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New York Yankees vs. Toronto Blue Jays: Gerrit Cole vs. Drew Hutchison

The Yankees ace looks to continue his dominant start to the spring against a declawed Blue Jays lineup.

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MLB: Spring Training-St. Louis Cardinals at New York Yankees Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Ah the foibles of broadcasting an MLB game. Against the backdrop of the expected Bally Sports bankruptcy and resulting RSN hell, MLB continues to strike out when it comes to distributing their product to an interested audience. Case in point: Gerrit Cole gets the ball against the division rival Blue Jays at GMS Field and all we get is an away radio broadcast.

Cole makes his third start of the spring as he looks to take a positive step toward being ready for Opening Day with each outing. He already had looked in mid-season form across his first two starts, his fastball velocity stable in the upper-90s with brilliant execution to his spots. He gave up one hit against four strikeouts in three innings of his first start against the Tigers before dominating the Cardinals lineup to the tune of two hits against seven strikeouts in 3.1 innings — all without surrendering a run.

Meanwhile, Drew Hutchison is at a very different point in his career than his Yankees counterpart on the mound. The non-roster invitee was originally drafted by the Blue Jays in 2009 and had his most successful season with the organization as a 23-year-old in 2014, making 32 starts across 184.2 innings with a sub-4.00 FIP worth over two-and-a-half wins. Now at age 32, he has bounced around over a half-dozen organizations, including as an NRI for the Yankees in 2019 and an indy ball stint during the COVID-affected 2020. Designated for assignment by the Tigers following last season, he finds himself in the unenviable position of trying to win a major league job as an over-30 swingman.

The Yankees roll out a rather top-heavy lineup, with DJ LeMahieu Giancarlo Stanton, Anthony Rizzo, and Josh Donaldson filling out the first four spots. Top prospect Anthony Volpe has been tearing it up this spring with a pair of home runs and a 1.103 OPS in 10 games, but he gets the day off. That gives teammate and fellow top prospect Oswald Peraza a chance to stamp his mark on the Yankees’ spring training shortstop competition as both youngsters try to win the job out of camp. Peraza hasn’t quite gotten off to the flying start as Volpe, but has looked like a smooth operator with the glove at short so far.

The Blue Jays lineup is admittedly declawed by WBC absences and general spring training player rotation relative to one that we might see midseason. However, it will still be a good test for Cole to gain even a little bit info on players he will face multiple times this year. He’ll miss out on facing Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Bo Bichette, but he does get his first look at Toronto new boys Daulton Varsho and Kevin Kiermaier, who replaced Lourdes Gurriel Jr. and Teoscar Hernández in the Blue Jays outfield this winter.

How to watch

Location: George M. Steinbrenner Field — Tampa, FL

First pitch: 6:35 pm ET

TV broadcast: None

Radio broadcast:

Online stream: None

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