Game 101: KC vs. NYY — A fractured win & another big trade, there was also a game

Much of tonight’s game was bookended by a big trade announcement and a rather disappointing injury. It actually kind of overshadowed the fact that there was actually a pretty good game tonight as the Yankees returned to the Bronx to host the first of this 4-game weekend series against the Royals.

Despite this season having consistent bad outings at home, Sonny Gray flipped the switch and had a good one. He threw 75 pitches in 5 scoreless innings, gave up just 3 hits and 2 walks, and struck out 5 batters to earn the much-needed win. And the Yankee batters actually gave him quite the cushion to work the win.

In the 1st, with 1 out, Aaron Judge was hit by a pitch on the right wrist. But he initially stayed in the game (more below), ended up on 3rd on Gregorius’ doubles, and then scored on Giancarlo Stanton’s sacrifice fly. After Hicks walked, Gleyber Torres made it to 1st on a fielding error, which allowed Gregorius to score.

Then in the 4th, Walker hit a 1-out single and then scored on Austin Romine’s double. After another out, they opted to pinch-hit Judge with Miguel Andujar who benefited from a throwing error. Didi Gregorius promptly followed that up by hitting the 1st pitch of that at-bat into the right field seats for a 3-run home run.

To cap off their scoring tonight, the Yankees ended the Royals’ disappointing start with the 5th inning. Hicks singled, ended up at 3rd on Torres’ single, and then scored on Greg Bird’s sacrifice fly. The Royals’ starter came out after another single and a strikeout, and their relievers certainly had a better night of holding off the Yankees’ offense.

Comparatively, Adam Warren came on for the 6th and promptly gave up a ground-rule double and a 2-run home run to get the Royals on the board before fending them off for a quick 3 outs. Robertson’s 7th inning continued that momentum with his 3 strikeouts. And Zach Britton made his Yankees debut tonight and needed just 10 pitches to sail his way through the 8th inning.

And in the 9th, Chasen Shreve came on and had an eventful outing to close out the game. With 2 outs and 2 runners on 1st and 2nd, the next batter hit a single into center field to a waiting Hicks. Then Hicks fired that ball into Romine at home (at 98.7 mph) to get the lead runner trying to score a run and keep the game going. Instead, the tag was made and the game was over.

Final score: 7-2 Yankees

Okay, trade news: The Yankees made yet another big trade. This time, they added to the rotation, as they’ve been trying to do for the last two seasons. The Yankees sent infielder Brandon Drury and outfielding prospect Billy McKinney to the Blue Jays in exchange for veteran starter JA Happ.

Also, before the game, the Yankees activated Zach Britton to help in the 8th inning. To make room, the Yankees optioned Luis Cessa back to AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

And injury news: In the 5th, Sonny Gray got hit with a comebacker on his hand which primarily hurt his thumb. He was sent to get precautionary x-rays, but they were negative and the Yankees expect him to make his start next week against the Orioles.

Now, Aaron judge sustained a hit by a pitch in the 1st. He, of course, stayed in the game initially and scored the Yankees’ first run of the night. But by the bottom of the 4th, that wrist wasn’t getting any better. First MRIs were “unclear”, so they sent him to the hospital where he ended up being diagnosed with a chip fracture of his right wrist (officially know as the ulnar styloid bone). It doesn’t require surgery, but he won’t be able to resume baseball activities for at least 3 weeks.

Yes, that Judge injury can seem like a big hit for the Yankees, but they do already have quite the depth in the outfield (starters like Gardner, Hicks, and Stanton), as well as depth in the farm system (like Frazier and Shane Robinson). Even without his bat, the Yankees are still stepping up to do their best. The Yankees are leading in home runs with 163, 21 more than 2nd place Angels and Athletics, and just 26 of those are Judge’s (only 16%). Get well soon!

Go Yankees!

Game 47: LAA vs. NYY — Torres continues campaign for Rookie of the Year

The Yankees are back home, and there is debate over whether home field advantage is actually a thing. I’m not sure I believe it has an overall effect on the final score, but I do believe there is an effect on home team morale and thus confidence. On the other hand, if the team is truly good, it doesn’t really matter at all where they play. They’re just going to play well regardless.

