MLB: Spring Training-Philadelphia Phillies at New York Yankees

Spring Training Recap: Week Two



Monday, March 7th

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Astros 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 6 0
Yankees 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 7 1

Monday marked the Spring Training debut for Michael Pineda, who went two quick innings. He looked solid, giving up two hits and striking out three. Luis Severino came in next and had three excellent innings after a rough spring debut. Jacob Lindgren had a bounce-back outing in a 1-2-3 inning. Carlos Beltran and Chris Parmelee hit doubles, while Jacoby Ellsbury went 0-3 to bring his Spring Training average down to .167.

Tuesday, March 8th

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Yankees 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 5 0
Marlins 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 X 1 2 0

CC Sabathia made his 2016 debut, going two frames and allowing a walk while striking out two. His velocity topped out at 89, which is disheartening but not particularly worrisome. Luis Cessa looked good in his two innings, and so did Kirby Yates, who continued his strong start this spring. Nick Rumbelow did the opposite, struggling again, while Chasen Shreve continued to put last year’s late-season troubles behind him with a perfect inning. Aaron Hicks had a nice day, going 2-3 with a double, and Rob Refsnyder continued his bid to finally make the team with a double as well. Aaron Judge went 0-3 with two strikeouts, bringing his Spring average down to .111.

Wednesday, March 9th

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 R H E
Yankees 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 2 0 4 9 3
Mets 0 0 0 0 5 0 0 0 0 0 4 10 0

Ivan Nova once again impressed with three strong scoreless innings to start, while James Kaprielian followed up his nice start with a rough 1 2/3 innings. Nick Goody did a nice job rebounding from a poor outing, as did Lindgren. Johnny Barbato continued to impress in another perfect frame. Hicks hit another double, and Dustin Ackley and Parmelee followed suit. Unknowns Kyle Higoshioka and Sebestian Valle hit home runs to force a rare extra-inning spring game—which ultimately ended in a tie.

Thursday, March 10th

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Yankees (SS) 2 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 4 12 3
Orioles 1 0 0 0 0 0 3 0 0 4 10 0

Bryan Mitchell started this one, again throwing well in three one-run innings. James Pazos had another rough go of it, though the 3 runs he gave up in 2/3 of an inning were unearned. Prospect Brady Lail only went an inning, but it was a perfect one. Starlin Castro had a 3-3 day at the plate–including a double–to raise his batting average to .429. Jorge Mateo made his second error of the Spring, following his 30-error season in 2015. It’s not a disastrous development, but worth keeping an eye on.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Blue Jays 0 0 2 0 1 5 0 2 1 11 13 2
Yankees (SS) 0 0 2 2 0 0 0 0 0 4 8 1

The Yankees decided to roll out all the velocity on Thursday, starting Nate Eovaldi and following it up with Andrew Miller, Dellin Betances, and Aroldis Chapman. Eovaldi looked good and showed no signs of last year’s elbow inflammation. Chapman had a rough spring debut, and his fastball sat at just 94-96 mph. He has until May to get ready, so this isn’t much of a red flag, though it’s not exactly great to see. Dustin Fowler, a breakout prospect in 2015, hit a double, while Jonathan Diaz hit a home run. Offensive giant Pete Kozma went 0-2, and he is hitless this Spring.

Friday, March 11th

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Orioles 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 3 0
Yankees 2 1 4 0 0 0 0 0 X 7 11 2

Masahiro Tanaka had another strong start on Friday, with three innings of one-hit ball. Shreve followed with another perfect 1 1/3 innings to keep his ERA at 0.00, while both Rumbelow and Vicente Campos looked solid on the mound. Mark Teixeira notched a double to hopefully jump-start a slow Spring Training for him, while Ellsbury went 2-3 to bring his average above .400. Didi Gregorious also had a nice game, going 3-3 with a stolen base.

