This afternoon was marred by an avalanche of news. Jay Bruce and Mike Tauchman both made the team as a result of Luke Voit’s apparent knee injury, with the Yankees’ starting first baseman likely sidelined at least a few weeks into the season. With this backdrop, the Yankees also played a game today, downing the Blue Jays 5-1 as their spring training slate starts to amble to a close.
Jameson Taillon was originally slated to start, but the Yankees decided to have his final tuneup outing come in a simulated game, opting instead for Jhoulys Chacín. The veteran right-hander is on a minor league deal and attempting to squeeze onto the backend of the Yankees’ roster. He’s a longshot, given he’s a couple years removed his most recent quality play, but he handled the Jays lineup well in his last audition.
Chacín showed solid velocity, sitting at 92-93 mph on his heater, and flashed a useful curve. He managed 2.2 scoreless and hitless innings, and tossed in a nifty defensive play on the mound for good measure:
Jhoulys Chacin is too smooth pic.twitter.com/Yjrld35jm0— Dillard Barnhart (@BarnHasSpoken) March 27, 2021
One of the few starters to take the field, Gleyber Torres looked absolutely locked and loaded for the season. Torres roped a double in the first, opened the scoring with a solo homer in the third, and crushed a two-run shot in the fourth for a 4-0 advantage:
Following Torres’ lead, Mike Ford also turned in a tremendous performance. Given the start despite having already been demoted to Triple-A, Ford compiled four hits, including a solo homer in the seventh that put the Yankees up 5-0. Bruce may be the starting first baseman as of now, but perhaps Ford will force his name into the conversation at some point.
After Chacín, Luis Garcia managed four outs without allowing a run. From there, Lucas Luetge put in another impressive inning. He struck out two, including a backwards K of Alejandro Kirk with a curveball just as manager Aaron Boone praised Luetge’s “high-spin breaker” on the YES broadcast. Based on what he’s shown in camp, the Yankees look to have unearthed an intriguing lefty bullpen weapon.
The Yankees continued to cruise from there. Kyle Barraclough and Albert Abreu turned in scoreless innings, though Tyler Lyons let the shutout slip away by way of a run-scoring groundout in the eighth. The teams had agreed to play just eight innings today, so Lyons’ work in the eighth frame brought the proceedings to a close.
Bit of a sleepy contest, with the onfield events somewhat overshadowed by bad injury news, and with the diamond mostly dotted with reserves. Still, the players that figure to factor into the Yankees’ 2021 campaign showed out, at least providing the team a silver lining on the day. They’ll move onto their penultimate exhibition matchup tomorrow, when Corey Kluber starts against the Phillies. That one goes off at 1:05 EST and can be streamed on MLB.tv.