The Yankees made two minor league moves Friday afternoon, trading Triple-A catcher Erik Kratz to the Brewers and releasing 1B/OF Adam Lind. The Yankees signed utility man Wilkin Castillo, primarily a catcher, out of the independent Atlantic League yesterday likely knowing Kratz would be dealt today.
Kratz, 37, came to the Yankees in exchange for cash considerations ahead of the September 1 roster expansion date in 2017. His acquisition came at a time where the Yankees needed catching depth because of looming suspensions to both Austin Romine and Gary Sánchez. Kratz went 2-for-2 with a double and two RBIs in four appearances for the Yankees. This season in Triple-A, he was hitting .269/.356/.538 with four home runs and six RBIs in the International League. The Brewers selected Kratz to their 25-man active roster today.
Lind was released as the Yankees await the return of Greg Bird to the everyday lineup. This all but confirms that Tyler Austin will be demoted to Triple-A when Bird is officially activated Saturday. Lind was hitting .241/.302/.414 with one home run and seven RBIs in eight games prior to his release. The minor league contract he signed contained an opt-out for June 1, and the Yankees gave him a head-start on his free agency with this release.
Castillo was with the Yankees in 2017, though only in minor league duty. The 33-year-old is a switch-hitter, and has appeared at every position except for center field in his minor league career. Between Double-A Trenton and Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre last year, he slashed .196/.243/.286 with three home runs and 13 RBIs. He’s there to play defense and give the other minor leaguers a breather every once in a while. Castillo was hitting .314/.400/.486 through 20 games with the Long Island Ducks of the Atlantic League.
The Yankees activated RHP Tommy Kahnle from the 10-day disabled list prior to Friday’s series opener against the Los Angeles Angels.
With already questionable first base depth and a suspension to Tyler Austin looming, the Yankees have brought back a familiar face in Adam Lind. The veteran signed a minor league deal with the Bombers, and he will report to extended spring training in Tampa.
The deal was first reported and confirmed by SB Nation’s Chris Cotillo. Lind played in five Spring Training games for the Yankees, going 3-for-15 (.200/.250/.200) with no extra-base hits and one RBI. He played exclusively first base in the Grapefruit League, but logged 197⅓ innings in left field for the Washington Nationals in 2017.
Lind’s initial deal with the Yankees included an opt-out clause if he was not on the active roster by a certain date. Once the Yankees signed Neil Walker, Lind was released since it became apparent that he would not make the Opening Day roster. But, with an injury to Greg Bird, Austin’s suspension and the team’s offensive malaise, it made sense to bring Lind back.
The team has already begun to work out Miguel Andújar at first base, which shows how desperate they are for a solid first base option. Lind slashed .303/.362/.513 in mostly bench duty for the Nationals last season, and is a solid option against right-handed pitching.
Adam Lind‘s time in pinstripes has reportedly come to an end. Randy J. Miller of NJ Advanced Media reported this morning that the Yankees have released the 34-year-old first baseman/outfielder.
The club confirmed Lind’s release in a tweet from their official PR Twitter account.
Lind signed a minor-league deal with an invitation to MLB Spring Training March 2, and he slashed .200/.250/.200 in five games with the Yankees. The contract he signed reportedly had an opt-out for March 22 if he was not on the major league roster by that point. It seems the Yankees have jumped that gun by releasing Lind, which shows that they prefer the skills of Neil Walker and/or Tyler Austin backing up Greg Bird at first base.
In 2017, Lind performed well as a part-time player off the bench. The veteran slashed .303/.362/.513 in 116 games for the Washington Nationals. Even more impressively, Lind put up a .356/.396/.644 line with four home runs and 13 RBIs in 48 plate appearances as a pinch-hitter.
Now, Lind re-enters a market that has been quite cold for 1B/OF/DH types like him. I expect him to latch on with another National League club that will value his skills off the bench.
The Yankees’ matchup with the Detroit Tigers today ended locked in a 2-to-2 tie after Giovanny Gallegos blew a one-run lead after just two batters in the ninth inning.
