The off-season is over, at least for pitchers & catchers…

Tuesday, pitchers and catchers invited to Spring Training camp reported for duty at the Yankees minor league campus in Tampa. Yesterday, they spent Valentine’s Day working out for the first time together this season, doing throwing and catching drills and starting this season right with a sense of team unity. For the last few days, people have lingered on the sidewalk outside the complex, fans on the right, media on the left, and players have showed up to chat with the media and sign for the fans periodically leading up to this week. Now that things are in full swing, the location has shifted from the smaller facilities (on Himes Ave.) to those at Steinbrenner Field, with limited fan viewing available for the daily workouts (free for anyone with the time).

But for the media, it means official press conferences and pictures that aren’t shot through the chain link fence. Tuesday was new manager Aaron Boone’s first official conference addressing the media, and as expected, most of the questions included how he will approach managing differently. Of course, it’s going to be different because Boone is a different person than his predecessor Girardi or his predecessor (and Boone’s own manager when he was last in pinstripes) Torre. And right now, not a single pitch has been thrown or home run hit or out made, so discussion of play, potential, or even approach is really a little premature. It takes a while for players to gel with each other, and gelling with an almost entirely new different coaching staff could also take some time. Best case scenario: all the kinks get worked out in Spring Training because that’s what it’s for.

Last November, Aaron Judge underwent shoulder surgery to remove excess and loose cartilage in his left shoulder (non-throwing) and has been rehabbing this off-season. According to a press conference Wednesday, Judge has been a frequent face around the minor league complex this off-season and is considered “right on schedule”, despite potentially missing the first few Spring Training games. Fortunately, the goal isn’t February 23 (the first Spring game) but rather March 29 (the first season game).

Meanwhile, other teammates have focused on their own aspects of prepping for 2018. Gary Sanchez spent the off-season refining his defensive skills, something of much discussion last year. Dellin Betances dropped some weight in hopes of being able to have a better 2018 than some of the lag he experienced in 2017. CC Sabathia also focused on his health, adopting a vegan diet, and hoping to build strength to combat lingering knee issues. And new Yankee Giancarlo Stanton used his social media to show #NoOffSeason in anticipation of becoming a Yankee this year.

Pitchers and catchers continue their daily workouts this week, as more fielders show up ahead of their check-in day Sunday (February 18), with the first full squad workout day this coming Monday. Meeting the team this year are an interesting group of guest instructors — veteran guests: Ron Guidry, Reggie Jackson, Lee Mazzilli, Stump Merrill, and Willie Randolph; and new(ish) guests: Tino Martinez, Hideki Matsui, Alfonso Soriano, Nick Swisher, Mark Teixeira, and Bernie Williams. I expect the Opening Day cheers to be intense as they see some of these fan favorites back in pinstripes and on the field during introductions.

Spring Training is just days away, and it’s already shaping up to be quite the adventure. One that I think we’re all hoping can translate into that elusive #28, the ultimate goal of every season, but one that is completely possible at this point in the year.

Go Yankees!

Note: I was setting up to work on this post yesterday when the news broke out of south Florida, just 270 miles (about 3.5-4 hours) southeast of Tampa. In light of the unfolding story, it didn’t feel right to preempt the news with baseball preparations and wishing people a “Happy Valentine’s Day”, when for far too many it will now never be a happy day. Instead, we remember those once again lost to mass shooting, our hearts and prayers with their families and friends. I hope I never have to delay a post for such an awful reason or write another of these postscripts. It is heartbreaking and disheartening. Parkland, we mourn with you and anticipate days when such terrible news is as rare as violent home plate collisions are now in baseball.

Bits and pieces on Veteran’s Day

Before I dive into this week’s bits and pieces of news from Yankee Universe this Veteran’s Day, the Bronx was abuzz with activity again, though not specifically baseball-related. The field is still recovering from its transformation into a football field for the Army-UConn game this past Saturday (Army beat UConn 35-21), but the Grand Concourse was lined with tables laden with items that would be stuffed into 5000 Welcome Bags by over 150 volunteers. Volunteers included Joe Girardi and his wife Kim; broadcasters David Cone, Michael Kay, John Sterling, and Suzyn Waldman. The bags filled with Yankees souvenirs and daily necessities and luxuries like snacks, puzzle books, and toothpaste will then be distributed by the USO to troops serving in Afghanistan. Delta, FedEx, and MetLife also sponsored the event.

