So the Yankees fielded split squad teams against the Detroit Tigers and the Boston Red Sox yesterday afternoon. The starters stayed in Tampa to face Detroit while the backups and some of the younger guys headed to Boston’s spring training facility. Honestly, the B-team lineup was probably just as exciting for me as the A-team given the influx of young talent the Yankees have at their disposal now. Unfortunately neither of the games were televised, which, after watching baseball for multiple days in a row, was an absolute nightmare. I know it’s just spring training, but come on, we’ve been waiting a long time for this. Anyway, here’s a quick recap of both games.
Game 5: Yankees 9 – Tigers 5
Masahiro Tanaka got the start in this game and he looked strong, pitching 2 perfect innings with 2 strikeouts. Not much to talk about there. I’m not even going to mention the elbow (There, I just did it).
Gary Sanchez finally got out of his mini preseason slump (which is absolutely in no way an actual thing) by hitting his first home run of the spring. It was a 2 run shot that he pulled hard to left field.
Ladies and Gentleman, I present to you the 2017 American League MVP, El Gary Sanchez with the KABANG off the perfect swing pic.twitter.com/XXPwqi41vg
— King Lester (@TheLesterLee) February 28, 2017
I reiterate, the games were NOT televised, so this is the best video we can get. Still better than nothing. Here’s to many more of those between now and October. El Gary finished the day 2-3 with 1 R and 2 RBI.
3B Thairo Estrada hit his second home run in as many games. It was a solo shot. I have literally nothing to tell you about this kid, because admittedly I’d never even heard of him before yesterday’s 9th inning heroics. I’ve heard people refer to him as the Reggie Jackson of his generation though (No I haven’t). Anyway, good for him.
OF Clint Frazier continues his spring training roll, going 1-2 with an RBI double. It’s only been five games, but if Frazier keeps this up he’s going to make a serious case for himself as a mid-season call-up. Obviously my dream scenario involves Jacoby Ellsbury getting his proverbial groove back and justifying the $20+ million the team is paying him this season, but if he continues to flop out there then my second dream scenario involves him on the bench and Frazier getting some starts this season. It’ll never happen though.
Ellsbury did get his first stolen base of the spring, which is cool. February is the hardest month to steal a base in. That being said, he still remains hitless.
Other lines of note:
LF Brett Gardner: 2-3, 1 R
1B Chris Carter: 1-2, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 HR, 1 BB
2B Starlin Castro: 1-3, 1 RBI, 1 K
3B Chase Headley: 2-3, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 double
LHP Tommy Layne: 1 IP, 0 H, 1 BB, 1 K
RHP Ben Heller: 1 IP, 0 H, 2 BB
You can catch the full box score here, and video highlights here….just kidding there are no video highlights because, again, the games weren’t televised.
Game 6: Yankees 5, Boston 4
The rains continue to fall down in Florida this spring! In addition to the three home runs hit in the Detroit game, two more were hit against Boston….and they were both by the Bird person.
That’s right, Greg Bird went 2-3 with 2 HR and 3 RBI. The first one was a laser shot pulled down the right field line, and the second was an opposite field bomb over the mini green monster in left. Here’s some shoddy video of both of them.
In the first place, it’s great just to see Bird healthy and playing after the injury that sidelined him for the entirety of last season. It’s even better to see that pop back in his bat though. In 2015 he hit 11 HR in just 46 games, so he definitely has the potential to be a 30+ home run hitter if he plays like we know he can.
Luis Cessa got the start and was not stellar, giving up 2 ER on 3 H over 2 IP. Numbers don’t really matter that much in the spring though. He looked good in his first appearance so we’ll see how it goes for Cessa moving forward.
Highly touted LHP prospect Justus Sheffield got his first looks of the spring, allowing 1 ER on 2 H in 1.2 IP. The one run came on a solo home run by Red Sox 1B Sam Travis. Otherwise Sheffield was keeping the ball on the ground, and he picked up 1 K.
Other lines of note:
LF Rob Refnsyder: 1-3, 1 R, 1 K. Ref has been getting time at a whole range of positions.
RF Aaron Judge: 1-2, 1 BB
RF Billy McKinney: 0-0, 1 BB
C Kyle Higashioka: 2-3. Higashioka is making a real run at that backup catchers position.
3B Miguel Andujar: 0-3, 2 K
SS Gleyber Torres: 1-1, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 BB
RHP Chance Adams: 2 IP, 1 H, 1 BB, 1 K
You can catch the full box score here, and once again, no video highlights.
Today the Yankees square off against the Atlanta Braves in Tampa. The game starts at 6:35 p.m. EST and WILL be televised on YES.