It was a low-scoring game from the start, with the Tigers scoring first on a Leonys Martín solo shot off CC Sabathia in the third inning. That was all the offense that the Tigers got until the ninth inning.
The Bronx Bombers did not look like themselves until their two-run rally in the eighth inning. Didi Gregorius launched his third home run of the spring to cut the lead in half. Aaron Hicks followed with a single, Miguel Andújar moved him to second on a ground out, Adam Lind walked, Gleyber Torres walked to load the bases, then Shane Robinson beat out a double play ground ball to score Hicks and tie the game.
The Tigers came right back in the ninth. JaCoby Jones singled off Gallegos then moved to second on a wild pitch. Victor Reyes promptly singled to center field, and Jones beat Estevan Florial’s throw to the plate.
The Yankees threatened in the bottom of the ninth after Jeff Hendrix made it to third after a leadoff walk. But, strikeouts from Jace Peterson and Kyle Higashioka set the stage for Estevan Florial to ground out to second base. Hendrix was stranded on third, and that ended the game in Tampa.
- Neil Walker is scheduled to make his Grapefruit League debut in pinstripes (at least the pants) for Friday’s evening matchup with the Houston Astros. He had been working out at the free agent camp setup by the MLBPA in Bradenton, Fla., and is scheduled to workout at the Yankees’ minor league complex over the next few days to prepare for full game activity.
The Yankees send Chance Adams to the hill to take on Miguel Castro of the Baltimore Orioles at their complex in Sarasota, Fla.
After yesterday’s off-day, the only one of the spring, the Yankees head east to take on the Detroit Tigers for the third time. Jordan Montgomery gets the ball on short rest for the Bombers, while fellow lefty Francisco Liriano makes his spring debut for the Tigers.
The Yankees have decided to give Giancarlo Stanton another go in left field, which he entirely deserves. He battled tough sun and winds during his first appearance in left since a very short stint there in Double-A in 2010.
“I felt all right,” Stanton said to Bryan Hoch. “I got some bad balls that didn’t help the team at all. Got to find a way to get behind them or do something with those. But I felt all right. The routes and everything were good. The rest, not as.”
Also, Adam Lind makes his Yankees debut today batting seventh and DHing. He signed a minor league deal with the team March 2, and figures to battle with Tyler Austin for the backup first base job. His deal reportedly has an opt-out after Spring Training if he is unable to crack the big league roster. Lind slashed .303/.362/.513 (122 wRC+) with 14 home runs and 59 RBIs in 116 games for the Washington Nationals in 2017.
- Dixon Machado – 2B
- Jeimer Candelario – 3B
- Nicholas Castellanos – RF
- Victor Martínez – DH
- James McCann – C
- Mikie Mahtook – LF
- Niko Goodrum – 1B
- Pete Kozma – SS
- JaCoby Jones – CF
The Yankees welcome the Tampa Bay Rays to Tampa (yeah, it’s odd) for a preview of AL East action, with fireballers Chad Green and former Yankee Nathan Eovaldi facing off.
The biggest note about today’s game is that Giancarlo Stanton makes his first professional start in left field for the Yanks. Over the winter, much was made about whether Stanton or Aaron Judge would see time in left field. It’s only a matter of time until Judge gets time out there, but his recovery from offseason shoulder surgery has slowed him down slightly.
With the Yankees short on first base depth, Billy McKinney gets the start at first base. He played the position in high school, and began taking reps there again during the Arizona Fall League. McKinney, who can also play both outfield corners, is competing with Tyler Austin, Ryan McBroom and recently signed Adam Lind for spots on the first base depth chart behind Greg Bird.
Two former Yankees take the field for the Rays, as Nathan Eovaldi will be on the mound and Nick Solak suits up at second base. Solak was traded by the Yankees to the Rays as part of the three-team deal that allowed the Bombers to get infielder Brandon Drury from the Arizona Diamondbacks.
- Mallex Smith – LF
- Kevin Kiermaier – CF
- Denard Span – DH
- Brandon Snyder – 1B
- Jake Bauers – RF
- Nick Solak – 2B
- Johnny Monell – C
- Kean Wong – 3B
- Jake Cronenworth – SS