Good morning! Here's what's happening today:
- The Yankees are playing a pair of split squad games with guys like Gregorius, Headley, and Teixeira facing the Tigers in Lakeland while Ellsbury, Rodriguez and McCann are facing the Pirates at home.
- Michael Pineda is starting at home and Bryan Mitchell will be the starter in Lakeland.
- Alex Rodriguez is slotted to bat second and play first at home which means that if you have the YES Network and the afternoon off, you will be able to watch him with his new first baseman's glove! It's his second start at first but his first start at first at home. Got it?
- Didi Gregorius is returning to the lineup after suffering an injury to his wrist this past weekend and Jacoby Ellsbury is slowly making his way back from the oblique injury he suffered a few weeks back. Let's cross our fingers and hope we don't have a repeat of Brendan Ryan's exit from yesterday's game.
- And speaking of Ryan, his injury has illustrated a need for a stronger bench which the Yankees. Jose Pirela would have been the leading candidate to replace Ryan but he's recovering from an injury of his own so it looks like Rob Refsnyder has a chance to start the season with the big club. If it's not Refsnyder, infielder Nick Noonan is also making a case for being called upon by Joe Girardi.
- Girardi still hasn't named a backup catcher but the leading candidates are John Ryan Murphy and Austin Romine. He also hasn't named the last two pitchers in the bullpen but Chase Whitley made a case for himself with yesterday's performance against the Rays at Steinbrenner Field. (If you didn't watch he had six strikeouts.)
- And in case you missed it yesterday, Pedro Martinez predicted that Masahiro Tanaka won't last the season; Curt Schilling thinks Dellin Betances' velocity issues aren't worrisome and Adam Warren was named fifth starter.