Saturday, March 12th

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Yankees 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 4 0
Rays 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 X 2 8 0

Severino continued to distance himself from a rough debut with a great 3 2/3 innings on Saturday, striking out four and not walking a batter—a good thing to see after he struggled with command earlier in the month. Barbato had his first bad outing of the Spring, giving up two runs on two hits. Parmelee had another fine day at the plate with a double, his third of the season, but not much else happened with the Yankees’ bats on Saturday.

Sunday, March 13

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Phillies 1 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 8 0
Yankees 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 5 5

This wasn’t the greatest of games for the Yankees. Sabathia gave up three runs, though one was unearned. Still, five hits and one walk in 1 2/3 innings isn’t comforting, nor was his unimpressive stuff. Pineda looked great in three innings, and Chapman hit 100 on the gun once; hopefully his velocity concerns are behind him. Shreve, once again, was perfect in an inning. Not much happened at the plate, but the Yankees reminded us that it’s still spring training with five errors: courtesy of Sabthia, Hicks, Castro, Chapman, and Fowler.


General News:

Starlin Castro: The Yankees were hoping to have Castro learn third base this Spring, but they’ll shut down that idea before Castro even played third in a game. Perhaps they thought he was spread too thin between second base, shortstop, and third base, or Rob Refsnyder was opening eyes at third early on. Either way, Castro is no longer in the running for the backup third base job, and will instead start at second and backup Gregorious at shortstop.

Aroldis Chapman: Chapman hasn’t had the best start to Spring Training, coming out flat in his debut with a lower-than-expected velocity. He also had the trainer briefly check on him in his second appearance, though that may have been a false alarm. Chapman does have until May to prepare, so he could just be taking it slow. Still, for a pitcher that relies on velocity, any diminished speed on his fastball wouldn’t be good.



CC Sabathia: Sabathia’s career has been partially derailed by a degenerative knee injury, but it looks like he’s seen improvement in the issue. A knee brace has done a lot for him, and Sabathia is reportedly in great shape. This may not mean much as his stuff hasn’t been good this Spring, but it’s at least a step in the right direction.

Donavan Solano: Solano is dealing with a lower back injury which has kept him out of game action thus far. He hopes to be in games before the end of the month, though this certainly won’t help his (long shot) bid to be the Yankees’ backup third baseman.

Brett Gardner: Gardner hasn’t gotten into a game yet this season due to a bone bruise in his wrist, but he’s nearing a debut. The outfielder was fine in a simulated game on Sunday, and could be back on the field by mid-next week.


Position Battle Updates:

5th Starter: Although I mentioned that Sabathia’s knee has been feeling good, his performance on the mound has been uninspiring. His velocity is unlikely to go up from the 87-89 range that it currently sits at, and although that isn’t the end of the world, his stuff has also been flat. Nova has looked solid in his two appearances, and although it’s unlikely he dethrones Sabathia, there’s a chance that happens.

Backup Catcher: Just like in the 5th starter competition, the underdog is currently shining. Austin Romine has shown that he isn’t a complete zero with the bat, and has .357 batting average with three doubles thus far. Gary Sanchez, on the other hand, has literally been a zero with the bat—he’s hitless in 10 at-bats. Romine would have to be placed on waivers if he doesn’t make the team, so that may provide the Yankees some incentive to keep him in the majors to start this season.

Backup Infielder: The Yankees have announced that the Castro at third base experiement will be over before it even started, which either shows the team’s building confidence in Refsnyder or that Castro was a complete mess at the hot corner. Refsnyder hasn’t gotten a shot at third this week, but he’s been solid with the bat and surprisingly looks like the front runner for the job. Meanwhile, Solano is out with a back injury and Kozma is hitless.

Final 3 Bullpen Spots: This job is still wide open, but there’s been some slight separation in performance thus far. Mitchell has impressed and could take on an Adam Warren-like role, while Branden Pinder has also been solid. Everyone else has had at least one blow up appearance, so it’s hard to pick out much else. The Yankees have trimmed the candidates by one, though, by cutting Lindgren from major league camp.


Lead photo: Kim Klement/USA Today Sports

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