Now the news bits:

The infield may still be a bit of giant question mark with Rodriguez’s return, a hole at starting shortstop, and the possible re-signing of Headley. But the outfield seems to be now set. Gardner, Ellsbury, and Beltran are all signed to multi-year deals and thus in pinstripes. But now the addition (and return) of Chris Young, the outfield looks pretty solid now. Young’s disappointing 2014 season with the Mets certainly improved with a cross-town change of venue. This means that should Ichiro be looking to return to the Yankees himself, unfortunately there is no more room; he is now a free agent, and though his time with New York has done nothing but endear him to Yankee fans these past few years, it seems unlikely he will be suiting up in pinstripes in 2015 should he decide to play.

Last week, the qualifying offers went out, one specifically to David Robertson. Yesterday, Robertson sent word that he was denying the offer in hopes of seeking a multi-year deal. The offer is always a gamble for both parties, but a relatively young pitcher like Robertson desiring a more permanent contract, even at a possible pay-cut really seems like the most logical option. Do I think he won’t be pitching for the Yankees next year? On the contrary, I think this puts both Robertson and the Yankees in a much better position to consider the future of their assumed closer and lock him in for years to come. Of course, come Spring Training, I could be very, very wrong, but I would be really surprised if he chooses to go somewhere else, despite his high-standing in the free agent market after refusing the qualifying offer.

We are deep in postseason awards now, though the Yankees seem to be coming up short lately. Yesterday was the closest a Yankee came to an award. Dellin Betances came in 3rd for the AL Rookie of the Year, as presented by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. The young reliever had a truly outstanding rookie season, his fastball pitches regularly hitting upper-90’s (often over 100mph), a 1.40 ERA in his 70 appearances, led all AL relievers in innings pitched (90), and set the record for most strikeouts by a rookie reliever since 1986 with 135. Well, he had my vote (metaphorically, that is, if I could actually vote).

And in a surprise twist, Girardi came in 6th in the AL Manager of the Year. I suppose it’s because he was able to keep the Yankees alive right up until the last week of the season despite all the injuries and near-dissolution of the starting rotation. It is rather an impressive feat if you think about it, and he deserved to be recognized.

Brett Gardner had minor surgery in October and is currently on the quick road to recovery to be ready for Spring. The injury to his right rectus abdominis muscle affected Gardner periodically in July and September this past season, which led Gardner to opt for core corrective surgery. Following his completion of physical therapy, Gardner will begin his usual off-season routine of preparing for Spring. In other words, the problem is solved, holidays are coming, and he’ll ready for Spring. No biggie.

GM Brian Cashman and other special Yankees personnel are currently in Arizona at GM meetings. After last season’s big splash with the signings of Tanaka, McCann, Ellsbury, and Beltran, many are waiting to see what “big splashes” come from Cashman this off-season. Like I said before, there are some holes in the infield and potentially on the pitching staff, so perhaps we will see one or two (my best guess would be whoever they sign for shortstop). I doubt the Yankees are in the place where 4 big splashes are necessary.

And finally, Alfonso Soriano is officially hanging up his cleats. Soriano spent 16 years in the major leagues, beginning with the Yankees (1999-2003), before spending time with Texas (2004-5), Washington (2006), and the Cubs (2007-13), and then getting traded back to the Yankees in mid-2013. Soriano was released in mid-2014, much to the chagrin of many New York fans, so perhaps it will ease a little of the loss as Soriano retires a Yankee. Best of luck to him and his family as he pursues the many opportunities that comes to a recently retired ball player.

And that’s the basic gist of things around Yankee Universe…

I saw various tweets today to honor our veterans this Veteran’s Day. Some were personal and sentimental, some were drench in history, some held the placid standard message. But a few stood out to me as they reminded Twitter-verse that Veteran’s Day is but one day on the calendar that we should honor our military personnel past and present. The reason the Yankees still “Honor America” with a recognition of veterans present and sing “God Bless America” at every home game during the 7th inning stretch is because one day is never enough to honor our men and women in the armed forces. We should recognize their sacrifice and service at every opportunity. So yes, we honor them today, but let us always honor them — be it a thank you to the guy in uniform on the plane next to you, or stuffing a USO Welcome Bag, or a letter to a soldier through a penpal-like program, or simply sitting with grandparents or relatives to hear their stories.

