"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

Pick A Side

Ex-Tigers Curtis Granderson and Marcus Thames got the job done against Detroit’s lefty starter as A.J. Burnett and the Yankees beat Nate Robertson and the Tigers’ starters 2-1.


L – Brett Gardner (LF)
L – Nick Johnson (1B)
S – Jorge Posada (C)
R – Marcus Thames (DH)
L – Curtis Granderson (CF)
S – Randy Winn (RF)
S – Ramiro Peña (SS)
R – Kevin Russo (2B)
R – Brandon Laird (3B)

Subs: David Winfree (1B), P.J. Pilittere (C), Jon Weber (RF), Abraham Almonte (CF), Austin Krum (LF)

Pitchers (IP): A.J. Burnett (6 2/3), David Robertson (1/3), Chan Ho Park (1), Joba Chamberlain (1)

Big Hits: A solo home run by Marcus Thames off lefty Nate Robertson leading off the fourth inning. In his other three trips, Thames walked once, also against Robertson, and struck out twice. Doubles by Jorge Posada and Curtis Granderson (both 2-for-4), also off the lefty Robertson. Granderson’s was an RBI double in the first and an encouraging sign for the left-handed-hitting outfielder. It’s worth noting that every Yankee outfielder who could find himself in a platoon was in the otherwise-thin lineup against the lefty Robertson. In addition to Thames and Granderson, Randy Winn and Brett Gardner combined to go 0-for-7 with a walk taken by Gardner. Posada was on the trip to catch Burnett. Lefty-hitting Nick Johnson was the only other Yankee starter on the trip.

Who Pitched Well: A.J. Burnett walked more men than he struck out (three to two), but allowed just one run (scored by Johnny Damon after his third-inning double) on three hits and those three walks. Burnett didn’t throw any changups and said after the game that his curve wasn’t working. Kudos to Burnett and Posada for their success despite those handicaps. Chan Ho Park pitched around a double for a scoreless eighth. Joba Chamberlain, in his thrilling return to short relief work, worked around a pair of singles for a scoreless ninth. Throwing only fastballs and sliders, he struck out one and topped out at 94 mph on the gun. David Robertson faced two men and walked the first, but he only needed on out and he got it before that runner could advance.

Nice Plays: I didn’t see the game, but reportedly Randy Winn made a few nice ones in right, including one sliding catch after which he popped up and fired to Posada at first base to double off aptly named pinch-runner Michael Rockett.

Oopsies: None. Have you noticed that as we get closer to Opening Day, the players get closer to regular season form, and the minor leaguers get farmed out, there are fewer and fewer errors? It’s as if spring training actually serves a purpose and major leaguers deserve to be where they are.

Other: Spring training stats are largely meaningless, but for what little they’re worth, here are the hitting lines on a couple of 2010 Tigers who played in this game:

Johnny Damon: .341/.396/.568 (2 SBs in 2 tries)
Austin Jackson: .339/.413/.554 (3 3Bs, 3 SB in 4 tries)

Also, Ian Kennedy has made the Diamondback’s rotation, but with Jayson Heyward officially the Braves’ Opening Day right fielder, Melky Cabrera has been bumped out of Atlanta’s lineup, thus beginning his career as a journeyman fourth outfielder.

Also, note on the Upcoming Schedule on the sidebar that CC Sabathia will pitch the road day game against the Braves while Sergio Mitre will start the night home game against the Blue Jays (I originally had their assignments the other way). I assume this is to prevent the Jays from getting an extra look at Sabathia with the season almost here, but it’s just as likely to let CC have his evening off. I can’t imagine the Yankees are that worried about Toronto. The unfortunate side-effect is that Mitre will now be pitching the televised game. Unfortunate for most, that is, I’m curious to watch him pitch given how well he’s been doing this spring and the fact that he’s still in competition for the Opening Day roster.

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1 lenNYs Yankees   ~  Mar 27, 2010 11:45 pm

Nice work as always, Cliff. Will you be doing the recaps when it counts too?

2 Cliff Corcoran   ~  Mar 28, 2010 12:27 am

[1] We'll be sharing those duties, but I'll do my share as well as my usual series previews. Thanks for asking.

3 monkeypants   ~  Mar 28, 2010 12:57 am

Sergio Mitre is one Lucky™ sumbitch...and I personally feel lucky whenever I get to see him pitch!

More seriously, I wonder if Thames HR wins him the last bench spot, if that had not been decided already.

4 Cliff Corcoran   ~  Mar 28, 2010 1:18 am

[3] I think that was decided before camp opened or else he would have lost it by now. More accurately, no one else claimed it so it's defaulting to Thames. The homer just helps with appearances. The Yankees have been pushing at-bats on Thames the last few days in the hope of him doing something to support them giving him the job.

5 RIYank   ~  Mar 28, 2010 6:58 am

It’s as if spring training actually serves a purpose and major leaguers deserve to be where they are.

I just felt the spirit of Abner Doubleday washing over and through me.

6 monkeypants   ~  Mar 28, 2010 7:31 am

[4] It's too bad they can't/won't try to be more creative, because Thames has been awful (and I liked the idea of signing him). I read someplace the suggestion that Russo make the team. That would have been intriguing albeit risky---it depends on how much the team trusts Peña in the OF, as the break-glass 5th OF. It probably doesn't matter much, I guess...Thames will probably be gone by June if he doesn't hit.

7 ms october   ~  Mar 28, 2010 9:51 am

[6] maybe they should give russo some reps in the outfield in aaa rather than forcing him as a ss and see if he can blossom into a mark derosa type role player than can move to most positions and provide some hitting off the bench

8 monkeypants   ~  Mar 28, 2010 9:55 am

[7] Hm..good plan!

9 Cliff Corcoran   ~  Mar 28, 2010 10:56 am

[7] I'll third that.

10 OldYanksFan   ~  Mar 28, 2010 12:51 pm

How about Russo as a BU 2nd baseman? Cano it gtting VERY expensive. The guy will have to produce to earn his pay (10,14 and 15m coming up)

11 monkeypants   ~  Mar 28, 2010 1:57 pm

[10] Though of course, if he doesn't produce and his price tag goes up, the Yankees will be stuck with him anyway, since no one would take on his contract via trade.

12 williamnyy23   ~  Mar 28, 2010 2:27 pm

[6] I wouldn't punt on Thames because of a poor Spring. As suggested, it would make more sense to give Russo more reps in AAA as a utilty type and allow Thames a chance to perform in the role envisioned.

[10] That's kind of an unfair way to look at it. Cano is signed at a guaranteed $8mn per year. Because backend loading actually benefits the Yankees, it seems unfair to suggest that Cano will need to produce at an increasing level to justify his price tag. Furthermore, the last two years are options will $2mn buyouts, so if Cano doesn't warrant the $14mn and $15mn salaries, the Yankees do not have to pay it.

Besides, why is everyone always looking to get rid of an All Star 2B?

13 Raf   ~  Mar 29, 2010 6:58 am

Besides, why is everyone always looking to get rid of an All Star 2B?

Familiarity breeds contempt, I suppose

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