The Yankees topped the Pirates 9-8 on Sunday, but it was a rough outing for starter A.J. Burnett. The free agent signing has been outstanding this spring, but gave up 7 runs (6 earned) on 10 hits over 4.1 innings. He allowed 3 home runs and walked 3.
The Yankees pen did well though; Mariano Rivera allowed a hit in his one inning of work, but struck out the side. Phil Coke continued o impress, ringing up 4 K's in 2 innings.
Robinson Cano homered, and he and Nick Swisher drove in 2 runs each. Johnny Damon banged out 3 hits.
For all of spring training we've heard about the battle between Dan Giese, Al Aceves, and Brett Tomko for the long man role in the bullpen. Joe Girardi, however, is pondering the possibility of not keeping a long man and adding Jonathan Albaladejo to the pen. Albaladejo, who was acquired prior to the 2008 season for Tyler Clippard, has been throwing very well this spring.
The Yankees made 8 more cuts over the weekend- Todd Linden, Shelley Duncan, John Rodriguez, Doug Bernier, Justin Leone, P.J. Pilittere, Chris Stewart, and David Robertson. Robertson impressed Girardi and could be the first reliever recalled from the minors.
Yankees play the Blue Jays in Dunedin this afternoon (1 pm). Andy Pettitte gets the start.
Lou Saban passed away on Sunday at age 87. Saban was a legendary football coach in the old AFL and the NFL, but also worked for the Yankees for parts of two years. No one at the time, us included, could figure out why other than the fact that he was buds with George Steinbrenner. Though he had no baseball background, Saban was hired as team president in 1981.
The Yankees got back another Rule V player, pitcher Ivan Nova, whom the Padres selected this past December. The Yankees paid $25,000 to retrieve Nova, who will be assigned to Double-A Trenton.
We send out our condolences to Mr. Saban's family and friends.