Yanks vs. Hokies

By Doug Kroll - March 18, 2008

It's an exciting day in Blacksburg as the New York Yankees arrive to face the Virginia Tech Hokies in an exhibition game. If you remember, the Yanks donated $1 million to the Hokie Fund after the tragedy last spring that took so many lives. The game will be shown on the YES Network, and I'll provide some commentary at times throughout.

Here's the list of the guys the Yankees brought, with the college they attended:

It's only a 7 inning game, so they didn't bring a lot of arms:
-Jeff Karstens will get the starting nod as he looks to land one of the remaining spots in the bullpen. It will be his first start of the spring, and in 3 appearances Karstens is 1-2 with a 8.63 ERA in only 6.1 innings. Karstens attended Texas Tech.
-Chris Britton (No College): 2.25 ERA in 4 innings of work this spring.
- Dan Giese (Univ. of San Diego): A non-roster invitee, Giese has a 5.40 ERA in 5 innings.
- Scott Patterson (West Virginia State): Career minor-leaguer has yet to give up a run in 6 innings this spring.
- Edwar Ramirez (No College): Has a 6.23 ERA in 4.1 innings.
- David Roberson (Alabama): Pitched at Alabama last in 2006, spent 2007 season with Yankees single-A teams but got 2 appearances in Trenton with the double-A squad. Hasn't thrown this year in any big-league spring training games.
- Jose Veras (No College): Veras has a 6.75 ERA in 4 innings.

I'm impressed with the position players they brought much more so than the arms, but that's understandable:
- Jason Brown (USC): A career minor-leaguer, Brown is 0-for-2 this year with the Yanks and spent last season at Double-A Trenton.
- Chad Moeller (USC): Two catchers from USC, interesting. Journeyman has actually gotten 19 ABs with the Yanks this spring and is hitting .263 after playing last season for the Dodgers and Reds.
- Jorge Posada (Calhoun Community College, Alabama): Can't vision Jorgie playing more than a couple innings.

- Wilson Betemit (No College): Utility player who's hitting only .161 in 31 ABs.
- Robinson Cano (No College): Yanks starting 2B, hitting .447 this spring with 11 RBI.
- Bernie Castro (No College): Non-roster invitee hitting .231.
- Shelley Duncan (Arizona): Caused a stir earlier for spikes-high slide, but hitting .333 with 3 HRs.
- Morgan Ensberg (USC): Another Trojan, hitting .333. I sense a Pac-10 trend with the Yanks.
- Jason Giambi (Long Beach St.): Hitting a solid .375 in 10 spring games.
- Alberto Gonzalez (No College): .263 so far.
- Nick Green (Dekalb JC): Light-hitting utility guy batting just .167.
- Derek Jeter (No College): No intro necessary.
- Cody Ransom (Grand Canyon): Non-roster invitee hitting .269.
- Alex Rodriguez (No College): All set to go to Miami before signing with Mariners.

- Bobby Abreu (No College): I'd be shocked if the Hokies get him out.
- Melky Cabrera (No College): Yanks' CF hitting .375.
- Justin Christian (Southeast Missouri): Non-roster invitee hitting .250 in 12 ABs.
- Johnny Damon (No College): Damon hitting .242 so far this spring.
- Brett Gardner (College of Charleston): Having an impressive spring, .417 for the 23 year old.
- Jason Lane (USC): What's going on here? Jeez. Another Trojan.
- Greg Porter (Texas A&M): Finally some Big 12 love. Hitting .286 this spring.

Louisville Slugger donated wood bats for the Hokies to use today, and Major League rules will apply at English Field. Should be some good stuff, festivities begin right around 2:45 with first pitch a little after 3pm.

For Virginia Tech, captain Andrew Wells will start. Wells is 0-2 in 4 appearances (3 starts) with a 5.25 ERA in 12 innings of work. You can be sure that nearly everyone on the Hokies roster will get some time in this one.

3,000 Va. Tech students won lottery tickets and a 1,000 more faculty will be on hand. The Yanks flew up this morning, and will make their first stop at the memorial for those lost nearly a year ago.

Check back for more starting at 3pm

Posted by Doug Kroll at 11:45 AM on March 18, 2008

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