Spring Training

Thoughts on weekend games

Baseball is officially back. The Yankees played three games over the weekend. Here’s a fairly quick recap along with some of my thoughts on each one.

Friday: vs. Philadelphia Phillies, Yankees 9 – Phillies 4

If you need to know one thing about this game, it’s right here:

OFF THE SCOREBOARD. HOT DAMN AARON. Now that’s an exciting thing to see this spring, right off the bat (pun intended). Unfortunately we don’t have Statcast for that home run, but you can tell by just looking at it how hard that thing came off his bat. None of the outfielders even moved. Judge finished the day 1-2 with the home run and a strikeout.

Another exciting hit came later in the game by none other than OF Clint Frazier:

He roped one into the gap in right-center for a 2 RBI triple. Clearly a decent throw would’ve had him at third, but it doesn’t look like Frazier was running too hard anyway. Cool to see nonetheless. He finished his day going 1-2 with the triple and a strikeout.

Here’s some other lines of note:

SS Didi Gregorius: 1-3, 1 HR, 1 R, 1 RBI. He hit a solo home run in the 1st.
C Gary Sanchez: 0-3, 1 K
3B Miguel Andujar: 2-2, 1 double, 1 triple, 2 R, 1 RBI
C Kyle Higashioka: 1-1, 1 HR, 1 R, 1 RBI
SS Gleyber Torres: 0-1, 1 RBI on a sac fly.

The arms looked great on Friday as well, not allowing an earned run until the 9th inning. Bryan Mitchell got the start, going 2 IP with 0 BB, 0 H, and 1 K. Tyler Clippard (1 IP), Tommy Layne (1 IP), and Luis Cessa (2 IP) all followed with scoreless outings. Perfect innings actually. That’s right, the team was perfect through the first 6 IP. Jordan Montgomery came in in the 7th and gave up 2 runs in 2 IP, although they were both unearned due to a catching error by 1B Ji-Man Choi. Giovanny Gallegos came in to pitch the 9th and gave up two solo home runs.

During an in-game interview Girardi gave some thoughts on Holliday and the rotation. He thinks Holliday will play a great leadership role in the clubhouse. He also said he thought Mitchell looked good in the start on Friday, noting how in-command he looked last spring before the injury. In regards to the open rotation spots, he said he’s looking more at the pitchers’ stuff this spring as opposed to the outcomes/performance. Not really anything new.

You can catch the full box score here, and video highlights here.

Saturday: @ Philadelphia Phillies, Phillies 6 – Yankees 5

Saturday’s game was SS Gleyber Torres’s first start of the spring, and he looked fantastic, going 2-2 with 2 doubles and 2 R. Both of those runs scored came on wild pitches, one of which was in the 5th….when Torres was on second. That’s great heads-up base running and something you love to see out of a young kid in spring.

Here’s how some of the other hitters did:

1B Greg Bird: 0-2. He’s hitless in two games so far this spring.
DH Chris Carter: 1-3. His first “hit” in a Yankee uniform.
OF Clint Frazier: 1-2
OF Aaron Judge: 0-2 (no strikeouts though!)
3B Miguel Andujar: 1-2, 1 R

The team scored 3 of their 5 runs on wild pitches, so overall not a super productive day for the offense, but a lot of the young guys continued to look good in their second game.

On the other side, Philadelphia’s Maikel Franco had himself a day, with 2 HR, one of those an inside-the-parker thanks to a pretty big misplay by CF Tyler Wade after the ball bounced off his glove and rolled under the fence. Wade threw his hands up to signal the ball was stuck under the wall, but after no call by the umpire decided to go ahead and pick it up after Franco had nearly reached third. Pretty bad mental error on Wade’s part, but it’s only spring. I’m sure he won’t ever let something like that happen again.

Adam Warren started the game on the mound, throwing 2 perfect innings with 2 Ks, so it’s good to see him off to a good start in February. Ben Heller was dominant in his only inning of work, allowing no baserunners and striking out 3. Here they are in GIF form:

Here’s how the rest of the pitchers did:

Dietrich Enns:  2 IP, 2 H, 0 BB, 2 R, 1 ER, 1 HR
Daniel Camarena: 2 IP, 4 H, 0 BB, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 K, 2 HR
Jonathan Holder: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 BB, 2 K
Joe Mantiply: 0.1 IP, 2 H, 0 BB, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 K

You can catch the full box score here, and video highlights here.

Sunday: vs. Toronto Blue Jays Yankees 7, Toronto 2

Sunday’s game was against a split squad Toronto team. The Phillies took on the Blue Jays’s starters while the Yankees got their backups. Nonetheless, there were still some good takeaways.

Luis Severino started the game on the mound and pitched two hitless innings, allowing 1 BB and notching 1 K. In his first start with the team since being moved to the bullpen at the end of last season, Severino looked pretty good. His fastball sat in the mid to upper 90’s and he was using his changeup quite a bit. In fact, at one point he threw two changeups IN A ROW. After his disastrous start to last season, it was clear that the change was one of the things Severino needed to work on over the offseason, so it was nice to see him working it into the mix on Sunday. He’s apparently also been getting instruction from HOF pitcher Pedro Martinez on his mechanics, so that has to be good, right? Either way, a strong start for Severino as he tries to make his case for an opening day rotation spot.

On the defensive side, Chris Carter got the start at first base for the first time this spring. Although he figures to see more playing time in a DH/PH role with the team, first is where Carter has spent the majority of the last several seasons, so obviously the team is going to work him out there before the season starts.

Chase Headley looked strong starting at third base, making a great stabbing catch on a line drive and a nice backhanded grab on a grounder for the first two outs of the game. After committing 23 errors in 2015, Headley worked that number down to 10 last season, and he already looks to be in great form early in the spring.

Gary Sanchez caught 2/3 base runners on stolen base attempts in the first six innings. His first throw was low and he short-hopped it to Gregorius, but the next to were dead on. Sanchez went hitless in the game, but it’s good to see him bringing it defensively considering that’s always been the main hole in his game.

Here’s how some of the other players did:

OF Brett Gardner: 1-3, 1 RBI
DH Matt Holliday: 1-2, 1 R, 1 RBI
2B Starlin Castro: 1-2, 1 R, 3 RBI, 1 HR
OF Billy McKinney: 1-1, 1 R, 2 RBI, 1 HR. McKinney roped one way over the fence in right field.
Johnny Barbato: 2 IP, 0 H, 2 BB, 2 K
Jason Gurka: 1 IP, 1 H, 1 B, 1 K
Brady Lail: 1 IP, 1 H, 2 ER, 1 B, 2 K, 1 HR
J.P. Feyerisen: 2 IP, 1 H, 0 BB, 3 K
J.R. Graham: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 BB, 1 K

You can catch the full box score here, and video highlights here.

Overall a good weekend for the Yankees. Today they take on the Baltimore Orioles at 1 p.m. EST.

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