Luis Severino, however, wasn’t having a particular “SevySharp” kind of night, and still his outcome was pretty positive over the visiting Angels in tonight’s opener. He threw 99 pitches in his 6 innings, gave up 4 hits, 4 walks, and a single run, and struck out 5 batters. That lone allowed run was a 2-out solo home run to the young star power-hitter on the Angels’ roster.

Chad Green came out for the 7th, gave up 2 hits, and still got out of the inning unscathed. Robertson threw 2 outs in the 8th, gave up a walk that advance to scoring position on a wild pitch, and was replaced by Chapman. Aroldis Chapman had a great 4-out save, sailing through the batters and keeping the Angels to that lone allowed run.

And as strong as the Yankees’ pitching staff was today, the Angels’ staff was actually pretty good themselves, many statistics quite comparable all game. The 2nd inning was by far the weirdest inning all night. Sanchez led-off the inning with a single but then got out when Didi Gregorius hit into a grounder. Originally, the call was a double play, but the Yankees saw Gregorius tag the bag at 1st before the ball made it to the 1st baseman and challenged it. So it was overturned as a single out at 2nd. Hicks worked a walk, and then another out later, Andujar’s walk loaded the bases.

And then it got messy. So Gleyber Torres singled, which easily scored Didi Gregorius as the 3rd baseman (who fielded Torres’ hit) threw the ball to 1st too slow. The ball was mishandled on both ends, so Hicks saw the opportunity to make an attempt for home too. But after contemplating which runner to get out, the Angels’ defense kicked into action and got Hicks trying to come home and end the inning. Leaving most of us watching in a bit of a “what just happened here” blur.

The game remained tied and the starters exited the game, handing it over to their respective bullpens. It would fall to the rookies again to find the lone opportunity to break the tie. In the 7th, Gleyber Torres hit a big 2-out solo home run, making this his 4th straight game to hit a home run, becoming the youngest player in the AL to do so. It was also his 9th home run of the season, and he’s only played in 28 games (of the 47).

Final score: 2-1 Yankees

During the game, the 2 best plays of the game were when Aaron Judge threw bullets from right field to cut down runners trying to advance on the Yankees. We’ve promoted “Don’t Run on Gary”, but maybe it should just be “Don’t Run on the Yankees”. Judge threw a 100.5 mph fireball straight to home plate so that Sanchez tagged the runner coming home in the 3rd inning. He also fired a powerful rocket to 2nd for a waiting Gregorius to tag out the runner trying to stretch a long single into a double. Yeah, “Don’t Run on Aaron” either.

Roster moves: Meanwhile, the Yankees moved some players around their organization, especially with talks of players like Bird coming off the DL shortly, probably this weekend. On the free day travel day yesterday, the Yankees opted recently signed pitcher Ryan Bollinger back to AA Trenton and outfielder Billy McKinney to AAA Scranton.

Today, they activated reliever Tommy Kahnle from the disabled list (after shoulder issues). They also parted ways with a few veterans in their farm system, releasing Adam Lind from AAA Scranton and trading catcher Erik Kratz to the Brewers for “future considerations” (which means either a player to be named later or cash).

Plus, they also re-signed catcher Wilkin Castillo to a minor league contract. Castillo was with the Yankees organization last season after they signed him before being released and choosing free agency in the off-season. He played for the Atlantic League (an independent baseball league) with the Long Island Ducks and is now assigned to AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

Go Yankees!

Game 45: NYY vs. TEX — A strong Texas starter vs. a messy Yankees starter

Sometimes, the deficit is too large to overcome. Or there just are not enough outs for the offense to kick in. Or the opposing starter is just really good. Or the Yankees’ starter had a messy start. Or all of the above.

Domingo German got the start for the Yankees, and coming off his last, strong showing, this was less than ideal. He threw 85 pitches into the 4th inning, gave up 4 hits, 3 walks, and 6 runs, while still striking out 6 Texas batters. In the 1st with 1 out, German gave up a single and a walk that scored as part of a bit 3-run home run to get the Rangers on the board early and big.

