TAMPA, Fla. -- Joe Girardi spoke to the beat crew for 12 minutes this morning before the hour-long bus ride to Sarasota, and as you can guess, the bulk of the conversation revolved around possible replacements for Curtis Granderson, sidelined for 10 weeks with a broken right forearm. Here are the highlights:
1. LOOK WITHIN: As he had on Sunday, Girardi said the Yankees were likely to fill their temporary outfield vacancy with spare parts already in their clubhouse. Matt Diaz and Juan Rivera have the obvious edge being experience major-league players, and Girardi raised the possibility that he would platoon the two in LF until Grandy comes back in May.
2. THE KIDS ARE A LONGSHOT: Girardi said all the kid outfielders in camp would get a look, which means Melky Mesa, Zoilo Almonte, Ronnier Mustelier and Adonis Garcia, but Girardi admitted that Mesa is basically a defensive player, and Mustelier, who has a live bat, started as an infielder and is still learning to play the outfield. He also admitted that all things being equal, he is more partial to experienced players, and who can blame him? He all but said that Slade Heathcott and Tyler Austin, two of the top OF prospects in the Yankees system, might just as well book hotel rooms in Scranton, or maybe Trenton.
3. JETER/ICHIRO 1-2: Girardi said that assuming Derek Jeter is healthy for Opening Day -- and that continues to be the assumption -- he and Ichiro Suzuki are likely to hit first and second in his lineup, but the spots could alternate depending on whether a lefty or righty is pitching. That probably means that Brett Gardner is destined to hit ninth once again.
4. OFF TO SARASOTA: LHP Vidal Nuno gets the start, followed by Corey Black, Shane Greene, Bryan Mitchell, Zach Nuding and Mikey O'Brien. Be patient -- pitchers you have heard of will be working soon. No radio or TV today, but you can get in-game updates by follwing my Twitter feed, @ESPNNYYankees, starting at 1:05 p.m..