TAMPA, Fla. -- The Yankees will be in Bradenton this afternoon for a game against the Pittsburgh Pirates. None of the starting infield is on the trip, just Jacoby Ellsbury, Brett Gardner and Chris Young, and the starting pitcher will be Esmil Rogers, who Joe Girardi would like to use the way he used David Phelps last year, as a long reliever and occasional spot starter.
"We think he’s got good stuff," Joe Girardi said of Rogers, who went 2-0 with a 4.68 ERA in 18 appearances (one start) for the Yankees last year. "It’s learning how to use it and become more consistent. He’s got velocity, he’s got a good breaking ball, he's got a changeup. He has the ability to pitch. We feel he can do a lot of different things. He gives us a lot of flexibility, which is good. We like having that on our pitching staff, because you never know when something’s going to pop up."
Rogers will be followed by Chase Whitley, Jacob Lindgren and an assortment of others.
Here's the lineup:
Jose Pirela 3B
Kyle Roller DH
Rob Refnsyder 2B
Cito Culver SS
Dellin Betances, Michael Pineda and CC Sabathia are staying behind to throw simulated games on the main field today, and the possibility is Sabathia and Pineda could make their first spring starts next week, perhaps in the back-to-back home games on March 11 and 12 against the Red Sox and Braves ... Tomorrow is a split-squad day, with one crew, including the starting infielders, traveling to Clearwater for a day game against the Phillies and a second crew, including Alex Rodriguez and Carlos Beltran, making his first start of the spring, staying back for a night game at home against the Pirates. ... Didi Gregorius has been wearing a T-shirt that reads 6+4+3=2. Get it?