The Yankees went 2-for-2 with split-squad wins Sunday, with a 7-to-3 win over Philadelphia in Clearwater and a 5-to-3 win over Baltimore in Sarasota.
In Clearwater, the Yankees hit three homers, with Greg Bird, Gleyber Torres and Troy Tulowitzki leaving the yard. James Paxton allowed one run in 4⅓ innings before hitting his pitch limit. He did not allow a hit, with four strikeouts and two walks.
Chad Green allowed two runs in just two-thirds of an inning, while Dellin Betances and Tommy Kahnle each threw a scoreless frame. The game was closed by intriguing lefty Anderson Severino (no relation to Luis), who hit 100 mph on his fastball in a scoreless ninth inning.
In Sarasota, the Yankees also hit three homers, with Miguel Andújar, Luke Voit and Zack Zehner doing the honors against the Orioles. Kyle Holder also recorded an RBI double, which was one of his two hits. Zehner and Kyle Higashioka joined Holder in the multi-hit game column.
After giving up nine runs in his last two outings, No. 2 prospect Jonathan Loáisiga recovered to throw three scoreless outings in his sixth start of the spring. David Hale and Drew Hutchison, two arms ticketed for the Triple-A rotation, threw the next five innings. They combined to allow three earned runs on six hits. Rex Brothers struck out two in a perfect ninth inning.
- Dellin Betances and his velocity (or the lack thereof) continues to be a story as camp goes on. “The delivery was good, location good, but I’m still not where I want to be with the arm strength,” Betances told George A. King III and Ken Davidoff of the New York Post. The Post report indicated that the radar gun at Spectrum Field had Betances clocked frequently in the upper 80s and lower 90s. The righty averaged 97.7 mph on his four-seam fastball last year, and frequently shows low velocity in Spring Training. It’s worth remembering that Betances reported late to camp after the birth of his first son.
- Aaron Hicks will begin the 2019 regular season on the injured list after receiving a second cortisone shot in his sore back. He has not played in a Grapefruit League game since March 1. “We just want to make sure this isn’t something that lingers during the season,” Boone said to Bryan Hoch of MLB.com. “But with that, that will definitely take him out of being ready by Opening Day. I think he physically probably will be ready, but we’ll need to build him up and get him some games under his belt before he gets down there. Hopefully this will knock it out once and for all, but it will slow him down by a couple of days.” The team plans to deploy Brett Gardner as the Opening Day center fielder, with Giancarlo Stanton in left field. Hicks told Coley Harvey of ESPN that he plans to be back for the team’s second series against Detroit.
- Estevan Florial suffered a non-displaced fracture of his right wrist after colliding with the center-field wall. He is not expected to need surgery, though the injury is a disappointing end to Florial’s impressive spring performance. “My wrist was hurting me when I fell down, but I didn’t think it was a big thing,’’ Florial told the New York Post. “But when I got to the dugout, it was hurting me a little more. The trainer took me out then.” Florial was likely to begin the season at Double-A Trenton.
- Jacoby Ellsbury made his first appearance at Yankees camp, indicating that he’ll speak to reporters Monday. The 35-year-old hasn’t put on a Yankee uniform since March 24, 2018. He suffered an oblique strain in camp, then tore a labrum in his hip while rehabbing that. He did not report to camp on-time in order to rehab plantar fasciitis. Obviously, he won’t be ready for Opening Day.
- The Yankees honored righty Mike King and corner infielder Brandon Wagner as their minor-league pitcher and player of the year, respectively. King came to the Yankees in 2017, as the Yankees unloaded Garrett Cooper and Caleb Smith from their 40-man roster. He went on to go 11-5 with a 1.79 ERA in 161⅓ innings between High-A Tampa, Double-A Trenton and Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Wagner, a sixth-round pick in 2015, hit .267/.380/.461 with 21 HR and 67 RBI in 124 games between Tampa and Trenton.
Opening Day starter Masahiro Tanaka gets the ball at Champion Stadium in Kissimmee, where he’ll face the Atlanta Braves. The Braves will send their No. 7 prospect Bryse Wilson to the mound to start against the Yankees.