The Yankees starting center fielder is…
TBA on Thursday. Seriously? The word is that manager Joe Girardi will announce his starting center fielder on Thursday. He had been toying with playing Granderson in left and Brett Gardner in center, but c’mon, there is really no choice but to start Granderson in center. The higher risk player is Gardner, and if he fails in center, it would be tougher to move Granderson from left to center than it would be to just find a replacement left fielder assuming that Gardner is named to start in left as expected. I suspect that Randy Winn will see a fair amount of playing time, as will Marcus Thames if he makes the roster…and starts to hit (something that he has been unable to do this spring).
Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images
Everyone was amazed with the switch-pitching of prospect Pat Venditte this week. The 24-year-old has no hope of making the final roster, and I’ve always heard that he is not a legitimate major league prospect, but it was still an interesting story. I enjoyed reading the rules about ambidextrous pitchers. I am sure that they had to blow off the dust to find these:
MLB Rule 8.01 (f), regarding ambidextrous pitchers
A pitcher must indicate visually to the umpire-in-chief, the batter and any runners the hand with which he intends to pitch, which may be done by wearing his glove on the other hand while touching the pitcher’s plate. The pitcher is not permitted to pitch with the other hand until the batter is retired, the batter becomes a runner, the inning ends, the batter is substituted for by a pinch-hitter or the pitcher incurs an injury. In the event a pitcher switches pitching hands during an at-bat because he has suffered an injury, the pitcher may not, for the remainder of the game, pitch with the hand from which he has switched. The pitcher shall not be given the opportunity to throw any preparatory pitches after switching pitching hands. Any change of pitching hands must be indicated clearly to the umpire-in-chief.
I am still very skeptical if Venditte will ever make the major leagues, but I wish him much luck and success in his journey. It would be tremendous to have a weapon that could turn around hitters without a pitching change.
Noah Addis/The Star Ledger
Phil Hughes found out that he’ll be staying in Tampa for an extended spring training, with a first start not scheduled until April 15th. The Yankees do not need a fifth starter during the first couple of weeks of the season, and there had been talk that Hughes would be sent down to AAA until he was needed. This is probably a better and palatable solution for Hughes. Once you’ve made it to the Show, it’s kind of hard to step back a level regardless of the circumstances.
What are the odds of hitting your mother in the stands with a foul ball? That’s exactly what happened to the Minnesota Twins’ Denard Span today in the Twins’ 4-2 victory over the Yankees. He hit a foul ball that struck his mother in the collarbone. The hardest part for Span was watching his mother cry, but fortunately, she’s okay. That was definitely a very scary and ironic story…
The Toronto Blue Jays pinned the first loss as a Phillie on former ace Roy Halladay today in the Jays’ 5-2 win over Philadelphia. Okay, it wasn’t an official loss, but still, there was a bit of irony that the first “loss” would come against the Jays.
Gene J. Puskar/AP
The Phillies decision to go with Doc over Cliff Lee looks much stronger given the recent health challenges Lee has experienced. I still think they should have tried to find a way to keep both, but admittedly, I do not know enough about the team’s finances or infrastructure to know if that was even a possibility. Speaking of the Phils, nothing against Jamie Moyer, but I am a bit surprised that the team would go for a 47-year-old as their fifth starter over a solid 25-year-old Kyle Kendrick. Maybe Kendrick is not quite ready, but I would think his upside is much stronger. I guess there’s a reason they call the NL the “senior circuit”….
It sounds like trade talks between the Boston Red Sox and Texas Rangers are heating up again involving Mike Lowell. Lowell is a favorite of my good friend Julia, but he is a man without a position thanks to the Sox free agent acquisition of third baseman Adrian Beltre. If Boston is going to pay a significant portion of his salary anyway, you’d think they would just keep him to strengthen their bench. Nevertheless, it would seem this is a trade rumor that will happen. So, Julia, I dedicate this song to you…
In the eyes of a ranger,
The unsuspected stranger
Had better know the truth of right from wrong,
Cuz the eyes of a ranger are upon you,
Any wrong you do he’s gonna see,
When you’re in Texas look behind you,
Cuz that’s where the rangers are gonna be
Good luck to Mike wherever he lands. He is the consummate team professional and he’ll be a valuable cog on any roster. Admittedly, I’d prefer to see him on anyone’s roster other than Boston’s…
Jim Davis/Boston Globe
It’s hard to believe that the 2010 season is almost upon us. This is a great time. Every team is equal, and every fan is hopeful that this will be the year. Best of luck to everyone for what I hope will be a truly fantastic baseball season regardless of the outcome. Well, for me, a 28th Yankees World Championship would be good! J