Girardi happy with Yanks' progress in camp

Girardi happy with Yanks' progress in camp

TAMPA, Fla. -- As the Yankees prepared to play their final nine innings in the Grapefruit League and say goodbye to George M. Steinbrenner Field until 2016, manager Joe Girardi said that he is happy with how the club's Spring Training camp was conducted.

"I'm pleased with the way it went," Girardi said. "We had a couple of injuries that we have to deal with. We'll try to get through these next two days without anything happening, but [it was] pretty good."

Girardi said that the Yankees have one remaining decision in camp, selecting either John Ryan Murphy or Austin Romine as the backup catcher. That call will be made on Saturday, as both Murphy and Romine are traveling to Washington.

The bullpen will be filled out by right-hander Chris Martin and left-hander Chasen Shreve, and Gregorio Petit will make the roster as a reserve infielder.

Asked for his biggest surprise of camp, Girardi said that he was "really pleased" with how Alex Rodriguez performed coming back from a season-long suspension. Rodriguez showed life at the plate and could help out at third and first base, though he will be utilized primarily as a backup.

"I mean, it's two years, really, since he played," Girardi said. "I wasn't 100-percent sure. If I was a betting man, I would have bet on him playing well, but there's still that you've got to see it after two years of not playing and being 39 1/2."

The Yankees still have not set a closer from the tandem of Dellin Betances and Andrew Miller, and could enter the regular season with the hurlers sharing the ninth-inning duties. Outside of them, Girardi has been pleased with what he has seen from newcomers like David Carpenter, Martin, Shreve and Justin Wilson.

"I learned a lot about relievers that I didn't know a whole lot about," Girardi said. "I wasn't sure how that was going to break down. We have a lot of power arms that I knew, but I got to see them first hand."

Girardi also offered a positive review of shortstop Didi Gregorius, who has offered excitement on both sides of the ball. Girardi said that he still may give Gregorius days off against left-handed pitching, but his bat and fielding have shown potential.

"The way he moves. Arm strength," Girardi said of the shortstop's attributes. "You can watch it go across the diamond, but you don't realize it's just that little flick and it's gone. Relay throws. When you watch him play defense, he's the whole package. And I'm excited to watch him play all year."

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.