longer has minor league options.
— Today I also realized I need to shake off some baseball rust: Joe Girardi named the two intrasquad teams Gator and Goose and I questioned why on Twitter…only to be told it’s the nicknames of Ron Guidry and Goose Gossage. I guess it’s Spring Training for everyone, myself included.