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Monday, March 17, 2014
Morning notes: Ellsbury to miss Sox?

By Wallace Matthews

TAMPA, Fla. -- Jacoby Ellsbury's tight right calf felt "better" this morning, according to Joe Girardi, but the manager said his new centerfielder would probably not be ready to play by tomorrow when his old team, the Boston Red Sox, come to The Boss for an afternoon game.

"I hear he's going to hit in the cage today, so I would think that's going in the right direction," Girardi said. "We'll see how he feels and go from there."

But when asked if Ellsbury might be ready to play on Tuesday, Girardi said, "My guess would be no."

Ellsbury, who is not the chattiest sort of fellow, went through the clubhouse this morning without stopping to talk to reporters.

There might be a game today: Here's the lineup for today's game against the Pirates in Bradenton, although the weather forecast is dire this afternoon, with severe thunderstorms expected to sweep across Florida this afternoon.

Eduardo Nunez 3B
Brian Roberts 2B
Mark Teixeira 1B
Brian McCann C
Zoilo Almonte LF
Austin Romine DH
Yangervis Solarte SS
Adonis Garcia RF
Antoan Richardson CF

Hiroki Kuroda RHP

Need a Hiro: Kuroda is coming off a hideous outing against the Tigers last Wednesday, when he was touched up for 10 hits and 6 earned runs in 3 2/3 innings. Girardi said he would not be watching Kuroda any more closely today because of it. "I’ve said all along for veterans I don’t make too much of their starts here," he said. "At times they’re working on things, trying to get ready, I’m more worried about April than I am about March with the veteran guys."

Next for Tanaka?: Who knows? Not Girardi, who said he was leaning toward throwing the young right-hander against another big-league team in his next start, which would probably mean putting him on a bus for the three-hour trip to Fort Myers for Saturday's game against the Twins. But he did not rule out the possibility of having Tanaka work on stretching out his pitch count under the controlled environment of a simulated or minor-league game here in Tampa.

Healing: Girardi was excited by the news that Brendan Ryan, sidelined for the past week by lower back soreness, would hit on the field today. He also said Russ Canzler (hip stiffness) was improving. Everybody else is healthy.

Late night: Girardi said the team arrived back from Panama at 12:30 a.m. A bunch of veterans -- Derek Jeter, Carlos Beltran, Alfonso Soriano and Brett Gardner -- were given the day off and were not in the clubhouse this morning.