The Yankees wrapped up their Spring Training today with a defeat to the poverty Nationals. It was Nestor Cortes’ final start before the regular season, and the People’s Ace was as solid as can be. It was a “bubble wrap” game for a number of the regulars, where they saw an AB and then were promptly taken out of the game to avoid injury.
The good news for the Yankees:
Nestor was great today, though he got 0 strikeouts to show for it. He was inducing loads of grounders, and Anthony Volpe was making elite play after elite play up the middle at shortstop. He tossed 4.0 innings, gave up a solo shot as one of his three hits allowed, and that was the only damage on the day for him. He seems ready for the regular season, and we’ll likely see him pitch the third game of the year.
Jimmy Cordero and Alex Abreu, both now being named to the 26-man roster, pitched a combined 1.2 innings and were solid all around. They struck out two guys, and Abreu gave up a base knock. Both should see some innings to start this season, with both Kahnle and Trivino on the IL. I don’t know if they’ll see any high-leverage moments, but Cordero specifically can handle bigger moments, thanks to his command of the strike zone.
Tyler Danish came in and did what he does best, which is to give up hits and runs. He lasted 0.1 innings and gave up a pair of knocks and two runs as well. He ends his spring audition with a 28.50 ERA for the squad. To say he was bad would be an understatement. Ian Hamilton also continued his audition for the final spot in the bullpen, as he tossed 0.2 scoreless innings and walked a guy whilst striking one out.
The final bullpen spot is still up for grabs, and I’m sure we’ll know who got it very soon. He had a great spring regardless of what happened, as over 9.0 innings, he didn’t allow a run to come across and score. He struck out six guys, and his cutter played up all month. Hopefully, he’s rewarded with a spot in the ‘pen.
The bad news:
The offense did nothing today, though that’s not the end of the world. As mentioned at the beginning, the big boys weren’t really playing today, and the Yanks were more focused on keeping everyone healthy before the season kicks off Thursday.
Hicks and Volpe accounted for the only hits on the day, and for Hicks, it wraps up what was a really solid spring showing with the bat. He also made a nice basket catch in LF, and I would bet money on him being the OD starter in left field. His competition, Oswaldo Cabrera, has also staked his claim on the spot, though I don’t know if the team will reward his phenomenal play with a starting spot when they’d rather use him as a super utility guy.
Hicks’ posted a .798 OPS this spring over 41 ABs, and if we can get that in the regular season, that’ll do just fine. As for Oswaldo, he OPS’d 1.001 over 54 ABs and smacked 4 HR to boot. He had a fantastic month and is primed for a huge breakout season.
Finally, Josh Donaldson wrapped up a reinvigorated spring thanks to his new stance that he implemented. Though it’s still early days, his spring OPS was .985, and he added four long balls to his name. It seems like a great sign heading into the regular season, but only time will tell.
The Yanks are now finished with spring games, and their record of 13-18 doesn’t reflect how talented they are. Fortunately, nobody cares about the spring record, and now we have real baseball dead ahead. The regular season starts Thursday, and I, for one, cannot wait.