3/6/2014 7:27 P.M. ET
Soriano eager to get timing back at plate
By Bryan Hoch / MLB.com
CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Now that Alfonso Soriano has been cleared to play in exhibition games, the Yankees' veteran slugger said that he is eager to work on his timing against full-speed pitching.
Soriano played in his first game of the spring on Thursday, striking out in all three at-bats as the designated hitter. He acknowledged that being sidelined for most of camp due to illness has put him a bit behind.
"I'm happy that I at least saw the ball and a pitcher standing there like a real game," Soriano said. "It was a little weird; I didn't feel comfortable out there. This is Spring Training and that's my first game, so I'll look to have more at-bats and get my timing quick."
Soriano said that he was unable to take live batting practice, so his timing is behind big league pitching at this point. He said that the illness is behind him.
"I feel good. Now I just have to work with my timing and seeing strikes," Soriano said. "There's a lot of time, so it's more important for me to be out there for the first time. Now I'm ready to keep working hard."
Teixeira happy after return to game action
CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Mark Teixeira played in his first game of the spring on Thursday, going hitless in three at-bats during the Yankees' 4-3 victory over the Phillies at Bright House Field.
Coming off surgery to repair a torn ECU tendon in his right wrist, Teixeira played four innings in the field at first base and called it a "good first step."
"Just being in a live game, seeing what it felt like to run around out there, see live pitching, swing at good pitches -- that was good," said Teixeira, who had the season-ending procedure performed last July 1. "Make contact, get jammed, hit a ball off the end, do some of the things you'd do during the season. I did a lot of them today."
Teixeira grounded out to first base in the first inning and flew out to center field in the third inning facing Philadelphia right-hander Kyle Kendrick. Teixeira popped out to shortstop in the fifth inning against left-hander Mario Hollands.
Yankees manager Joe Girardi said that fielding a lineup with Teixeira in the No. 3 spot was a welcome change.
"It seems really funny, because I looked at my lineup and I was like, 'Man, I've got a lot of guys in there on a road trip,'" Girardi said.
Teixeira said that he was out in front of a changeup in the first at-bat and that he had been jammed by a fastball in the third at-bat. He was happiest with the second at-bat against Kendrick, which produced a loud fly ball.
"I'll just build from there," Teixeira said. "Wrist felt good, body felt good, so I'm happy."
Power outage spoils replay-system check
CLEARWATER, Fla. -- The Yankees had their first opportunity to be a part of the new replay system on Thursday, but a power outage at Bright House Field knocked out the video feed, making it impossible for the umpires to check their call.
The Yankees had baseball-operations assistant Brett Weber and video coordinator Anthony Flynn stationed in front of a clubhouse TV during Thursday's game, communicating with the dugout via walkie-talkies.
The Phillies wanted to review a close call in the seventh inning, when Philadelphia's John Mayberry was thrown out at third base attempting to stretch a double into a triple.
That play was never seen in the Yankees' clubhouse, which completely lost power for a few seconds. In the visiting clubhouse, Girardi's voice crackled through the walkie-talkie: "Safe or out?"
Weber picked up the handset and told Girardi that the room was dark and they couldn't see the play, then said to no one in particular, "Is this really happening?"
"Good timing; not our communication," Girardi said. "We had walkie-talkies. They couldn't replay it. That didn't come up in our meeting [with MLB]."
• Derek Jeter picked up his first hits of the spring on Thursday, snapping an 0-for-10 start to his Grapefruit League schedule. Jeter singled in the third inning off Kendrick and banged a well-struck double to left-center off Hollands in the fifth.
"Good at-bats today," Girardi said. "For him, he hasn't played a lot in the last year, but I think it's a good sign."
• Carlos Beltran was initially in New York's lineup for Thursday, but Girardi said that he scratched him because of the soggy outfield. Ramon Flores replaced Beltran in right field.
• Girardi wondered aloud about a play at the plate in the seventh inning, where Phillies catcher Lou Marson appeared to block home plate without the ball, forcing Scott Sizemore to slide around him with the Yankees' second run of the game.
Girardi said that he would like to know how much of a lane catchers are required to give to runners, and plans to meet with Joe Torre and Joe Garagiola Jr. in the near future to clarify the recent rule changes. Torre is Major League Baseball's executive vice president of baseball operations, and Garagiola is MLB's senior vice president of standards and on-field operations.
"I still think there's some things that some of us aren't exactly sure about, and that will all get cleared up before the season starts," Girardi said. "I'm not worried about that."
• CC Sabathia threw a simulated game at George M. Steinbrenner Field on Thursday morning.