If there's such a thing as "the dog days of spring," then we are in them. At this point, most hitters are seeing the ball the way they'd like to, most pitchers are just stretching their arms out to their Opening Day-levels of stamina, and all involved appear ready for games to start counting. Of the Yankees' anticipated 25-man roster guys, only Brett Gardner, Masahiro Tanaka, Garrett Jones, Brendan Ryan, and Chris Young made the trip to Fort Myers to take on the Minnesota Twins on Tuesday afternoon, while several others got their work in through minor league action back in Tampa.
John Ryan Murphy catching Adam Warren in a minor league game today. ... Carlos Beltran and Jacoby Ellsbury also playing in minors #yankees— Lohud Yankees Blog (@LoHudYankees) March 31, 2015
Masahiro Tanaka made his fourth and final start and saw less-than-stellar results. After kicking things off with a hitless 2.2 innings of work, Eduardo Escobar (who had Tanaka's number today) doubled and was immediately driven in by a Chris Herrman single. It wouldn't get much better from there on. The Twins picked up another run on three hits in the fourth. Tanaka came back out for the fifth, despite being 71 pitches into a 75-pitch-limit outing, but it would only take four more pitches for an Escobar no-doubter and a Kenny Vargas single to end Tanaka's day. There was no radar gun graphic to follow along with on the Twins' television broadcast, but according to several writers present at the game, Tanaka's velocity ranged between 87 and 91 mph.
Let’s try that again. Tanaka: 4.1 IP, 7 hits, 3 R-E, 0 BB, 1 SO. 1 HR. Velo: 87-91, max 92 (once). #yankees— David Lennon (@DPLennon) March 31, 2015
Chris Martin, Branden Pinder, and Danny Burawa were the relievers for the day, and they combined for 3.2 scoreless innings. Martin, in particular, had his strongest outing of the spring by striking out three while allowing no walks or hits in his two innings of work. This comes at a good time for him as he competes with Chase Whitley, Chasen Shreve, and Andrew Bailey for the final two bullpen spots.
There wasn't much to write home about for the Yanks on the offensive side of things. Their lone run in the game came in the top of the fourth. Chris Young led things off with a single, and advanced to second after a Rob Refsnyder walk. Ramon Flores then drove Young in with a single, collecting his eighth run batted in of the spring. Refsnyder also had a hit and committed and error, which pretty much sums up the past four weeks for him. Brett Gardner, Taylor Dugas, and Dan Fiorito also had hits.
The Yanks are back in Tampa tomorrow to play the Rays at 1:05 PM. The game will be on YES.