Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Aaron Judge leads Yankees to tie in spring opener

Fans of the New York Yankees who cannot wait for the future to take shape were provided a glimpse into coming seasons when Aaron Judge unloaded a game-tying, two-out, three-run homer in the ninth inning of the club's Spring Training opener against the Philadelphia Phillies. The game ended in a 5-5 tie.

Judge is certainly an imposing figure at the plate standing in at 6 feet 7 inches tall and 255 pounds. He took a 3-2 pitch just over the left center field wall off lefty Mario Hollands. Judge drove in fellow prospects Jake Cave and Slade Heathcott with the bomb. The home run was one of four extra-base hits on the day for the Yankees.

Adam Warren started the contest and delivered two innings of scoreless ball allowing just one hit. Warren, who is competing for the fifth (and potentially sixth) spot in the rotation this spring, looked comfortable in the outing.

The Yankees' top pitching prospect Luis Severino replaced Warren in the third inning and was dominant in his first inning of work, ringing up two Phillies. But Severino ran into trouble in the fourth, allowing four straight singles before being lifted by manager Joe Girardi.

Southpaw Jacob Lindgren allowed two unearned runs in two-thirds of an inning of work, righty Branden Pinder tossed 1.1 innings of scoreless ball and lefty Chasen Shreve didn’t allow a run in an inning of work.

In all the Yankees banged out 13 hits, with Heathcott and first baseman Greg Bird collecting two apiece. Only two Yankees who figure to be on the 25-man roster recorded hits – Garrett Jones and Chris Young.

Jacoby Ellsbury and Brett Gardner were the lone everyday starters in the lineup and went a combined 0-for-6.

The Yankees host a rematch with the Phillies Wednesday at George Steinbrenner Field in Tampa. Nathan Eovaldi will be on the hill for the Bombers and the Phillies will counter with Kevin Slowey.

Christopher Carelli is a freelance baseball writer and sports media strategist. Besides his work here, Christopher is a correspondent for FantasyPros, where he writes a weekly Closer Report column. His baseball commentary has also been published on Yahoo Sports, the FanSided network, Sportsideo and linked multiple times on MLB Trade Rumors’ Baseball Blogs Weigh In. He is a member of the Internet Baseball Writers Association of America, the Baseball Bloggers Alliance and the BYB Hub.