Flores walk-off homer gives Yankees 9-8 win over Tigers


On a night where Esmil Rogers was competing for the fifth spot in the rotation, he had a tough outing, which forced the Yankees to play catchup. In the end, Ramon Flores‘s three-run home run was the difference, giving the Yankees a 9-8 win over the Detroit Tigers at George M. Steinbrenner Field at Tampa, Florida.

The Yankees scored on a Mark Teixeira RBI double in the first inning. In the bottom of the third, Carlos Beltran hit a SAC Fly to score Brett Gardner.In the bottom of the seventh, Didi Gregorius hit a RBI double, Francisco Arcia grounded into a force out and Kyle Higaishioka worked a bases loaded walk. In the bottom of the ninth, John Ryan Murphy hit a RBI single and Ramon Flores hit a three-run game-winning home run.

Esmil Rogers went three innings, giving up five runs on five hits and walking two. Andrew Miller pitched a scoreless inning, Dellin Betances gave up a run on a hit, Justin Wilson pitched a scoreless inning, Nick Rumbelow gave up two runs in his inning of work, James Pazos pitched a scoreless eighth and Diego Moreno pitched a scoreless ninth.

What’s Next?

— The New York Mets make the three hour trek to Tampa, Florida where they’ll take on Masahiro Tanaka and the New York Yankees. Rafael Montero ..read more

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Yankees recreate famous scene from “The Sandlot”

While we no longer have Mark Teixeira‘s talk show “Foul Territory” to entertain us, that’s not stopping the Yankees from giving the fans a few laughs right before the season begins.

Brett Gardner, Jacoby Ellsbury, CC Sabathia, Brian McCann, Didi Gregorius and an ensemble of Yankees reenacted one of the most famous scenes from “The Sandlot”, where Smalls ends up playing with a signed Babe Ruth ball and is scolded by his teammates for doing so. (Warning, you should never play with a signed Babe Ruth ball and then ask who is “she”. It won’t work in your favor). By the way, Brett Gardner plays a very comical Smalls and the Yankees made a great casting choice having Brian McCann play Hamilton ‘Ham’ Porter. If you haven’t seen it yet, the video is above and I also linked the original scene from the movie.

Some Notes:

— It seems the Yankees have eliminated CC Sabathia from the Opening Day competition since his next start is on Saturday. Sabathia could start on Opening Day if he went on short rest, but given the Yankees are taking it slow with him, it’s unlikely. Here are the starters for the next few games:

Tonight: Esmil Rogers Tomorrow: Masahiro Tanaka Thursday: Adam Warren Friday: Michael Pineda Saturday: CC Sabathia Sunday: Nathan Eovaldi

— Jacoby Ellsbury has started doing outfield sprints and according to Joe ..read more

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Evaluating the starters in the rotation so far


There’s only 13 days until the baseball season is underway and the games truly matter. Which means it’s not a bad time to evaluate each pitcher who has a locked spot in the rotation thus far. We’re not going to judge by their ERA or statistics because statistics in Spring Training don’t matter, but we’re going to evaluate how they’ve looked on the mound from observation.

CC Sabathia

The Good: Sabathia came into camp throwing the fastball in the mid 90’s which is a good sign. He was only able to top at 91, 92 MPH in the last two seasons and he’s already able to throw 93, 94 MPH.

The Bad: It’s only been two starts for Sabathia, but he’s been leaving the fastball up. In his last start, he gave up three home runs (one was an inside-the-park home run and the other two were legit no-doubters). Of course, Sabathia is taking it slow but there wasn’t much improvement since his first start, where he had one good inning and one poor inning. Sabathia’s whole outing the second time around was just…bad.

Masahiro Tanaka

The Good: So far, the elbow is intact and Tanaka is still fooling hitters with his splitter. He looked like the Tanaka of old in his last two starts.

The Bad: There really isn’t anything bad on Tanaka. You just hope his elbow continues to hold up, preferably for the entire season.

Nathan Eovaldi

The Good: Eovaldi has looked better than expected in camp and has been working on his breaking pitches. He’s been getting more strikeouts and his fastball just sizzles. In his first start, he threw 97 MPH. 97. If he throws 97 MPH now, imagine how hard he throws when he’s in mid-season ..read more

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Dellin Betances and Andrew Miller not bothered by bullpen uncertainty

New York Yankees Dellin Betances

The Yankees announced yesterday they weren’t going to announce a closer out of Spring Training, and if you thought the news would cause anxiety of some sort to Dellin Betances and Andrew Miller, it hasn’t. Miller and Betances know they’re going to be the late inning guys in the Yankees bullpen, they just don’t know which of the two will be the one taking the hill for the save.

“I think it’s helpful to know what role you have,” Betances said. “Not necessarily closer, but if you know you’re one of the late-inning guys, you kind of prepare yourself toward the end. At times, you never know, even if you’re a late-inning guy. Even when I was the eighth-inning guy, sometimes I came in in the sixth inning. You just have to prepare whenever your name is called and try to be ready.”

Most of the time, bullpen roles are determined as a season goes on; who’s pitching better in differet situation, who’s emerging as a top-flight reliever and who’s better fit to pitch to to lefties or righties. While Miller was in Boston, he recalled his former manager John Farrell didn’t assign roles. Miller pitched when Farrell deemed fit.

