TAMPA, Fla. -- On a day when the Yankees received some more bad news, let’s do some Afternoon Notes:
1. MO A NO-SHOW: Mariano Rivera has an excused absence to deal with a "personal issue" at home in Westchester. He is currently not with the team. Weather permitting, he will be back by Saturday to make his first in-game appearance since he was hurt in May. The game is on YES at Steinbrenner Field against the Braves.
2. HIRO-IC OUTING: Hiroki Kuroda looked regular-season sharp in his three scoreless innings, allowing just two hits, while neither walking nor striking out anyone.
"The splitter was working," Kuroda said.
Kuroda said physically he feels he is right on course, but needs to refine his stuff a bit more to be ready for the second game of the season, when he figures to start against the Red Sox.
3. WORK IN PROGRESS: In the second, playing short at regular depth, Eduardo Nunez threw a soft two-hopper to first. He got the runner, but it was a classic Nunez-type defensive play.
On a positive note, Nunez ended the fifth inning with a nice charging play in front of second base to begin a rally-killing double play.
4. STAY HOME, KID: David Robertson originally was supposed to go to Jupiter for the Yankees’ two-game road trip. But since he had a little stiffness in his shoulder, Joe Girardi is keeping him back in Tampa. It is a case of being safe rather than sorry.