TAMPA, Fla. -- A busy day in training camp, beginning with a live BP session thrown by Michael Pineda and ending with the announcement that Brett Gardner isn't going anywhere for the next five seasons, and more than a few nuggets of news in between.
Gentlemen, name your starters: Lefthander Vidal Nuno, in the running for the No. 5 starter's job, will throw the first pitch of the Yankees pre-season when he gets the start on Tuesday against Florida State. Ivan Nova, who came to camp already owning the No. 4 job, will start the first "real" exhibition game, against the Pittsburgh Pirates in Bradenton, on Wednesday. David Phelps will start the first "real" home exhibition game, against the Pirates at The Boss on Thursday and Adam Warren will go on Friday against the Tigers in Lakeland. No word yet on when Masahiro Tanaka will make his Yankees preseason debut.
Captain, report for duty: Derek Jeter will be held out of the first two exhibition games but is expected to start in the game against the Pirates here on Thursday. Jeter took fielding practice, hit on the main field and ran the bases today, and Joe Girardi said he wants to see him run the bases one more time before writing him into the lineup.
"It's been a while since I played a game, so I think everyone looks forward the first game in spring training," Jeter said. "You want to get games under your belt. I'm looking forward to it, but don't rush it. I told you, one day at a time. Let me enjoy the rest of today."
Might see Sori: Alfonso Soriano was not in camp again today (flu), but Girardi said he had shown some improvement and might come in for a light workout on Monday. "But it won't be strenuous,'' Girardi said. The other three wounded Yankees -- Jim Miller (calf), Tyler Austin (wrist) and Nik Turley (pitching arm) remain out. Miller and Austin will be reevaluated Monday. Turley is likely to be out for a week.
Stop that clock: The daylight hours get longer on March 8, when we turn the clocks ahead, but Yankees games will start getting longer on March 6, when baseball begins trying out its new replay rule in a pre-season game between the Yankees and Phillies in Clearwater. Girardi attended a 2 1/2-hour meeting with Joe Torre, Tony LaRussa and other MLB executives to become acquainted with the system on Saturday at the Phillies' minor-league complex, and came away intrigued, he said, although he wasn't sure if he liked it or not.
"Let me go through it a couple times to see how I feel about it," Girardi said. "It opens us up to more that we’re going to have to answer for. But I think it gives our game the opportunity to have more things decided on the field."
Bailey a crapshoot: GM Brian Cashman characterized the Yankees signing of former Red Sox and Athletics closer Andrew Bailey as a calculated risk. "He's coming off a shoulder surgery (torn capsule and labrum) so we're taking a flyer," Cashman said. "It's a low risk, and if we can get a reward out of it, great. it's one of those, nothing ventured, nothing gained. When he’s healthy he’s an exceptional reliever. Because it’s a shoulder, more likely than not it’s an uphill battle but we’ll see."
Bailey had his surgery last July and the recovery generally takes a minimum of one year. Bailey has yet to begin throwing and Cashman said the signing was based simply on "who he was." Bailey saved 75 games in three season (2009-2011) for the Athletics.
Fan friendly: Both Jeter and Masahiro Tanaka signed large numbers of autographs for the fans today, but Tanaka did it twice, accommodating about 75 fans on the back field in the morning and then signing for another long line in the main stadium later on. When Tanaka left the field, even the fans who did not get autographs applauded him for his approachability.
Jeter signing pic.twitter.com/9HVfKgESvt
— wallace matthews (@ESPNNYYankees) February 23, 2014
Ouch: Overheard at the batting cage, Mark Teixeira to Derek Jeter: "Jeet, didn't you play with Brooks Robinson?"
Jeter (unsmiling): "That did not happen, buddy."