The Yankees cut a total of 12 players on Sunday, before and after dropping a ballgame to the Twins, 9-2.
R - Derek Jeter (SS)
S - Nick Swisher (RF)
S - Mark Teixeira (1B)
R - Alex Rodriguez (3B)
L - Robinson Cano (2B)
S - Jorge Posada (DH)
L - Curtis Granderson (CF)
R - Andruw Jones (LF)
R - Russell Martin (C)
This was the first time since the exhibition opener that the Yankees had regulars from both the infield and outfield in the same lineup. Only Brett Gardner was missing from the projected starting nine.
Pitchers (IP): Freddy Garcia (2 2/3), Eric Wordekemper (1 1/3), Rafael Soriano (1), Mariano Rivera (1), David Robertson (1), Andrew Brackman (1 2/3), Ryan Pope (1/3)
Subs: Eric Chavez (1B), Ronnie Belliard (2B), Eduardo Nuñez (SS), Kevin Russo (3B), Gustavo Molina (C), Daniel Brewer (RF), Austin Krum (CF), Melky Mesa (LF), Kyle Higashioka (DH)
Formidable Opponents: Four innings of Scott Baker, one of Matt Capps, and four of the Twins' regulars, but none of the bats from the middle of their projected lineup.
Big Hits: A solo homer to dead center by Alex Rodriguez (2-for-3) leading off the second against Baker. Rodriguez, as he's been doing all spring, scalded the ball each time up. The one out he hit into was a rocket one-hopper to third base. Mark Teixeira (1-for-3) doubled into the right field corner off Baker in the fourth. The other Yankee run scored on an infield hit, a pair of walks, and a sac fly against David Bromberg in the eighth.
Who Pitched Well: Mariano Rivera was typically awesome in his first appearance of the spring, striking out the side on 12 pitches in the sixth. Making that even more bad-ass is the fact that he told Kim Jones before the game that he only wanted to throw 12 pitches in his inning. Rafael Soriano preceded Rivera with a scoreless frame, working around a two-out single by Denard Span. David Robertson followed with a perfect frame, striking out Triple-A outfielder Brian Dinkelman to start. Ryan Pope retired the only man he faced, getting Double-A outfielder Rene Tosoni to ground out to second.
Who Didn't: Freddy Garcia hit 92 with his fastball and sat around 89, which is a lot of velocity for him, but it didn't help as he gave up four runs on six hits, a pair of walks, and a hit-by-pitch in just 2 2/3 innings. Andrew Brackman, in just his second spring appearance, was all over the place, and lacked his best velocity. He broke off a few nice curve balls, but didn't make it through his two innings at the tail end of the game before hitting his pitch count. A dropped ball in right field didn't help, and he only gave up one unearned run, but beyond the two walks and two hits (one a double by Justin Huber), he just didn't look right out there. Eric Wordekemper finished the third inning for Garcia and was about to strand runners on the corners in the fourth when Derek Jeter dropped a pop-up, which allowed one run to score. Then, the next batter, Dinkelman, cracked a three-run homer. All four runs were unearned, but a homer is a homer, and Dinkelman was all over what looked like a hanging slider from Wordekemper.
Rotation Battle: The field got a lot thinner with Sunday morning's cuts, which sent David Phelps, Adam Warren, D.J. Mitchell, and, most surprisingly, Hector Noesi, to minor league camp (along with a trio of non-roster relievers). Andrew Brackman's long shot hopes got no shorter after his mess outing, though he might get a pass given that it was just his second appearance of the spring. Freddy Garcia was starting to look like a lock with just Ivan Nova, Bartolo Colon, and Sergio Mitre, and himself competing for two rotation spots and a long-relief role, but his poor outing leaves the competition wide open.
Oopsies: With two outs and runners on the corners in the fourth, Derek Jeter lost a pop fly on the infield grass that would have been the third out in the high, clear, cloudless Tampa sky. Jeter didn't loose it completely, but lost it just as it got near his glove. The next batter hit a three-run homer. In the ninth, with none out and a runner on second, Daniel Brewer dropped a fly ball in right field, but he didn't lose it in the high sky. He just dropped it. That runner didn't score and the runner on second didn't advance on the play, and though the runner on second did score in that inning, it was with less than two outs (yet was somehow still unearned according to the box score).
Other: The Yankees cut five more players after the game, sending non-roster outfielders Austin Krum and Daniel Brewer and non-roster third baseman Bradley Suttle to minor league camp. They also waived their two Rule 5 picks, lefty Robert Fish and righty Daniel Turpen. Turpen cleared waivers and was returned to the Red Sox. Fish, who was drafted out of the Angels' system, was claimed off waivers by the Royals. Mariano Rivera wore the cuffs of his pants high in this game and said he might stick with the look, one he's never worn before, this season.
Next: Another 7:05 showdown with the Red Sox, this one in Fort Myers with Sergio Mitre taking the hill for the Yankees. ESPN2 will have the game.