The New York Yankees faced off against the Minnesota Twins on Monday afternoon, failing to generate much offensive production. They were defeated 1–0, picking up their ninth spring training loss, but featured mainly prospects against the Twins.
However, the Yankees did feature Oswald Peraza and Anthony Volpe as their shortstop and second base, respectively. It was nice to see the future of the infield getting more playing time ahead of the regular season, as the pair combined for six at-bats.
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Good news for the Yankees:
While the Bombers only generated three hits across 29 at-bats, Anthony Volpe collected one of them, a double that was lost in the sun but showcased his speed and effort to pick up an extra bag. Volpe is hitting .310 with a .412 OBP, but Peraza wasn’t as lucky. He produced one walk across two at-bats, and the only other players to get on base via hits were Oswaldo Cabrera and Willie Calhoun.
Calhoun has been excellent this spring, hitting .375 with a .464 OBP. While he’s not the most efficient defensive player, Calhoun clearly has a more than capable bat and can feature as the designated hitter or take some reps in left field if need be. I wouldn’t be surprised if Willy made the 26th-man roster, but he will have to continue his consistent offensive contributions this spring.
As for the pitching, Tanner Tully enjoyed 2.2 innings, allowing two hits and striking out two batters. Tully has been solid across three Spring appearances, enjoying 5.2 scoreless innings. At 28 years old, the lefty bullpen arm is making a case to land on the roster, primarily since Wandy Peralta represents the only lefty in the bullpen.
Relief pitcher James Norwood had yet another successful appearance, striking out one batter across 1.0 innings, and Matt Bowman finally managed to recover some of his dignity after hosting a 90+ ERA last week. He closed the game, walking a batter and striking out two.
Bad news for the Yankees:
The primary negatives can be found in the offensive categories. As mentioned earlier, the team generated just three hits and struck out 10 times. Aaron Hicks picked up two strikeouts, lowering his average to .250 with a .250 OBP. Based on his offensive performances, Hicks is falling out of favor for the starting left field job, which Rafael Ortega could easily snag if he doesn’t pick things up soon.
Estevan Florial struck out again, lowering his average to .125, and Carlos Narváez, one of the Yankees’ stand-out prospects over the past few weeks, struck out twice across two at-bats.
It is easy to look at Deivi Garcia’s stat line and categorize it as a negative performance. However, allowing one earned run due to a solo shot across 3.1 innings certainly isn’t a bad result. Garcia did walk one batter, but I wouldn’t call this a good or bad performance, simply a breakeven one that warrants more opportunities this spring.
Garcia is rejuvenating some of his past optimism, meaning the Yankees could utilize him if they elect to call him up to the majors at some point during the 2023 season.