The New York Yankees on Friday announced the signing of veteran pitcher Kevin Millwood to a minor league deal. He will serve as insurance in AAA and he has an opt out on May 1st if he isn't called up to the Majors by then. The Yankees also traded Sergio Mitre to the Milwaukee Brewers for Chris Dickers who will serve as outfield depth. If Curtis Granderson starts on the DL which may be likely considering how conservative the Yankees are then he has a shot to come north with the team on Tuesday. The Yankees will play their final grapefruit league game on Tuesday and fly to New York after, they will work out at Yankee Stadium on Wednesday and open the season on Thursday afternoon.
The Yankees will announce their roster decisions or most of them on Saturday. They met on friday and know what they are going to do but they wanted to talk to the players first. It appears that Gustavo Molina will be the backup catcher with Jesus Montero headed to AAA to continue to work on things, he is only 21 and it isn't that big of a deal although some fans will make it that. Austin Romine will be in AA Trenton and could move to AAA by some point this season depending on how he performs. They are guys worth watching and probably the future for the Yankees but why rush them when you don't have too, Francisco Cervelli will be back by the beginning of May and he will reclaim his job most likely.
Montero said he will be fine with going to the minors, he said he gave it his best shot and knows his time will come. He said he will work hard down there and he will get his chance eventually. Girardi nodded his head when asked if Nova made the rotation. Girardi said Nova didn't have his best stuff on Friday night but still pitched effectively. He said that is maturing as a pitcher when you are able to do that.
Eric Chavez hit his first spring homerun in his first game back from a calf injury, he just missed another and finished with three hits. He is batting 421 this spring and will the the backup infielder. He can play first and third and that is important especially with the Yankees wanting to give A-rod some time off. Curtis Granderson came through his pregame running feeling good enough that he was cleared to do some light throwing as well. Girardi said the intensity will pick up tomorrow.
Joba Chamberlain, Dave Robertson, Boone Logan and Rafael Soriano all pitched and are all scheduled to pitch back-to-back so they should all get into tomorrows game as well. Nick Swishers foot was fine during the game tonight. Joe Girardi came out to argue a call at home plate tonight, he said he figures you have to practice.
Chris Dickerson the new outfielder coming over from Milwaukee is flying into Tampa tonight and they aren't sure when Kevin Millwood would be coming to Tampa. Brian Cashman the Yankes GM said he isn't done shopping yet, it doesn't mean he will make another move this spring but he will keep looking around. "I feel that we have some quality choices in house, but my job is always to find people who are better than what we have."
The Yankees will play the Pittsburgh Pirates at home tomorrow afternoon. The game will be on the YES network at 1:05PM.
Here are some Yankees News and Notes from a Wednesday night with some help from the Lohud Yankees Blog. The Yankees defeated the Toronto Blue Jays tonight with a seventh inning rally 5-3. Phil Hughes pitched seven innings and threw 98 pitches. He gave up three runs on eight hits and struck out seven batters. Mariano Rivera threw a perfect inning and Boone Logan gave up a hit but struck out the side in his one inning of work.
Hughes said he hasn't been happy with his cutter and asked Larry Rothschild to come up with a new grip for it. Hughes said it is more of a slider now but he will still call it the cutter. He said he threw that pitch about 25-30 times tonight. Curtis Granderson became the fourth Yankee to hurt his oblique this spring. The others told him the worst day is the day after the injury. He felt pretty good today and took that as a good sign. He said he can feel something still isn't right but normal movements are fine.
He may end up going on the DL and finishing out the spring schedule with the minor leaguers who play until April 3rd. The Yankees may want to do that so they can carry an extra outfielder. They will see what happens in the next few days before they decide on that.
Speaking of outfielders Nick Swisher fould a ball off of his foot and had to come out of the game. There were no X-rays and manager Joe Girardi said he hopes it is just day-to-day. The Yankees optioned Melky Mesa, Jorge Vazquez, Greg Golson, Jose Gil, Jordan Parraz, Brandon Laird and Kevin Russo to minor league camp today. The Yankees also send Ryan Pope, Steve Garrison and Eric Wordkemper to minor league camp after the game.
Golson is being sent down so he can get more at-bats just in case Granderson does go on the DL and Golson is a guy they decide to bring North. Freddy Garcia will pitch at the minor league complex tomorrow with Jesus Montero catching him. Austin Romine caught A.J. Burnett at the minor league complex today.
Alex Rodriguez had his 13 game hitting streak come to an end on Monday and his RBI streak tonight but he still went 2-4. He has been incredible this spring and really looks primed for another MVP type year. Derek Jeter has a four game hitting streak and has only struck out once since March 6th.
