Decisions remain for Girardi as spring winds down

Bullpen picture not yet finalized; prospects inching closer to Bronx auditions

Decisions remain for Girardi as spring winds down

TAMPA, Fla. -- The Yankees are nearing the end of a Spring Training that has been run about as well as Joe Girardi could have hoped, and now the manager believes that he will have some difficult calls to make during the final week of camp.

It remains possible, Girardi said, that the Yankees will go into the regular season without naming a set closer. That would create a situation in which Dellin Betances and Andrew Miller are asked to share the ninth-inning duties, an arrangement that both pitchers say they would embrace.

"It's actually something we've got to talk a lot about this week coming up and what we're going to decide to do, if we're going to try to name a closer or if we're going to kind of go with a two-guy sort of situation," Girardi said. "We've ironed a lot of things out, and we've just got to work on that one."

In addition, the Yankees will need to select either John Ryan Murphy or Austin Romine as their backup catcher, and Girardi said there are probably two spots in the back of the bullpen left up for grabs for a group that includes Chase Whitley, Chris Martin, Chasen Shreve and Andrew Bailey.

The Yankees came into the spring with 12 of their 13 position-player spots essentially secured, so Girardi has been able to spend much of his time evaluating the veterans' progress on that side.

"I think it's actually been a really productive Spring Training," Girardi said. "I think [Chase] Headley has had a tremendous Spring Training, I think Alex [Rodriguez] has had a good Spring Training. I think a lot of our players have done well. [Nathan] Eovaldi has done well, I'm pleased with what Michael Pineda has done, CC [Sabathia], [Masahiro] Tanaka -- all these guys. I think we've played well.

"I think our improvement in doing a lot of the little things, whether it's moving runners over, baserunning -- that is what I've been most excited about."

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One week after managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner mentioned the possibility of seeing the entire quartet of prospects Aaron Judge, Jose Pirela, Rob Refsnyder and Luis Severino in the Bronx this season, Girardi said that the Baby Bombers as a whole have made their mark in camp.

"I think our youth has really stood out, how well they have played in a lot of different situations," Girardi said. "Whether it's been in the infield or the outfield, they've played exceptionally well."

Girardi has also been pleased by how Rodriguez has re-assimilated into the clubhouse and on the field coming off his season-long suspension.

"I was never concerned about that, because he's always been a guy that people have turned to and loved being around," Girardi said. "But I've been impressed by the way he's played and the way he has been able to contribute."

Bryan Hoch is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.