New York Yankees: 3 Stars

3 Stars: Cervelli, Pettitte, D-Rob

April, 4, 2012
Bittersweet day at Yankees camp, as the final day of spring training always is. Yankees beat Mets, 8-3, with the help of one guy who will no longer be with the team, one who hopes to join them in a month, and another they are counting on big time this season.

Star #1: Francisco Cervelli: Cervelli crushed a two-run homer in the seventh inning to tie the game at 3 -- then found out in the clubhouse he was heading not to St. Petersburg for the season opener, but to Scranton after Yankees traded for new backup catcher Chris Stewart. Needless to say, Cervy took it hard.

Star #2 -- Andy Pettitte: For making a successful return to the big-leagues -- well, sort of -- nearly 18 months after throwing his last pitch. Pettitte faced three batters in his first outing since deciding to come back, two of whom, Scott Hairston and Mike Nickeas, were bonafide major leaguers, and allowed a bouncing ball single --the runner was erased trying to steal, got a pop out and ground out in a tidy sixth inning.

Star #3 -- David Robertson: For reprising his patented Houdini act in the seventh, when he allowed a leadoff double, threw a wild pitch, walked a guy -- and then struck out the next three hitters.

3 Stars: Montgomery, Swisher, Wise

April, 3, 2012
The Yankees lost to the Mets, 7-6, on Ike Davis' walk-off home run, and although it's a tough day to award three stars to three Yankees, I'll give it a shot.

Star #1--Mark Montgomery: Gotta go with the guy who servedup the walkoff homer to Ike Davis and put an end to this three-hour affair played in soggy 90+ degree weather.

Star #2--Nick Swisher: On a DH day, Swish connected for an opposite-field home run in the fourth inning and doubled leading off the sixth.

Star #3--Dewayne Wise For taking one for the team on the day he was optioned to AAA Scranton after the other 29 teams failed to put in a claim for him by today's 1 p.m. deadline. Wise got plunked by Jon Niese with the bases loaded in the sixth during the Yankees five-run rally that wiped out the Mets early 5-0 lead.

3 Stars: A-Rod, Cano, Hughes

April, 2, 2012
The Yankees cleaned up the Fish Tank, beating the Marlins 5-2 tonight to complete their sweep of the test run of the Marlins new ballpark. Not a lot going on in this one but we were able to eke out three stars for the game.

Star #1 -- Alex Rodriguez: The Miami Kid nearly got himself tossed in the first inning when, from the on-deck circle, he stuck his nose into an argument between Joe Girardi and home plate ump Laz Diaz. Too bad for the Marlins A-Rod didn't get ejected, because he wound up driving in three runs, two of them on a blast to right-center that hit the base of the wall about 415 feet from home plate. A-Rod won't play again until Wednesday, and if he doesn't, he finishes a fine spring at .292 with two home runs and 14 RBIs, second-most on the team.

Star #2 -- Robinson Cano: The Yankees' new No. 3 hitter showed his value in the third inning when, coming to bat with the bases loaded and none out, got nothing close to a strike from Carlos Zambrano, walking in the Yankees' first run of the game. Have the feeling we'll see more of that this season. Typically, he also made some tough plays look ridiculously easy at second base.

Star #3 -- Phil Hughes: The best Yankees starter all spring was also the best Yankees pitcher tonight. Hughes went four innings -- five through eight -- allowed five hits but no runs and struck out four. He ends his spring with an ERA of 1.56. The next time you'll see him is Sunday in the third regular season game against the Rays in St. Petersburg.

3 Stars: Swisher, Jeter, Kontos

April, 1, 2012
The Yankees spoiled the opening of Marlins Park for Fish fans, 11-8, scoring two runs in the ninth inning off Chad Gaudin, who seems every bit as hapless as a Marlin as he had been as a Yankee. Joe Girardi sent out the lineup he will use on the real Opening Day, the one that happens Friday in St. Petersburg, and two of his regulars came through to be named stars of the game.

Star #1 --Nick Swisher: In his first game back since March 20, Swishalicious went upper deck in the sixth inning off Ricky Nolasco, and went 2-for-3 overall. he admittedly didn't bust it after a fly ball that dropped in foul territory early in the game, in deference to the groin tightness that kept his sidelined the past 12 days.

Star #2 -- Derek Jeter: The Captain wasted no time christening the new park, slapping the first pitch of the game into the RF corner for a double. He came around the score the first run of the game on Robinson Cano's sacrifice fly, and had another hit in the sixth to raise his spring training average to .342.

