I didn’t see the game at all today, but I heard that Joba’s line was pretty crappy. He gave up three runs in just an inning and a third and, via Chad Jennings, he gave up two triples, a double, and three walks. That’s bad. But, why should we care? It’s Spring Training. Everyone has a bad game at some point in ST and we shouldn’t look into this too deeply.
Of course, if this becomes a trend, we should probably start to worry. But, for now, let’s realize that, like most (all) Spring Training stats are next to meaningless. If the pitchers look a little rusty at first and the hitters don’t perfectly hit their strides in February and March, don’t panic.
On Joba and Phil, though, I have another thought. It will be interesting to see how hard they–and the other fifth starter “candidates” push themselves. While it’s publicly a competition, I think it’s anything but (the job is Joba’s to lose). That won’t stop each guy from trying his hardest to win that spot. As a manager, I’d imagine Joe Girardi wants to see each guy give it his best to show he should get that spot, but there’s also the balance that must be struck. Joe, and we, has to hope that no one exerts himself too hard and injures himself during a fairly meaningless Spring Training game.
Also from Jennings, other notes from Thursday:
• Nice work by Boone Logan today. He retired all four batters he faced, and three of them were lefties.
Logan’s in a spot to really compete for a job. Depending on how Cashman and Girardi want to construct the bullpen, Logan’s got a shot to make the team as the second lefty.
• Speaking of relievers pitching well, Mark Melancon looked sharp today. He struck out two in his one inning of work, and made Jayson Werth look pretty bad on a curveball.
Keeping with the bullpen theme, I’m really pulling for Mark Melancon this season. We’ve long had high hopes for him as a key part of the Yankees’ bullpen. Hopefully, he can make big strides this year and fill a role similar to David Robertson’s in 2009.
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