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CLEARWATER, FL - FEBRUARY 25: Justus Sheffield (86) of the Yankees delivers a pitch to the plate during the spring training game between the New York Yankees and the Philadelphia Phillies on February 25, 2018, at Spectrum Field in Clearwater, FL. (Photo by Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire) (Icon Sportswire via AP Images)

MLB Weekly Recap: Three Days, Three Wins

So far all is well in Tampa, FL as the New York Yankees have kicked off Spring Training 2018 with a bang. Everyone is healthy, team chemistry is on the rise, and yes, the Yankees are winning.

What’s Happened So Far?

  • FridayLuis Cessa was given the opening day nod to unofficially kick off the Aaron Boone era. Cessa would pitch two innings and permit the Detroit Tigers lone run in the first off of two singles. Ben Heller and David Hale would follow with two innings of scoreless baseball of their own. Hale was credited with the win. Brady Lail, Cale Coshow bridged the gap to the Mexico native Giovanny Gallegos, who slammed the door shut and picked up his first save of the spring. Offensively, Tyler Wade earned player of the game, as the locked-in youngster went 2-2 with a double. New York scored all three of their runs in the bottom of the sixth inning. Jake Cave plated Wade on a bases-loaded fielder’s choice to Tigers first basemen Edwin Espinal. Jorge Saez then came to bat and smacked a line drive to center field, scoring Kyle Higashioka and Danny Espinosa.
  • Saturday – The Yankees plated one in the fourth inning and three in the ninth to pick up their second consecutive victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates in Bradenton, Florida. Billy McKinney was the hero, as he launched a towering three-run home run to right field that scored teammates Jace Peterson and Miguel Andujar to give the Bombers a three-run lead in the top of the ninth inning. Catcher Erik Kratz went 2-2 and singled home Espinosa to give New York its first lead of the game in the fourth inning. Domingo German earned the start and tossed two scoreless innings. Adam Warren, Dillon Tate, J.P. Feyereisen bridged the gap to reliver Jonathan Holder by firing two innings a piece. Holder closed out the game despite giving up a double to Cole Tucker.
  • SundayAaron Hicks (2-3), Kyle Higashioka (3-3) had great days at the plate each hitting a double and scoring two runs in the lopsided 8-3 New York victory. Minor league prospect Jeff Hendrix went 1-2 and drove in a pair of runs on a hard hit single to left field. Espinosa kicked off the scoring with a line drive double in the top of the first inning, plating three runs. Ronald Torreyes and Rashad Crawford also drove in a run on sacrifice fly’s in the fourth and eighth, respectively. Jordan Montgomery, Justus Sheffield, Wade LeBlanc, Coshow, Raynel Espinal, and Gallegos all pitched in the game. Sheffield was the only guy to give any runs up. He permitted a sacrifice fly to Odubel Herrera and then a three-run home run to Maikel Franco.

Camp Battles

  • 2B – Torres got the start Friday, Wade started Saturday, and Espinosa started yesterday. Its way too early in the spring to predict the leading candidate. However, its probably Gleyber’s too lose, assuming Wade or Espinosa don’t catch fire and Torres plays like he is capable of playing.
  • 3B – Andujar looked great at third and put together a couple of good at bats so far this spring. It’s going to be a interesting battle between him and Drury.
  • SP – Montgomery entered camp as the favorite to land the number five slot in the rotation. He looked great on Sunday, perhaps adding more cushion to the lead. In all, the South Carolina native pitched two scoreless innings, permitted one hit (Nick Williams single in the first inning) and struck out two.
  • RP – LeBlanc is a dark-horse to earn a 25-man roster spot but the early returns look good. Wade tossed two and a third innings on Sunday and struck out two batters, and immediately allowed back-to-back hits to Tommy Joseph and Dylan Cozens before escaping the jam. Gallegos has now fired two scoreless innings; the results look great with three strikeouts and a save on his resume. On Friday, Heller struck out three while permitting two hits over two scoreless innings.

Worth Nothing

  • Newly acquired Brandon Drury gave everyone a scare when he was drilled by Pirates pitcher Clay Holmes in the left hand in his second at bat. Drury is okay and is expected to not miss any time.
  • Alex Rodriguez and Nick Swisher are now officially special advisors to general manager Brian Cashman for 2018. A-Rod and Swish will work alongside former-Yankees Reggie Jackson and Hideki Matsui.
  • Giancarlo Stanton who went 0-1 played right field and batted second in his Yankees spring debut on Friday. In his first at-bat, Giancarlo had an incredible eight-pitch battle against Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Ryan Carpenter. His second time up he grounded into a double play.

On Deck This Week

  • Monday 2/26 vs Philadelphia, 6:35 pm
  • Tuesday 2/27 at Toronto, 1:07 pm
  • Wednesday 2/28 vs Detroit, 1:05 pm (YES, MLB.TV)
  • Thursday 3/1 at Philadelphia, 1:05 pm (MLBN, MLB.TV
  • Friday 3/2 vs Atlanta, 1:05 pm (YES, MLB.TV)
  • Saturday 3/3 at Boston, 1:05 pm (MLBN, MLB.TV)
  • Sunday 3/4 vs Tampa Bay, 1:05 pm (YES, MLB.TV
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