It looks like the Yankees lineup tonight with Jeter first and Gardner ninth could be the lineup they use against lefties and then have Gardner first and Jeter second for righty starters. Joe Girardi said "It's not unusual to have one lineup for left-handers and one for right-handers. He said sometimes guys move up or you drop them down a little bit."
The Yankees will be off tomorrow before playing Friday night at home against Houston and then Saturday at home, they will play their final road game on Monday in Fort Myers against the Twins and their final grapefruit league game on Tuesday before heading to the Bronx on Wednesday. They will open the season on Thursday afternoon March 31st against the Detroit Tigers. C.C. Sabathia will face Justin Verlander in a classic pitching duel.
The New York Yankees named A.J. Burnett their number two starter on Saturday and it looks like they are about to wrap up the competition for the fourth and fifth starters. Bartolo Colon was brilliant on Monday night and may have locked up the fifth spot, it has been widely assumed that Ivan Nova is the fourth starter and Sergio Mitre may remain the long reliever unless he is released and Freddy Garcia takes that job. If Colon isn't the fifth starter then I don't know what he would of needed to do in order to win that job. Garcia if pitching well would of probably won the job but has been bad in his last two outings and most likely lost the job.
The Yankees say that Jesus Montero and Austin Romine are still running neck and neck in the battle for the backup catchers job but I would be suprised if the job isn't going to Montero. I think they want Romine to learn more down in the minors and they feel that Montero can learn up in the big leagues since he has already torn up the minors and won't be able to learn that much down there compared to up in the big leagues at this point.
Ramiro Pena has shoulder soreness but said he is fine. Joba Chamberlain will throw in a game tomorrow for the first time since March 11th. He said he has felt fine the whole time but the Yankees were being careful with him. Eric Chavez has a calf injury, he is being shutdown until Friday at the earliest. It doesn't appear to be major but the Yankees aren't going to risk anything with him.
The Yankees will have Brett Gardner and Derek Jeter batting one, two in the order they are listed for the next couple of games that they play together. It appears they may want that to be the new combo at the top of the order although no decision has been made yet. Joe Girardi has imposed a March 28th date for roster decisions and maybe that will include the lineup.
Manny Banuelos suffered his first rough outing of the spring. He had pitched eight scoreless innings and then allowed two runs in two innings tonight. He still showed good poise though not letting it spiral out of control even though he didn't have it tonight. Freddy Garcia will pitch in a minor league game on Thursday because the team is off. The Yankees say they aren't going to learn any more from him during that game. They already know what he is and what he can bring to the table. It sounds like their mind is already made up but they are not tipping their hand.
Mariano Rivera pitched in a minor league game and Joe Girardi said he had no idea how he did, saying he doesn't worry about him. If something happened bad Girardi would know about it. He was fine, he pitched two innings giving up three hits and struck out two batters. The Yankees will play at Sarasota against the Baltimore Orioles on Tuesday with Sergio Mitre making the start and Joba Chamberlain pitching in that game also.
The New York Mets finally released Oliver Perez. It was a long time coming and a move that Mets fans everywhere are embracing. They have now gotten rid of Luis Castillo and Oliver Perez in a span of three days. They were probably the two most hated Mets over the last few years. The Mets new regime is trying to start fresh and get their guys in. They still have the Madoff mess hanging over their heads but at least the team is trying to head in a new direction.
The Mets won Monday on a walk-off single by Luis Hernandez who Terry Collins wants as his second baseman. No one has been able to claim that job because no one has impressed. They won the game 8-7 over the Atlanta Braves.
The Mets will name a second baseman soon and probably place Carlos Beltran on the disabled list because it is now 11 days away from Opening day in Florida against the Marlins and I don't think there is any way he could be ready by then.
The Mets have to be encouraged by what they have seen from their pitching. Jason Isringhausen though has a sore elbow which isn't good but they don't believe it is a big problem and he should only miss a couple of days. The Mets will hold their breath because it looks like he could become their eighth inning guy.
The Mets will travel to Lakeland which is a long 2 1/2 hour trip to play the Detroit Tigers on Tuesday afternoon. They will bring most of their regulars as the season draws near and they want them playing together.
I am a diehard New York Yankees fan,season ticket holder and a sportsnut. I also like the New York Giants and Rangers. I am married with a beautiful babygirl. I am a caremanager for passaic county and graduated from William Paterson University in Wayne,NJ. I have always wanted to be a sportswriter and thought this blog would help me live my dream. I cover the Yankees/Mets Giants and Jets for www.worldnewsvine.com and also will be writing for numberonebaseball.com so check me out there, thanks.