With Ryan Braun (Achilles), J.J. Hardy (flu) and Rickie Weeks (hand) still sidelined and an opportunity to give other regulars a two-day break (the team's only scheduled off-day is Wednesday), Yost sent a squad to Tempe Diablo Stadium that was short on projected Opening Day starters. Only center fielder Tony Gwynn Jr., who has a chance to play the opener because Mike Cameron will be serving a suspension, started against the Angels.
The lineup looked like this: Shortstop Alcides Escobar led off, followed by second baseman Abraham Nunez, first baseman Joe Dillon, designated hitter Mike Rivera, catcher Vinny Rottino, left fielder Gabe Kapler, third baseman Ozzie Chavez, Gwynn and right fielder Laynce Nix.
Technically, teams are expected to send at least four "starters" to Spring Training road games to appease fans who purchased tickets. Kapler will almost certainly make the team as a backup outfielder, and Dillon, Nunez, Rivera and Rottino are in the mix but would fill reserve roles.
Asked if his hands were tied because of the three players out with injury and illness, Yost simply responded, "OK."
He cited the off-day Tuesday, plus "some guys sick," though Hardy was the only one. Then Yost came up with an explanation of his own.
"We've got a nice team we're sending over there," Yost said. "I heard there was a real high flu area around that stadium over there, and I just don't want my players, my main guys over there, getting sick. They say it's really in the air."
Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less