Ellsbury-Gardner tandem could top Yanks' lineup often

Manager Girardi intrigued by potential of maximizing speed atop batting order

Ellsbury-Gardner tandem could top Yanks' lineup often

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- The Yankees are intrigued by the speedy combination of Jacoby Ellsbury and Brett Gardner atop their lineup, and manager Joe Girardi said that it could be seen often this season.

"It's definitely a possibility," Girardi said. "I think that both of them are capable of leading off. Ells has done it a little more in his career than Gardy, but I just kind of like the combination of those two guys together."

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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 excited for spring debut Wednesday

Veteran slugger scheduled to serve as designated hitter against Phillies

A-Rod excited for spring debut Wednesday

TAMPA, Fla. -- Alex Rodriguez is scheduled to play in his first Spring Training game of the year on Wednesday, when the Yankees are set to host the Phillies at 1:05 p.m. ET at George M. Steinbrenner Field on MLB.TV.

"I'll be a little nervous, for sure," Rodriguez said. "I haven't been in front of our fans for a long time. I'm excited about that. I have some challenges ahead."

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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 faces hitters for first time in spring

Right-hander cautious, but feels 'perfectly fine' after throwing to Gardner, others

Tanaka faces hitters for first time in spring

TAMPA, Fla. -- Right-hander Masahiro Tanaka, the $155 million starting pitcher who made only two starts after July 8 last season due to a partially torn ligament in his elbow, faced hitters for the first time Monday at George M. Steinbrenner Field.

It was just five pitches each to Brett Gardner, Chris Young, Ramon Flores, Jonathan Galvez and Tyler Austin, plus two pitchouts. Manager Joe Girardi and several of his lieutenants watched intently from behind the mound, and general manager Brian Cashman headed up a front-office delegation behind the batting cage.

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

Yanks fan, 65, walking from Tampa to NY for charity

Retired teacher Albero donating proceeds of trek to Wounded Warriors Project

Yanks fan, 65, walking from Tampa to NY for charity

TAMPA, Fla. -- It's unusual for a Major League team to interrupt a workout during Spring Training. Then again, what Richard Albero is doing is pretty unique.

Yankees manager Joe Girardi halted watching pitchers throw off the mound at George M. Steinbrenner Field on Monday to chat with Albero in the home dugout. General manager Brian Cashman introduced himself to the 65-year-old former naval officer and retired teacher. At home plate, he was surrounded by players and front-office members who gave him a hearty round of applause as he began walking down the third-base line, into the left-field corner and out the stadium.

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

A-Rod sees time at DH in intrasquad tilt

Yankees play final game before Grapefruit action starts Tuesday

A-Rod sees time at DH in intrasquad tilt

TAMPA, Fla. -- The Yankees closed out the workout portion of Spring Training with a combination intrasquad game/simulated game Monday at George M. Steinbrenner Field. A pitching machine was used instead of real pitchers and situations were created. For example, both halves of the first inning began with a runner on first.

"It's hard to get the situations you want with the pitchers on the mound. We could throw the ball in the dirt when we wanted. Throw strikes. Guys can make contact. You just get a lot more out of it," manager Joe Girardi said, explaining the decision to go with "Iron Mike."

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

After first live BP, Pineda states goal for season

Oft-injured since being acquired by Yankees, righty determined to remain healthy in 2015

After first live BP, Pineda states goal for season

TAMPA, Fla. -- Michael Pineda tossed his first live batting-practice session of the spring on Sunday for the Yankees at Steinbrenner Field. The right-hander threw about 20 pitches and said afterward that his goal is to remain "healthy all season."

That would be fine as far as the Yankees are concerned. With CC Sabathia and Masahiro Tanaka returning from injuries, Pineda is a big part of the rotation, and keeping his problematic right shoulder healthy is of primary concern.

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Barry M. Bloom is a national reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Boomskie on Baseball. Follow @boomskie on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Barry M. Bloom

Miller hopes charmed career continues in Bronx

Warm welcome with O's one of indelible moments for lefty, who could close for Yanks

Miller hopes charmed career continues in Bronx

TAMPA, Fla. -- For Andrew Miller, the moment is suspended in time.

Just prior to his first appearance for the Orioles last August after the Red Sox traded him to Baltimore, Miller ran in from the bullpen to a rousing ovation from the 39,487 fans at Camden Yards, an experience that is indelibly etched in his memory, the newest Yankees left-hander said.

