Warren works to further cement status as fifth starter

Right-hander still favorite to land role; official word may come in a few days

Warren works to further cement status as fifth starter

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- Adam Warren may not be thrilled with his new nickname of "Secretariat," playing off a comment offered this week by Yankees general manager Brian Cashman, but he is certainly happy with what it represents.

Cashman likened Warren to the legendary racehorse in evaluating the Yankees' fifth starter competition, and though the right-hander is in no danger of a photo finish, he said that any celebration would be premature before it is officially announced by the club.

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Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

64 years ago, Mantle hit a 550-660 foot HR

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64 years ago, Mantle hit a 550-660 foot HR

We've seen some incredible rookies impress over the last few years. From Jose Fernandez to Bryce Harper to Mike "The Fish God" Trout. But 64 years ago today, a 19-year-old Mickey Mantle may have topped them all during a Spring Training game against USC.

 

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Warren solid in latest bid for rotation spot

Right-hander strikes out five over 3 2/3 innings vs. Rays

Warren solid in latest bid for rotation spot

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- The Rays had a "bullpen day" on Thursday as they did not use a starting pitcher, rather a stream of relievers were backed by home runs from Evan Longoria and Desmond Jennings in a 6-5 win over the New York Yankees on Thursday at Charlotte Sports Park.

"You had to be prepared a little earlier," said Grant Balfour, who pitched a scoreless third. "Guys are going six, seven innings now. Today was one of those days where we just threw all the relievers out there."

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Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Ellsbury swings bat, optimistic for opener

Outfielder takes cuts for first time since straining his oblique on March 15

Ellsbury swings bat, optimistic for opener

TAMPA, Fla. -- Jacoby Ellsbury said that he is excited to pick up a bat for tee work and soft toss on Thursday, which he believes will be a good test as he attempts to be ready for the Yankees' Opening Day lineup.

Ellsbury has not played in a game since March 15 due to a right oblique strain that the Yankees have characterized as "extremely mild." Manager Joe Girardi has said that as long as Ellsbury can play in a game by March 31, he is unconcerned about the season opener on April 6.

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Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Steinbrenner confident in Yankees' chances

Managing general partner discusses prospects, A-Rod in radio interviews

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- Yankees managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner is confident about his club's chances of competing in the American League East this 2015 season, voicing that optimism in a pair of New York radio interviews on Thursday.

With Opening Day approaching, Steinbrenner called in to both WFAN's Mike Francesa and ESPN Radio's Michael Kay and said that he has been pleased by the overall health of the club, as well as some of the exciting young prospects who have been on display during Spring Training.

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Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Yankees release right-hander Burton

Yankees release right-hander Burton

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- The Yankees have unconditionally released right-hander Jared Burton from his Minor League contract.

Burton, 33, had been sidelined since March 17 with a strained lat. He pitched four innings over four spring appearances, allowing no runs and two hits with no walks and two strikeouts.

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Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Manfred content with A-Rod's smooth return

Commissioner confirms Yanks vet will be tested frequently in wake of suspension

Manfred content with A-Rod's smooth return

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- Commissioner Rob Manfred has been pleased to see Alex Rodriguez re-assimilate into life as an active player and with the Yankees following the slugger's historic suspension, Manfred said on Thursday.

"I think I've been pretty public about this," Manfred said. "Alex served a very long suspension. Once he served that time, baseball ought to welcome him back -- and I think we've done a good job. The institution as a whole -- teams, central baseball, everybody. He's played well. Good for him."

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Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Tanaka strikes out 7 Mets in solid outing

Righty goes 4 2/3 innings, surrenders homer; Betances also taken deep

Tanaka strikes out 7 Mets in solid outing

TAMPA, Fla. -- John Mayberry Jr. homered off Masahiro Tanaka and Juan Lagares cracked a two-run blast off Dellin Betances as the Mets defeated the Yankees, 7-2, on Wednesday at George M. Steinbrenner Field.

Lined up to serve as the Yanks' Opening Day starter, Tanaka permitted three runs (two earned) and four hits over 4 2/3 innings, walking one and striking out seven. The right-hander threw 47 of 59 pitches for strikes and said that he has been working on throwing his two-seam fastball more often this season.

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Paul Hagen is a reporter for MLB.com. Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Warren clear favorite to be Yanks' fifth starter

Warren clear favorite to be Yanks' fifth starter

TAMPA, Fla. -- Adam Warren has all but secured the fifth-starter's job on the strength of a strong spring, according to general manager Brian Cashman, though the Yankees are in no hurry to etch that decision in stone.

"I think there's a predictable favorite. I guess that's as far as I can go on that one," Cashman said on Wednesday. "Right now, if we had to make a decision today, I think we all know what that decision would be. There's a Secretariat right now in this race for me that's got a number of lengths ahead of the field."