A very special “thank you” to my own family and friends who have served and their families who support and love them. You are so appreciated, more than you could ever know.

Go Yankees!

Game 87: NYY vs. MIN — Roster changes, chipping away at leads, All-Star preparations

Before today’s final game in their weekend series against Minnesota, the Yankees made some rather surprising roster moves. They traded Vidal Nuno to Arizona in exchange for starter Brandon McCarthy. They also selected pitcher Bruce Billings for the 25-man roster from AAA. And to make room for him, they opted to designated Alfonso Soriano for assignment. Soriano said that while he understands the mentality behind the decision, he will be taking a week off with his family to explore his options, some must include recent chatter with other teams and the possibility of retirement. Soriano is well-liked by the guys in the clubhouse and the fans in the stadium. He will be missed once again.

And then the Yankees played their fourth and final game in this series at Target Field, the last time most of them would be in the Twin Cities (unless they score a trip to the All-Star Game). So it was Hiroki Kuroda to start the game and throw 105 pitches over his 5.2 innings, allowing 7 hits, 4 runs, and 2 walks, and striking out 3 Twins’ batters. Actually, Kuroda was cruising along quite well for a few innings, but that 4th inning of his really chipped away at all that. With 1 out, Kuroda allowed a walk to a runner that advanced on a wild pitch, before scoring on a single and throwing error by Kuroda. That runner would end up being tagged out trying to get to 2nd. Back-to-back doubles scored another run, and a 2-run home run scored a couple more before Kuroda finally got himself out of the inning.

But before this messy inning, the Yankees decided to stack the deck in their favor, taking advantage of Minnesota’s weak starters. In the 1st inning, Gardner led off with a walk, Jeter singled, and Mark Teixeira’s single scored Gardner. Brian McCann then doubled and scored Jeter. In the 2nd inning, the Yankees quickly loaded the bases with singles by Roberts, Ichiro, and Johnson. Derek Jeter’s sacrifice fly scored Roberts, but it was Jacoby Ellsbury’s monster home run that scored 3 more runs.

And in the top of the 4th, Ichiro and Johnson on base with singles again, Jeter’s single scored Ichiro, and Ellsbury’s ground into a force out scored Johnson. Ellsbury would later score on a balk, putting the Yankees up 9-0 in the middle of the 4th. So when the Twins came roaring back in the bottom of that inning, it wasn’t enough to do much more than chip away at their lead, with a score of 9-4 Yankees.

Adam Warren came on in relief of Kuroda to get the last out of the 6th and came back in the 7th. He allowed a couple of singles, one of which would score on a ground out. (9-5 Yankees) Jim Miller took the 8th inning for the Yankees, whose only weak spot of the whole inning was in giving up a solo home run to the Twins. (9-6 Yankees)

David Robertson gave Yankee fans another minor panic attack, allowing two singles. Two outs later, a single scored one more Twins’ run before he got his last batter to ground into a force out and keep the Twins to a 9-7 loss. Seriously, sometimes Robertson’s saves are the most nail-biting part of the entire games.

But the good news is that it’s another win, and the Yankees also took 3 of the 4 games of the series, thus winning the series too.

And in All-Star Game news: MLB has announced its starting line-up for the All-Star Game coming up at Target Field on July 15. Starters were voted on by fans, and it’s no surprise that Derek Jeter was selected for his 14th and final ASG to start at shortstop. Joining him this year to represent the American League are: Orioles Matt Wieters (catcher), Adam Jones (outfielder), and Nelson Cruz (DH); Tigers Miguel Cabrera (1st base); Mariners’ Robinson Cano (2nd base); Athletics Josh Donaldson (3rd base); Blue Jays Jose Bautista (outfielder); and Angels Mike Trout (outfielder). National League, pitchers, and bench players will be announced (and posted on here) within the next week. It will be interesting to see if any other Yankees will be joining the Captain on what will be a return trip to the Twin Cities in just a little over a week.

Go Yankees!

Game 70: TOR vs. NYY — The McCann RBI Machine

Apparently, the Yankees have won 15 straight home games against Toronto since September 19, 2012. If you’ve been following my blog for any length of time, you probably know how much that makes me happy. For me, Toronto is almost worst than Boston as an odd sort of rivalry. So any time, the Yankees win it’s great, but a win against a team I’m not particularly fond of is spectacular.

