We've reached the final week of spring training before the regular season begins for the rest of Major League Baseball that is not playing in Australia. With six games left to play for the Bombers down here in Florida, they host the Toronto Blue Jays today at GMS Field in Tampa.
Michael Pineda will make the start for the Yankees, while the Jays send Mark Buehrle to the mound to face New York for the second time this spring, with first pitch scheduled for 1:05 pm ET.
The Yankees will have an off-day tomorrow, and Joe Girardi told reporters yesterday that he's going to sit down and send a lot of think trying to iron out most of the pitching staff, including the fifth starter, which means we should be getting a rotation announcement possibly Tuesday.
"We'll probably talk about it Sunday after the game," Girardi said. "Maybe Tuesday we'll announce it, would be my guess."
That means Pineda will have one last shot today to prove to Girardi that he can handle the fifth starter job this season.
Through his first couple of spring starts, Pineda has been almost everything that the Yankees were hoping they would be getting out of him, coming back from shoulder surgery. In nine innings, he has yet to give up a run, while striking out 14 and walking just one. His stuff, especially his slider, has looked really good, and he's been throwing his fastball in the low-90's, which should build up a little more as we go on.
Pineda has received some tough competition from the rest of the fifth starter candidate, though David Phelps more than the rest. Phelps has pitched well throughout the spring, and had a good showing against the Boston Red Sox on Thursday. Phelps has a 2.75 ERA through 19 2/3 innings, tied for the most in camp.
Today's lineup against Toronto:
- Brett Gardner LF
- Derek Jeter SS
- Carlos Beltran RF
- Mark Teixeira 1B
- Brian McCann C
- Alfonso Soriano DH
- Brian Roberts 2B
- Eduardo Nunez 3B
- Ichiro Suzuki CF
Pretty much a basic, Opening Day-type lineup that Girardi will be running out today. Replace Ichiro with Jacoby Ellsbury, who is expected to be back Tuesday, and Kelly Johnson at third base, and you're looking at the lineup we'll see on Day 1.