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Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Tanaka working on improving two-seamer

Righty not eliminating four-seamer, but says pitch was vulnerable in 2014

Tanaka working on improving two-seamer

TAMPA, Fla. -- If it appears that Masahiro Tanaka isn't lighting up the radar gun like he did during his terrific rookie campaign, the Yankees right-hander is armed with a good explanation, and it's one which he says is unrelated to last year's elbow injury.

Tanaka revealed on Wednesday that he has decided to throw his two-seam fastball more this spring, a pitch that has less velocity than his four-seamer but adds downward movement. Tanaka said that he thought his four-seamer was vulnerable last season, and so he is looking to make an adjustment.

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Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cashman: A-Rod showing he could be everyday DH

Yankees general manager likes what he's seen from slugger at the plate

Cashman: A-Rod showing he could be everyday DH

TAMPA, Fla. -- The Yankees were not sure what to expect from Alex Rodriguez this spring, having seen him in just 44 games over the last two seasons due to injuries and suspension, but general manager Brian Cashman said on Wednesday that he has been pleased with the slugger's output.

"He's done well," Cashman said. "I'm not looking at performance and statistics as much as just how he's been swinging the bat. He's got a lot of life in his body. If he continues to show athleticism, that means he's going to impact the baseball. That will be good for us."

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Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

NYCFC hopes Cathedral will strike fear in opponents

NYCFC hopes Cathedral will strike fear in opponents

NEW YORK -- It's finally starting to feel a little bit like home.

New York City Football Club is settling into Yankee Stadium, and it invited the media to an open practice Wednesday in advance of its second home game. NYCFC will take on Sporting Kansas City at Yankee Stadium on Saturday night, and the players are hoping for another capacity crowd.

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Spencer Fordin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Frustrated Betances vows to finish spring strong

Frustrated Betances vows to finish spring strong

TAMPA, Fla. -- The home run that Dellin Betances served up on Wednesday came on a hanging curve, so any chatter about radar-gun readings is irrelevant there. Yet with less than two weeks before Opening Day, the Yankees right-hander is running out of time to finish his spring on a strong note.

"I'm obviously frustrated," Betances said. "I mean, it's been four outings where every time out, I've given up a run. Today I felt better, but you've got to make a better pitch than that to [Juan] Lagares. It's frustrating, but I'm sure I've got four more outings left and I'll do whatever I can to be better for the season."

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Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Flores caps Yanks' comeback with walk-off blast

Club scores four in ninth to top Tigers; Tex, Beltran each collect an RBI

Flores caps Yanks' comeback with walk-off blast

TAMPA, Fla. -- Ramon Flores figures to be near the top of the Yankees' list should they need an outfielder during the regular season, and he provided them with something to remember on Tuesday night, belting a game-winning three-run home run in a 9-8 victory over the Tigers at George M. Steinbrenner Field.

Flores slugged his second home run of the spring off right-hander Rafael Dolis, clearing the right-field wall with two strikes and two outs in the bottom of the ninth. Flores is the Yanks' No. 26 prospect and will likely begin the year at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

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Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Tanaka lined up to start Opening Day

Tanaka lined up to start Opening Day

TAMPA, Fla. -- Masahiro Tanaka appears to be lined up to start the Yankees' season opener on April 6, setting CC Sabathia up to pass the torch after making six consecutive Opening Day outings for the club.

Yankees manager Joe Girardi has not officially named Tanaka for the assignment against the Blue Jays at Yankee Stadium, but he acknowledged that Sabathia is ruled out for the Opening Day start since he has been scheduled to start March 28 and would be on short rest for the opener.

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Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

A-Rod playing some first not out of question

Yanks third baseman gets drills in across diamond during infield practice

A-Rod playing some first not out of question

TAMPA, Fla. -- The Yankees ran through infield practice on George M. Steinbrenner Field's main diamond Tuesday afternoon, providing an opportunity for Alex Rodriguez to continue his crash course at first base.

Rodriguez used his third baseman's glove to scoop some balls on the opposite side of the diamond, which has not been an uncommon sight this spring. Yankees manager Joe Girardi said that he still has interest in seeing if Rodriguez can help out as a backup first baseman.

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Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rogers endures tough outing against Tigers

Yanks righty's chances at No. 5 spot take a hit after allowing five runs

Rogers endures tough outing against Tigers

TAMPA, Fla. -- Esmil Rogers spoke in hushed tones and fixed his gaze toward the clubhouse carpet after his outing on Tuesday night against the Tigers. The Yankees won't say it publicly, but the right-hander seems to sense that his chances of breaking camp as a starter have absorbed a serious blow.

The afternoon started with manager Joe Girardi challenging Rogers, calling it "a pretty big start" for him as he tries to ward off Adam Warren for the fifth spot in New York's rotation. The evening ended with five runs on the board over three innings in what wrapped as a 9-8 Yankees victory over the Tigers.

