Morning notes: Take two and fly to Panama

TAMPA, Fla. -- The Yankees have a pair of split-squad games today, one here against the Baltimore Orioles and the other in Clearwater against the Phillies, after which the team will reconvene at The Boss and The Chosen Ones will board a 6 p.m. team charter to Panama for the two-game "Legends Series" against the Miami Marlins.

Here are today's lineups:


Brett Gardner CF

Derek Jeter SS

Carlos Beltran DH

Brian McCann C

Alfonso Soriano LF

Eduardo Nunez 3B

Dean Anna 2B

Zoilo Almonte RF

Russ Canzler 1B

Michael Pineda RHP


Jacoby Ellsbury CF

Ichiro Suzuki RF

Mark Teixeira 1B

Kelly Johnson 3B

Francisco Cervelli C

Yangervis Solarte SS

Scott Sizemore 2B

Ramon Flores LF

Austin Romine DH

Ivan Nova RHP

Catcher switch: Joe Girardi decided to swap out McCann for Cervelli on the Panama trip, which might be an indication the Yankees are preparing to move Cervelli, who has been hot this spring, in a trade. Cervelli will now go to Panama, and McCann will stay behind in Tampa, Girardi said, to continue working with the Yankees' starting staff. But since Cervelli had exclusively caught Masahiro Tanaka to this point, it might mean Girardi wants to get McCann and Tanaka together because Cervelli won't be around much longer. Or, it may not. We'll see ...

Big day for Pineda: Girardi said he wants to get a close look at Pineda against the Orioles today, because after a strong outing last Friday against the Tigers, the 25-year-old righty may be in the lead for the No. 5 starter's job. Pineda will work three innings or 45 pitches today and Girardi said he expects he will make the customary six starts this spring despite coming off serious shoulder surgery two years ago. The manager did say, however, that the Yankees know they can't expect to get 30 starts or 200 innings out of Pineda this season and will have to manage him carefully, although he did not know if the Yankees would cap his innings or give him breaks during the season. "It's been talked about," he said. "We'll deal with that issue when we get there."

Tanaka adjusting: Tanaka threw his between-starts bullpen this morning but once again mentioned the lighter workload here in the States compared to Japan. “Gradually I think I’m getting used to it, but it’s actually hard to say because at this point, the number of pitches that I’m throwing is very limited," he said. "I think I’ll get a better idea once I throw in games with a lot more pitches and then see how I feel with the adjustment of the five days.”

Tanaka will pitch here Sunday against the Braves but then not again until the following Saturday against the Twins in Fort Myers. Still, Girardi said once the regular season starts, Tanaka will be on a customary five-day rotation.

Cashman goes crackers: Yankees GM Brian Cashman came into the clubhouse this morning with a package of cracker balls, which he proceeded to fire at the concrete floor, setting off a series of mini-explosions. Well, it has been a relatively quiet spring so far. Then he disappeared into Girardi's office for a closed-door meeting, so that could change.

Twelve's a crowd: The Yankees have had to import a phalanx of players from the minor-league complex to take the place of the Panamanian contingent for the weekend. Consequently, two lockers that had been empty in their clubhouse are now jammed with 12 players, whose names are listed on a piece of paper. It's worse than a college dorm room.