While everyone in the world, including writers here at Rant Sports, continue to write the obituary to the New York Yankees 2013 season, let’s try to remember there are still 32 spring games left and 162 regular season games to be played. It is a long, long season folks and many more things can transpire between now and the end of October when a team, still unknown, will raise the World Series trophy. While the news from Yankees camp today, with outfielder Curtis Granderson due to miss the next ten weeks with a broken right forearm, is set to send more fans of the Bronx Bombers off the cliffs they were already hanging off with just a thread, the season is still not over.
Yes, the news of Granderson’s injury is a blow to a team that will already be without the home run power of Russell Martin, Nick Swisher and Raul Ibanez for this upcoming season. However, not all is gloom in Yankees-land. After the team split their first two spring games with a win against the Atlanta Braves and a loss to the Toronto Blue Jays, there are many things to be happy about with the Yankees.
Let’s start with the fantastic Yankees pitching, which has allowed just five earned runs thru the first two games. David Phelps, who is battling Ivan Nova for the fifth spot in the Yankees rotation, pitched two scoreless innings as the starter in the Yankees spring opener against the Braves. Adam Warren, who has spent four years in the Yankees minor league system, made the start today against the Blue Jays and also tossed two scoreless innings. He has an outside chance at gaining the fifth spot in the rotation.
In the battle for the Yankees fourth outfielder role, Juan Rivera seems to have a leg up on Matt Diaz, as Rivera had a hit in two at-bats and a walk in the win against the Braves. In that same game, Diaz was hitless in his three at-bats while leaving two men on base. With the injury to Granderson tho, both men may make the Opening Day Roster, with one being the everyday leftfielder and the other a right-handed DH. Eduardo Nunez, who could also be battling for the right-handed DH spot, has had one hit in five at-bats in two games. New left-handed DH Travis Hafner played his first game today and had a hit in two at-bats.
A couple of Yankees minor leaguers also impressed and fans should keep an eye on them. Zolio Alomonte, a 23 year-old outfielder who hit 21 home runs in AA last season, belted a two-run homer off Braves reliever Jordan Walden in the spring opener. He also threw out a Reed Johnson from right field to end the first inning at third base. With a good spring performance, Almonte could throw his name in the ring to replace Granderson until he returns sometime in May. Another name to consider is Ronnier Mustelier, who had a hit in three at-bats today. Mustelier is a 27 year-old from Cuba who has hit .324 over the last two seasons.
Finally, a quick look at the Yankees catching situation. After Francisco Cervelli went hitless in two at-bats yesterday, Chris Stewart had a hit in two at-bats today. Top prospect Gary Sanchez had a hit in two at-bats today against the Blue Jays while Austin Romine, who has an outside chance at the everyday job, had a hit and RBI in two at-bats yesterday. Bobby Wilson, who spent the first five years of his career with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, threw out a runner today. Wilson has an outside chance at winning the backup catcher’s job.