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Barry M. Bloom is a national reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Boomskie on Baseball. Follow @boomskie on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rotation stars take it slow as Girardi sets early matchups

Eovaldi lone staff hopeful to start in first three games with no live BP yet for CC, Tanaka

Rotation stars take it slow as Girardi sets early matchups

TAMPA, Fla. -- It's nothing earthshattering, but Yankees manager Joe Girardi named two relievers and a prospective member of the rotation to start his club's first three Grapefruit League games: Adam Warren, Nathan Eovaldi and Esmil Rogers.

Warren is slated to start the Grapefruit League opener on Tuesday against the Phillies in nearby Clearwater, Fla., Eovaldi in the home opener here at Steinbrenner Field, also against the Phillies on Wednesday, and Rogers in Bradenton vs. the Pirates on Thursday.

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Barry M. Bloom is a national reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Boomskie on Baseball. Follow @boomskie on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Barry M. Bloom

Didi given opportunity to improve, thrive in New York

Girardi encourages new shortstop not to try to mimic departed Jeter

Didi given opportunity to improve, thrive in New York

TAMPA, Fla. -- Upon arriving in Yankees camp for the first time this spring, new shortstop Didi Gregorius received these words of wisdom from manager Joe Girardi: Try to be the best Didi Grigorius you can be. Don't try to be like Derek Jeter, the retired icon he's replacing on the left side of the Yanks' infield.

"That's my choice if I want to let all that get into my head or not," Gregorius told a gaggle of reporters in the Yankees clubhouse at George M. Steinbrenner Field during a rainy Saturday. "I'm just going to relax and be the best that I can be when I go out there."

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Barry M. Bloom is a national reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Boomskie on Baseball. Follow @boomskie on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Ryan won't rush recovery from mid-back strain

Yankees infielder hopes to resume baseball activities within week

Ryan won't rush recovery from mid-back strain

TAMPA, Fla. -- Yankees utility infielder Brendan Ryan said on Saturday that he's making progress in his recovery from a strained muscle in the middle of his back, and he hopes to resume baseball activities next week.

Ryan said that he sustained the strain while performing 45-pound bicep curls in advance of camp. He mentioned the lingering soreness during his physical exam this week, and a precautionary MRI ordered by Dr. Daniel Murphy on Thursday revealed the strain.

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Barry M. Bloom is a national reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Boomskie on Baseball. Follow @boomskie on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

All about the brace: CC gets assist in 'pen session

Sabathia aiming to return from right knee surgery with added support

All about the brace: CC gets assist in 'pen session

TAMPA, Fla. -- CC Sabathia is continuing to make progress as he returns from right knee surgery, and the Yankees left-hander plans to attack his workload with the assistance of a brace that has been hidden underneath his billowing pinstriped pants.

Sabathia threw a 41-pitch bullpen session on Friday morning at George M. Steinbrenner Field, his third time on the mound this spring. After a long winter of rehab and several platelet-rich plasma injections, Sabathia said that he is able to put his focus into his pitches.

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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 gets reps at first base, preps for transition

Former Gold Glove Award winner has 'good tutor' in Teixeira

A-Rod gets reps at first base, preps for transition

TAMPA, Fla. -- Alex Rodriguez gave first base a whirl for the first time on Friday, fielding grounders and receiving throws on a training field behind the third-base seats of George M. Steinbrenner Field.

Rodriguez said that he is "anxious to learn" more about the position, as the Yankees are evaluating to see if he can be a serviceable backup for Mark Teixeira. Rodriguez briefly took reps alongside Teixeira and Kyle Roller, then returned to third base.

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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 see positive results as Tanaka builds stamina

Righty feels 'on the right track' after bullpen session; schedule could be tweaked

Yankees see positive results as Tanaka builds stamina

TAMPA, Fla. -- The Yankees have been pleased with Masahiro Tanaka's progress through his first bullpen sessions of the spring, pitching coach Larry Rothschild said on Thursday.

Tanaka increased his workload to 40 pitches in a morning bullpen session at George M. Steinbrenner Field, and he has not hesitated to show off his full arsenal, including splitters.

