TAMPA, Fla. -- It's never a good idea to put too much importance on spring training results, but if you're a Yankees fan you've got to start wondering if this team is really as bad as it has looked some nights this spring. Like Thursday night, when they lost again, 6-1, to the Minnesota Twins, but worse than that, managed just one hit all night, Robinson Cano's single leading off the fourth inning.
PHELPS PHAILS: In his second-to-last start of the spring, David Phelps did little to help his case to win the fifth starter's job, allowing five runs in 3 2/3 innings and needing 81 pitches to get there. Phelps had good stuff in the first three innings, striking out six -- five looking -- but fell apart in the fourth, allowing four hits, two of them doubles and a walk. He also threw a pickoff throw into right field in the second inning. Phelps' final line -- 3 2/3 IP, 6 H, 5 ER, 3 BB, 6 Ks -- was his worst of the spring. He will make one more preseason start, against the Orioles, on Wednesday in Sarasota.
YOU'VE BEEN CERVED: Francisco Cervelli had his first rough night behind the plate, allowing three stolen bases and letting Brett Gardner's throw from center field trickle through his legs for an error that allowed a runner to advance to third. Like Phelps, Cervelli started strong this spring but his BA is down to .188.
MO AND D-ROB SHOW: Working in reverse order of the way they will be used during the season, Mariano Rivera (in the fifth) and David Robertson (in the sixth) pitched scoreless innings, striking out five Twins in a row. Mo allowed a leadoff single but then struck out the next three hitters; D-Rob struck out the first two hitters he faced before allowing a double. Yankees pitchers struck out 15 Twins.
HAFNER SCARE: Travis Hafner was walking around in the postgame clubhouse with a large icepack on his right wrist and thumb, but said it was something he does a couple of times a week to salve an old injury. He said he's OK and he must be, because Joe Girardi is leaving him behind tomorrow to get some at-bats in the minor-league game Phil Hughes will pitch in against the Single-A Pirates affiliate.
GET ON THE BUS: The Yankees are sending a pretty full complement of regulars on the 2-1/2-hour bus ride down to Ft. Myers for the second half of this home-and-home with the Twins. Cano, Eduardo Nunez, Juan Rivera, Chris Stewart, Brennan Boesch, Ben Francisco, Dan Johnson and Melky Mesa are all making the trip. Ivan Nova will start.