With Bartolo Colon pulled from the spring rotation in anticipation of his regular season bullpen role, the Yankees threw a collection of non-roster arms at the Twins and nearly won anyway.
R - Eduardo Nuñez (SS)
L - Robinson Cano (2B)
S - Mark Teixeira (1B)
R - Alex Rodriguez (DH)
L - Eric Chavez (3B)
R - Andruw Jones (RF)
S - Ramiro Peña (LF)
R - Jesus Montero (C)
L - Austin Krum (CF)
Formidable Opponents: Six of the Twins' regulars, six innings of old pal Carl Pavano, and one of Matt Capps.
Big Hits: One-out solo home runs by Robinson Cano (1-for-3) off Pavano in the first and Austin Romine (1-for-1) off Chuck James in the eighth. Doubles by Mark Teixeira (2-for-3) and Austin Krum (3-for-3, SB). Tex's fifth-inning double off Pavano plated two runs. In three trips, Eduardo Nuñez singled and drew the Yankees' only walk.
Who Pitched Well: Limiting this to the players who made more than a cameo in major league camp this spring, Andy Sisco stranded a leadoff double by Chase Lambin for a scoreless, and just as importantly, walk-less seventh. Eric Wordekemper retired the only two men he faced, striking out Danny Lehmann and getting Yangervis Solarte (paging Emma Span) to ground out. For the curious, switch-pitcher Pat Venditte faced two switch-hitters, walking Aaron Hicks right-handed, then getting Matt Tolbert to groundout left-handed. Wilkins Arias, a 30-year-old lefty with impressive strikeout numbers who has never pitched above Double-A, got Morneau to fly out to end the fourth, but, again, Morneau is just 4-for-23 this spring.
Who Didn't: Groundballing lefty Steve Garrison has been floated as a possible injury replacement for Pedro Feliciano on the Opening Day roster, but he didn't help his case in this game. Garrison entered in the second with men on the corners and one out. He got switch-hitter Aaron Hicks to pop out, but then gave up a two-out, two-run triple to switch-hitter Matt Tolbert and walked righty Michael Cuddyer before getting still-recuperating lefty Justin Morneau to fly out to center. He failed an even bigger test to start the third, when he gave up a solo homer to lefty Jim Thome before retiring his final three batters. It's hard to blame anyone for giving up a home run to Thome, but that is exactly the sort of batter Feliciano was signed to neutralize, so Garrison's failure there was significant as final roster decisions loom.
Ouchies: As per the above, Pedro Feliciano cancelled a throwing session on Sunday and now looks headed for the disabled list with continued discomfort near his pitching shoulder. This reminds me of something Steve often says (paraphrasing greatly): when people start marveling at how much a pitcher has worked without breaking down, that's when he's going to break down. When Feliciano was signed, I drew a comparison to Paul Quantrill, who was just about at the breaking point when he joined the Yankees coming off three straight league-leading appearance totals. Feliciano has led the majors in appearances in each of the last three seasons and has appeared in 28 more games than the runner-up over that span and 42 more games than the runner-up over the last four years. This doesn't bode well.
Curtis Granderson (oblique) is expected to take batting practice on Monday and might yet avoid a disabled list stint. Chris Dickerson (hamstring) took BP on Sunday and said he felt better, though the team is unsure if he has a mild strain or just cramped up.
Oopsies: Austin Krum made two errors on one play in the second. With runners on second and third, he dropped a would-be sac fly, then threw wild to home, allowing both runners to advance and the batter to reach second.
Other: Rule 5 pick Lance Pendleton was returned by the Astros, rendering all of this moot. Pendleton was assigned to Triple-A and will likely move into the bullpen given that the Scranton rotation is already overloaded with David Phelps, Hector Noesi, Adam Warren, Andrew Brackman, Kevin Millwood, and D.J. Mitchell, the last of whom may also move into the pen. In other news, out-of-options righty Romulo Sanchez was unavailable on Sunday, leading to speculation that he's about to be traded.
Next: The Yankees host the Rays in the penultimate game of the exhibition schedule. A.J. Burnett gets the start, a warm-up for his regular season debut on Saturday. YES will have the game at 7:05.