TAMPA, Fla. (CBSNewYork/AP) – Vernon Wells is excited about the chance to wear the Yankees’ pinstripes.
Wells went 0 for 3 with an RBI groundout in his debut with the Yankees, and the Houston Astros and New York played to a 4-all tie Tuesday night in 10 innings.
The Yankees completed a trade with the Los Angeles Angels earlier in the day to get Wells. The 34-year-old outfielder flied out twice and had a hard grounder during a three-run sixth.
“I got goosebumps just driving down the road a couple hours after they told me about the trade, and start thinking about the roll call,” Wells said.
“I won’t be the guy that gets picked on by the bleacher (fans) this time, even though I enjoyed it. Now it’s going to be a little different hearing my name and being in pinstripes. I’m getting the chills now. There’s great expectations and great responsibility,” he said.
Wells batted sixth and started in left, part of a lineup that Yankees manager Joe Girardi said could be close to the regular season setup: Brett Gardner, Ichiro Suzuki, Robinson Cano, Kevin Youkilis, Travis Hafner, Wells, Juan Rivera, Eduardo Nunez and Chris Stewart.
Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, Curtis Granderson and Mark Teixeira are all expected to start the season on the disabled list.
“He’s got a chance to play every day here in left field for us,” Girardi said. “We’ve seen him very good and used to face him 18 times a year (with Toronto). He brings some power, brings some speed, has been a good defender. He’s got a good opportunity here.”
Opening day starter CC Sabathia allowed four runs over five innings for the Yankees. He gave up three doubles during the first inning and a fourth-inning solo homer by Brandon Barnes.
The left-hander, coming back from offseason left elbow bone spur surgery, gave up six hits, three walks and had four strikeouts.
“I stayed healthy, that was the main key,” Sabathia said. “I’m feeling better every day. I’m having no problems. I’m ready to go.”
New York closer Mariano Rivera struck out one during a 1-2-3 sixth.
But Wells was the talk of Tuesday.
“Just the history and the names that are in this clubhouse, and the guys that are in this clubhouse — this is special,” said Wells. “It’s obviously a huge commitment to put the pinstripes on, but this is baseball. This is the center of it all and this is a fun way for things to go toward the end of my career.”
NOTES: Yankees RHP Phil Hughes (bulging disk in the upper back) is scheduled to pitch in his second minor league game Wednesday. … Barnes has five homers. … To make room on the 40-man roster for Wells, the Yankees released INF David Adams. … Houston LHP Erik Bedard pitched three innings in a minor league game. … 1B Lyle Overbay agreed to a minor league contract with the Yankees. He entered the game in the seventh. … The Astros released INF Tyler Greene. … The Yankees claimed RHP Dan Otero off waivers from San Francisco. … New York OF Brennan Boesch (ribs) is on the travel roster for Wednesday night’s game against Baltimore in Sarasota. … Yankees LHP Cesar Cabral (elbow) threw batting practice for the first time.
Will Vernon have a renaissance in the Bronx? Be heard in the comments!
(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)