Friday, March 11, 2016

Quick Pitch: Yankees Spring Training Games 9 & 10

The New York Yankees had their first day of split-squad games Thursday with plenty of developments coming from each game.

Note: Most of my feature work and all rapid reactions to breaking news will continue to be written for SNY. In order to keep Yankees Unscripted filled with fresh content, I’ve developed Quick Pitch which will be a game/news recap from the previous day written in swift, informative, opinionated and sometimes snarky fashion sticking to the Yankees Unscripted motto to "avoid the narrative." This will not be a traditional recap (Ellsbury singled, Gardner doubled and Teixeira homered to give the Yankees a 3-0 lead), you can get that from the beat writers. I hope to get Quick Pitch up daily, but if I don’t I’ll rewind to the previous Quick Pitch post. Thanks as always for reading.

Game 9: Blue Jays 11, Yankees 4

At home, Nathan Eovaldi tossed two solid innings in his first start of the spring. Eovaldi was able to dial it up to 99 mph with his fastball and his offspeed offerings looked good as well. We'll see how he feels Monday before getting too excited.

Andrew Miller allowed two runs on four loud singles. Miller did strike out two batters, so take the hits as a part of getting ready for the season.

Dellin Betances followed with a clean inning including a strikeout. It should be noted that he looks much better early on this spring compared to last season. That’s a big deal for Betances because his mechanics take a while to catch up to the ability to throw the ball 100 mph.

Finally, Aroldis Chapman took the hill for his first game action of the spring and was very erratic. He walked two batters and hit two others, allowing one run in the process. Chapman also expressed feeling great physically, and was working on his offspeed stuff, which was actually much better than his fastball which topped out at only 99 mph.

Ben Gamel showed off his fielding skills, showing his best Superman skills to rob Russell Martin of extra bases. Here it is.

Game 10: Orioles 4, Yankees 4

In the away game the Yankees finished with their second 4-4 tie in two days, bringing the club’s overall record to 2-6-2 this spring which is the second-worst mark in the Grapefruit League. #PanicTime

Yankees manager Joe Girardi told The New York Post’s George King III before the game that the team will stop the “Starlin Castro learning third base project.” Castro, the Yankees starting second baseman, has just 33 games under his belt at the keystone, so the move makes plenty of sense.

The news of Castro not being tested at third base is potentially a good omen for Yankees rookie Rob Refsnyder, who has been tasked with learning the position as well. Refsnyder’s bat makes the Yankees excited, but he needs to be better than adequate at second base and third base in order to be the favorite for the final bench spot when camp breaks.

Bryan Mitchell tossed three innings of one-run ball. So long as there are no injuries with the Yankees rotation, Mitchell figures to begin the season with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. I personally feel keeping Mitchell stretched out is the best bet for the Yankees, but we'll see how it works out.

Jacoby Ellsbury went 2-for-3 raising his spring average to .333. Ellsbury needs to get off to a strong start and most importantly stay healthy so he can lead the charge at the top of the Yankees order. Living up to that contract would be nice, wouldn’t it?

Christopher Carelli is a freelance baseball writer. Besides his work here, Christopher is a featured Yankees writer for His baseball commentary has also been published on The Cauldron via Sports Illustrated, Yahoo Sports 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.