Yankees 9, Pirates 8, blah blah blah.
Brett Gardner won the center-field job!
Sez the skipper: “It’s not going to be day by day. Gardy is our center fielder.”
R – Derek Jeter (SS)
L – Johnny Damon (LF)
S – Nick Swisher (1B)
L – Hideki Matsui (DH)
S – Jorge Posada (C)
L – Robinson Cano (2B)
R – Xavier Nady (RF)
S – Ramiro Peña (3B)
L – Brett Gardner (CF)
Pitchers: A.J. Burnett, Damaso Marte, Mariano Rivera, Phil Coke, Jose Veras
Robinson Cano (1-for-4) hit his third homer of the spring. Xavier Nady (2-for-3, BB), Nick Swisher (1-for-3, 2 BB), and Johnny Damon (1-for-3) all doubled.
Who Pitched Well:
Mariano Rivera pitched around a single for a scoreless sixth by striking out the side. Phil Coke struck out four and allowed only a single in two scoreless innings .
A.J. Burnett got lit up by the Pirates starters, allowing seven runs (six earned) in his 4 1/3 innings on three walks and ten hits, including home runs by Eric Hinske, Ryan Doumit, and Adam LaRoche. He struck out just one. After the game he said his mechanics were out of whack, but his arm felt fine. Damaso Marte finished the fourth for Burnett by allowing a run on two hits, one of them an Andy LaRoche double.
With Xavier Nady and Brett Gardner having been named the starters in right and center, respectively, the only suspense remaining concerns the reserve infielder and last man in the bullpen. Jonathan Albaladejo now seems like the favorite to complete the bullpen of Rivera, Brian Bruney, Marte, Veras, Edwar Ramirez, and Coke. In today’s game, Ramiro Peña started at third and later moved to shortstop, then second base. He went 1-for-3 with a walk and made a great bare-hand play on a bunt at third base. His one hit was a bunt single. Angel Berroa pinch ran for Johnny Damon, then replaced Peña at third base and went 0-for-1.
Lightening round on the five players the Yankees brought over from minor league camp for this game:
Eric Fryer is the catcher/outfielder obtained from the Brewers for Chase Wright. He was a tenth-round pick ouf of Ohio State in 2007 and hit .335/.407/.506 with 15 steals in 18 attempts in the Sally League last year.
Seth Fortenberry is a center fielder taken in the 11th round in 2006. He hit .263/.372/.434 for High-A Tampa last year.
Melquisedec “Melky” Mesa is a 22-year-old Dominican outfielder who has yet to play in a full-season league and has a career .221/.272/.395 line after three minor league seasons.
Carmen Angelini was a highly-touted tenth-round pick out of high school in 2007. The 19-year-old shorstop hit .236/.302/.295 in the Sally League last year.
Justin Snyder was a 21st-round pick out of the University of San Diego in 2007. Primarily a second baseman, he has played all four infield positions and center field in his two minor league seasons and hit .288/.371/.407 in the Sally League last year.
Also, the Padres returned Rule 5 pick Ivan Nova. Here’s what I said about him when the Friars took him:
A 21year-old Dominican righty starter [now 22], he spent [last] season at High-A Tampa where he posted a 4.36 ERA with unimpressive peripherals. Baseball America says he, “has flashed three plus pitches at times but lacks consistency and deception.” I can’t see how he could stick even on the Padres 25-man roster.