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.
Masahiro Tanaka gets the ball as the Yankees look to sweep a quick, two-game series from the Miami Marlins. With last night’s 12-to-1 win still fresh in their minds, the Marlins tab Jarlin García to counter Tanaka.
The Yankees pounded out 15 hits last night, and two of them were home runs for Didi Gregorius. Didi leads the team with five homers, while Aaron Judge swatted his fourth home run of the season last night as well. Those two joined Brett Gardner, Gary Sánchez, Tyler Austin and Miguel Andújar to collect multiple hits Monday.
Neil Walker is in the lineup tonight, taking over at second base for Ronald Torreyes. We have not seen Tyler Wade start a game since April 12 in Boston, and he could be sent out if Gleyber Torres is deemed MLB-ready in the near future.
- Greg Bird could head to Tampa as soon as next week to start getting into game situations. So far, there are no setbacks in his rehabilitation. It seems that he could get into rehab games within the next two weeks.
- Gleyber Torres will sit tonight during Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre’s game against Gwinnett after being removed from last night’s contest with back stiffness. That benching was precautionary, and the team still has a 12-hour bus ride to Scranton ahead of them once the game is over. Torres could be called up as soon as Wednesday and the team would still have six full seasons of control, though it appears unlikely a promotion would be that instantaneous.
- Tommy Kahnle was placed on the 10-day disabled list prior to today’s game. RHP Luis Cessa was recalled from Triple-A Scranton to take his roster spot.
- Derek Dietrich – LF
- Miguel Rojas – SS
- Starlin Castro – 2B
- Justin Bour – DH
- J.T. Realmuto – C
- Brian Anderson – 3B
- Tomás Telis – 1B
- Cameron Maybin – CF
- J.B. Shuck – RF
Well, this isn’t ideal. The Yankees’ PR Twitter account announced Friday that Opening Day center fielder Aaron Hicks has been placed on the 10-day disabled list with a right intercostal muscle strain. Outfielder Billy McKinney has been recalled from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre to take his spot on the active roster.
There’s no clear evidence as to when in last night’s season opener Hicks suffered his injury. Hicks went 2-for-4 with two strikeouts against the Toronto Blue Jays on Thursday. He spent most of 2017 as the Yankees’ primary center fielder, slashing .266/.372/.475 (127 wRC+) with 15 home runs in 88 games. He did spend extended time on the disabled list in 2017 with a nagging oblique injury.
McKinney impressed with his power in Spring Training after being added to the 40-man roster in the offseason. He slashed .167/.340/.524 with five homers and 13 RBIs while seeing time in the outfield corners and first base. He picked up a first baseman’s glove again for the first time since high school with the Scottsdale Scorpions of the Arizona Fall League. McKinney showed his first round promise last year between Double-A and Triple-A, slashing a combined .277/.338/.483 with 16 home runs and 64 RBIs between the two levels.
This injury complicates things slightly for rookie manager Aaron Boone. Luckily, he has a lot of versatility that he can deploy with his bench. I think we might see a bit of Tyler Wade in the outfield now, with Neil Walker sliding to second base and Tyler Austin getting more reps at first base. Brett Gardner likely slides into center field to replace Hicks.
Of course, Giancarlo Stanton can also play left field, though the plan with that was to limit his time out there to games against tough left-handed pitchers. McKinney can play both outfield corners as well.
The news out of Tampa continues to be promising about Jacoby Ellsbury, whom Brian Cashman said needed “40-50 at-bats” before he would return from an oblique injury suffered early in Spring Training. Even with all of his faults, Ellsbury’s ability to play center field would greatly help the Yankees.
The battle for the Yankees 25-man roster has come down to its final participants, with the Yankees announcing that 1B/OFs Tyler Austin, Billy McKinney and RHPs Giovanny Gallegos and Ben Heller to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. That leaves Luis Cessa (who can’t get optioned mid-start, I guess), Domingo Germán and Jonathan Holder for the final spot on the Yankees roster.
Austin showed his power this spring. He tied with Miguel Andújar and McKinney for the team’s home run lead with four. Outside of the dingers, Austin slashed .235/.333/.618 in 16 games. His lifetime .361/.432/.722 line in 44 at-bats against left-handed pitchers will be his calling card this season, as he will likely get promoted to face teams like the lefty-heavy Red Sox.
McKinney came out strong this spring, but finished in a little bit of a lull. The former first-rounder slashed .161/.381/.548 with the aforementioned four home runs in 18 games. The corner outfielder continued the work at first base that he started in the Arizona Fall League. McKinney likely gets a chance in the majors if there’s an injury to one of the outfielders.
The situation for the two pitchers optioned is a bit of a different story. The Yankees will cycle through their pitchers with minor league options remaining to keep them fresh.
Gallegos appeared in eight games, pitching a total of 7⅓ innings. He allowed three runs in that span (3.68 ERA) and struck out 12 batters to six walks. He’s going to form a part of the RailRiders bullpen, and will cycle up to the bigs when a long reliever is needed.
Heller appeared in seven games, pitching 10⅔ innings. He gave up eight runs, but only five of them were earned. That gave him a less-than-stellar 4.22 ERA, which was inflated by allowing three earned runs in his last outing against the Tigers March 20. Heller, like Gallegos, will be going up and down all season.
Tell me if you’ve heard this one before: Jacoby Ellsbury is injured. Reported March 2 as a “mild oblique strain,” the 34-year-old outfielder has not played since March 1 at the Philadelphia Phillies because of the nagging injury.
