Yankees manager Joe Girardi has officially named right-hander Masahiro Tanaka the team's Opening Day starter, and the skipper outlined his rotation beyond that on Friday morning.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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."
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.
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."
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.
Spencer Fordin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
'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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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
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.