New York Yankees: 3 major takeaways from tied Phillies game

New York Yankees, Corey Kluber
Feb 18, 2021; Tampa, Florida, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Corey Kluber (28) works out for the first day of pitchers and catchers spring training work out at the Player Development Complex. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Yesterday, the New York Yankees traveled to Lakeland, Florida, to meet up with the Detroit Tigers with just nine days until Opening Day at Yankee Stadium. Both teams relied on the home run to get to a 5-5 tie in the longer than average game. The game lastest almost three and a half hours. Both pitchers, Corey Kluber and Tarik Skubal, had problems allowing the long ball. Here are 3 major takeaways from yesterday’s game.

Kluber shakey but lowered his ERA

Corey Kluber took the mound in the first inning, and Grossman walked on five pitches. Grossman advanced on a wild pitch. Mazara struck out swinging. W.Castro singled driving in Grossman. Castro stole second. Cabrera flew out, but Castro reached third. Schoop walked, and H.Castro struck out. Kluber had a rough inning where he didn’t have good command. He threw 30 pitches in the inning.

Kluber struggled with his command at times through 3.2 innings. This close to the regular season, manager Aaron Boone would have liked to see him go four or five innings, but he did get in a representative number of pitches as he builds up to a 162 game season. Most of his struggles were in the first inning.

Over the 3.2 innings, Kluber gave up just one run lowering his ERA from 3.00 to 1.82, so it wasn’t all bad. Besides the earned run, he gave up three hits and …showed his lack of command in his three walks. We are supercritical here as allowing only three runs in a nine-inning game is not all that bad, and manager Aaron Boone is not the least bit concerned. Boone said that Kluber is healthy and confident. Corey Kluber is slated to be the number two starter. He will get one more game during spring training and make his Yankee Stadium debut on April 3 against the Toronto Blue Jays.

Mike Tauchman shined in Tigers game

Mike Tauchman made a major case yesterday about why the New York Yankees should select him for the Yankee bench instead of Jay Bruce. Tauchman provided stellar defense in left-field yesterday in the game against the Tigers; he also got on base all four times with two hits and two walks.

Tauchman had a pretty poor season last year after a bright future he showed in 2019. This beginning to spring training hasn’t been kind to Tauchman. Before yesterday’s game, he had only a .182 batting average. During yesterday’s game, Tauchman showed the front office the kind of player he can be. He pulled ahead of Jay Bruce in hits, walks, and home runs with fewer plate appearances than Bruce. In Yesterday’s game, Greg Allen and Chris Gittens also homered.

The good and the bad for Tyler Wade

Many baseball writers have been writing articles basically saying that it is time for the New York Yankees to move on from utility player Tyler Wade. I am not one of them. I am on the fence about his value to the team. Yesterday Wade supported his view that he belongs on the team. I am not sure about that, but I think the Yankees still need him in the system.

Wade has been kicking around now for four years, playing an average of 40 games in the majors each year while playing most of his games in the minors. Despite his relatively low batting average, he has value to the team. He can play adequately in the outfield, at short, and at second base. Right now, he is most valuable playing at short should Gleyber Torres become injured. He is also the fastest runner on the team, making him a valuable addition to games’ final innings.

Yesterday in the game against the Tigers, he had four plate appearances, getting two hits and walking once. He scored a run and also made an unusual mistake trying to make third and getting caught. Another reason that the Yankees should seriously keep Wade around is that he is one of the few healthy players and is always available. Looking deeper over the last four years, Wade’s power behind the plate has increased. Last season he played in 52 of the 60 games with the most home runs of his career. This writer believes that the Yankees should give him one more season to show his worth. It is also worth noting that in this spring training he has the third most hits.

Today at 1:05 pm the Yankees will be playing the Toronto Blue Jays at George M. Steinbrenner Field in Tampa. Deivi Garcia will start for the Yankees and Trent Thornton for the Jays. The game will be televised on the YES Network and SNET in Canada.