Yankees Pre-Game Notes: March 29 vs. Washington
The Yankees have (almost) come home after flying south for the winter, with just two exhibition games this weekend standing between them and Opening Day in the Bronx.
The capital city of Washington, D.C., is the first stop on the Yankees' final tour, as they head to Nationals Park this afternoon for a battle between MLB's 2012 East Division Champions. The pitching matchup will see Andy Pettitte oppose RHP Jordan Zimmermann, and the Bombers lineup behind their veteran southpaw could be what ends up as the "regular" lineup against righties come the regular season:
Brett Gardner CF
Ichiro Suzuki RF
Robinson Cano 2B
Kevin Youkilis 3B
Travis Hafner DH
Vernon Wells LF
Lyle Overbay 1B
Eduardo Nunez SS
Chris Stewart C
Pettitte should go six to seven innings in his final tuneup, but exactly how long the starters will play (and who will replace them) is still up in the air, as the Yankees have roughly 45 players with them for the final "road trip" of the spring.
Among those, all of the non-roster invitees left in Major League camp (the injured Ronnier Mustelier and David Herndon excepted) are in DC, and RHP Adam Warren - who was technically optioned to Triple-A earlier in March but never left camp, and now could be battling to fill Phil Hughes' spot on the 25-man roster on Opening Day - is with the team and will start Saturday's game at West Point.
Catcher Francisco Arcia, infielder Jose Pirela, outfielder Zoilo Almonte, and RHP Kelvin Perez are also with the team as extra depth, and Mark Teixeira, who will see a doctor in New York on Monday to determine if he can begin rehab for his injured wrist, has joined his teammates for the weekend as well.
Lefty Boone Logan, who left Thursday's game after being hit with a line drive in the left hip, was scheduled to pitch today and said late Thursday he hoped to still do so, although there was no indication of his status as of about noon.
Speaking of Teixeira, one thing to watch for after the game is the status of one of his potential replacements, Overbay, who has an out clause in his contract after today. GM Brian Cashman said when he signed Overbay that it was a boom or bust tryout, as in the team had no intention of trying to send him to Triple-A if he didn't make the squad, and then said Thursday that the lefty had "an inside track" on a roster spot after the team released Juan Rivera.
That move made it seem like Overbay was in line to make the team, but an official decision of some sort will have to come in the next 24 hours. As for Lyle's thoughts on the matter?
"I'm just along for the ride and to see what I can do," he said after Thursday's game.
Follow Lou DiPietro on Twitter: @LouDiPietroYES