The New York Yankees faced off against Atlanta Braves on Sunday afternoon, experiencing a tough start with newly signed free-agent pitcher Carlos Rodon on the mound. This was Rodon’s first action of spring training, giving up six hits and five earned runs, including two homers over 2.0 innings. This clearly wasn’t the start he wanted, seeing reduced velocity as he works through his pitching program.
However, the Bombers managed to steal the game in the final moments courtesy of Jasson Dominguez, who launched what would’ve been a ball over the right field fence to give his team a big lead.
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Good news for the Yankees:
As mentioned, Dominguez was the hero of the game, thanks to his three-run shot at the top of the 9th inning, giving the Yankees an 8–6 lead. Of course, they ended up winning 10–6, courtesy of a Jesus Bastidas single to centerfield, driving in two runs. However, the Yanks got on the board early in the 1st inning via Oswaldo Cabrera, who launched his second homer of spring training. Cabrera has five hits, including two homers and seven RBIs across 17 at-bats, further putting himself in a position to make an impact with the Yankees in 2023.
Other offensive contributors include Jamie Westbrook, who homered to left at the top of the 9th, driving in Bastidas and Anthony Seigler, and Billy McKinney, who scored on an error at the top of the 6th.
As for the team pitching, Albert Abreu tossed 2.0 innings of hitless baseball, and Matt Krook struck out four batters over 3.0 innings, giving up just one hit. Across the board, there were stand-out performers, but the home runs saved the day for the Yankees, hitting two in the 9th inning to pick up their sixth spring training victory.
Bad news for the Yankees:
Aside from Rodon‘s tough first outing of the spring, the Yankees had a few offensive duds. Giancarlo Stanton struck out in all three of his at-bats, looking a bit wayward as he works his way back into form.
Coming off a number of injuries in 2022, Stanton hopes to remain healthy this upcoming season, especially after hitting 31 homers last year, most of which came during the first half of the season.
Infielder Isiah Kiner-Falefa is another storyline continuing to develop, but he’s had a tough start to spring, striking out once over three at-bats. He’s hit .111 with a 25% on-base rate so far. Given how productive Anthony Volpe and Oswald Peraza have looked, IKF is quickly losing ground and becoming a bigger trade target every day.
The Yankees will take on the Pittsburgh Pirates on Monday evening at 6:35 PM, so we should expect some prospects to get back on the baseball diamond at George M. Steinbrenner Field.