Yankees: Good news and bad news after 5-4 loss to Mets

MLB: Spring Training-New York Yankees at New York Mets
Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees would play on ESPN as they would travel to play the New York Mets in a Spring Training contest, as MiLB free agent Tanner Tully would take the bump for the Bronx Bombers. While this game didn’t feature many of the experienced regulars for the Yankees, there were plenty of interesting pitchers and hitters who were either vying for a spot on the team or were looking to showcase their abilities to the organization and potentially earn promotions during the regular season. A rocky third inning by the pitching and defense would result in a five-spot that the Yankees couldn’t overcome, and they would drop this one 5-4 in Port St. Lucie.

In an afternoon that would feature the likes of Anthony Volpe and Spencer Jones, the Yankees got some encouraging results from some of their exciting young players

Spencer Jones Continues Torrid Spring Training For Yankees

MLB: Spring Training-New York Yankees at Miami Marlins
Mar 4, 2024; Jupiter, Florida, USA; New York Yankees outfielder Spencer jones (78) hits a single against the Miami Marlins during the fifth inning at Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

The Yankees couldn’t be happier with what they’re seeing from top prospect Spencer Jones, who continues to tear the cover off of the baseball, slapped a double the opposite way, and once again not swinging and missing. He’s up to 91 pitches without a whiff, and his plate discipline has been remarkable in the early going of Spring Training. He has a 1.289 OPS and 16.7% strikeout rate in his small sample size of Spring Training play. his pitch recognition has been impeccable, and the swing decisions have been a strong sign of progress.

We won’t see Spencer Jones on Opening Day, but we could see him fly through the Minor Leagues during the season and potentially make himself ready for a late-season debut. If all goes well at the Major League level for the Yankees this season, then they won’t need Jones given the outfield depth on the roster, but he could be their starting centerfielder this time next season. The defensive and athletic skills are remarkable, and the last piece of the puzzle for Jones will be driving the ball in the air to right field and hitting for more game power.

MLB: Spring Training-New York Yankees at New York Mets
Mar 5, 2024; Port St. Lucie, Florida, USA; New York Mets first baseman Pete Alonso (20) dives back to first base as New York Yankees second baseman Oswald Peraza (91) applies the tag in the second inning at Clover Park. Mandatory Credit: Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports

Anthony Volpe would reach base twice on walks, but would also make some great plays and flash the leather at shortstop, showing off his Gold Glove caliber defense. The improvements that he’s made in terms of making contact and recognizing pitches in and out of the zone have been impressive, and it’s tied back to a winter full of adjustments for the second-year shortstop. Trent Grisham, who also has some Gold Gloves on his resume, collected a two-RBI single as well, with NRIs like Kevin Smith and Jeter Downs both collecting run-scoring knocks in the contest as well.

On the pitching side of the ball, Tanner Tully would impress in his two innings of work, striking out two batters while surrendering just a hit and walk in the process. The wheels would come off of the bus for Yerry De Los Santos in the third inning, allowing four runs (three earned) on three hits and a walk, and Aaron Boone mentioned him as someone who could be in the mix for a bullpen spot. This performance certainly won’t help his chances, but two other names mentioned certainly did.

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Syndication: Milwaukee
Milwaukee Brewers minor league pitcher Clayton Andrews delivers a pitch during their spring training game against the Arizona Diamondbacks. ANDREWS21p1

Clayton Andrews, who the Yankees acquired in a deal with the Milwaukee Brewers a few weeks ago, impressed in his first outing of Spring Training, collecting a strikeout in a 1-2-3 inning. Dennis Santana also delivered a clean 1-2-3 inning with a strikeout, and he continues an excellent Spring Training with brilliant stuff that could result in him earning a spot in the bullpen. Aaron Boone mentioned both he and Andrews as well in regards to winning a bullpen spot, especially following the news that Tommy Kahnle is behind schedule due to a shoulder issue stemming from last season.

Oddainer Mosqueda also tossed a scoreless inning, and he’s quietly having a strong start to his Spring Training, striking out six batters in four innings with zero runs allowed. He was acquired in Minor League free agency after he spent last season with the Boston Red Sox. Duane Underwood Jr. was another MiLB free agent that the Yankees picked up, and he would be the last arm on the mound for the Yankees, working around two hits to hammer out a scoreless frame. The Yankees are hoping their bullpen depth can supplement some early-season losses, with Nick Burdi being another name to watch.

The Yankees are continuing to see strong results from some interesting players on the roster, and they’ll hand the ball to Carlos Rodon tomorrow afternoon as they host the Tampa Bay Rays.

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