So Chase Whitley earned his third win of his career (and this season) with a good performance again — 95 pitches through 5 innings, allowing 5 hits, 2 runs, and a walk, and striking out 2 Toronto batters. Those 2 runs came in the 4th inning, with back-t0-back RBI singles. It was easily his roughest inning, but still he was able to keep things under control.

Adam Warren pitched the 6th and 7th innings flawlessly before Jose Ramirez came on in the 8th inning. He only got to pitch to a couple of batters because he gave up back-to-back doubles and a run scored. So the Yankees brought out the big guns. Yes, it was Dellin Betances to the rescue to pitch the 8th inning, followed by David Robertson in the 9th. Even though it wasn’t a save opportunity, the Yankees were wanting the win guarantee more than a rested bullpen.

In the mean time, the Yankees started hitting and scoring runs. Gardner on base with a lead-off single in the 1st, he would advance progressively around the bases and then scored on Alfonso Soriano’s single to give the Yankees an early lead.

But then with Toronto leading 2-1 in the 4th, the Brian McCann RBI machine was flipped with a 2-run home run, scoring Beltran in the process, and pushing the Yankees ahead 3-2. And then in the 7th inning, with one out and bases loaded with three singles, the Blue Jays pitcher walked Ichiro and thus walked in Brett Gardner (who excelled tonight with 4 singles and 2 runs scored). Bases still loaded and one more out on the board, and the McCann RBI machine comes through again with a 3-run triple.

And suddenly, the Yankees jumped ahead 7-2 (5 RBIs from McCann alone), and with that errant RBI double by the Jays in the 8th, the final score ended up at 7-3 Yankees. A win is always great. A win against Toronto is even sweeter.

It was Day 3 of HOPE Week. Today, the Yankees did something kind of amazing. They invited three kids from an organization called “Friends of Jaclyn” to sign a one-day contract with the Yankees. Friends of Jaclyn is a foundation with the sole purpose of helping children with brain cancer connect with college and high school sports team, “adopting” the children as honorary members. The three children “adopted” by the Yankees today were 4-year-old Quinn, 12-year-old Ryan, and 11-year-old Sean, who were treated to a formal press conference, supervised by their new manager Girardi and their honorary Player Representative Robertson, before being shown to their locker in the clubhouse, suiting up for batting practice. Jaclyn, whose own battle with cancer as a child inspired her father to start the foundation, is now 19 and cancer-free for 9 years and helped out with the day’s events.

Some of my favorite HOPE Week days involve kids. And this one is no exception. I guess because for me, the game always starts with a dream as a child. Every player on the team found their love for the game as children, each story a little different, but every dream the same — to be a professional ball player. And it’s the kids who I love seeing at games in the stands, cheering and going for foul ball and being oh so grateful when someone they admire tosses a scuffed-up ball into their little gloves. It’s that hope, that dream, that spark that reminds me why baseball is so special. It’s a kids game that a few grown-ups are just lucky enough to play for longer than a childhood. It’s inspirational to thousands of youngsters to at least make an effort to reach for their dreams. And that’s what HOPE Week is about — to reach for the dreams of something beyond the now, something that is worth hoping for, something like signing with the Yankees one day, even if it’s for just that one day.

Go Yankees!

Game 69: TOR vs. NYY — Suited up for a win

Day Two of HOPE Week! Today, the Yankees honored an organization called Career Gear, a group that helps men in their transition from poverty to employment via education, professional attire, and vocational training. Jacoby Ellsbury, Derek Jeter, Hiroki Kuroda, Brian Roberts, and Alfonso Soriano showed up to help some of the Career Gear members be fitted for suits donated by DKNY. The players even helped with the measuring and picking out the suit in addition to listening to the stories of the men, how they finding the transition, and their hopes for the future. The Career Gear members and staff were then invited to attend tonight’s game.

And fortunately, they were treated to a win.

Masahiro Tanaka earned another win with tonight’s start, though I can’t say it was one of his better ones. But I am happy with the outcome. Tanaka threw 104 pitches through his 6 innings, allowing 5 hits, 1 run, and 2 walks, and striking out a whopping 10 Blue Jay batters. That sole run was a lead-off home run right at the start of the game. Then, he never let anyone do much of anything but threaten. And I like that Tanaka doesn’t kow-tow to threats, but rather fights them off with his wicked arsenal of pitches and nasty habit of striking out an exorbitant amount of batters.

