Finally, New York Yankees fans will have a live baseball game to watch on TV. The YES Network will televise the first Yankee intrasquad game since the shut down of spring training in March at the George M. Steinbrenner training complex in Tampa. The prime time game will be at Yankee Stadium at 7 pm with coverage starting at 6 pm. The game will be started by J.A. Happ facing the intrasquad Yankee rookie Clark Schmidt. Happ went 2-0 with a 1.38 ERA in the shutdown spring training. Other pitchers will surely get in on the action.
With only seventeen days before the first game of the season on July 23, in Washington D.C. against the Nationals, the New York Yankee manager Aaron Boone said yesterday that he “wanted to get in as many live reps as possible. With a shorter amount of time [to prepare], we want pitchers in game action and build up pitch counts, we’ll go easy as far as running and getting out of the box.”
The YES Network will also televise another intrasquad game at 7 pm on Tuesday. That game will have Gerrit Cole starting. Both games will likely be six or seven-inning affairs as the players’ build-up for the regular season. Manager Boone indicated that would be more exhibition games.
Masahiro Tanaka doing well after taking a hit
In case you missed the big headline at the start of summer camp. On Saturday New York Yankee pitcher Masahiro Tanaka, in a sim game took a Giancarlo Stanton comebacker off the head and immediately dropped to the ground where he lay motionless for minutes, before being helped off the field.
Tanka was taken to the hospital for an MRI and tests and was released a few hours later. Yesterday on Twitter Tanaka said he was “all good” and thanked all his supporters for their encouragement. Tanaka was at the Stadium yesterday. Tanaka was diagnosed with a mild concussion. The next few days will be telling for if he will miss more than a few days.
39 MLB players test positive for COVID-19, two are Yankees
With the start of summer camp across baseball 39 players have tested positive for the coronavirus, and more are sure to be added to that list. Two New York Yankees are on that list. New York Yankees MVP 2nd baseman DJ. LeMahieu and Yankee reliever Luis Cessa.
DJ LeMahieu is asymptomatic and Luis Cessa has very mild symptoms, as reported by the Yankees. Neither player had yet reached Yankee Stadium and are at home self quarantining. Manager Aaron Boone is hoping they won’t be out too long and may return before the end of summer camp. It has been reported that team infection rates of as much as 5% will not affect play. Right now that figure is at just over 1%, which is far below the national average.
No New York Yankees are expected to opt-out of the season.
New York Yankee manager Aaron Boone has said that he doesn’t expect any New York Yankee player to opt-out due to the coronavirus. The agreement between MLB and MLBPA (players union) states that any player that feels uncomfortable with playing during the pandemic may opt-out. Other teams are not that lucky.
The Los Angeles Dodgers got a double hit when new pitcher David Price and Mookie Betts, both former Red Sox announced they will opt-out. The new Atlanta Brave Felix Hernandez has opted out of the season. Others who have opted out are the Washington Nationals Ryan Zimmerman, Wellington Castillo, and Joe Ross, the Colorado Rockie Ian Desmond, and the Giants Tyson Ross. More are likely to follow in the coming days.
Gleyber Torres transitions back to short
Tonight Yankee fans will get to see Gleyber Torres play at short in his first game of summer camp. Torres through his minor league days was a shortstop but the Yankees transitioned him to 2nd base, now the Yankees are putting him back at short.
Last year with an injury to Didi Gregorius that caused him to miss some of the season, Torres for the most part filled in for him. DJ LeMahieu covered 2nd base with MVP perfection. Over the postseason the Yankees decided to let Gregorius go to the Phillies and make Torres their opening day shortstop. Fans and the Yankee brass will be watching to see how successful he can be.
“I feel pretty good these first couple of days [of camp],’’ said Torres, who was in Tampa for part of the shutdown. “During the quarantine, I prepared myself well. There were not too many options for fields. I [watched] a lot of videos of myself, trying to get ready for shortstop.”