In the 2nd, he hit the lead-off batter that moved to 2nd on a wild pitch and then advanced to 3rd on a ground out. German then threw another wild pitch to strike out the next batter, but due to the wild pitch, the batter to made it to 1st safely while the other runner raced home to score another run. Yet another wild pitch moved the runners up, and a walk loaded the bases. A grounder scored one more run before German finally got out of this messy inning.

German found his pace and struck out the side in the 3rd, but then came back to give up a lead-off home run in the 4th. Two outs and a single later, the Yankees had enough and went to their bullpen. AJ Cole came on in relief to throw 5 scoreless outs and keep the Rangers from adding to their lead. Shreve finished off the 6th inning and kept that momentum, before handing the game over toe Gallegos for the next 2 scoreless innings.

Deep in the hole already in the first 2 innings, the Yankees faced a pretty good veteran starter, who threw a solid 7 innings, only giving up 4 hits, 2 walks, and just 2 runs during his tenure. Those 2 runs were a 2-out solo home run by Gleyber Torres in the 3rd and a 7th inning 1-out solo shot by Miguel Andujar.

But once the Rangers went to their bullpen, anything was possible, and the Yankees made every effort to chip away at the Rangers’ lead in the final 2 innings. With 1 out in the 8th, Stanton singled, and then Austin Romine hit a nice 2-run home run to put the Yankees within striking distance. After Gregorius singled, the rest of the roster left him hanging out there. And a solid 9th inning showing by their closer sealed the deal.

Final score: 6-4 Rangers

So, Aaron Boone was ejected 5 times as a player, but earned his first one as a manager tonight in the 6th inning. Apparently, Boone had been having issues all night, “chirping” from the dugout until the home plate umpire whipped around in the middle of Sanchez’s at-bat and tossed the Yankees’ rookie manager. To be fair, a lot of conversation online has been about the questionable strike zones recently, especially with larger players like Judge and Stanton. I’m not sure I agree he needed to be ejected (sometimes they do, believe me), but we all know you can’t argue balls and strikes. No matter how terrible the calls really are.

Some roster moves: on Monday, the Yankees moved some of the guys from the DL to their rehab assignments at AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre in preparation for their eventual return to the big leagues — Greg Bird, Billy McKinney, and Tommy Kahnle. Now, this made

Scranton Shuttle: in the same shuffle that sent a bunch of players to Scranton on the rehab, the Yankees recalled reliever Giovanny Gallegos to fill out the spot that Clint Frazier left the previous day (Sunday). And despite a strong 2 innings tonight, Gallegos is heading back to Scranton for a player that yet to be announced. Someone’s coming to Texas on that return trip, but I guess we’ll find out tomorrow.

Meanwhile, with the prospect of Greg Bird coming back soon, people are wondering what will happen to Tyler Austin, who has certainly been a huge part of the Yankees’ winning streak this last month. However, Boone later said in an interview that he doesn’t expect Austin to be going anywhere anytime soon, noting the same things we’ve all been seeing in him. You don’t want to lose a good player that could easily step into the game in an emergency. Though, that certainly sounds like quite a few players on the current roster.

Go Yankees!

Game 4: NYY vs. TOR — An Easter Split

There are graphs you can find on the internet that track a team’s odds of winning live during the game. It starts out even because both teams could potentially win the game, and then as the game progresses and runs are scored, it spikes one way or another. And things were looking really great for the Yankees, the graphs spiking in their favor. But then, a single swing caused a nosedive on the charts until the graph ran out of room, or rather they ran out of outs.

For the final game in “The Big Smoke“, the Yankees actually had a pretty good start, dominating the Blue Jays with some pretty good pitching once again. Sonny Gray got the start, while his pitch count was high (89 pitches in just 4 innings), he was able to limit the Blue Jays to a single allowed run and 8 strikeouts, despite 7 hits and 3 walks. With 1 out in the 2nd, Gray gave up a walk and a single. The next batter hit into a deep single, but Aaron Judge’s power arm from right threw to Romine for the out at home. Another single then scored the Jays’ first run.

