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Troy Tulowitzki goes deep, staff blanks Jays as Yankees win home opener 3-0

The Yankees’ new shortstop started his career in pinstripes with a bang as New York shut out Toronto.

MLB: Spring Training-Toronto Blue Jays at New York Yankees Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Spring training is truly, fully underway now that the Yankees’ spring home opener is in the books. They downed the Blue Jays by a score of 3-0 today in the season’s first game at George M. Steinbrenner Field down in Tampa. James Paxton made his first preseason start with the team and looked solid, tossing a pair of scoreless innings before giving way to Domingo German. A pair of early solo home runs provided the only offense the Yankees would need, with the pitching silencing the Jays all afternoon.

You can check out the full box score here. Now, to our three takeaways from today’s game:

  1. Troy Tulowitzki started his spring off with a bang. In his first at-bat as a Yankee, leading off the home half of the first, Tulowitkzi took Toronto starter Marcus Stroman deep. The Yankees’ apparent total confidence in Tulowitzki has been, shall we say, curious to some. One home run in February says nothing about how Tulowitzki’s body will hold up to the rigors of the actual MLB season, but for one day, the former superstar looked good. That his homer came against his former team surely was icing on the cake for Tulowitzki. He said as much after the game.
  2. Here’s your update on the spring position-player battles: after Luke Voit and Greg Bird got the cold-corner competition off to a hot start over the first two games, Voit didn’t play today, while Bird recorded just two plate appearances. Bird flied out to left in his first at-bat, then walked on four pitches versus Javy Guerra. Meanwhile, Austin Romine will almost definitely play the role of backup catcher, but Kyle Higashioka at least reintroduced himself with a solo bomb today. Higashioka is very unlikely to challenge Romine for his job, but if he does, it will probably involve a fistful of dingers.
  3. The battle for the final spots in the bullpen looks to be fierce, at least at this early juncture. With six relief slots spoken for, the likes of Jonathan Loaisiga, German, and Luis Cessa will need to make the most of every opportunity to make the Opening Day roster. Today, German looked sharp, striking out three in two scoreless innings, while Cessa was perfect in two innings. With Loaisiga also having thrown a pair of shutout frames yesterday, all the main competitors have gotten off on the right foot.

Highlight of the game

Spring training rolls along tomorrow, as the Yankees will host the Phillies at 1:05 EST. Masahiro Tanaka is currently slated to take the hill for the first time.