The Yankees opened the Grapefruit League schedule with a 2-1 loss to the Blue Jays this afternoon. Doomed! Doomed, I say. All kidding aside, New York’s minor leaguers made it interesting in the ninth, threatening to walk the game off. While the comeback attempt fell short, it sure was fun to watch baseball again.
In lieu of full-scale recaps, we’re going to do bullet-point highlights through spring training. Important contributions and players will get covered, plus a roundup of the team’s pitching lines, as well as news and notes from the club. Hope you all enjoy this format!
- J.A. Happ shined in his two innings of work. He blanked a representative Blue Jays lineup on 26 pitches, striking out three in the process. His fastball sat around 93 mph, too. “The fastball was really coming out good,” Kyle Higashioka said of Happ’s effort to Brendan Kuty. “All his secondary pitches looked really good. Sharp. I thought his location was really good as well. I thought he looked excellent.” An encouraging outing from the team’s potential number three starter.
- Chris Gittens delivered the Bombers’ only offense of the afternoon, launching a solo homer off Jake Petricka in the ninth inning. The 26-year-old hit 23 home runs for Double-A Trenton last year. Ben Ruta (double) and Rossel Herrera (single) had the other two hits for the Yankees, while DJ LeMahieu, Kyle Holder, and Hoy Jun Park each drew walks.
- Nick Tropeano and Luis Avilan each allowed a run, with Tropeano taking the loss. Mike King and Luis Cessa pitched well, though, and each has a chance to a win the fifth-starter role. Kaleb Ort, Domingo Acevedo, and Brooks Kriske also appeared in the game.
- Lastly, some positive news from manager Aaron Boone: The skipper says that James Paxton can resume throwing in 10 days. That puts him on pace to return in May, basically the best-case scenario for Big Maple.
The Yankees travel to Port Charlotte tomorrow to take on the Rays. First pitch is scheduled for 1:05 PM, and you can watch on the MLB Network.