Big day on tap for the New York Yankees. Today first baseman Mark Teixeira and outfielder Alfonso Soriano are going to make their spring training debuts against the Philadelphia Phillies. Pending the weather, both players are on tap to start today. The buzz doesn’t end there, Masahiro Tanaka will make his first official start today. He is expected to pitch the first three innings, probably giving him his first real taste of some big league hitters. Manager Joe Girardi is also sending Derek Jeter, Brett Gardner and Carlos Beltran.
Soriano is a little bit of a mystery, he’s been battling a nasty bout of the flu since he made his way to Tampa. But what is more intriguing is the fact that he’s been taking reps at first base. There’s no indication that Soriano will see any action at first base today, but with the lack of viable backup to Teixeira he’s been working out wherever the team needs him. “I have some work at first base just in case,” Soriano said. “But I’m just here to help the team to win. I have to be DH, outfield, play once in a while at first base. I’m hoping (to play) because I’m here to help the team.”
Yesterday marked the one year anniversary of Mark Teixeira’s wrist injury. Tex injured his wrist while prepping for the World Baseball Classic. He’s been rehabbing back slowly and cautiously since he had season ending surgery last July. Teixeira took live batting practice on Monday, but was hoping to see more action this week. He was last in line during yesterday’s session, which ended up getting cut short by pitching coach Larry Rothschild. When I mean cut short, I mean he only saw five pitches.
He quietly voiced his concern over today’s mix up, but Rothschild quickly cleared the air and said that reliever David Herndon was the only pitcher available to throw live batting practice. Girardi said later in the day that Tex is still scheduled to play but if he feels he’s not ready, he can take more time before playing in a live game.