Saturday, March 3, 2012

The New York Yankees defeat South Florida and some notes

Hare are some notes and then a little recap of the game today against South Florida.  The notes come courtesy of Chad Jennings of the Journal News and Lohud Yankees blog who is down in Tampa, FL.

We already knew Robinson Cano wouldn’t be playing today, but keeping him out of the lineup keeps us from getting a first look at Joe Girardi’s projected middle of the order. I have to think he’s planning to us Cano, Rodriguez, Teixeira — in that order — but it would have been nice to see it.  I don't think there is any doubt of this and you will have to wait until at least Sunday to see it. 

A mild surprise: Raul Ibanez batting ahead of Nick Swisher. The Yankees could flip those two without having two lefties or two righties back-to-back, but based strictly on the lineup posted today, it looks like Ibanez is going to bat ahead of Swisher.

 Rafael Soriano and Dave Robertson threw batting practice today. They pitched to Corban Joseph and Melky Mesa. Otherwise, no big league pitchers are expected to pitch today.

 George Kontos played catch today and gave the session a thumbs up. He’s been saying for several days that his sore oblique felt 100 percent, so I don’t think he was too worried about today’s next step.

 Ivan Nova gets the start in tomorrow’s Grapefruit League opener, but that day will actually start with Phil Hughes throwing a sim game in Tampa. He’ll pitch to Gustavo Molina, facing Colin Curtis and Francisco Cervelli.

 CC Sabathia and Michael Pineda are throwing sides tomorrow.

 Tomorrow’s travel squad:

Pitchers: Ivan Nova, Manny Banuelos, Dellin Betances, Cesar Cabral, Juan Cedeno, D.J. Mitchell, Mike O’Connor, David Phelps, Clay Rapada and Chase Whitley
Catchers: Jose Gil, Russell Martin, J.R. Murphy and Gary Sanchez
Infielders: David Adams, Doug Bernier, Eric Chavez, Bill Hall, Corban Joseph, Brandon Laird, Jayson Nix, Eduardo Nunez, Ramiro Pena and Jorge Vazquez
Outfielders: Zoilo Almonte, Chris Dickerson, Brett Gardner, Cole Garner, Curtis Granderson, Raul Ibanez, Justin Maxwell, Melky Mesa, Nick Swisher and Dewayne Wise

Adam Warren got the start and the win today pitching two scoreless innings giving up one hit, no walks and having a pair of strikeouts.  The Yankees used six other pitchers to combine for three hits, no runs, no walks and eight strikeouts. 

The hitting star was minor leaguer Zoile Almonte who had two hits and four RBI.  He, Ramiro Pena and Eduardo Nunez each had a triple.  Alex Rodriguez and Curtis Granderson were the only regulars who got a hit.  Granderson had an RBI single.  Colin Curtis, Pena and Doug Bernier also had two hits in the game. 

The other big news of today was that MLB made the extra playoffs official.  There will be an extra wild card from each league and the two wild cards will meet in a one game playoff.  The higher seed will have the home game.  The winner will advance to the divisional round of the playoffs.  This year only because of scheduling the lower seed will start with the first two games at home followed by a potential three home games for the higher seed.  I like the idea of a premium being put on winning the division and getting an advantage from that.  I don't like the one game playoff though, although it will be good for T.V.  I still overall like the idea though and it will keep more teams in the hunt and give a couple more teams at least a one extra game and to say we were in the playoffs. 

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