Star #3 -- George Kontos: The young righty battled his way through the pain of a blister on his index finger to throw a scoreless eighth, earning the win. Seriously, Kontos has had a pretty good spring -- 1-0, 2.84 ERA -- and finally has something to show for it.

3 Stars: DBJ, Cano, Ibanez

March, 31, 2012
There were 30 hits, 20 runs and nine home runs in today's Yankees-Astros game at Kissimmee, and they didn't even play all nine innings. A Wizard-of-Oz-esque rain and wind storm caused the umpires to wave it off in the top of the ninth with the Yankees leading, 11-9, and trust me, nobody on the Houston side raised a fuss.

So naturally, our three stars today are all hitters.

Star #1 -- Dante Bichette Jr.: With his parents in the crowd, the Yankees first pick in the 2011 draft got his first two at-bats in a spring training game, saw his first two pitches, and hit both of them out of the yard. The first got a little help from Mother Nature but the second was crushed over the batter's eye in dead-center. Quite a debut for the kid. Now if he can only learn to work the count a little . . .

Star # 2 -- Robinson Cano: The new No. 3 hitter looks like he's ready for Opening Day, going 2-for-3 with a laser beam of a home run, no wind necessary, and turning a neat double play on a ball that deflected off pitcher Adam Warren.

Star #3 -- Raul Ibanez: After a slow start, The King of Siam is starting to wield his power, hitting his second home run in three games -- he now leads the team with three -- and knocking in four runs.

Honorable Mention -- Curtis Granderson : The Grandy Man was three-for-three with a double and is hitting .381.

3 Stars: Nova, Rivera & Boone

March, 13, 2012
In 3 Stars, we will highlight standout performances.

* In the Yankees 1-0 loss to the Red Sox, Ivan Nova threw four scoreless innings and further his case to be in the rotation. Nova looked must sharper than he was in his first couple of games.

* Mariano Rivera needed 13 pitches to record four outs in the fifth. A Bill Hall error forced Rivera to do the extra work. Of course, Rivera barely sweated doing it. His next outing could be Friday or Saturday.

* Boone Logan has pitched four scoreless innings this spring. He only allowed two hits.

3 Stars: CC, Swisher & Martin

March, 11, 2012
In a new feature of the blog, 3 Stars, we will highlight standout performances.
* CC Sabathia wanted to focus on his two-seam fastball on Sunday during his three innings of scoreless ball, but what impressed Russell Martin was the way the ball left Sabathia's hand.

"He had some good velocity," Martin said. "I don't know how hard he was throwing, but it felt like the ball was jumping out of his hand."

Sabathia had a very strong second outing of the spring and now has just given up a run in five innings.

* It is still early, but Nick Swisher and Curtis Granderson have looked good at the plate. Each added a double in Ft. Myers and have combined for five (three for Swisher and two for Granderson). Swisher came in, looking as if he is in great shape in his walk year, and, if his spring thus far is an indication, he could get off to a much better start than he did last year.

* Russell Martin added his fourth stolen base of the spring. Martin -- who like Swisher is in great shape in his walk year -- leads the team. Out in Ft. Myers, Gardner swiped a base for the second consecutive day. He has two on the spring.

By thew way, after being hit by a pitch, Martin was fine -- though he had a big bruise on his left arm.

3 Stars: A-Rod, Tex & Gardner

March, 10, 2012
In a new feature of the blog, 3 Stars, we will highlight standout performances.

Here are three positives from Saturday's 8-3 win over the Braves.

* Alex Rodriguez smashed a double off the right field wall for an RBI in the second. He hit it off the wild Jair Jurrjens. Jurrjens had six walks in 2 1/3 innings.

* Mark Teixeira nailed a hard single up the middle and walked twice. Teixeira saw this as a good sign, saying he isn't trying to lift the ball at this point in spring. He thinks it was an example how he may not be such strictly pull hitter and can compete better against the shift. (The Braves didn't shift on Saturday.)

* Brett Gardner stole his first base of the spring. A point of emphasis this year for Gardner is to get have his base-running fundamentals sounder at the beginning of the season. Last year, he had trouble early. On Saturday, he said he felt good, but he may have lifted up a little too early on his initial sprint, which could cost him a tenth-of-a-second, which is often the difference between being safe or out.



Masahiro Tanaka
12 2.51 135 129
BAJ. Ellsbury .271
HRM. Teixeira 21
RBIJ. Ellsbury 67
RB. Gardner 81
OPSB. Gardner .764
ERAH. Kuroda 3.81
SOM. Tanaka 135