Spring Training Notes: Beltran, Ellsbury, Nova and Rodriguez

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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

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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

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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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Sabathia and Yankees head to Port St. Lucie to take on Mets

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Everyone has a specific match-up they look forward to, whether it’d be Yankees vs. Red Sox, Yankees vs. Giants and so forth. However mine is the Subway Series between the Yankees and the New York Mets, and while this isn’t a real match-up between the two teams, it’s still exciting. What’s more exciting is the fans get a  glimpse at Mets ace Matt Harvey, who is coming off Tommy John Surgery. He’ll be opposed by CC Sabathia who had a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde start his last time ou.

Since Harvey made his way onto the Major League scene in 2012, there has been dominance. Harvey started the All-Star Game when it was hosted in Citi Field (which Yankees fans remember since Harvey accidentally hit ex-Yankee Robinson Cano with a pitch, forcing him out of the game). He’s also been dubbed “The Dark Knight” of Gotham City, not to mention earn the respect of his Mets teammates. With an impressive resume in such a short time, surely, you would think CC Sabathia would be interested in getting a good glimpse at Harvey.

“Not really,” Sabathia told the media. “He’s not on my team. I’m curious to see how Tanaka looks. That’s my guy.”

Going from Tampa to Port St. Lucie is a 2 h 31 min drive, so why did Sabathia opt to go on this trip when the other veterans, aside from Mark Teixeira and Chase Headley, were allowed to stay behind in Tampa?

“We talked about just wanting the competition,” he said. “I haven’t pitched since May, so just thought this would be the best ..read more

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Joe Girardi not amused with Brett Gardner climbing over the wall

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During today’s 3-2 win against the Houston Astros, one of the most talked about stories after the game was Brett Gardner hopping over the center field wall to retrieve Chris Young‘s glove after Young lost it on a two-run home run by Chris Carter. However, while most people found it comical, Joe Girardi wasn’t amused with the idea of potentially losing his left fielder due to injury for his Spiderman-like climbing abilities.

“I told him this isn’t, you know, Little League,” Girardi said with a slight laugh, but he also advised Gardner to not try defying stunts in the future.

Gardner figured getting the glove back for Chris Young was the least he could do for his teammate, and said pace of play was the reason he made his move.

“We’re working on pace of game in spring training,” Gardner explained. “And Chris Young was like, ‘You think I’m going to have to jump over there?’ I said, ‘If you’re not going to, I am.’ Otherwise, we’re going to be waiting 10 minutes for someone to go all the way around and get your glove. So I just said, all right, I’ll do it, whatever.”

It was easier for Gardner to get out of the stadium than to get back in. So what would he have done if he couldn’t get back in?

“I would’ve probably walked around back to the player’s lot to my truck and left, maybe,” Gardner said. “If I stayed back there long enough, I guess they would have sent somebody else out to play left field. I would’ve had a quick exit. It worked out all ..read more

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Ninth inning rally lifts Yankees to 3-2 win over Astros

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Aside from a shaky first inning, Michael Pineda and the pitchers behind him were dominant. And while the offense couldn’t get it going until the ninth inning, they were able to come from behind and take a 3-2 victory over the Houston Astros at George M. Steinbrenner Field in Tampa Florida.

The ninth inning rally started on an Eddy Rodriguez double scoring Nick Noonan and Aaron Judge and Rodriguez advancing to third on a throwing error. One batter later, Jake Cave hit a SAC Fly, scoring Rodriguez.

Michael Pineda went 3.2 innings, giving up two runs on four hits and striking out six. Justin Wilson pitched 1.1 scoreless innings, Andrew Miller pitched a scoreless inning, Andrew Bailey pitched a scoreless seventh, Nick Rumbelow pitched a scoreless eighth and Jacob Lindgren pitched a scoreless ninth.

What’s Next?

— The Yankees will travel to Port St. Lucie to take on the New York Mets in a Spring Training Subway Series showdown. CC Sabathia is slated to start the game for the Yankees and Matt Harvey, who is coming off Tommy John Surgery, will start the game for the Mets. First pitch is at 1:10 p.m. and the game will air on the YES Network and SNY. The game will also be available on WFAN 660/101.9 FM and 710 WOR, WEPN 1050 ..read more

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The fifth starter competition too close to call

Adam Warren

One of the biggest competitions this Spring is the competition for the fifth spot in the rotation, and while there were multiple candidates considered for the role as camp began, there seems to be only two heavily considered for the role; Adam Warren and Esmil Rogers.

Joe Girardi said he was beginning to take into account both Warren and Rogers’s outings this week, and while Rogers struggled in his last outing, Warren dazzled and placed himself as the front runner in the competition.

“I feel like that was the best I’ve felt this spring,” Warren said about his outing yesterday. “I feel like I’m getting close. Just spotting the fastball, getting ahead in the count for the most part with all my pitches. I feel like I’m getting there and a lot more consistent with everything in my delivery. I was pleased. I just want to take the next step next outing and keep building on that.”

Girardi was also impressed with Warren’s work, but there won’t be an immediate decision. Girardi figures to get them both two to three more starts before Spring Training is over and will talk to his coaching staff then.

“We’ll meet (as a coaching staff) a couple of times a week probably and just talk about different things,” Girardi said. “But that’s one thing that always comes up.”

Everyone has their opinions on who should be the fifth starter. Some believe it should be Warren, some believe it should be Rogers, or maybe even Chase Whitley who at this point seems to be the odd man out of the competition. Personally, I believe it could be Warren just from how sharp his pitches ..read more

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Rodriguez homers in 11-2 victory over Tigers

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After a 7-3 loss last night, the Yankees headed to Lakeland to take on the Detroit Tigers. Not only did Brendan Ryan return to the lineup, but the Yankees flexed their muscles in a 11-2 victory at Joker Marchant Stadium in Lakeland, Florida.

The Yankees scored in the first on a Brendan Ryan RBI double, a Brian McCann RBI single, a Jose Pirela two-run double and a Rob Refsnyder home run. The Yankees scored again in the fifth on a Alex Rodriguez home run, in the eighth on a Jonathan Galvez two-run triple and an error, and in the ninth on a Nick Noonan SAC Fly.

Adam Warren continues to distance himself from his competitors in the fifth starter competition, going five innings and giving up one run on four hits. Chris Martin gave up a run on two hits in an inning of work and Chase Whitley pitched three scoreless innings.

What’s Next?

— The Yankees host the Houston Astros in a Saturday afternoon showdown. Dallas Keuchel will take the mound for the Astros and Michael Pineda will pitch for the Yankees. First pitch is at 1:05 p.m. and the game will be on Houston Astros Radio KBME ..read more

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