The New York Yankees and the Philadelphia Phillies both proved something during the home and home games. For the Yankees, it is possible to win while working out the kinks of your starting rotation, and for the Phillies, it is possible to lose with a stellar starting rotation. The first game of the spring training season, the Phillies came out on top 5-4, after Colin Curtis dropped a blooped ball in left field, letting 2 runs score. One of the only mistakes Girardi made in that game was taking out every single starting player and replacing them with rookies (minus Colin Curtis and Eduardo Nunez). The Yankees were upset with their loss, but that gave them hope for a win when they reached Clearwater Florida.
Game 2 was a little different. There was no Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, Robinson Cano, or Mark Teixeira. Girardi had decided to leave them back at Steinbrenner Field to continue working on their batting and fielding. The only 4 starters that made the trip were Brett Gardner, Nick Swisher, Curtis Granderson and Jorge Posada and all four of the starters proved to be useful. Girardi had put Gardner in the lead off spot, just like he had done in the past when Derek Jeter was unable to play, and Gardner brought the magic touch to the Yankees earning a walk in the 4th, but one out later, Curtis Granderson hammered a home run to the left field wall. It was so impressive, YES correspondents Michael Kay and Ken Singleton pointed out they “had never seen Granderson hit a home run to left field before.” Those hitting tutorials with Kevin Long sure paid off with Granderson. In the 6th inning, Gardner started that inning a little differently. He hit a double off minor league pitcher Justin DeFratus. After that, it was all over for the Phillies. Swisher, Granderson and Posada each had back to back to back doubles which lead to the Yankees leading 6-0. The Phillies tacked on 3 runs, but one of the biggest home runs was from someone trying to win a job on the Yankees Major League team, Jorge Vasquez. He hit his second home run, in two games in the 9th inning, replacing Eric Chavez. His power was talked about on blogs after he hit the home run, and if I were Girardi I would heavily consider Jorge Vasquez to get the back up first base job in case Teixeira can’t play. Yankees won Game 2, 7-3.
Now, the Yankees are considering 2 spots for the starting rotation. They already have CC Sabathia, A.J Burnett and Phil Hughes (who I haven’t seen yet in any Spring Training game). The four main pitchers fighting for the two spots are Bartolo Colon, Ivan Nova, Sergio Mitre and Freddy Garcia. I haven’t seen Freddy Garcia pitch yet, but from what I had saw, I would seriously consider Ivan Nova for one of the rotation spots IF he can go more than 5 innings. During the 6th inning, he always runs out of gas. Bartolo Colon worried me a bit. He was good, but he claimed he wanted to lose 25 pounds during Spring Training. It’s not impossible, but I think he should have considered that during the off season like Sabathia did. Mitre was impressive, but I believe he would be more suited for the bullpen to accompany David Robertson and Boone Logan.
CC Sabathia will take the mound today against the Tigers at 1:05pm Eastern Time. MLB.TV members can listen live with Gameday Audio. The next game to be viewed on Yes is Wednesday’s game which will feature A.J Burnett.