Yankees’ new starting pitcher addition shines in 7-3 loss to Orioles

MLB: Spring Training-New York Yankees at Philadelphia Phillies
Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

It would be an overcast day in Saratoga as the New York Yankees would visit the Baltimore Orioles for an afternoon battle in Spring Training. Following an exciting game at George M. Steinbrenner Field against another AL East rival in the Toronto Blue Jays, Marcus Stroman would take the bump in his second start of Spring Training and would impress, but the bats would be silent for most of the game, not waking up until the final inning. Despite out-hitting Baltimore 10-8 in the game, some untimely home runs would keep the Yankees out of the game after Stroman was pulled.

The ever-important disclaimer of Spring Training games not mattering aside, there were still some encouraging signs of what a loss for the Bronx Bombers on the road.

Marcus Stroman Twirls Four Scoreless Frames in Yankees’ Loss

MLB: New York Yankees-Workouts
Feb 19, 2024; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Marcus Stroman (0) participates in spring training workouts at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

The biggest takeaway from today’s game was how good Marcus Stroman looked, tossing an efficient four innings with three strikeouts and one walk. After a rough first start against the Phillies last week, the right-hander was pristine on the bump this afternoon while facing some of the best hitters the Orioles have on their roster. The results themselves aren’t a huge takeaway, as good and bad performances are far more random this time of year, but if Stroman feels healthy after today and can continue to build up his workload, he could have a big season.

In the first half, Marcus Stroman looked like a legitimate Cy Young candidate in the National League before having his season fall apart with hip injuries and an ERA north of 8.00 down the stretch. Monitoring his health and how he responds to increasing workloads is imperative for his long-term viability, as he was signed to be the most notable addition to their starting rotation. Another addition they made in the winter was Cody Morris, who followed a strong debut with an ugly outing.

He allowed five runs on three hits and two walks, facing eight batters and completing just one inning of work before Nick Ramirez stepped in and allowed two more runs including a home run across 1.2 innings pitched. Both Ramirez and Morris are viewed as depth options for their pitching staff, although Morris is being viewed as rotational depth as well, and they’ll look to rebound from these subpar outings the next time they see the mound this Spring.

MLB: Spring Training-New York Yankees at Detroit Tigers
Feb 24, 2024; Lakeland, Florida, USA; New York Yankees relief pitcher Nick Ramirez (63) pitches during the third inning against the Detroit Tigers at Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mike Watters-USA TODAY Sports

Early standout Nick Burdi was remarkable in his inning of work, striking out three of the five batters he faced in his sole inning of work. The right-hander has flashed triple-digits in camp and is very much in the running to snag a bullpen spot entering Opening Day. His impressive fastballs and sweeping slider from a low release height are flat-out nasty, and the team anticipates big things from him if he can stay healthy. Shifting gears to the offense, it was a quiet day for most of their starters, as the Yankees largely featured their B-Team in this contest.

Anthony Volpe collected two hits as their leadoff man for the afternoon, both of them being singles, and his swing is starting to get into form. It’s very early, but the improvements to his contact rates are trending in the right direction, and the Yankees are hoping that the flatter bat angle can result in a higher OBP and fewer strikeouts. If the Yankees want to win not just now, but in the future as well, they’ll need young players like Volpe to step up and become strong contributors on both sides of the ball.

READ MORE: Yankees hoping stud young infielder can take a big leap in 2024

MLB: Spring Training-New York Yankees at Tampa Bay Rays
Feb 27, 2024; Port Charlotte, Florida, USA; New York Yankees shortstop Anthony Volpe (11) during the first inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Charlotte Sports Park. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement Neitzel-USA TODAY Sports

Prospects like Brandon Lockridge, Josh Breaux, and Ben Rice all collected hits in the contest as well, with one of the highlights of the game being their ninth-inning rally that fell short. Their reserves for the game came in and gave the Orioles a bit of a scare, putting up three runs and stringing together multiple hits, but they weren’t able to overcome the 7-0 deficit in the final inning. It’ll be another afternoon game for the Yankees, who host the Detroit Tigers at 1:05 PM as Nestor Cortes will make his second start of Spring Training.

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