Debby Wong-US PRESSWIRE
If you haven't noticed by now, Boone Logan has yet to throw a pitch in Spring Training this year. That's because his elbow has been acting up. He's had his elbow wrapped up, treated with kid gloves and kept out of action for awhile now. It seemed like he was getting ready to start pitching again when he felt pain in the back of his elbow "in one spot." That sounds like a ligament problem.
Though tests have come back negative and no one seems to be taking it too seriously, it still doesn't sound promising. At this point I wouldn't be surprised to hear that he needs Tommy John surgery. Clay Rapada, the other lefty in the pen, should probably be happy to hear this, unfortunately for him Girardi is still going to want another lefty in the bullpen and options are going to be limited.
The first person you would think of, if you actually remembered he existed, would be Cesar Cabral. The lefty looked like he was going to beat out Clay Rapada last spring before he went down with stress fracture in his elbow that sidelined him for the entire season. Since Cabral is still a Rule V draft pick, he is still part of the Yankee organization so long as he's on the disabled list. Cabral should be healthy again within a matter of months, so while he could be an option this season, he's not likely to break camp with the team.
That leaves the Yankees with a few options in camp. Non-Roster Invitees include Josh Spence, Matt Tracy, and Juan Cedeno. Spence has 40 innings of experience with the Padres from the last two seasons, where he put up a 3.15 ERA, a 3.92 FIP and a 9.22 K/9, but also a 5.40 BB/9. Tracy had a 3.18 ERA and 3.63 FIP, but only put up a 5.82 K/9 against a 3.55 BB/9 in 99 innings as a starter for Charleston before making the jump to Triple-A Scranton for five innings. Cedeno is a minor league journeyman who had a 2.81 ERA with a 3.47 FIP along with an 8.02 K/9 and a 2.95 BB/9 in 64 innings for Scranton.
Lefties on the 40-man roster include starter Nik Turley, who has all of five innings at Double-A in his career and Francisco Rondon. The 24-year-old lefty started the year in Tampa, spent most of the year in Trenton to compile a 3.96 ERA, 4.06 FIP, a amassed a 9.9 K/9 with a 5.51 BB/9, before making it up to Scranton. Rondon's mediocre season would have obviously kept him off the radar in 2013, but if injuries necessitate a replacement, he could be an option. He's already getting an extended look this spring and has impressed. In 4.1 innings he's only allowed two hits, one walk and no runs, while striking out four.
He could definitely be of use to the Yankees if Logan has to miss even a little time due to elbow soreness. The Yankees could instead use the likes of Shawn Kelley or Cody Eppley and eventually maybe even Mark Montgomery to fill in the spot at first, or Boone will be fine and this whole post is for nothing.
Slade Heathcott is suffering from a sprained thumb from that time he tackled Ronnier Mustelier in the outfield when trying to catch a ball. He stayed in the game after the collision and even had an MRI done on it and everything checked out ok. No one thinks it's anything to worry about, but I imagine they might let him sit a game or two just to be safe. He's still just a prospect, even if Brian Cashman thinks he's a dark horse candidate for the major league outfield.
Phil Hughes will be playing catch today for the first time since injuring his back. The Yankees starter has been working out in a pool and taking anti-inflammatory medication since popping a disc trying to cover first base before Spring Training games even started.
This will be the first step in getting him ready for his first start of the season. The team has a tight deadline with him so if he can't make it back in time the Yankees could call on current longman David Phelps to fill in or could call up Adam Warren or Brett Marshall for a spot start. Hughes needing time on the DL has yet to come up, but as April 1 approaches the Yankees will have a better idea.