The Star-Ledger-USA TODAY Sports
Outfielder Configuration: The Yankees are toying with the idea of switching Curtis Granderson and Brett Gardner in the outfield. It was recently reported that the two had started playing practicing in their new position, but soon it was shown that the Yankees intend to have a competition to see who should be the centerfielder. Gardner even said it was all a joke for the reporters. Granderson commented that he would like to remain in center, but he also just wants to play.
Built on Youth: In years past the Yankees had veteran depth. Brett Gardner went down and there was Raul Ibanez, Michael Pineda got hurt and there was Freddy Garcia. This year there are no veteran backups to help out in case of injury or ineffectiveness. There is no Eric Chavez or Derek Lowe. The Yankees can only look to young inexperienced options like starters Adam Warren and Brett Marshall, relievers Chase Whitley, Cesar Cabral and Mark Montgomery, infielders like Corban Joseph, David Adams, and outfielders like Melky Mesa, Zoilo Almonte, and Thomas Neal.
A Catcher Talks About Catchers: Jorge Posada, soon-to-be Spring Training special instructor, commented on the upcoming catching battle between Francisco Cervelli, Austin Romine, Chris Stewart, and Bobby Wilson. He believes that Cervelli has matured and has the ability to make it as the starting catcher. He thinks Romine is talented and has a future within the organization, but he thinks he might be held back to start the season even though he could still win a roster spot. He didn't say a thing about Stewart and Wilson.
Potential Depth: With several bench spots still open on the team, there are four non-roster invitees that could possibly be useful to the team. Ronnier Mustelier could make the team as a right handed bat off the bench. Luke Morton, while he won't be making the team, could end up getting a lot of playing time in camp if Mark Teixeira will be away for the World Baseball Classic. He could also earn a promotion to Triple-A to serve as first base depth. Chase Whitley and Preston Clairborne can impress this spring and gain attention to be mid-season replacements in the event that a reliever goes down. Whitley can provide long relief depth and might even be in line for a spot start or two, while Clairborne could be an effective strikeout pitcher in the pen.
Pitcher Status Check: David Phelps will be starting the spring opener on Saturday and Adam Warren will be following him on Sunday. Mark Montgomery has been playing catch, which is a good sign after pulling his back recently. He could be cleared as soon as Thursday. Girardi spoke about the young pitching in camp this year and commented about how many of them bring a lot of velocity to their game. He mentioned Bryan Mitchell, Jose Ramirez and Corey Black specifically.
Another Third Base Option: Dan Johnson has been working out at third base a lot. Girardi is considering having a left handed bat on the bench, so if Johnson can prove to be a usable corner infielder he could make the team.
WBC Goers: There are several more Yankees that will now be playing in the World Baseball Classic. Minor leaguer Gil Velazquez will be joining Mexico, while Melky Mesa, and Juan Cedeno will be on Dominican Republic. As for the two major leaguers, Mark Teixeira's last day of Spring Training before the World Baseball Classic is March 2nd, while Cano's is March 3rd.