Meanwhile, the Yankees gave Gray a bit of leeway. With 2 outs in the 3rd, Stanton worked a walk and then scored on Didi Gregorius’ double. Neil Walker’s single then scored Gregorius, and Brandon Drury’s first homer as a Yankee was a solid 2-run shot over the left field wall. (Here’s John Sterling’s call — thoughts?)

It’s worth noting that in that inning alone were 3 of the Yankees’ 5 total hits today, but they were getting on base with walks (6 total). But they weren’t doing much beyond getting on base. And while that’s half the battle, it isn’t everything. Hits don’t win games, runs do. But the Yankees had that nice lead for most of the game.

Reliever Chad Green came on for the 5th and 6th innings and powered through the Blue Jays’ lineup, getting 4 of his 6 outs with strikeouts. Green is certainly proving how valuable he is to the bullpen. Tommy Kahnle started the 7th inning but got into some trouble off the top, giving up a walk and a big 2-run home run up the middle to put the Blue Jays within a run of the Yankees’ lead. Two outs later, David Robertson was called in to get the final out of that inning.

Robertson’s 8th inning, however, was just so less than ideal for the veteran reliever — a single, an out, a double, an out, an intentional walk to load the bases, a giant grand slam to give the Blue Jays the lead, and finally the 3rd out of the inning. The damage was done, and the Blue Jays just needed 3 outs, which they got thanks to the excellence of their new closer.

Final score: 7-4 Blue Jays, they split the series 2-2

Next up: the Yankees head home to the Bronx for their Home Opener against the Rays tomorrow afternoon. The Yankees will play tomorrow, then take an off-day, and then play the second of the 2-game series on Wednesday afternoon. (Brace yourself, it’s a really weird schedule this year.)

Roster moves: And the Yankees made the move we discussed after yesterday’s game official today. They sent Billy McKinney to the DL with his shoulder injury, recalling Miguel Andujar for the roster.

As disappointing as today’s result was, the best news was that there were no injuries. And that’s kind of sad not even week into the regular season.

Anyway, a very Happy Easter to those who celebrate!

Go Yankees!

Game 3: NYY vs. TOR — Injury plagued loss, despite young power

Well, it was bound to happen sometime. The loss that is, not the injuries. But those injuries need to stop (more later). But the loss is a guarantee in this kind of game. There is no such thing as an undefeated season in MLB, and honestly, the entire game is really about losses.

I mean, when you think about it, even the best batters fail 7 out of 10 at-bats to get an average of .300. And in a season of 162 games, the best teams may win 90-100 in a season. That still means 60-70 losses. In fact, every day, one team will lose and one will win. This afternoon happened to fall in favor of the Blue Jays, proving perhaps that they really are “Toronto the Good“.

CC Sabathia got the start for the Yankees today and threw a decent outing — 84 pitches in 5 innings, giving up 5 hits, 2 walks, and 2 runs (only 1 earned), and struck out 4 Toronto batters. In the 1st, with 1 out, a batter doubled and then scored on a long single. And the lead-off batter in the 3rd made it safely on a throwing error before scoring on a double.

Sabathia would actually get a no-decision in the scorebook. The Yankees were certainly held off for much of the game, only getting 4 total hits, thanks mostly to the Blue Jays’ starter. But in the 5th inning, Drury worked a lead-off walk and then scored as part of Tyler Austin’s big 1-out 2-run home run to tie up the game.

Adam Warren came out for the 6th inning. He quickly got one out before giving up a walk. The next batter hit a sharp grounder right into Warren’s ankle. The defense got the out at 1st, but the other runner made it to 2nd and Warren came out of the game. Jonathan Holder came in to close out the inning for Warren, but gave up a single that scored the runner, giving the Blue Jays the lead.

