Yankees get another strong outing from exciting starter in a 10-9 win over Blue Jays

MLB: Spring Training-Toronto Blue Jays at New York Yankees
Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees are still searching for a potential fifth starter, and Luis Gil would get the start this afternoon with a chance to open more eyes and further insert himself into that conversation. With the game taking place at George M. Steinbrenner Field, the Yankees would have a myriad of regulars in their lineup and coming out of the bullpen, as we’re just 12 days away from Opening Day in Houston. Aaron Judge was not in the lineup today after it was floated that he would be ‘penciled in’ for Saturday by Aaron Boone, but concern remains non-existent on that front.

It would get dicey in the later innings as the Yankees would lose an 8-1 lead and trail entering the bottom of the eighth inning, but they were able to break through for a 10-9 win.

Luis Gil Flashes Potential, Anthony Volpe Collects 4 Hits in Yankees’ Win

MLB: Spring Training-Toronto Blue Jays at New York Yankees
Mar 16, 2024; Tampa, Florida, USA; New York Yankees pitcher Luis Gil (81) throws a pitch against the Toronto Blue Jays in the first inning at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

The 25-year-old right-hander missed extensive time in 2022 and 2023 as he suffered a UCL tear and needed Tommy John Surgery, and he’s looked like his vintage self in Spring Training. Luis Gil was throwing upper-90s gas, impressing in his 3.1 innings of scoreless baseball as he collected four strikeouts and walked just one. Thus far in Spring Training, Luis Gil has just four walks in 11.2 innings pitched with 18 strikeouts and a 2.31 ERA, also boasting the best Stuff+ (139) of any pitcher with at least 100 pitches.

He was averaging 97.1 MPH on his fastball, but the most impressive pitch he threw today was his changeup, which has been finetuned and looks better than ever before. It generated four whiffs on eight swings (50%), and batters swung at 43% of the changeups he threw out of the zone as well. As Gil is progressing through Spring Training, the Yankees will cautiously watch his pitch count and build him up accordingly, which does put into question whether he will be seriously considered for a spot in their Opening Day rotation.

The Yankees may look to build Luis Gil up more in Triple-A, as he hasn’t completed five innings in a single outing since returning from Tommy John Surgery. Regardless of whether he makes the team or not out of Spring Training, he will be a name to watch throughout the season if the Yankees need pitching depth. Following the young right-hander would be Clay Holmes, who surrendered a run on two hits in his 0.2 innings of work, and Victor Gonzalez would toss a scoreless inning right after.

MLB: Spring Training-Atlanta Braves at New York Yankees
Mar 10, 2024; Tampa, Florida, USA; New York Yankees relief pitcher Victor Gonzalez (47) throws a pitch during the fourth inning against the Atlanta Braves prior to the game against the Atlanta Braves at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement Neitzel-USA TODAY Sports

The rest of the bullpen wouldn’t fair well, as Dennis Santana would allow a two-run blast, Nick Ramirez would surrender a run on four hits, Caleb Ferguson would fail to record an out as he allowed three runs, and Clayton Andrews allowed a three-run blast to Stewart Berroa and give up the lead. When J.C. Escarra put the Yankees back on top with a two-run shot of his own in the bottom of the eighth, they were able to get a scoreless ninth inning as Luis Velasquez got the final out.

It was a slugfest, and the Yankees’ bats were alive as Jahmai Jones opened the scoring with an RBI single in the second inning as he continued to battle for a spot on their bench. Giancarlo Stanton would hammer a two-run shot in the third at 116 MPH, as he’s started to come alive in their recent games The 34-year-old is hoping to have a bounce-back season after struggling mightily last year, and he’s not the only hitter looking to do such a thing. Anthony Volpe, who made his MLB debut last season, is continuing to make strides with his new swing at the plate.

MLB: Spring Training-New York Yankees at Miami Marlins
Mar 4, 2024; Jupiter, Florida, USA; New York Yankees shortstop Anthony Volpe (11) hits a single against the Miami Marlins during the fifth inning at Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

The second-year shortstop had a four-hit game, including a double that he roped to right field at over 100 MPH, as he now has an OPS above .900 in Spring Training. Results don’t matter in exhibition games, especially given how small the same size is, but the confidence he has in his new swing is certainly encouraging. Other notable hitters include Greg Allen who had a two-RBI triple and Oscar Gonzalez, who picked up two hits and an RBI as well, as he’s quietly had a strong showing as well.

Later this afternoon the Yankees will host the Blue Jays for their inaugural Spring Breakout Game, featuring some of the top prospects in both organizations.

Mentioned in this article:

More about: