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Yankees fall to Orioles, 6-2, Mitre helps Girardi's decision making

Sergio Mitre essentially ended any darkhorse-chances he had at making the starting rotation with his worst outing of the spring. He allowed five runs in three innings of work, thanks primarily to a balk and two homers (off the bats of Jake Fox and Luke Scott). At this point, the favorites are clearly Bartolo Colon and Ivan Nova. Barring a tremendous bullpen session (as in, the best bullpen session in history) from Freddy Garcia and an injury to either Colon or Nova, our rotation is pretty much set.

The news to take from this game is really about Curtis Granderson, who was scratched from the leadoff spot due to a(nother) oblique strain. No other body part has taken its toll on Yankee players this spring like the oblique. Damn you, oblique! This may cause Curtis to start the season on the DL. We still don't know the severity of the strain, but it kept Joba out of action for 10 days. It's really too bad, because Grandy was in the midst of a torrid spring (.385 BA, .795 SLG).

Joba Chamberlain served up a long-ball (in fairness to the pitchers, the ball was carrying like Allen Iverson) on a hanging slider. He did, however, strike out two in his inning of work, his first since March 11.

Mark Prior continues to improve as the spring wears on. He K'ed two in a perfect inning (facing the heart of Baltimore's lineup: Markakis, Wieters and Derrek Lee).

Chris Britton of the Orioles looked pretty good, though he was facing the Yanks' "C" lineup. He allowed one run in 5+ innings with five K's against one walk (along with eight groundouts vs. no flyouts). 

If Grandy does hit the DL, I wonder if Girardi & Co. wouldn't consider using Melky Mesa as the fourth outfielder. I like what I've seen from him this spring. He's shown patience, decent hitting approach, and most importantly, great defensive ability. And he's not a top prospect in which you'd have to worry about him losing playing time. Despite being named MVP of the Florida State League (High-A) last year, he was 23 - for comparison, Jesus Montero was 20 in Triple-A last year. (Though it will probably go to someone like Colin Curtis or Kevin Russo.) And Girardi better not be thinking of having Andruw Jones play centerfield (who hasn't played an above-average CF since 2007). If Grandy is hurt, GGBG should be the guy. 

Next game: at home vs. Toronto tomorrow at 7 p.m.