The New York Yankees have an opening at first base right now and also in left field. They lost both Mark Teixeira and Curtis Granderson to injury so far this spring. They are both expected to be back in May but until then they would like to find alternatives. The Yankees have reached out to Derrek Lee who hasn’t played since 2011. He is reportedly interested but he hasn’t signed anything yet so who knows about that. Chipper Jones was another name that was brought up today but he said he is happy being retired and Scott Rolen is another name.
The Yankees did sign Ben Francisco today to a minors deal. They were interested in him in the winter and he chose to sign with Cleveland who cut him and then he was picked right up by the Yankees. He is a right handed outfielder who could be a bench guy for the Yankees.
Michael Pineda will throw a 35 pitch bullpen on Tuesday with sliders being part of it. Gil Velazquez and Walter Ibarra are both back with the Yankees after participating in the World Baseball Classic. Phil Hughes threw a 26 pitch bullpen session today, it was a big step as he felt good. He is scheduled to face hitters on Thursday and should pitch in a sim game shortly after that. Larry Rothschild has a plan for him but isn’t revealing it, it is possible he could be on schedule to make a start on April 7th since that will be the first time they need the fifth starter. Hughes isn’t the fifth starter but it is just how it works out.
Austin Romine was sent to minor league camp so the Yankees weren’t joking about that. Francisco Cervelli and Chris Stewart will be the catchers, who will be the starter is what is up for grabs. I honestly don’t think there is a number one and two though, I think they both will play and if Romine is doing very well at AAA you could see him back if those guys struggle.
Derek Jeter was talking about Chipper Jones today and thought it was a media joke so he said why don’t you call Mike Schmidt also. He actually said that after told it was his GM who talked about Jones, he thought the media was just making stuff up. Jeter will take off tomorrow and plans on playing shortstop for the first time this spring on Wednesday.
Brett Gardner had his team leading 10th hit of the spring today and he also leads the team with five walks. That is what they want to see and maybe he will be the leadoff hitter this season with Jeter two and Cano third. If that happens I wonder if Ichiro could hit ninth as a double leadoff guy or maybe a little further up.
The Yankees face a lefty starter on Wednesday who will be Cliff Lee. Ben Francisco will be in the lineup. Joe Girardi confirmed that today.