Tuesday morning links -
- The Yankees will play the Red Sox on Thursday in Fort Myers, yet CC Sabathia and Josh Beckett, both scheduled to pitch that day, will instead pitch in minor league games, apparently to keep the opposing hitters from getting familiar with them. The matchup will instead see David Phelps and Aaron Cook.
- Andy Pettitte's season starts today when he arrives in Tampa. He'll need the equivalent of a full Spring Training, and then probably a few weeks in the minors before getting a call up.
- Brian Cashman has built a damn good bench, says the Daily News. It consists of Andruw Jones, Raul Ibanez, Eric Chavez, Francisco Cervelli and Eduardo Nunez.
- If you didn't know, Ibanez is having a tough spring (2-31 in fact). But it doesn't matter - it's Spring Training! He's been a good hitter for 16 years, so he deserves time to show he still has it.
- The hype machine is gearing up for Mason Williams, who collected a hit (and was caught stealing) in Sunday's game against Baltimore. Speaking of prospects, another one to watch is 1B/3B Tyler Austin, who hit .323/.402/.542 in the NY-Penn League and crushed a long home run in yesterday's contest against the Blue Jays. Click here for more minor league notes.
- Mets owner Fred Wilpon settled the Bernie Madoff-related lawsuit against him for "only" $162 million, with no payment due until 2016.
- SBN's own Bill Petti joined MLB Network to discuss "clutch" hitting.
- In a surprising move, Cuban defector Yoenis Cespedes will start in center field for the A's. The "26-year-old" is 3-17 so far.
- Ever been interested in the gloves major leaguers wear? This new synthetic one may ignite a wave of adopters, similar to how maple bats replaced ash in the late 1990s.