DENVER -- A lot of pregame news tonight, some of it out of Tampa, some of it out of the visiting clubhouse at Coors Field, and some of it on the Yankees' lineup card, where Joe Girardi penciled the name of his pitcher, David Phelps, into the No. 8 hole in his batting order.
New York Yankees
• Curtis Granderson is scheduled to make his first rehab start for the Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders on Thursday, an important step in his road back to the Yankees' starting lineup. A couple of weeks ago, Granderson said he thought he would need 50-70 at-bats, including at-bats in simulated games, before being ready to return. Girardi, however, refused to commit to a timetable.
"When he’s ready, he’s ready," Giradi said. "I'm not gonna put a date on it or a number of at-bats. A lot of it is how he’s feeling and how his body's responding to playing day after day and how he feels in the box."
Girardi also repeated what he had said last week, that Granderson would play all three OF positions for SWB, in apparent preparation for keeping Brett Gardner in center after Grandy's return.
• Ivan Nova pitched four-plus innings in an extended spring game this afternoon, and while he came through it healthy, he wasn't particularly sharp. Girardi characterized Nova as "wild" -- he walked four and needed 73 pitches to get through four innings -- and refused to commit to what seemed like Nova's likely return date, Monday in one of the makeup doubleheader games against the Indians in Cleveland. If the Yankees decide Nova is not quite ready to return, Girardi could start Adam Warren or Vidal Nuno in one of those games instead.
• For the second straight day, Eduardo Nunez described his sore ribcage as "much better," but said he still is not well enough to play. Nunez apparently still felt some discomfort while throwing before the game, and hasn't even tried to swing a bat yet. He said he could possibly pinch run tonight, but Girardi ruled that out as well.
"He went out and tried to do some stuff and it’s still not quite where it needs to be," Girardi said.
• Phelps has never started against the Rockies and has faced just one of the hitters in their starting lineup tonight, Reid Brignac, and only once. Rockies starter Juan Nicasio is making his second career start against the Yankees; Nicasio lost to them in the Bronx in 2011.