If you’re counting wins and losses, this afternoon wasn’t what you want. The Yankees dropped both games in today’s split-squad affair, 3-0 to the Pirates on the road and 5-3 at home against the Phillies. But, after the week full of injuries the Yankees have sustained, I’m just happy that everyone left the field on two feet.
The afternoon started promisingly enough, with the Yankees loading the bases in the bottom of the first in Tampa. Anthony Volpe, batting fifth, walked to set the stage for Jasson Domínguez. The Martian’s had a strong spring, but came up just short in the first frame, popping out to third to end the threat.
Domingo Germán continued his transition into virtually a two-pitch pitcher, with his curve and fastball making up 70 percent of his offerings today. He struggled to miss bats, with just four whiffs, but worked the zone well enough to engineer six called strikes and get three batters on his own. He did give up a pair of runs on an RBI single and sac fly in the second inning, but with the Yankees’ starting depth a big question, he didn’t do anything to knock himself out of the rotation picture.
Down 3-1, Domínguez got a chance to redeem himself for being dreadfully un-clutch in the first:
Jasson’s really been showing off all spring, and this was his fourth long ball of exhibition play. I don’t see the Yankees rushing him through the upper levels of the minors this season, but he looks well-equipped to handle any development assignments the org sends his way.
Michael King looked good enough in his inning of work, continuing his comeback from last year’s gnarly injury. He did walk a batter while recording a punchout, but like I said at the beginning of this recap, everyone stayed healthy and that’s doubly important for a key bullpen contributor like King.
Over in Bradenton, it was apparent that the Yankees sent their B-lineup, as the club was blanked by the Pirates, 3-0.
Future Yankee Bryan Reynolds went deep, as did Ke’Bryan Hayes, providing the only offense of the game. Oswald Peraza, Estevan Florial, and Spencer Jones all went hitless in the loss, continuing their underwhelming performances at the plate this spring. Florial in particular sports just a .390 OPS in exhibition play — bad news at a time when the outfield picture is cloudy with Harrison Bader’s injury (who is now looking at six weeks of recovery).
Andres Chaparro had one of the team’s five hits against the Pirates, continuing his impressive run so far. His near-1.200 OPS will certainly raise eyebrows, but his continuing lack of a real defensive position makes it tough to fit him on a roster, especially one with a dedicated first baseman and Giancarlo Stanton destined for a bunch of DH time.
Tomorrow, we get our first look at the favorites for the much-ballyhooed Grapefruit League pennant, as they take on the 9-2 Red Sox. Tanner Houck is the scheduled starter for Boston, while Yoendrys Gómez is slated for his third spring start for the Yankees.