Tuesday, March 18, 2014

By: Gavin Ewbank | Lead Writer

The Boston Red Sox travel up to Tampa today for their first of two meeting against the Yankees this spring. The Red Sox are a team that has not changed much since winning the World Series last season, though many of the regulars won't be playing in today's game.

Probably the most notable player taking the field for the Yankees today will be Michael Pineda, who is making his second start of the spring, and his third appearance overall.

Pineda made his first start of the spring last week against the Baltimore Orioles in a split-squad game in Tampa. He wasn't as sharp as he was in his spring debut, but he was still very impressive, striking out five in just over two scoreless innings, giving up just three hits and a walk.

Like we've mentioned before, his off-speed stuff is looking good, and the velocity might not get up into the high-90's, where it was before his surgery, but it's been looking fine in the 91-93 range, and should continue to build up as the season goes on.

Joe Girardi is expected to name his fifth starter by the end of the week, and the way things stand, Pineda looks to be the front-runner in that race with David Phelps, Adam Warren and Vidal Nuno not far behind.

Today's lineup against Boston:

As expected, Jacoby Ellsbury is not in the lineup today as he continues to nurse some tightness in his right calf that the Yankees do not believe to be very serious.

Ellsbury was scratched from Sunday's lineup and had a full day of rest on Monday. His plan is to to have a normal day of hitting, running and throwing workouts on today, while he is not certain if he would be able to play tomorrow.

"I don't want to say yet, just because I haven't talked to them," Ellsbury said. "I'm going to go hit, throw, hit off the tee - just kind of do my normal routine. I'll go stretch out in the weight room and report back to them."

For the most part, the Yankees are playing a lot of their regulars today. There was a handful of roster cuts this morning that have yet to be announced, so the Yanks will also be playing with a lot less no-names for the rest of the spring. We'll have more details on who was cut later in the day, so stay tuned here.


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