Yankees’ rising catcher has big performance in an 11-5 loss to the Tigers

MLB: Spring Training-Detroit Tigers at New York Yankees
Kim Klement Neitzel-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees would face off against the Detroit Tigers in another Spring Training matchup as they’d host a nighttime game at George M. Steinbrenner Field. With Luke Weaver taking the ball, the Yankees would run out a lineup that had a mesh of expected starters and journeymen who were trying to crack the team. Anthony Volpe would find himself slotted at the leadoff spot, and while he won’t be there on Opening Day, this is a chance for him to show comfort at the top of the lineup and potentially earn that job during the season.

A close contest until the end, the Yankees would drop this game to the Tigers 11-5 as they fall to 5-7 in Spring Training, which of course, doesn’t really matter.

Austin Wells Shows Glimpse of Exciting Upside in Yankees’ Loss

MLB: New York Yankees-Workouts
Feb 16, 2024; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Yankees catcher Austin Wells (88) participates in spring training workouts at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

Tonight wasn’t the prettiest for the Yankees on the defensive or pitching sides of the ball, but Austin Wells certainly made this game worth the price of admission. A late-season call-up last year, the left-handed hitting catcher put together his best performance of Spring Training, cranking an RBI double that drove in two runs to open the scoring in the first, and adding a solo blast in the third. 2024 is a huge season for Wells, who is trying to prove himself to be the starting catcher of the future for New York.

Spring Training results don’t matter, and there’s still plenty of time between now and the regular season kicking off, but Wells certainly did himself a favor by having the game he had. He wasn’t the only youngster to impress, as Anthony Volpe would collect two singles on the night in four trips to the plate, and he continues what’s been a strong Spring Training that could boost his confidence with that new swing heading into his second season at the Major League level.

MLB: Spring Training-Detroit Tigers at New York Yankees
Mar 7, 2024; Tampa, Florida, USA; New York Yankees shortstop Anthony Volpe (11) forces out Detroit Tigers infielder Javier Baez (28) and throws the ball to first base for a double play during the first inning at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement Neitzel-USA TODAY Sports

Luke Weaver got the start for the Yankees and really struggled after a clean first inning, surrendering a two-run shot to Andy Ibanez, who hit his third home run against the Yankees this Spring Training. It might be too early to label a player a Yankee killer, but that’s still pretty impressive given the limited playing time one typically has in the first weeks of exhibition games. Youngster Danny Watson would collect two outs to get the Yankees out of the second inning, and they’d get a trio of strong performances from some of their high-leverage relievers.

Caleb Ferguson and Victor Gonzalez, who were both lefties acquired from the Los Angeles Dodgers this winter, were impressive as they each delivered an inning without an earned run allowed. While there was a run on Gonzalez’s line, it came on a wacky play with multiple errors, and it was charged accordingly as an unearned run because of it. The most impressive performance however came from Ian Hamilton, who fired two scoreless innings with five strikeouts and just one walk allowed, and he hopes to repeat a brilliant 2023 campaign where he was a great high-leverage reliever.

READ MORE: Yankees Unveil Intriguing Roster for 2024 Spring Breakout Game

MLB: Spring Training-Miami Marlins at New York Yankees
Feb 29, 2024; Tampa, Florida, USA;New York Yankees relief pitcher Ian Hamilton (71) throws a pitch during the fifth inning against the Miami Marlins at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement Neitzel-USA TODAY Sports

Anthony Misiewicz would struggle in his inning of work, as he would allow four runs (three of them earned) on four hits, resulting in Ron Marinaccio coming in and getting the Yankees out of a tough seventh inning. Marinaccio has a lot to prove coming off of a brutal 2023 campaign, and this can hopefully be a confidence booster for him as he delivered 1.1 scoreless innings with a strikeout, allowing just one hit in the process. In the final inning, Ryan Anderson would come in and allow three runs on four hits in his inning of work.

Some other notable moments from today’s game include a 103.8 MPH double from Ben Rice that was followed up by an RBI hit from Agustin Ramirez, as the catching prospects are expected to also feature in the inaugural Spring Breakout Game on March 16th.

The Yankees will continue their Spring Training campaign against the Toronto Blue Jays on the road at 1:07 PM EST, as Marcus Stroman makes his third start following a brilliant outing against the Orioles.

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