Speaking of striking out, Dellin Betances’ 2 innings of relief added another 3 strikeouts to the collective strikeout total, and David Robertson’s 9th inning save added 2 more for a grand total of 15 strikeouts by Yankee pitchers. On a personal note, I think these kinds of pitching days are my favorite — the Tanaka-Betances-Robertson combination is rather amazing to watch in action, and there’s an odd level of trust that comes with having those three on the mound through the game.

In the mean time, with that 1-0 Toronto start, the Yankees didn’t let that last too long. In the 3rd, Johnson doubled and then scored with Brett Gardner’s 2-run home run off the foul pole in fair territory. And in the 5th, with Derek Jeter on 3rd, a Mark Teixeira single scored Jeter easily to push the score up to 3-1 Yankees.

And that’s where they sat because the Yankees’ bullpen kept the Blue Jays in their nest (bad pun, but I had to), and the Blue Jays later bullpen is actually pretty decent. Either way it was a win, and it was a win against Toronto who are currently 3.5 games ahead in the AL East. A series sweep would go a long way to even things out for the Yankees and head them back in the right direction (as always, the top of the heap).

And in roster news: Francisco Cervelli is back from his DL stint. It’s been a rough couple of years for Cervelli, and I’m guessing he’s really hoping for some sense of normalcy at some point this season. Now, he’s getting the chance. John Ryan Murphy was optioned back to AAA Scranton to make room for Cervelli. Murphy won’t just disappear after his outstanding performance these last few months, so I expect we’ll see him again at some point in the near future.

I was thinking about how I think of pitchers, specifically Tanaka, but really all players. And a thought occurred to me. I feel like I say this a lot this season, but somehow, it’s very fitting: I am always comparing Tanaka with Tanaka. But when I really think about it, isn’t that the way we should always be comparing players (or people in general)? I mean, I don’t like to compare myself to anyone but me. I expect myself to hit a certain level of excellence, so I’m disappointed in my failures to meet that standard when that happens. But I don’t expect anyone else to hit that standard. No, I expect a high level of excellence from them according to what would be considered excellence on their own level. I’m never disappointed when they don’t meet my standard because I’m holding them to their own.

So can we stop trying to compare people to other people (or even ourselves) and just hold them to their own personal standards of excellence? After all, the only standard I hold the Yankees to is the Yankee standard. 26 rings and a pocket watch is a high enough standard. Winning is its own standard. But it’s excellence and integrity and teamwork that is the true Yankee standard, both for the team as a whole and for the individual players. I rather like that standard. It’s why I like the Yankees.

Go Yankees!

Game 65: NYY vs. SEA — Whitley for the sweep

I don’t think anyone is disappointed in tonight’s outcome, except maybe Seattle fans. The Yankees went after the sweep and got it with some outstanding performances by what seems like the entire team tonight.

Chase Whitley took the start tonight in what can only be described as his best outing yet. (I feel like I keep saying that.) But tonight, he certainly seemed to cement his place on the Yankees with a truly amazing performance — 82 pitches in 7.2 innings, 5 hits and just 2 runs, striking out 6 Mariners along the way. Those 2 runs came as a solo home run in the 2nd and an RBI single in the 5th. Tonight was Whitley’s game to win and tonight he earned it once again.

Of course, he and his relief were backed by some pretty amazing defense. Jacoby Ellsbury, Ichiro Suzuki, and Brett Gardner each grabbed long fly ball at or over the wall to keep potential home run balls from being so successful. Though Ellsbury’s hip acted up and he was pulled from the game to rest it and watch it for a worse injury other than just being sore for running into the back wall to make a great catch.

In the 8th inning, as Whitley started to falter just slightly, they brought in Thornton to finish the inning and turned to Shawn Kelley, recently activated from the DL for his back injury, to start the 9th. Kelley, unfortunately, struggled right away. After a quick first out, a double and ground-rule double scored the 3rd Mariners’ run, so they brought on the only guy who can grab a save for the Yankees David Robertson, who quickly got the next two batters out in just 8 pitches, striking out swinging.

