The Yankees' Rule 5 picks blew a slim mid-inning lead as the Yankees fell to the Tigers on Monday.
R - Derek Jeter (SS)
L - Robinson Cano (2B)
S - Mark Teixeira (1B)
R - Alex Rodriguez (3B)
R - Andruw Jones (RF)
R - Russell Martin (DH)
R - Francisco Cervelli (C)
R - Justin Maxwell (LF)
R - Melky Mesa (CF)
Pitchers: CC Sabathia, Pedro Feliciano, Manny Banuelos, Mark Prior, Daniel Turpen, Robert Fish, D.J. Mitchell
Subs: Jose Gil (1B), Ramiro Peña (2B), Doug Bernier (SS), Jorge Vazquez (3B), Austin Romine (C), Daniel Brewer (RF), Austin Krum (CF), Jordan Parraz (LF), Colin Curtis (DH)
Formidable Opponents: Justin Verlander and Rick Porcello for two innings each and an approximation of the Tigers' starting nine.
Big Hits: Jorge Vazquez is now 5-for-5 this spring having singled and doubled in two at-bats. He's slugging 2.400. Mark Teixeira (2-for-3) got the Yankees on the board in the fifth with an RBI double then came around to score the Yankees' only other run on a two-out RBI single by Andruw Jones (1-for-3). Alex Rodriguez and Melky Mesa each doubled in three trips. Francisco Cervelli went 2-for-3 with a pair of singles. Designated hitter Russell Martin, in his first Yankee action, walked twice in three trips.
Who Pitched Well: CC Sabathia worked around a single in the first and a double in the second, striking out two and getting his remaining outs on three grounders and an infield pop-up. Manny Banuelos struck out Jhonny Peralta and Brandon Inge looking on curve balls and got Victor Martinez to ground out in a perfect, and impressive, fourth inning during which his fastball was sitting at 93 miles per hour and hit 95. Mark Prior worked a perfect fifth against lesser competition, striking out Alex Avila on a splitter between a pair of routine fly outs. Pedro Feliciano gave up two singles in his lone inning, but both singles and two of his outs were ground balls, he struck out Magglio Ordoñez for the other out, and four of the five batters he faced were right-handed, including Ordoñez and Miguel Cabrera, both of whom he retired.
Who Didn't: Daniel Turpen entered the sixth inning with the Yankees having just taken a 2-0 lead and promptly blew it by allowing two runs on a pair of singles and three walks, walking Scott Sizemore to force in the tying run. Fellow Rule 5 pick Robert Fish gave up a pair of runs in the next inning on a single, a double, and a two-out RBI, though he did strike out fellow lefty Brennan Boesch on three pitches. D.J. Mitchell followed in the eighth by allowing two more runs over the course of just three batters, giving up a one-out solo homer to Cale Iorg and doubles to John Mirrian and Andy Dirks before getting the last two outs.
Rotation Battle: Not much on that front in this game. Banuelos isn't in the running, and Mitchell likely isn't either given that he was given just one inning at the end of the game and didn't argue for a better look.
Oopsies: With Alex Rodriguez up, two on, and one out in the first inning against Justin Verlander, Robinson Cano was picked off second base, deflating that early rally.
Ouchies: Russell Martin says his knee is still a bit stiff when he's running at full speed, but he did some blocking drills before the game and still expects to catch a game at the end of the week. Greg Golson was hit in the head with the first pitch he saw (or rather, didn't see due to the morning sun lurking just behind Burnett's pitching shoulder) during batting practice on Sunday. He was carted off the field and had Monday completely off, but reported no lingering effects and is expected back in action in the next couple of days. Meanwhile, the Yankees have stopped using that back field for hitting due to that issue with the sun.
Other: Good stuff from LoHud's Chad Jennings on Derek Jeter's early struggles adjusting to the different timing of his new, no-stride hitting mechanics.
Next: The Yankees approach to road games seems to be to alternate bringing the starting outfield and starting infield, leaving the other unit behind. That's sensible as it allows those players to get used to playing off each other in the field. Heading to their third-straight road game on Tuesday, against the Pirates in Bradenton, they'll leave the infielders in Tampa and bring the outfielders, having done the opposite on Monday. Phil Hughes will make his first start of the spring for New York.