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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 participates in Yankees' first full workout

A-Rod participates in Yankees' first full workout

TAMPA, Fla. -- Alex Rodriguez said that he felt "like I'm a rookie all over again" as he slipped the pinstripes for the first time in more than a year Thursday, taking batting practice and fielding drills with his Yankees teammates at George M. Steinbrenner Field.

Rodriguez took 32 swings, smacking three home runs, and heard nothing but encouragement from a small crowd that assembled under overcast skies for the Yankees' first full-squad workout of the spring. Rodriguez said that he felt nervous before pulling on that familiar No. 13 jersey.

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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.

Backup infielder Ryan sidelined with mid-back strain

Injury sustained in weight room to keep veteran out about five days

Backup infielder Ryan sidelined with mid-back strain

TAMPA, Fla. -- The exasperating part for Brendan Ryan, as he discussed the mid-back strain that will keep him off the field for about five days, is that he was injured while doing an exercise that was really just for show.

Ryan said that he sustained the strain while performing 45-pound bicep curls in advance of camp. He mentioned the lingering soreness during his physical exam this week, and a precautionary MRI ordered by Dr. Daniel Murphy on Thursday revealed the strain.

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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.

Girardi, Yankees adjusting to life without Jeter

Manager calls it 'strange' not to see shortstop on field at spring camp

Girardi, Yankees adjusting to life without Jeter

TAMPA, Fla. -- As the Yankees went through their drills Thursday, Joe Girardi wandered around the lip of the outfield grass, exchanging pleasantries with the infielders. When he reached the shortstop position, he had to remember why Derek Jeter was absent.

"You get used to seeing guys out there on the field, it's a little abnormal when they're not out there," Girardi said. "It was a little strange not seeing Derek out there today. We looked and we were doing the mass infield and he wasn't there. It was kind of strange to me."

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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: Yankees have 'chip on their shoulder' after '14 finish

Entering second season in Bronx, center fielder feeling great following ankle issue

Ellsbury: Yankees have 'chip on their shoulder' after '14 finish

TAMPA, Fla. -- Jacoby Ellsbury said that there is a comfort level as he prepares for his second Spring Training with the Yankees, and senses that his teammates are "definitely motivated" to improve upon last year's second-place finish in the American League East.

"They worked hard, seeing them in the clubhouse, and obviously you can tell they put on some strength from their size," Ellsbury said. "I think guys have a chip on their shoulder and want to go out there and perform at the highest level."

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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.

Sterling hosts fundraiser for families displaced by NJ fire

Sterling hosts fundraiser for families displaced by NJ fire

NEW CITY, N.Y. -- If anything was made clear by the goings-on Thursday night at D&D's Restaurant & Pub, it's this: Yankees fans love them some John Sterling.

While hosting a meet-and-greet fundraiser in support of the families displaced last month by a fire at the AvalonBay luxury apartment complex in Edgewater, N.J., Sterling, the Yankees' longtime radio play-by-play man, barely had a moment to himself.

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Tim Healey is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Surveying full spring squad, Cashman expresses optimism

Yankees GM hopeful roster of veterans, young players mesh into title contender

Surveying full spring squad, Cashman expresses optimism

TAMPA, Fla. -- After Brian Cashman watched the full squad of Yankees players assemble Thursday, the veteran general manager referred to his roster as a "potpourri" of bounce-back candidates and young newcomers, voicing hope that they will fit together for a run at a championship.

"I know this year is different, I guess, because we have some youth involved now, too -- but it marks the baseball season," Cashman said. "It's true of every camp.

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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.

5 players we'd like to see Mariano Rivera face

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5 players we'd like to see Mariano Rivera face

Mariano Rivera retired in 2013. He's the all-time leader in games finished (952), saves (652) and ERA+ (205). He finished his final season in top form (at the age of 43!) with 44 saves and 2.11 ERA. He was as dominant as dominant gets. 

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Hal Steinbrenner shares thoughts, hopes for Yankees

Hal Steinbrenner shares thoughts, hopes for Yankees

TAMPA, Fla. -- Hal Steinbrenner discussed the Yankees' payroll expenditures and their decision not to further pursue Cuban prospect Yoan Moncada, who accepted a $31.5 million bonus from the Red Sox, in an interview with the New York Post that was published on Thursday.

Steinbrenner, the Yankees' managing general partner, told the newspaper that his team offered Moncada a $12.5 million bonus through most of the negotiation process. They doubled that to $25 million this past weekend, which, combined with a 100-percent penalty, would have brought the Yanks' investment to $50 million.

