Saturday, March 2, 2013

Mesa to Skip WBC, Fight For LF Job

Melky Mesa waved good-bye to the WBC
Melky Mesa saw the opportunity and seized the moment. Scheduled to play in the World Baseball Classic (WBC), Mesa told the Dominican Republic that "Something suddenly came up!" and he would not participate. With Curtis Granderson sidelined until May, Mesa is among the players that is hoping to fill in when the team heads north to start the regular season.

Mesa showed good power in the minor leagues last season and for the past two games in Florida. He hit a no doubt about it home run against the Phillies on Friday after he belted a 3-run shot on Thursday. Thus far, La Leche II is 4-15 with 4 RBI, 2 stolen bases and a .979 OPS.

Among the other competitors is Cuban native Ronnier Mustelier who had an opposite field home run against the Phillies. The right-handed hitter is 3-7 so far and is coming off a season in which he played 89 games at Triple-A (10 home runs). He also narrowly escaped injury on Thursday when a hard charging Slade Heathcott collided with him on a fly ball. Mustelier caught the ball and hung on.

12-year veteran Juan Rivera is 6-13 (.462) with three doubles. Another veteran, Matt Diaz, is just 2-11 to date.

The Yankees have played very sloppy games so far in Spring Training and much of that has to do with the number of youngsters that have played so far. The Yankees committed five errors against the Orioles on Thursday and four more yesterday. As a result, only one of the four runs allowed by starter Hiroki Kuroda was earned. The Yankees lost the game, 10-5 and still have just one victory so far.

Joba Chamberlain allowed two hits, two walks, two runs in just one inning of work. Cody Eppley, like Kuroda, was hurt by errors and allowed four runs with just one earned.

Lefty Vidal Nuno impressed once again in three shutout innings. He has struck out nine batters in five innings this spring.

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