Yesterday saw plenty of drama in the final day of World Baseball Classic pool play, from Mike Trout’s heroics to Edwin Díaz suffering a season-ending knee injury celebrating Puerto Rico’s elimination of the Dominican Republic en route to the quarterfinals. The WBC takes a step back today with only one game on the cards, but the Yankees have you covered with a game of their own. That is, unless you were hoping to actually watch the game. In that case, you’ll be sorely disappointed to learn that only audio is accessible through the Pirates’ radio broadcast if you live in that area or have access through MLB.com. Great!
Clarke Schmidt makes his fourth appearance of the spring hoping it resembles his first outing (two scoreless innings with five strikeouts) and not the subsequent two (four runs on seven hits (two home runs) in 4.2 innings). The 27-year-old righty entered spring in a competition with Domingo Germán for the fifth starter job following Frankie Montas’ shoulder surgery, however it appears both pitchers will start the season in the rotation now that Carlos Rodón is expected to land on the Opening Day IL with a forearm strain. Look for Schmidt to work in the new cutter he’s been testing this spring as he explores new ways to expand his effectiveness at strike-throwing and attacking lefties.
Johan Oviedo takes on the Yankees for what is already the third time this spring. He’s been effective against New York in the previous two outings, limiting them to one run across 5.1 innings. Oviedo arrived in Pittsburgh last season as part of the trade deadline deal that saw José Quintana reinforce the Cardinals rotation. He throws a four-seamer that averages 96 mph and a slider that generates whiffs on over a third of swings, and established himself as a major league quality swingman in 2022, making 21 appearances (eight starts) with a 3.21 ERA, 3.74 FIP, and 54 strikeouts in 56 innings.
The Yankees post one of their strongest lineups of the spring. DJ LeMahieu leads things off, followed by Aaron Judge, Anthony Rizzo, and Giancarlo Stanton. Top prospect Oswald Peraza gets another chance to impress at shortstop as he tries to win the starting job ahead of Anthony Volpe and Isiah Kiner-Falefa out of spring. Oswaldo Cabrera makes a surprise appearance in center field as the Yankees look to expand his utilityman abilities.
The Pirates roll out a lineup that’s a mixture of likely Opening Day starters and non-roster invitees. Bryan Reynolds, Andrew McCutchen, and Ji-Man Choi are all notably absent, but Oneil Cruz, Tucupita Marcano, Ke’Bryan Hayes, and Carlos Santana have all gotten plenty of exposure to Yankees pitching this spring with little success. Oh, and there’s an old friend sighting in Miguel Andújar too.
How to watch
Location: George M. Steinbrenner Field — Tampa, FL
First pitch: 6:35 pm ET
TV broadcast: None
Radio broadcast: KDKA 100.1 FM, 1020 AM (Pittsburgh market)
Online stream: None
Thursday night under the lights. pic.twitter.com/pXGsDd1OzL— New York Yankees (@Yankees) March 16, 2023