TAMPA, Fla. -- The Yankees put a whupping on a bunch of college kids today, getting five doubles from four hitters and a home run from Ramon Flores in an 8-3 win in their first preseason game -- in reality, a pre-preseason game -- over the Florida State Seminoles at The Boss.
Only two Yankees regulars -- Brett Gardner and Francisco Cervelli -- started the game, as well as Kelly Johnson, who is expected to be the starting third baseman, but all three were out by the second inning. Gardner was credited with an infield single that could have been scored an error; Cervelli hit into a double play and Johnson struck out looking.
Vidal Nuno (2IP, 1H, 3K) started the game and got the win, followed by Brian Gordon, Shane Greene, Bryan Mitchell and Francisco Rondon. FSU scored its three runs in the sixth inning off Greene. Afterward, manager Joe Girardi said he was impressed with Nuno, who is in the competition for the No. 5 starter job with Michael Pineda, David Phelps and Adam Warren. Girardi was also impressed with John Ryan Murphy (two doubles, RBI), Dean Anna (double, two runs scored) and Flores, who homered over the right-field fence in the eighth.
Heisman Trophy-winning QB Jameis Winston, a pitcher and outfielder for the Seminoles, came in to play left field in the fifth, to great applause from the garnet-and-gold clad crowd. He went 0-for-2 with a groundout and a strikeout (looking).
The game was played in a tidy 2:36 and there was no announced attendance, but the place was about half-full.
Real games begin: Well, more real than today's game, anyway, when the Yankees travel to Bradenton on Wednesday to play the Pittsburgh Pirates at 1:05 p.m. ET. Once again, no radio or TV for this one. Girardi is sending all three of his club's major position player free-agent acquisitions from this offseason -- Jacoby Ellsbury, Brian McCann and Carlos Beltran -- and all three will start and are expected to play four or five innings. Ivan Nova -- who is penciled in as the fourth starter behind CC Sabathia, Hiroki Kuroda and Masahiro Tanaka -- will get the start, followed by Preston Claiborne, Dellin Betances and a host of others. Eduardo Nunez and Russ Canzler, who hit cleanup against FSU, are also making the trip.
Captain coming: Derek Jeter is expected to make his spring training debut in Thursday's preseason home opener against the Pirates, but then probably will not play again until Saturday at the earliest. "I've got him on the Mo Rivera plan this spring," Girardi said, referring to his retired closer, who pitched about eight innings every spring and never -- never -- made road trips. Jeter, however, will make at least one -- to Panama, when the Yankees go down to play two games against the Miami Marlins on March 15 and 16.
Tanaka-mania: Arrives in Tampa on Saturday, when Girardi sends Tanaka into his first major league game, against the Phillies. Tanaka will follow either Sabathia, who will start, or Kuroda, who will also see his first spring action in the game. Girardi said each of the three will work two innings to a maximum of 35 pitches.
Upcoming probables: Nova on Wednesday against the Pirates; Phelps on Thursday at home against the Pirates; Warren on Friday against the Tigers in Lakeland; Sabathia, Kuroda and Tanaka on Saturday at home against the Phillies.