A promising first inning gave way to an onslaught of Tigers runs, and a lack of Yankee pitching led to Detroit topping New York 9-3 in Grapefruit League play.
Masahiro Tanaka was looking for his first strong start of the spring, and looked like he would do just that as he struck out five in his first two innings. The lone early blemish for Tanaka came on a home run from Miguel Cabrera, but it’s Miguel Cabrera; those things happen. The second time through the order was not kind to Tanaka, though, as he gave up a second home run and a couple of extra base hits before leaving in the third.
It looks like the juiced ball is going to stick around in 2018, and Tanaka was certainly one of it’s biggest victims last season. My biggest hope for the right-hander’s spring was that he was going to find a workaround to the ball, and keep his hits from leaving the ballpark. With four home runs allowed in three starts, he hasn’t been able to do that. These games don’t count unless you’re specifically working on something, and if Tanaka is trying to limit the long ball, he’s got a lot of work yet to do.
Domingo German also had his first rough outing of spring, walking two and surrendering three runs. He has made a pretty good case for himself to fill in a bullpen role for the 2018 Yankees, and one bad day shouldn’t really derail those hopes too much. It will be interesting to see how he responds in his next appearance, though.
Offensively, Miguel Andujar had an RBI single. He actually helped the Yankees to an early lead. Brandon Drury and Tyler Wade continued their impressive springs, with the former reaching base three times and the latter twice. Both players also made sterling defensive plays. Overall, they look to be some of the best options the Yankees have for 2018 infield.
The Yankees head back to Tampa for a game at Steinbrenner Field against the Marlins tomorrow. Newly-announced Opening Day starter Luis Severino will get the ball for the 1:05pm start.