This update is powered by . . .vintage Genesis:
- A rainout calls for some imaginative thinking:
. . . A rainout at George M. Steinbrenner Field on Sunday allowed the Yankees’ players to knock off early, but for the manager, it created — in his words — a mess.
While heavy rains pelted the tarpaulin outside, Girardi and pitching coach Dave Eiland huddled with a head-scratcher of figuring out how to make sure eight pitchers could get into action on Monday thanks to the canceled game.
. . . The solution, it was decided, was to create another game. After checking with other clubs to see if anyone could spare hitters to play an unscheduled split-squad game, the Yankees opted to create their own.
In front of thousands of empty blue seats and few other witnesses, the Yankees will field two teams at their home stadium on Monday morning. Andy Pettitte, Mariano Rivera and Damaso Marte will hurl for one squad, with Joba Chamberlain, Chan Ho Park and Dave Robertson firing for another.
Then in the game that is printed on the schedule, A.J. Burnett will start against the Phillies on MLB.TV at 1:05 p.m. ET in Clearwater, Fla., with Phil Hughes serving in relief.
Problem solved, providing Girardi and company one long morning and afternoon to evaluate Chamberlain and Hughes in the ongoing battle to complete New York’s rotation, a decision Girardi hopes to make by March 25 or 26.
- David Robertson may see more (and more important) action this season:
That baby-faced 24-year-old, Yankees manager Joe Girardi says, might pitch the eighth inning this year. Of course, this is the spring. Of course, this could be just the manager talking. And of course, the team still needs to hammer out it’s starting rotation and see where pitchers like Alfredo Aceves and Joba Chamberlain land.
But Girardi says he has enough confidence in Robertson – four runs in 3 2/3 innings this spring – to use him as a “guy who can pitch for us anywhere now.”
- Spring Training invitee Jon Weber hasn’t made The Show, but his glove has:
Last spring, Weber was in Rays camp as a nonroster invitee when Crawford took a liking to Weber’s new glove. Weber prefers a smaller model than many outfielders, 12 ¾ inches long rather than 13 ½, and he breaks it in by pounding this stiffness out of it. Weber would not say how he does it — “It’s hard to describe,” he said — but his methods produced a glove so soft and supple that Crawford had to have it.
“He used it one day, practiced with it, and he said: ‘I love this. I like the way it feels. Can I use this?’ ” Weber said in the visitors’ clubhouse at Osceola County Stadium on Saturday, before the Yankees’ 8-6 loss to the Houston Astros. “And I said, ‘What am I supposed to use?’ ”
. . . When the Rays sent Weber to Class AAA Durham at the end of camp, Crawford implored Weber to leave the glove.
“Obviously, I had another glove that I was breaking in,” Weber said. “I would use that when it was ready. And he said, ‘Web, do you mind if I keep your glove?’ And I was like, yeah, Carl, go ahead, you can have it.”
There is the talk the Dodgers might also trade for Yankees right-hander Sergio Mitre in exchange for New York having the right to send outfielder Jamie Hoffman, another Rule 5 selection, to their own minor leagues
- Glenallen Hill (P/T OF on 2000 squad) turns 45 today. Notice his 16 HRs and a mere 29 RBIs in 132 ABs for the Bombers. 10 of his 16 homers were solo blasts. Hill hit .346/.391/.741 with the bags empty, but only .250/.313/.464 with RISP for the Yanks. For his career, 118 of his 186 homers were solo jobs.
- Rich Monteleone turns 47 today. Montelone compiled a 17-9 record out of the bullpen during his four years with the Yanks (’90-’93). After retirement as a player, he spent time as Yankees bullpen coach, as well as serving as the pitching coach for the GCL Yankees (1997-1998) and Tampa Yankees (1999-2000).
- A reminder to those of you entered in Banter Battle 2010 that our on-line draft will be held on March 30 beginning at 9:30 Eastern. You can pre-rank your selections if you are unable to attend.
Back on Thursday.