Now, in order for that to be a save, this means the Yankees had to be winning. And they did. They struck early and often and never relinquished that early lead. In the 1st inning, Derek Jeter (who would go 3-for-4 with a walk tonight) singled and then scored on Ellsbury’s 2-run home run. In the 3rd, Jeter and Ellsbury on with a single and a walk, they both scored on Alfonso Soriano’s nice double. And then in the 4th, Roberts and Murphy both scored on Jeter’s single.

So when Robertson threw that last strike, the Yankees were up 6-3 over Seattle and crushed the Mariners this series with a wonderful sweep.

There’s been a lot of talk about this being Jeter’s last trip to Seattle as a Yankee, even I mentioned the significance of it on his journey to Cooperstown after Tuesday’s game. But I loved hearing people talk about the possibility that this could be Ichiro Suzuki’s last game in Seattle as a player. Ichiro spent over a decade playing for the Mariners when he first came over from Japan as a major league player. Seattle still has a soft spot for him, so much that they even have a sushi roll named after him at their concession stand. (Fair warning: the “Ichi-Roll” at Yankee Stadium is much better.)

Now, Ichiro hasn’t formally announced his retirement, and technically, he’s a free agent following this season. So anything is still very much possible, but I don’t imagine Ichiro has many more (if any) at-bats at SafeCo. Ichiro is almost as much a legend in Seattle as Jeter is in New York, and he’s one of the few players that fans genuinely love to cheer for at game. Call him a “fan-favorite” if you must, but Ichiro isn’t going away in the hearts of Yankee fans any faster than he is in the hearts of Mariners’ fans. Not that anyone seems to mind…

Go Yankees!

 

Game 59: OAK vs. NYY — Stringing along a win

On a rare mid-week day game, all 3 runs were scored within the first third of the game. And then there were threats on both sides, and one ended up victorious. Fortunately, the victorious were the Yankees, snapping a 4-game losing streak and releasing Oakland from sweeping the series.

Plus, the Yankees unleashed their “secret weapon” to pitch today — Masahiro Tanaka. Tanaka, however, struggled some through his 6 innings, racking up 104 pitches, allowing 5 hits and just 1 run. That run was a 1st inning solo home run. And like I said, the Athletics certainly threatened when they could, but nothing close to any kind of damage. At least under Tanaka’s watch.

To counter this, the Yankees offense  found holes in the 2nd and 3rd innings. With 1 out in the 2nd, Brian McCann singled, advanced on a fielding error, and scored on Alfonso Soriano’s single, tying the game right then and there. And in the 3rd, Brett Gardner hit a first-pitch lead-off solo home run into the 2nd deck of right field seats to push the Yankees into the lead 2-1.

And there they sat and fought.

Dellin Betances’ 7th inning was, of course, rather flawless, with a quick 15-pitch outing. Adam Warren’s 8th was nearly a disaster, but he kind of pulled old “Houdini”-ness and managed to pitch his way out of trouble. Nail-biting, edge-of-the-seat stuff. And David Robertson’s 9th was also a quick 15-pitch one, despite allowing  a runner threaten with a single and stolen base. Robertson got his 13th save of the season, and Tanaka his 9th win of the season.

Nail-biting, edge-of-the-seat kind of stuff the whole game. And that’s what made it a fun game, in my mind. It wasn’t lop-sided, but rather competitive. It tested the merits of both teams pitching, batting, fielding, and strategy. And today, it fell on the Yankees’ side of things.

In other baseball news, all most people can talk about right now is the First Year Player Draft, which starts today and continues through Saturday. Part of the reason there is some concern with the Yankees is because they forfeited some draft picks in lieu of picking up some free agents this off-season. Representing the Yankees this year are former alumni pitcher Jeff Nelson and infielder Andy Cannizaro. Every team sends VIP representatives to MLB HQ to make their selections public and official on behalf the organization. The draft has mixed results, but some of the better ones for the Yankees include Jeter (1992, 1st round), Murphy (2009, 2nd round), Warren (2009, 4th round), Betances (2006, 8th round), and Robertson (2006, 17th round).

But I bet there are a few families crossing their fingers right now, praying the Yankees call a familiar name for their picks. The Yankees have the 55th, 91st, 122nd, 152nd, 182nd, 212th, 242nd, 272nd, and 302nd draft picks. I will have those following the close of the draft on Saturday, following the game.

Go Yankees!