“I never got called into (Red Sox manager) John Farrell’s office (to be) told I was the seventh-inning lefty specialist or I was the setup guy or anything,” Miller said. “I think neither of us has been in a situation where we’ve been an anointed closer before, so it’s not like we can say that’s a comfort zone for us. When the phone rings, we’ll pitch, and until otherwise, I have no problem with it. And I can’t imagine anyone else does.

“I ..read more

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Jacoby Ellsbury optimistic he’ll be ready for Opening Day


As we all know, Jacoby Ellsbury is suffering from an oblique injury and isn’t slated to return to the lineup for a few more days. But with two weeks until Opening Day, there’s concern Ellsbury’s injury could slow him down. However, Ellsbury is certain he’ll be ready for Opening Day, despite the fact he hasn’t participated in baseball activity and is missing out on at-bats.

“I guess all I can tell is just how I feel each and every day,” Ellsbury told the media this morning. “But until I swing a bat, until I throw, until I do really explosive stuff, that will be the real test. But it does feel better each and every day.”

Ellsbury has had a history of injuries, which was what caused the Yankees to be cautious when signing him. Bu Ellsbury has reiterated that he’s not concerned with his latest setback and he just hopes he can get a few swings in before the season begins.

“Coming into the season I felt pretty good,” he said. “I got some at-bats across the street and everything. I felt pretty good. I felt like I was seeing the ball, tracking pitches. And I felt pretty good a couple of days ago in the games with that (before getting hurt). Hopefully I should get some at-bats before we break.”

Ellsbury’s not only important to the Yankees lineup, he’s an important member of the team. And his teammates tend to notice when his presence is missed.

“If not the most important, one of the most important guys on our team and definitely in our lineup,” Alex Rodriguez said. “He is certainly one of the guys that I’m super excited about coming back. He’s kind of a rock ..read more

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Spring Training Notes: Beltran, Ellsbury, Nova and Rodriguez


It’s currently raining in Tampa, so there’s question on whether there will be a game this afternoon. But in the meantime, there is some news in Yankees camp on this Monday morning. So without further ado, here are some Spring Training notes.

Carlos Beltran and Alex Rodriguez were slated to play in a minor league game this afternoon, but it was rained out. Beltran and Rodriguez are currently waiting for the Yankees to give them a new assignment.

Update: The Yankees have called off the intrasquad game and instead Rodriguez and Beltran will work indoors.

Ivan Nova threw another bullpen, and this time incorporated breaking pitches. The Yankees say it’s possible for Nova to throw batting practice next week.

Jacoby Ellsbury says his oblique strain is better but he hasn’t started doing baseball activity yet. The Yankees are expecting him to get more treatment today.

— After yesterday’s 6-0 loss, Joe Girardi said there’s a legitimate chance the Yankees won’t announce who’s the closer right out of Spring Training.

“It’s possible, yeah,” Girardi said. “I think it’s kind of on the backburner for us in a lot of our discussions. Discussions that have kind of taken over the conversation have been the fifth starter, backup catcher, those sort of things. We feel good about our ..read more

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Brett Gardner was offered Derek Jeter’s old locker


It’s become quite obvious no one can replace Derek Jeter in the clubhouse or on the field, but one day someone is going to have to take his vacant locker, the same locker he occupied for the last 19 seasons. The question is, who? The Yankees answered that question on Friday when equipment manager Rob Cucuzza approached Brett Gardner on the situation and suggested Gardner move into Jeter’s old locker.

“He mentioned it to me, but I don’t know if anybody else is taking it or if he wants me to take it,” Gardner said to the New York Post of Cucuzza. “I told him I thought he should leave it vacant. But he said he can’t leave it vacant forever, obviously.”

When Gardner first stepped into the Yankees clubhouse in 2009, he was given whatever locker the team had available. However, after being the longest tenured homegrown Yankee and signed through at least 2018, Gardner deserved the right to upgrade his locker and the team wants him to have Jeter’s. Gardner on the other hand, isn’t sure if he should.

“I haven’t really put too much thought into it, out of respect for other guys,” Gardner said. “Maybe somebody else is getting it, or I’m not getting it.”

How does Joe Girardi feel about the entire locker debate?

“It’s a locker,”  Girardi said. “It’s not [Jeter’s] number. It’s not a ‘C’ on your chest. It’s a locker. He had a locker at the old Yankee Stadium. They didn’t move that over.

“Is it a convenient locker? Yes. Someone will probably really like it. But that’s Robbie’s job, and I let Robbie do his job.”

Cucuzza reminded Gardner that Jeter’s locker can’t stay vacant forever, but ..read more

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Jose Pirela suffers injury after collision with CF wall


There are injuries that happen off the field and then there are terrible injuries that you never want to see during a Spring Training game.

On the first batter of the game, Jose Pirela went to chase a fly ball in center field and crashed into the wall, hitting his head on the warning track as he went down. After a few moments on the ground, Pirela was escorted off the field by a cart and was later taken to the hospital by ambulance. He was reportedly holding his head while on the gurney which gives indication Pirela suffered a head injury.

This post will be updated once we get more information on Pirela’s condition.

2:38 p.m.: The Yankees have announced Jose Pirela has a concussion and is currently getting a CT Scan at Tradition Medical Center.

5:50 p.m.: Brian Cashman reported Jose Pirela’s CT Scan came back normal. He’s now undergoing a cervical MRI.

6:43 p.m.: The Yankees announced the results of Jose Pirela’s MRI and CT Scans were normal and he was discharged from the hospital.

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