Yankees: Main takeaways from 9-2 win over Pirates

yankees, dj lemahieu
Mar 6, 2023; Tampa, Florida, USA; New York Yankees third baseman DJ LeMahieu (26) throws to first fro an out against the Pittsburgh Pirates in the fourth inning during spring training at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees faced off against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Monday evening, featuring Domingo German on the mound. This was German’s second appearance this spring, hosting a 1.69 ERA, striking out seven batters across 5.1 innings (total).

German has looked solid at age 30, hosting a 3.61 ERA, 4.33 xFIP, 7.22 strikeouts per nine, a 78.5 left-on-base percentage, and a 40% ground ball rate in 2022. He recorded 72.1 innings last season, the lowest since his rookie season back in 2017. However, with Frankie Montas expected to miss the majority of the 2023 season, German is battling Clarke Schmidt for the starting job in the rotation, and he’s clearly winning based on his performance Monday evening.

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Main Takeaways from the Yankees’ win:

As mentioned, German was tremendous in the win, pitching 3.0 innings, striking out four batters, and allowing just one hit. Several Yankee bullpen arms performed valiantly to follow, including Yoendrys Gomez and James Norwood, who both accumulated two strikeouts. In fact, the Yankees gave up four hits in total the entire game, striking out 11 batters.

Offensively, the team was efficient, enjoying two hits and two RBIs from DJ LeMahieu in the lead-off spot. This is exactly what the Yankees are hoping for this upcoming season, a 100% healthy DJ that can get on base before Aaron Judge. Judge posted three RBIs and a hit, launching a three-run blast at the bottom of the 2nd inning.

Estevan Florial managed two hits and walked once across two at-bats, Anthony Volpe walked twice and picked up a hit, and Willie Calhoun continued his hot streak, posting two hits across three at-bats. Additional offensive performances included Aaron Hicks, who posted two runs and two hits, and Jasson Dominguez, who logged a 106.1 mph exit velocity on a single to center field.

The Yankees’ offense is clearly churning, and their prospects continue to flash potential. Both Volpe and Dominguez seemed comfortable and prepared, showcasing their poise in the batter’s box. Volpe is ready to make the jump to the majors, clearly, but the log ham in the infield may hold him back.

I wouldn’t be surprised if he started the 2023 season with Triple-A Scranton, lasting until around June, when the Yankees may elect to promote him. Ultimately, as long as Gleyber Torres is locking down a starting position, Volpe should be getting everyday reps with Scranton. I predict that the Yankees will end up trading Gleyber before the deadline over the summer, opening up a spot for Volpe to eventually inherit.