Notable performances from the Yankees 8-3 defeat at the hands of the Phillies earlier today:
1) Brian Bruney continued his putrid spring, allowing 2 runs on 2 hits, on of which was a home run by Mat Stairs, in one inning. He also notched two strikeouts, and thankfully was able to avoid the base on balls. According to Pete Abe, Bruney’s job is not in danger, but Joe Girardi has mentioned that Brian really needs to get it going. Bruney may be assured of a roster spot, but I could see him losing his hold on the 8th inning if he does not string together some decent performances.
2) Nick Swisher was not thrilled with Girardi’s decision to go with Xavier Nady in right field, but he seems to have a good attitude about the whole thing:
“This is a great team and we have an opportunity to do some wonderful things this year. I want to be a part of that; I want to win. Coming over here, that was the biggest thing, I want to win. But I also want to be a part. I’ve played every day pretty much my whole career. I think there’s going to be a lot of at-bats out there for me. I’ve got to be ready when I’m told I’m ready to play.
“I don’t know how to put it. I don’t know how I’m feeling or whatever. I just know I want to be in there everyday. That’s it, that’s what I can say.”
As Nick rightly noted, I am sure that he will get in excess of 400 at bats, as the Yankees will need to use him liberally to account for age and injuries in their outfield.
3) John Rodriguez went 1-1 with an RBI, and is hitting .350/.480/.500 this spring in a pinch hitting role. He is unlikely to break camp with the club, but he may get a shot as a lefty bat off the bench at some point in 2009. He has a 110 OPS+ in 332 career MLB AB’s, making him a decent option to fill in for a few weeks in case of injury at a corner outfield spot.
4) Dan Giese pitched poorly again, allowing three runs, including a HR by immortal Miguel Cairo, in just one inning of work. In contrast, Brett Tomko supplied a shutout inning, dropping his spring ERA to 1.46. If the Yankees decide to take a long man north, it would be hard to justify taking anyone but Tomko, even if it will take some maneuvering of the roster.