SARASOTA, Fla. - Marcus Thames is the only legitimate righthanded-hitting backup outfielder left in Yankees camp. But he's hitting .094 after going 0-for-4 Thursday in an 8-0 exhibition loss to the Orioles.
That's why the non-roster invitee has not been added to the major-league roster yet and is getting only a lukewarm review from the team's brass.
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"Thames, by default, he's the one in camp," general manager Brian Cashman said. "He was brought in to compete for this spot and right now he's the last man standing, so to speak. But that doesn't mean he's still not needing to compete for that because I don't know what's going to become available between now and the end of camp that you like that you could acquire."
Said manager Joe Girardi, "You want to see him get going."
Randy Winn, the team's fourth outfielder, went 3-for-3 to raise his average to .259.
The Yankees released Chad Gaudin, saving about $2.2 million. Gaudin, 0-3 with an 8.68 ERA, will get about $737,500 in termination pay. His $2.95-million salary was not guaranteed.
"I thought I had a spot," Gaudin said. "But you know what happens when you assume."
Cashman said Gaudin would have been too expensive to keep at Triple-A, even for the Yankees. "If I'd sent him to Scranton, I'd have to read how our payroll at Scranton is higher than some [major-league] clubs," he said. "It'd be nice to have insurance like that, but that's not realistic."
Fifth-starter also-rans Alfredo Aceves (six runs in two innings) and Sergio Mitre (one run in two innings) pitched against the Orioles. "Obviously, there's some emotions they had to deal with today," Joe Girardi said. "That's understandable." . . . CC Sabathia allowed seven earned runs in 32/3 innings in a Triple-A game against the Phillies in Tampa.