The Yankees’ equipment trucks have already rolled south down Interstate 95, set to deliver the equipment that Juan Soto, Alex Verdugo, Marcus Stroman and the rest of a reworked roster will use to prepare this spring.
While general manager
Brian Cashman remains open to upgrades that could make sense between now and Opening Day, there is a sense that the Bombers’ offseason heavy lifting may be complete.
That raises questions about whether they’ve done enough to address areas of weakness, queries that grew louder following the Orioles’ acquisition of ace right-hander Corbin Burnes from the Brewers on Thursday.
“That could be a little bit of a problem; that was my first reaction,” manager
Aaron Boone said. “Obviously, [Burnes is] an amazing pitcher going to a great team. We’ll see a lot of him and look forward to the opportunity of competing against the best.”
Boone needed no reminder about the Yanks’ last look at the 29-year-old right-hander, who locked up with
Gerrit Cole with a dominant performance last Sept. 10 at Yankee Stadium.
Burnes fired eight hitless innings against Cole’s seven scoreless frames, a game decided by Kyle Higashioka’s 13th-inning double, securing a 4-3 Yanks victory.
“He pitched really well in the Bronx against us, so hopefully we can find our way against him a little bit too,” Boone said.
Though the Yankees did extend a six-year, $150 million offer to reigning National League Cy Young Award winner
Blake Snell, that proposal was pulled in favor of a two-year, $37 million agreement with Stroman in January.
The rotation now appears set, with Cole and Stroman joined by Carlos Rodón, Nestor Cortes and Clarke Schmidt.
“He’s got some good stuff,” catcher Jose Trevino said of Stroman. “I’ve talked to some catchers that have caught him, and just seeing what their take is – they’ve given me some good information, and seeing what he likes to do, I think it’s going to be a good little combo. I’m excited.”
Austin Wells said that he has enjoyed working out with Stroman (a Florida resident) at the Yanks’ Tampa complex, and he sees big things ahead for the staff.
“We have almost everybody down there right now working,” Wells said. “Everybody looks healthy and strong. I think it’s going to be a great year for the Yankees' pitching staff.”
Other depth options include Clayton Beeter, Luis Gil, Cody Poteet and Will Warren.
“With health, I think we’re going to be really good,” Boone said. “But it’s early February. We’ve got a long ways to go. I’m excited about some of the depth that we’ve replenished, but also guys that are pushing up. I think there’s going to be some people that surprise there, especially Carlos and Nestor coming off injury-riddled seasons. I’m excited about the winters those guys are having.
“We feel like it has a chance to be really good, but we’ve got to go make it happen.”
Mariano Rivera memorably made his final Major League appearance on Sept. 26, 2013, tearfully handing the ball to teammates Derek Jeter and
Andy Pettitte on the Yankee Stadium mound. Who relieved Rivera?
A. Dellin Betances
B. Matt Daley
C. David Huff
D. Adam Warren
The Yankees are spicing up their spring with some international flavor, now set to make their first visit to Mexico City since Mickey Mantle’s final season in pinstripes.
The club has announced that it will participate in a two-game exhibition series against the Diablos Rojos del México at Alfredo Harp Helú Stadium in Mexico City. The games are scheduled for March 24 and 25, closing out the Bombers’ spring schedule.
“That’s going to be sweet,” Trevino said. “That’s something I definitely would love to attend. My uncle actually texted me and was like, ‘Is this for real? Is this really happening?’ That’s an exciting thing for Mexico and the Yankees. The baseball culture down there is unbelievable. It’s going to be crazy.”
The Yankees’ call to the bullpen was for Daley, then a 31-year-old right-hander who attended Garden City (N.Y.) High School and had previously pitched in the Majors with the Rockies.
When Daley reached the mound, catcher
John Ryan Murphy told him to “take a deep breath and check it out,” observing the scene as Rivera offered his final goodbye to the Yankee Stadium crowd. Daley, who is now a director of pro scouting for the Yankees, later thanked Rivera “for letting me be a part of it.”
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