Ellsbury was 1-for-10 in four Spring Training games before suffering the injury. He missed 29 games in 2017 because of a concussion suffered May 24 at Yankee Stadium. He was hitting .281/.349/.422 at the time of the injury, but finished the season with a .264/.348/.402 line.
With the acquisition of Giancarlo Stanton and the ascendance of Aaron Hicks in the eyes of the Yankees, Ellsbury looked to be the team’s fifth outfielder in 2018.
The Yankees have not decided whether to fill Ellsbury’s roster spot with another bench player or a 13th pitcher. Aaron Boone mentioned Luis Cessa, Domingo Germán, Ben Heller and Jonathan Holder as potential candidates if the Yankees decided to go with a 13th pitcher.
The additional bench spot could go to someone like Tyler Austin, who has had a fantastic spring but has no clear path to playing time. Austin was looking to break camp as the team’s backup first baseman, but the signing of Neil Walker cut those chances significantly.
Boone mentioned that the Yankees would not necessarily take another outfielder if Ellsbury is on the disabled list, which would also harm Billy McKinney‘s chances of heading north with the Yankees.
Bryan Hoch of MLB.com reported Monday that Boone will have the team’s 25-man roster for the opening series against the Blue Jays in Toronto set for the team’s March 26 exhibition game against the Braves in Atlanta.
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.
Giancarlo Stanton smacked his first Yankees home run off Matt Harvey, and the other Yankee bats combined to score 10 runs in a rousing win over their crosstown rivals.
The Stanton homer came in the fifth inning, where the Yankees already had a 3-to-1 advantage. Aaron Judge walked prior to Stanton’s at-bat. The home run resulted in the removal of Harvey from the game after 4⅔ innings.
Brandon Drury and Kyle Holder each knocked in two runs as well, with other RBIs coming from Tyler Austin, Abiatal Avelino and Shane Robinson. Estevan Florial almost had one, but the play was ruled a fielding error by right fielder L.J. Mazzilli.
Luis Cessa was on the ropes fairly quickly in this game, getting the hook after 1⅓ innings with the bases loaded. David Robertson made his spring debut in the second, and promptly Houdini’d out of the inning without allowing a run.
There was a funny moment in the fifth inning where no one came out to pitch for the Yankees. Described as “some issues” by Aaron Boone in his YES Network mid-inning interview, Dellin Betances had gone into the clubhouse to shower and get changed because he was only supposed to throw one inning. Adam Warren, the next scheduled pitcher, apparently never got the memo to warm up. So, Betances put his uniform back on and faced one more batter. Luis Guillorme singled, then Warren came in to relieve Betances.
- Tyler Wade dove for a ball hit by José Reyes, and rolled his wrist trying to make a play. It looked really bad at first glance, and Wade was in a lot of pain. He was replaced by Kyle Holder, and I was truly holding my breath because Wade has really impressed me this spring. But, reports from the clubhouse indicated that he needed “ice but no tests,” and that he would return to action Monday. It is unclear if he was already scheduled to sit out Sunday.
- Aaron Judge got his first multi-hit game of the spring today. His timing looks to be back, and that’s a great sign for a player coming off of offseason shoulder surgery. Boone mentioned during his interview that Judge was also getting reps in left field with Stanton on the back fields while the team was away playing road games. We’ve yet to see Judge out there in an exhibition game, but something tells me we won’t have to wait long for that to happen.
- Both Chad Green and Adam Warren threw for more than one inning today, which should surprise absolutely no one. These two are the main multi-inning relievers for the Yanks, and they will probably get stretched out to throw up to three innings before Opening Day gets here.
Masahiro Tanaka looks to rebound from his poor spring debut in a matchup against Jacob Turner and the Miami Marlins. The Yankees will make the long trek to Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter for that game. No word on who’s going, however.
The second Subway Series preview comes to Tampa today, as Matt Harvey and Luis Cessa square off on a beautiful Florida afternoon at George M. Steinbrenner Field.
Cessa makes his third start of the spring, and will try to keep up with Domingo Germán in the competition to be the team’s sixth starter. So far in camp, Cessa has allowed five runs (four earned) through four innings of work. He missed his March 2 start due to a stiff neck, and Germán stepped into that role.
Giancarlo Stanton gets his third start of the spring in left field, with Aaron Judge playing on the other side of Brett Gardner in right and center field, respectively. Tyler Austin starts at first base today, with Greg Bird not listed on the lineup card as an available player. Tyler Wade looks to continue his strong audition for the second base job as he bats ninth and mans the keystone.
We’re likely to see some star-studded relievers today, with LHP Aroldis Chapman, RHP David Robertson, RHP Dellin Betances and RHP Adam Warren listed on today’s game notes.
- Clint Frazier spoke to the media this morning regarding his concussion. Marc Carig of The Athletic reported the outfielder has needed to be driven to camp beacuse of “scary” moments driving. “There’s a lot of positives that have come, but I’m not over the hump … I want all positives. I want no negatives,” Frazier said per ESPN’s Coley Harvey.
- Frazier ran, hit and threw today with Jacoby Ellsbury. Ellsbury has been out with oblique tightness, and has not appeared in a game since March 1.
- Amed Rosario – SS
- Juan Lagares – CF
- Brandon Nimmo – RF
- Phillip Evans – 1B
- Wilmer Flores – 3B
- José Reyes – 2B
- Travis d’Arnaud – C
- Tim Tebow – DH
- Zach Borenstein – LF
Matt Harvey – RHP
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