The split squad Yankees played a pair of games decided by a 6-2 score, beating the Tigers and home, but losing to the Rays on the road. In the road game, Sergio Mitre enjoyed another strong outing against a loaded Rays lineup, while Chad Gaudin again struggled. More on that and some more cuts below.
R – Derek Jeter (SS)
L – Nick Johnson (DH)
S – Mark Teixeira (1B)
R – Alex Rodriguez (3B)
L – Robinson Cano (2B)
R – Marcus Thames (LF)
R – Jamie Hoffmann (CF)
R – Francisco Cervelli (C)
R – Greg Golson (RF)
Subs: P.J. Pilittere (1B), Luis Nuñez (2B), Kevin Russo (SS), Jorge Vazquez (3B), Mike Rivera (C), David Winfree (LF), Jon Weber (DH)
Pitchers (IP): CC Sabathia (5 1/3), Jonathan Albaladejo (2/3), Mariano Rivera (1), Royce Ring (1), Ryan Pope (1)
Big Hits: A booming solo homer over the George M. Steinbrenner Field scoreboard by Alex Rodriguez (2-for-3). A double by Jon Weber (2-for-2), who is hitting .588 this spring. Greg Golson had two singles in four at-bats. Jamie Hoffmann walked three times in four trips, stealing second after the first.
Who Pitched Well: CC Sabathia struck out eight in 5 1/3 innings. He allowed two runs on three singles, a double, and two walks, but the first run came early in the first inning and the other scored after he left the game. Mariano Rivera needed just ten pitches to throw a perfect seventh and strike out one. Ryan Pope threw a perfect ninth striking out one. Royce Ring pitched around a walk for a scoreless eighth, striking out one.
Who Didn’t: Jonathan Albaladejo inherited two runners from Sabathia and allowed one to score on a double to Carlos Guillen before getting the final two outs of the sixth. That’s a big improvement for Albaladejo, but he’s still the only guy in this category for this game.
Oopsies: Greg Golson‘s throw home on the first Tiger run in the top of the first was very wild and allowed the batter to advance to second, resulting in an error.
Ouchies: Damaso Marte will wait until Sunday to pitch again as he still has some deep bruising where Ryan Howard’s liner hit his lower back.
Nice Plays: The next inning, Golson made a nice running catch charging a Gerald Laird flare to shallow right. Francisco Cervelli pounced on an Austin Jackson bunt and made a strong spinning throw to first which bounced, but was scooped by Mark Teixeira for the out.
Other: Kevin Russo has played shortstop in the last two games. This makes me think the Yankees are seriously considering him for the futility infield spot as he’s hitting .353/.429/.471 on the spring but the one concern about him in that role is his lack of experience at shortstop. Russo lifted a sac fly in his only at-bat in this game.
L – Brett Gardner (CF)
L – Curtis Granderson (LF)
S – Nick Swisher (DH)
S – Jorge Posada (C)
S – Randy Winn (RF)
L – Juan Miranda (1B)
S – Ramiro Peña (2B)
R – Brandon Laird (3B)
R – Eduardo Nuñez (SS)
Pitchers: Sergio Mitre (5), Chad Gaudin (2 1/3), Amaury Sanit (2/3)
Big Hits: A solo homer by Juan Miranda (2-for-4) off Jeff Niemann leading off the fourth. A double by Jesus Montero (1-for-1). Montero is hitting .375 on the spring, but has had just eight at-bats in eight games (in which he has a single and two doubles). If the Yankees aren’t going to give him multiple at-bats in games, they should reassign him to minor league camp so he can hit. It makes no sense for a player who has been discussed as a potential mid-season call-up to have had the fewest at-bats of the 29 hitters still in the Yankees’ major league camp. Curtis Granderson singled in both at-bats.
Who Pitched Well: Facing a strong Rays lineup, Sergio Mitre allowed two runs in his five innings, but on just a walk, a single, and an Evan Longoria double. Meanwhile, he struck out seven men in those five frames, keeping his hat in the fifth-starter ring. Amaury Sanit continued his scoreless, walk-less spring by retiring both batters he faced, striking out one.
Who Didn’t: Chad Guadin pitched his way out of the fifth-starter contest and may have pitched his way off the 25-man roster given how well Mitre has done this spring. In 2 1/3 innings, Gaudin gave up four runs (three earned) on a whopping seven singles, three walks, and two wild pitches while striking out just one. His spring ERA is now 8.68. Joe Girardi, who was at this road game to see Mitre and Gaudin pitch, blamed some of Gaudin’s struggles on his defense, which did include some players borrowed from minor league camp, and on bad luck (Carlos Peña, for example, got an infield single on a broken bat hit into the shift), but this wasn’t the first time Gaudin had been lousy this spring.
Oopsies: A-ball middle infielder Jose Pirela booted a ball while playing out of position at third base.
Ouchies: Curtis Granderson‘s hand was grazed by a pitch. He came out of the game, but only as a precaution.
Cuts: Romulo Sanchez was optioned to Triple-A. He’s likely to be in the Scranton rotation, but could be bounced to the bullpen as the Scranton rotation could get pretty crowded with Zach McAllister, Ivan Nova, Wilkin De La Rosa, Jason Hirsh, Kei Igawa, and Dustin Moseley all candidates, which doesn’t even count the possibility of one or more of the big club’s fifth-starter candidates finding themselves in Scranton.
Ryan Pope was reassigned to minor league camp. Pope looked good in camp, striking out four in four innings while allowing just one hit and no runs. He should be given another crack at the Double-A rotation as he struggled there last year.
Also, I missed two earlier cuts on Monday as Ivan Nova was optioned to Triple-A Scranton, where he’ll be guaranteed a spot in the rotation, and Hector Noesi was optioned to High-A Tampa, where he finished his 2009 campaign. Look for Noesi to pitch his way to the Double-A rotation this year and hope that Nova can pitch well enough to have his name bandied about in trade talks at the deadline or beyond.