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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 to evaluate A-Rod as backup first baseman

Along with DH duties, club to try out veteran at infield corners in bid to maximize at-bats

Yankees to evaluate A-Rod as backup first baseman

TAMPA, Fla. -- Alex Rodriguez cannot remember ever taking a ground ball at first base, but that is about to change, manager Joe Girardi said on Wednesday.

Girardi and Rodriguez spoke on Wednesday at George M. Steinbrenner Field, going over their objectives for the spring. Though the Yankees are looking to the 39-year-old Rodriguez more as a designated hitter, they are curious to try him as a backup at the infield corners.

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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.

Center of attention: Rivera in Yankees' camp

All-time saves leader shagging flies and in uniform as special guest instructor

Center of attention: Rivera in Yankees' camp

TAMPA, Fla. -- The all-time saves leader still loves to chase down those batting-practice fly balls in center field. Mariano Rivera looked right at home on Wednesday, slipping on his old No. 42 uniform and reporting to Yankees camp as a special guest instructor.

This is the second consecutive spring in the coaches' room for Rivera, who retired after of the 2013 season. Yankees manager Joe Girardi said that he expects Rivera to remain in camp for nine or 10 days.

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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.

Teixeira hopes 'no fun' diet leads to lots of fun in season

Yankees slugger cuts fat, adds muscle and looks forward to getting back to what he does best

Teixeira hopes 'no fun' diet leads to lots of fun in season

TAMPA, Fla. -- Mark Teixeira said goodbye to his beloved morning muffins and pancake breakfasts, and combined with a full winter of training, those sacrifices could bring him back to form as a power-hitting force in the heart of the Yankees' lineup.

Teixeira said that he trimmed 15 pounds of fat and gained 13 pounds of muscle by hiring a new trainer and adhering to what he called a "no fun" diet that nixed gluten, dairy and sugar from his plate, intended to cut down on the amount of inflammation in his body.

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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.

Pentland establishes early rapport with A-Rod

New Yanks hitting coach speaks with Rodriguez before camp, ready to work with all hitters

Pentland establishes early rapport with A-Rod

TAMPA, Fla. -- Jeff Pentland recalls watching from the stands as Alex Rodriguez made noise as a teenage phenom in the instructional league two decades ago. The new Yankees hitting coach expects to discover that there is still some of that lightning left.

Pentland was scouting for the Marlins in the early 1990s, when Rodriguez was grabbing headlines as the next big thing rocketing through the Mariners' system. Though they have never worked together, Pentland said that he has admired Rodriguez's career from afar.

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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.

Ryan hopes for larger role in Yankees' infield

Defensive dynamo seeks more at-bats against left-handers in 2015

Ryan hopes for larger role in Yankees' infield

TAMPA, Fla. -- Brendan Ryan knows what the back of his baseball card has looked like for the last few seasons, but the Yankees infielder believes that he can be counted on for more than just a good glove.

"My average was terrible, but I felt like I hit the ball way better than my average showed," said Ryan, who batted .167 in 114 at-bats last year. "I just didn't have much love. When you don't have a whole lot of love with few at-bats, things get blown out of proportion. I think I did some things well last year."

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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.

MLB.com Columnist

Bernie Pleskoff

On the Cusp: New York Yankees

On the Cusp: New York Yankees

In this series, Bernie Pleskoff takes a team-by-team look at which top prospects are poised to make a contribution at the big league level in 2015.

After a fairly quiet offseason, the Yankees appear to be pleased to enter the year with a new shortstop in Didi Gregorius and a potentially new designated hitter in Garrett Jones. Lefty Andrew Miller comes over from Baltimore as a free agent to help bolster the bullpen. The pitching staff will be counting on the return to health of pitchers like CC Sabathia, Michael Pineda, and Masahiro Tanaka.

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Bernie Pleskoff has served as a professional scout for the Houston Astros and Seattle Mariners. Follow @BerniePleskoff on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Proof that MLB Spring Training is unstuck in time

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Proof that MLB Spring Training is unstuck in time

If you check the calendar on your mobile device, it will surely tell you that it is currently 2015. But in Arizona and Florida -- where MLB teams have reported for Spring Training -- it appears that players, coaches and managers have become trapped in a tangent reality parallel to years past.

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