What’s an ideal spring training? In my mind, it’s when the roster is almost completely set entering camp and the only obstacle is staying healthy. We’re almost to the finish line, and so far, the Yankees have at least kept their most important players on the field.
One of the few team scares involved perhaps the most uncertain member of the Yankees’ rotation. Luis Severino only has 27.2 combined regular season and playoff innings to his name since the start of the 2019 season, and the team is counting on him to be one of their starters in 2022. But Sevy had to be scratched from his planned Wednesday start with soreness. The good news is that he threw a bullpen instead and seems to be back on track.
The true test, however, will come this afternoon against the Braves, who brought competitive bats in the heart of their lineup this afternoon with the underrated Austin Riley, slugger Adam Duvall, reigning NLCS MVP Eddie Rosario, and their newest toy, old A’s foe Matt Olson. If Severino can get through this start (and the following couple days of rest) with his health intact and pitches looking sharp, then Yankees fans can breathe a little bit easier heading into the season. Fingers crossed.
Charlie Morton was originally supposed to start today for Atlanta, but he was scratched with possible rain in the forecast, so he didn’t make the trip to Tampa. Instead, the Braves will turn to their No. 2 prospect per MLB.com, right-hander Spencer Strider. A 2020 draftee out of Clemson, Strider made his MLB debut last year but was only up for a cup of coffee. He’s a work in progress, as while he has a dangerous fastball/slider combination, there’s not much else there at the moment.
Strider will be tested by a Yankees’ lineup that we very well could see at some point in the regular season. The only notable absence is Isiah Kiner-Falefa, who is spelled at shortstop today by Marwin Gonzalez. The infield crunch has Gleyber Torres on the bench too, as DJ LeMahieu mans second. Intriguingly, the Josh Donaldson leadoff experiment continues. As Andrés detailed the other day, it’s really not an absurd idea, either.
Go Yankees, go baseball.
How to watch:
Location: George M. Steinbrenner Field - Tampa, FL
First pitch: 1:05 p.m. ET
TV broadcast: YES Network
Radio broadcast: WFAN - 660 AM/101.9 FM
Online stream: MLB.tv