Thursday, March 25, 2010

Game Day - Yankees vs. Orioles

Joe Girardi officially decided that Phil Hughes would be his fifth starter to begin the regular season. This comes after Hughes posted a 4.05 ERA and 10/2 K/BB ratio in 13 innings. While he didn't have the best numbers of the candidates (Mitre posted a 3.21 ERA and 14/3 K/BB ratio in 14 innings, Aceves had a 3.77 ERA and 7/1 K/BB ratio in 14 and 1/3 innings) Hughes was the expected winner since the start. The Yankees are ready to give him a shot and he's throwing a much improved change up this season. Joba Chamberlain will move to the bullpen and will likely serve as Mariano Rivera's setup man. Mitre will probably be long relief/spot starter while Aceves will fill the role of multiple innings eater out of the pen. Chad Gaudin was released by the team and there are already rumors that the Mets are interested in signing him.

The Yankees square off against the Orioles today in Sarasota. It's a cloudy day with temperatures in the high 70s. The game begins at 1:05 p.m., but will only be aired on MASN in the DC/Baltimore area. 

Jeter - SS
Johnson - DH
Teixeira - 1B
Rodriguez - 3B
Cano - 2B
Swisher - RF
Thames - LF
Winn - CF
Cervelli - C

RHP Alfredo Aceves

Pie - LF
Tejada - 3B
Markakis - RF
Wieters - C
Jones - CF
Scott - DH
Atkins - 1B
Wigginton - 2B
Izturis - SS

RHP Brad Bergesen

Things to Watch: Now that Phil Hughes is entrenched in the rotation, Aceves is working to prove he belongs in a high leverage spot in the bullpen. Thames is starting in left field and is fighting for that last bench spot. The Yankees still have to decide if they're going to carry a second lefty in the pen, Boone Logan made the trip and is available to pitch. Also available out of the bullpen: Sergio Mitre, Chan Ho Park, Dave Robertson and Amaury Sanit among others. Randy Winn is patrolling center and I'm interested to see how he fares. One of his best assets is his ability to play solid defense in all outfield positions. Scheduled to play off the bench: P.J. Pilittere - C, Jose Gil - 1B, Justin Snyder - 2B, Kevin Russo - SS, Ramiro Pena - 3B, Jon Weber - LF, Greg Golson - CF and Dave Winfree - RF.

Game Notes: The Yankees were crushed by the Orioles 8-0. Alftedo Aceves was lit up to the tune of six runs (five earned) in two innings. He allowed six hits and two walks and didn't strike out a single batter. He gave up a two-run bomb to Adam Jones and was up in the zone with everything, hurting his chances for a high leverage spot in the bullpen. Sergio Mitre pitched pretty well, he went two innings and gave up two hits, one run and one walk. His line looked worse than his performance, he gave up a single that Cano could've turned into a double play had he not already broke to cover second. Boone Logan pitched one inning with no hits or walks. Chan Ho Park threw two scoreless innings with two hits, no walks and two strikeouts. He's looked very impressive this spring. Thames went 0-for-4 to lower his average to .094, he'll probably still get the bench role because of his experience and his proven ability to hit for power against lefties. C.C. Sabathia pitched a Triple-A game against the Phillies and got killed. His final line: three and 2/3 innings, seven hits, seven earned runs, one walk and four strikeouts. He also hit a batter and and served up two homers. He threw 88 pitches, 58 for strikes, and he ended up throwing 12 pitches in the bullpen after the game to bring his pitch total to an even 100. 

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