17 Mar 2010
"Brilliant" is the word I keep reading about Joba’s performance. Add in the fact that Phil Hughes pitched very well yesterday and it is fair to say the two favorites for the fifth spot have stepped up. Now, it’s only one performance for each of them and it will be very interesting to see what Aceves does, but it is a good sign.
Another good sign is to see Brett Gardner 2-for-3 with a steal. Apart from Nick Swisher, none of the guys you would expect to make the final roster have done much with the bat this spring, but it is still early. I maintain that Gardner is the guy to give the bulk of the AB’s to this season in left/center. His speed is an element that fits in well with the overall lineup and if he can get on base he will be dangerous.
One other competition to keep an eye on. Kevin Russo is hitting well, Ramiro Pena is not. Could Russo get the utility job? I think it depends on how much the Yankees like his glove around the infield, but I think he is gaining ground.