In the aftermath of the lockout, the Major League Baseball announced that the active rosters would have 28 spots through May 1st, in an attempt to compensate some for spring training time that had been lost. As long as everyone’s healthy, you can pretty easily put together the majority of the roster. However, there are still some spots you could consider up for grabs.
MLB veteran Marwin González may have only signed a minor league contract with the Yankees, but on Tuesday against the Phillies, he made a good case for cracking the Opening Day roster (as he has for most of camp). The super utilityman went 3-for-3 with four RBI, including a home run off former Cy Young contender Aaron Nola.
That plus some good games from some Yankees’ regulars, including Aaron Hicks, Isiah Kiner-Falefa, and Kyle Higashioka, plus a massive late-inning performance from the prospects and NRIs allowed the Yankees to pick up a 14-2 win over the Phillies.
After a clean first inning, Yankees starter Clarke Schmidt ran into some trouble in the second. Nick Castellanos led off the inning with a single, and Schmidt followed that by issuing a walk to Alec Bohm. After a force out that ended with runners at the corners, Garrett Stubbs opened the scoring with a single. A RBI groundout by Darick Hall added another run to Philly’s tally before Schmidt finally got out of the inning.
A nearly full-strength Yankees’ offense then got going themselves in the bottom of the second. After Hicks and Kiner-Falefa both singled, González brought them both home with a three-run home run, his third in four games:
Schmidt ended up getting through one last frame in the third. He finished with a final line of three innings pitched, allowing two runs on two hits and a walk while striking out three.
In the fifth, González added his second hit of the day with a single, which also ended up spelling the end of Nola’s day. Higashioka followed that with a home run, his fourth of the spring so far:
The Yankees added another run in the sixth, and González was again in on the action. With Hicks and Kiner-Falefa again on base, setting the table for him, González singled home Hicks for his third hit and third RBI of the day.
Following Schmidt, the Yankees bullpen was mostly good. Lucas Luetge, Wandy Peralta, and Clay Holmes all threw 1-2-3 innings, while Chad Green allowed one double in an otherwise scoreless frame. Jonathan Loáisiga ran into some trouble when he came in for the eighth, allowing two singles. However, he then induced an inning-ending double play to get out of the jam.
The Yankees’ starters all mostly exited after the seventh inning, and the backups proceeded to add to the lead in a big way. In total in the bottom of the eighth, the Yankees added eight more runs, with the big damage coming on a grand slam from infielder Max Burt, who ended 2021 at Triple-A Scranton. Benjamin Cowles added a two-run home run of his own, while top prospect Anthony Volpe walked and scored a run in his only plate appearance of the day.
Albert Abreu was tasked with pitching the ninth inning, and he struck out two while working around a single to finish the 14-2 victory.
With so many expected MLB roster members playing so deep into the game, we’re nearing the start of the regular season. However, there’s still a little bit to go, and the spring training games will continue tomorrow when the Yankees host the Blue Jays in an evening showdown in Tampa.