Rays-Yankees game canceled by rain
The New York Yankees’ exhibition game against the Tampa Bay Rays
on Monday night was canceled because of inclement weather.
Continuous rain throughout the afternoon prompted the decision
around 2 1/2 hours before the scheduled pitch first at 7:05 p.m.
The forecast called for additional rain well into the evening.
The game will not be made up.
New York will break camp after Tuesday’s home game against
Detroit. The Rays have two more games, including a spring finale
Wednesday against Toronto at Tropicana Field.
The Yankees were busy off the field, making a number of roster
In addition to the expected move of Eric Chavez earning a spot
as the backup to third baseman Alex Rodriguez and first baseman
Mark Teixeira, rookie catchers Jesus Montero and Austin Romine lost
out in the backup catcher competition.
The 21-year old Montero, along with infielder Ramiro Pena and
outfielder Justin Maxwell were optioned to Triple-A
Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Romine, 22, was optioned to Double-A
”When you look at those two young guys, we consider them
front-line catchers in the majors someday,” Yankees manager Joe
Girardi said. ”They seem to understand it and will go down with
the right attitude. We want them to play everyday. We want, when
they come up, not to have to go back.”
Gustavo Molina, who has played in 23 major-league games, will be
the backup catcher unless the Yankees make a late addition from
outside the organization.
Eduardo Nunez beat out Pena for the other reserve infield
Mark Prior, looking to make a comeback with New York after not
pitching in the majors since 2006, will remain in Florida to
continue his development into a reliever.
”Just because of the weather and the first time he’s ever
relieved,” Girardi said. ”Eventually, you want to get where he
can give you more than one inning. The weather is much more
predictable here. It’s warmer for a guy that’s never had somewhat
of a time limit when he warms up.”
Prior went 18-6 with a 2.43 ERA in 30 starts for the NL Central
champion Chicago Cubs in 2003.
”They’re thinking long term,” Prior said. ”I think I’m major
league ready stuff-wise. I’ve got to go back to back games. Pitch
more than one inning. I know there’s a lot of things I can improve
Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon said his roster is fairly set, but
isn’t ruling out the possibility of a change – particularly in the
bullpen – before Friday’s opener against Baltimore.
”The pitchers look to be set, and they kind of are, but there’s
still the threat of something else happening,” Maddon said.
James Shields, the Rays’ scheduled starter, will throw at
Tropicana Field on Tuesday. The right-hander will throw 30 pitches
instead of the 60 he would have made against the Yankees.
New York’s A.J. Burnett threw a simulated game in a batting
NOTES: The Yankees also released INF Ronnie Belliard and
assigned INF Doug Bernier to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. … The Rays
returned LHP Cesar Cabral to the Boston Red Sox for $25,000. He was
selected in the major league phase of the Rule 5 draft last
December. Tampa Bay has 26 players in camp, including LHP
J.P.Howell, who’ll start the season on the disabled list. … New
York is working on a deal to sell the rights of RHP Romulo Sanchez
to a Japanese league team.