Good news and bad news as Yankees route Braves in Higashioka master-class

kyle higashioka, yankees

The New York Yankees are heating up with less than a week until opening day against the Boston Red Sox. After starting the spring with several losses and inconsistencies, the team is finally looking prepared for the regular campaign, coming off an impressive 10-0 win over the Atlanta Braves on Saturday afternoon.

After an injury scare regarding starting pitcher Luis Severino, he pitched a bullpen session on Wednesday, tossing 31 pitches. Luckily, he was able to work out the general soreness, making a start against Atlanta, holding them to just one hit over four innings of play. He also struck out three batters before Nester Cortes took over and posted a similar stat line over two innings.

Good news and bad news for the Yankees:

The good news was plentiful in Saturday’s win, ranging from Severino’s stellar outing to the offense’s clear dominance. Aaron Judge smashed a solo home run to right field in the first inning, but the real hero on the afternoon was Kyle Higashioka, who posted two homers and three RBIs over three at-bats.

Higashioka has been phenomenal this spring, hitting .478 with a 1.391 slugging percentage. Aside from Higashioka, Anthony Rizzo also posted a homer, picking up two hits in the victory. All of the Yankees’ top hitters are looking outstanding to start the season, with only Joey Gallo struggling to showcase power from the left side.

There have been concerns regarding Gallo’s production dating back to last season, and he started off the spring on a negative slope. So far, Gallo is hitting .154 with four hits and one HR over 26 at-bats.

Struggling during spring training isn’t necessarily a problem, but Gallo was awful last year after being acquired via trade from the Texas Rangers. The Yankees need him to be a quality lefty bat in the middle of the order this upcoming year, especially with a heavy right-handed lineup.

Aside from Gallo’s inconsistencies, the rest of the team looked exceptional, torching Braves starting pitcher Spencer Strider for seven hits and four earned runs over 2.1 innings.

The Yankees also acquired Jose Trevino to supplement the injury to catcher Ben Rortvedt, who is battling oblique issues. With Higashioka the only healthy and experienced catcher on the roster, Trevino well had a nice defensive backstop to help supplement any losses in 2022.