Late afternoon news and notes: 2/26/14

The Yankees lost to the Pirates 6-5 today in Bradenton.

The Yankees had a lead and the bullpen imploded in the bottom of the seventh and gave up four runs after the Yankees took a 5-2 lead in the top of the inning. Oh well. At least Jacoby Ellsbury and Brian McCann had nice debuts. McCann drove Ellsbury in for the first run of the day – Ellsbury walked twice and had an infield single – and Yangervis Solarte (oh oh) hit a two-run home run in the second inning.

Tony Sanchez hit a tying three-run homer against Chase Whitley and Chris McGuiness hit the go-ahead single that drove in former-Yankee Chris Dickerson who I didn’t realize was with the Pirates. Nor did I remember that Edinson Volquez is with them as well.

Ivan Nova allowed two runs, two hits and two walks in 1 1/3 innings and Pirates starter Francisco Liriano gave up two runs (Solarte’s homer), three hits and a walk in one inning of work.…

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Projecting 2014: Kelly Johnson

AP Photo/Chris O'Meara

AP Photo/Chris O’Meara

The Yankees landed Kelly Johnson relatively early in the offseason on a one-year $3 million deal. Considering the money given this offseason, and the contracts offered to other infielders, the deal now looks like a steal.

The 32 year old left-handed hitter has most of his experience at second base, but is also capable of playing the outfield, third base, and first base. It looks like the Yankees’ plan is to utilize him as the starting third baseman, and if Brian Roberts or Mark Teixeira find themselves injured, Johnson will move over to their spot with Scott Sizemore stepping in at third base. But Johnson has only started 12 games at third base, which happened last year after minor injuries to Evan Longoria. In his extremely limited sample size of 118.0 innings, DRS and UZR liked what they saw out of Johnson. To assume that he can handle third base full-time, the Yankees must have liked what they saw as well.…

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Today’s lineup and some notes from camp: 2/26/14

The Yankees are playing the Pirates today and while it won’t be on Yankees TV or radio, you can listen on mlb.com via the Pirates’ radio feed.

Here are both lineups thanks to Bryan Hoch:

YANKEES
Ellsbury CF
Solarte SS
Beltran RF
McCann C
Flores LF
Wheeler 3B
Anna 2B
Joseph 1B
Murphy DH

Nova RHP

PIRATES
Marte LF
Martin C
McCutchen CF
Alvarez 3B
Walker 2B
Sanchez 1B
Lambo DH
Tabata RF
Mercer SS

Liriano LHP

More news from camp:

Joe Girardi said that Mark Teixeira is about a week away from game action and Alfonso Soriano will play in his first spring game on March 2.

Oh, and Eduardo Nunez was scratched from the lineup due to flu-like symptoms. I guess the illness that Soriano had is making its way around the George M. Steinbrenner Field clubhouse.

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Quick hit: 30 Clubs in 30 Days Returns

MLB Network announced that its program “30 Clubs in 30 Days” will be premiering this Friday at 8 p.m.

MLB Network analysts Ron Darling, Al Leiter, Joe Magrane, Dan Plesac, Harold Reynolds and Mitch Williams will report the latest news from each camp throughout Arizona and Florida, provide analysis and predictions on the coming season, and conduct interviews with players and managers from each club. Starting with the Arizona Diamondbacks, MLB Tonight will feature a new edition of 30 Clubs in 30 Days everyday through March 29.

The most important date for Yankee fans is Tuesday March 18 when the Yankees’ edition of “30 Clubs in 30 Days” airs at 7:00 p.m. that evening. Click here for the entire schedule.

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Yanks Still Mining For Injured/Rehabbing Roster Gold

Johan Bullpen 2012

Pass.

In the never-ending quest to add more pitching depth, the Yankees were among several teams on hand to watch Johan Santana throw in Florida yesterday.  He’s attempting to work his way back from a second shoulder capsule surgery in less than 3 years and the Yanks have been linked to him for months.  According to George King, Santana was sitting 77-78 MPH with his velocity and he maxed out at 81.  That is a far cry from the upper-80s he was throwing the last time he was on a Major League mound, and while King did say his changeup looked “impressive”, I question whether Major League hitters would feel the same when it’s coming at them at basically the same speed as his fastball.

The long and short of it is that Santana doesn’t look like a viable option to bring aboard as additional Triple-A rotation insurance, at least not until he builds up more arm strength and gets his velocity back into the mid-80s.  …

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Tanaka to debut on Saturday

Per Chad Jennings of Lohud:

Masahiro Tanaka will make his Yankees spring training debut on Saturday. But he won’t be starting.

 

CC Sabathia, Hiroki Kuroda and Tanaka will all pitch in Saturday’s game against the Phillies. Sabathia will be the starter. All three will be expected to go two innings or 35 pitches.

 

After Saturday, those three will be separated, with Tanaka occasionally getting extra rest along the way.

Saturday’s game will be broadcast on YES and on MLB Network.

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No Drew. No Diaz. Now What?

AP Photo/Gail Burton

AP Photo/Gail Burton

It’s been a head scratching offseason of doubling back on commitments and pleasing the fanbase. After blowing past the $189 million budget, the Yankees surprised many by signing Brian McCann, Jacoby Ellsbury, Carlos Beltran, and Masahiro Tanaka. After a season of watching platoon players forced into full time rolls, the spending spree is an exciting sign that the team is back to spending.

Though they’ve committed so much money this offseason, the Yankees’ are still far below their 2013 payroll and without a dynamic infield. Sometime around the Winter Meetings, Brian Cashman was quoted saying that he’d like to add 1 or 2 more weapons to his lineup, and return to a top 3 offense in baseball. Instead, the team signed Brian Roberts and Scott Sizemore, neither of which can be considered offensive weapons. Before signing Tanaka, rumors were that the Yankees had a standing offer to Drew, supposedly 2 years at $20 million, but after signing Tanaka, Hal Steinbrenner put a stop to spending.…

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Getting Stoked For Tanaka’s Spring Training Outings

Masahiro Tanaka

Later today, the Yankees will take the field for their Spring Training opener against Florida State.  Vidal Nuno will get the ball to start and he’ll be followed up by Ivan Nova, David Phelps, and Adam Warren over the next 3 games. The competition for the 5th starter spot will be the leading storyline for the early ST games, and that’s to be expected with that group of pitchers being further along than their veteran counterparts and with the other 4 rotation spots setting in stone.

While he hasn’t has his name penciled into a date for his ST debut yet, Masahiro Tanaka took another step towards that debut when he threw his second batting practice session yesterday morning.  As he did after the first session on Friday, Tanaka drew praise from the coaches who watched him and the batters who faced him.  His splitter is already creating a lot of buzz in camp for its sharp movement and how difficult it is to identify coming out of his hand, and each time he throws, more excitement builds for his first outing.  …

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Today’s lineup vs. Florida State: 2/25/14

It’s a lineup! Baseball is starting! (Sort of)

Gardner 8
Cervelli 2
Johnson 5
Canzler 3
Almonte 7
Ryan 6
Garcia 9
Solarte 4
Murphy DH

Nuno 1

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