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Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Ellsbury tests oblique by running sprints

Ellsbury tests oblique by running sprints

TAMPA, Fla. -- Jacoby Ellsbury has resumed some on-field activities and is "progressing great" as he looks to be in the Yankees' Opening Day lineup, according to manager Joe Girardi.

Ellsbury, 31, ran sprints in the outfield before Tuesday's game against the Tigers, testing his strained right oblique. He has yet to hit or throw, but Girardi said that Ellsbury swung a broomstick lightly on Monday and is working out in the gym with a medicine ball.

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Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Watch the Yankees reenact a scene from 'The Sandlot'

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Watch the Yankees reenact a scene from 'The Sandlot'

'The Sandlot,' a film about a group of baseball-playing children that get caught up in in a series of escalating hijinks after one of them loses a ball autographed by Babe Ruth, is considered by many baseball fans to be a classic. The Yankees would appear to agree.

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Betances not concerned with low velocity

Betances not concerned with low velocity

TAMPA, Fla. -- Dellin Betances believes that his arm strength will continue to build the more he is used out of the bullpen, and so the Yankees right-hander isn't concerned about radar-gun readings at this stage of the spring.

Betances maxed out at 94 mph with his fastball on Tuesday, according to the YES Network radar gun, as he allowed a run in the fifth inning of New York's 9-8 victory over the Tigers. He regularly sat a few mph faster last year as an All-Star setup man.

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Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Pirela recuperating after sustaining concussion

Yanks outfielder's back, neck still sore; CT scan, MRI results normal

Pirela recuperating after sustaining concussion

TAMPA, Fla. -- Jose Pirela was lying flat on his back in front of a hushed crowd, staring up at the blue Florida sky, and his thoughts were not with the game or the teammates who had clustered around him on the warning track.

"I tried to relax and stay positive, and I knew it was going to be all right," Pirela said Tuesday through an interpreter.

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Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Mitchell backed by homers from Young, McCann

Rotation hopeful allows two runs in 3 1/3 innings; duo combines for three blasts, five RBIs

Mitchell backed by homers from Young, McCann

VIERA, Fla. -- The Nationals scored three runs in the seventh inning off Kyle Davies to edge the Yankees, 7-6, at Space Coast Stadium on Monday afternoon. Doug Fister started the game and pitched into the fifth inning while contributing to a four-run fourth with a two-run single.

Chris Young and Brian McCann did most of the damage for New York, driving in a combined five runs. Young hit two homers, while McCann hit a two-run blast in support of rotation hopeful Bryan Mitchell, who allowed four hits and two earned runs in 3 1/3 innings.

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Jamal Collier is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @jamalcollier. Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the time. He also could be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Young belts pair of homers, ready for any role

Young belts pair of homers, ready for any role

VIERA, Fla -- Outfielder Chris Young is not entirely sure what his role will be with the Yankees this season, and he is fine with that.

"I showed up last year not knowing what would happen," Young said, referring to signing with the Yankees 12 days after being released by the Mets in August. "And I ended up playing quite a bit."

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Jamal Collier is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @jamalcollier. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Oblique improving, Ellsbury eyeing Opening Day

Oblique improving, Ellsbury eyeing Opening Day

TAMPA, Fla. -- Jacoby Ellsbury believes that his strained right oblique is improving, and the speedy outfielder is confident that his name will appear in the Yankees' lineup on Opening Day.

Ellsbury has not played since March 15, when he sustained the injury while tossing in the outfield before a game against the Phillies. The 31-year-old has been receiving treatment and said his next step will be to resume hitting and throwing.

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Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Betances, Miller not concerned with title of 'closer'

Betances, Miller not concerned with title of 'closer'

TAMPA, Fla. -- The Yankees could enter the regular season without making a choice for the closer's role, and if that proves to be the case, Dellin Betances and Andrew Miller said they will be fine getting on the team plane without an official title in hand.

Both relievers said on Monday that there is no particular urgency to iron out the eighth- and ninth-inning assignments, echoing sentiments from manager Joe Girardi, who has said that he does not consider it absolutely necessary to anoint a closer before the club goes north.

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Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Mantle's bat could fetch $200,000 at auction

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Mantle's bat could fetch $200,000 at auction

Mickey Mantle won three MVP awards, hit 536 home runs and slashed at a .298/.421/.557 mark during his 18-year Hall of Fame career. His last year in the Majors was 1968. 

But what if you could go back? What if you could get your hands on

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Tanaka would consider OD assignment a great honor

Tanaka would consider OD assignment a great honor

TAMPA, Fla. -- The Yankees are not ready to say if they are lining up Masahiro Tanaka to start on Opening Day, but the right-hander said that he would "absolutely" consider the assignment to be a great honor.

Tanaka threw 36 pitches in the bullpen on Sunday at George M. Steinbrenner Field, where he is scheduled to face the Mets on Wednesday. That creates a scenario where Tanaka would be ready to take the mound on April 6 against the Blue Jays at Yankee Stadium.

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