The Yankees were beaten by the Red Sox at George M. Steinbrenner Field on Wednesday afternoon, but the bigger story was that Chris Capuano looks like he will be out for a considerable amount of time. With one out in the top of the first inning, Capuano pulled up lame after running to cover first. The early diagnosis is a strained quad, though we won't have a timetable for his return until MRI results come back. As Joe Girardi pointed out during his in-game interview during the YES broadcast, this is a setback not only due to the time it will take to rehab the injury, but for the time he'll lose to build up the arm strength necessary to start a game in the regular season. Early reports say he will miss at least a few weeks, so returning in time for Opening Day seems unlikely.
Capuano was the likely fifth starter that would bridge the gap for the Yankees until Ivan Nova's return, and now the competition is on among the remaining candidates in camp to earn the job. The obvious starters in the running are Adam Warren, Esmil Rogers, and Bryan Mitchell, and Girardi also mentioned that Kyle Davies, Chase Whitley, and Scott Baker will be in the mix.
The highlight of the game was Alex Rodriguez hitting his first home run of the spring. In the bottom of the fourth, Rodriguez smashed a 3-1 fastball off of Brandon Workman over the left-centerfield wall. He received a fairly resounding ovation as he rounded the bases.
GIF credit: Tanya
Carlos Beltran collected his first hit of the spring on an RBI single. The rest of the Yankee runs were collected on RBI singles from Jacoby Ellsbury and Jonathan Galvez and a two-run homer from Slade Heathcott in the bottom of the ninth. Jose Pirela continued his hot spring (and further validated Reggie Jackson's evaluation) with two more hits, including a double that rocketed off the wall in left field.
The Yankees had a few pitchers get roughed up a bit today, but none more than Mitchell, who allowed four runs on seven hits in two innings pitched and looked like he may have been all too aware that his chances of earning a big-league rotation spot became much more realistic just moments earlier. Andrew Miller gave up a home run in his inning, and both Chris Martin & Tyler Webb gave up two earned runs and three hits apiece. Dellin Betances, Nick Rumbelow, Jared Burton, and Diego Moreno had better success with scoreless outings.
All eyes return to Tampa tomorrow night when Masahiro Tanaka will make his debut against the Braves at 7:05 PM. The game will be on YES and MLB Network.