Today, the Yankees traveled to Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter and took on the Cardinals in their spring affair. The pitching side of things did exceptionally well as the spring games continue flying by. We saw numerous regulars in the lineup this afternoon, and Nestor Cortes took the bump and certainly didn’t disappoint.
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The Good News for the Yankees:
The People’s Ace was on point all afternoon and didn’t waste any time getting into a groove. From the first pitch to his last, he was firing bullets over the plate. He tossed 4.0 innings, struck out seven guys thanks to his disgusting cutter/fastball combination, and didn’t look overmatched in any regard. Not to mention, he struck out the NL MVP, Paul Goldschmidt, twice today, both times looking. He was dealing and looked comfortable in his second start this spring.
I imagine Nasty Nestor will get one more start before the season begins a week from today, and he’s looking like he’s just about ramped up and ready to roll. The bullpen did its job for the most part, as those spots vacated by Trivino and Kahnle on IL are still up for grabs.
Weissert struggled a bit but was able to mitigate damage by only allowing one run to cross during his inning of work. Ron, the Don Marinaccio, was once more on point and worked around a leadoff walk, plus he dodged a comebacker that was very Neo-esque from The Matrix. In his second inning of work he was simply unhittable. Struck out the side, two of which came looking, and he ramped his fastball velocity up to 95/96 MPH. He looks ready for OD and has given up 0 runs this spring.
Oswaldo was once more on his A-game today as he belted his third HR of the spring, and this time did so from the right side of the plate. The super utility stud doesn’t have a definite role just yet, but I would certainly lean toward him starting in LF on opening day over the other options currently on the squad. He’s been playing for keeps, and it’s apparent, thanks to his .920 OPS, that he’s not wasting any opportunities.
The Bad News:
The Yanks’ offense wasn’t anything to write home about this afternoon, and they struggled to string together hits and had numerous 1-2-3 innings. Though it’s just spring, and it means nothing, the offense has had a few games where they sputtered and could not manufacture any runs as the innings rolled on. I still expect great things this season, but it’s nice to see some regulars get their legs under them.
Stanton continued his solid performances and upped his hit streak to 7 games. He’s finding his groove, and it comes at the perfect time, with the regular season just a week away. The Volpe and Peraza train had a rough afternoon as the pair went 0-for on the day, but it shouldn’t be anything that raises alarms. At the end of the day, baseball is a game of ebbs and flows, and it’s entirely fine that they had an off day at the plate.
Torres and Rizzo posted 0-for afternoons as well, but it’s nice that they’ve both stayed healthy and have put together good ABs all spring. It seems like the infield alignment will be changing daily if Volpe makes the roster, though it’ll be good to monitor Josh Donaldson’s early season performances to see where he falls as the year progresses.
The Cardinals’ pitching was on point today, and the offense was unable to navigate around it outside of the Cabrera solo shot. No one likes games that end in a tie, but that’s the nature of spring training. There’s only a handful of games left, and then the regular season will be here.