But then it would be Tyler Austin to come back in the 7th to hit a 2-out solo home run to tie up the game once again. In fact, all of the Yankee runs were Austin’s fault, his first multi-homer game. Reliever Dellin Betances came in for a clean 7th inning, but then got into some trouble in the 8th. He gave up a lead-off solo homer (to a former Yankee, by the way) to shift things back to the Blue Jays’ favor.

Then things got messy. With 2 outs and a runner on 1st with a single, that runner stole 2nd, watched the next runner work a walk, the first runner stole 3rd, and then the other runner stole 2nd, putting both runners in scoring position. (Yes, a scorer’s nightmare!) And in a terrible play, thanks to a throwing error by Betances, both runners then stole the next base, which means someone stole home.

Final score: 5-3 Blue Jays

Injuries incurred today: outfielder Billy McKinney slammed against the wall in left field, which is actually a scoreboard. He seriously injured his left shoulder, coming out of the game then. X-rays were negative, but he’s still going on the DL. Adam Warren‘s injury, the grounder to his ankle in the 6th, was also enough to take him out of the game. With x-rays coming back negative, it looks like he’ll be nursing a deep bruise there, and some time on the DL.

To solve the immediate issue of McKinney’s absence and now hole in the roster, and with all the other outfielders on the 40-man roster also on the DL (Ellsbury, Frazier, and Hicks), the Yankees are calling up Miguel Andujar. Andujar can play 3rd, 1st, and DH, leaving the two other primary bench players (Wade and Torreyes) to sub in the outfield (to break Stanton, Judge, and Gardner). Ellsbury will probably be the first off the DL, but not until April 5, so it could be a very long week for the outfield. Still no word on who might take over for Warren, but fortunately, there’s a plethora of relievers waiting for that call with the RailRiders.

Okay, that’s enough injuries this week. Let’s stay healthy, guys!

Also, we are in the first full day of Passover week, so Chag Sameach! to those celebrating this week. We hope you all had a great Pesach dinner with your friends and family.

Go Yankees!

Game 2: NYY vs. TOR — It’s #TanakaTime again

Thanks to the frigid lingering cold weather (about 38° at first pitch tonight), it was another roof closed game up in “Hogtown” (sorry, Toronto, but that one’s funny…). But that just made things comfortable for the Yankees to come in for Game 2 of this 4-game weekend series. Certainly Masahiro Tanaka had a great night to start for the Yankees, pitching just 79 pitches in his 6 innings, giving up just 3 hits and a run, and striking out 8 Blue Jays batters. His lone allowed run was a 1-out solo home run in the 2nd.

But once again, the Yankee batters found those crucial moments to come in and take command of the game. Didi Gregorius (who had a truly stellar offensive night) kicked off the 2nd with a beautiful triple but then was thrown out when Sanchez hit into a fielder’s choice. With 2 outs, Billy McKinney (more later) hit a solid single on his 1st major league at-bat, moving Sanchez to 2nd to score on a double by Brandon Drury (who also had a great night).

In the 4th, Gregorius led-off with a double. With 1 out, Walker walked (pun ignored), but then was the force out when McKinney hit into a short grounder or failed double play. Drury then singled home Gregorius to double the Yankee score. Didi again led-off the 6th and walked. He then moved to 2nd on Walker’s 1-out single. After Drury’s walk loaded up the bases, it would fall to Tyler Wade to make the difference in the game with a big double to score Gregorius and Walker. It would knock the Blue Jays’ starter out of the game.

That helped the Blue Jays as their bullpen kept the Yankees from adding to their lead. But they were up against the Yankee bullpen for the final third of the game, and some big guys weren’t about to give up their win easily. Tommy Kahnle powered through his 4 outs, and David Robertson only needed 5 pitches for his 2 to close out the 8th. Aroldis Chapman had a few struggles in the 9th. With 2 outs, he gave up consecutive doubles to score a final run for the home team, but all 3 of his outs were those wicked strikeouts.

Final score: 4-2 Yankees

Injury news: before the game today, the Yankees announced that they were putting Aaron Hicks on the 10-day disabled list due to a strained right intercostal muscle. (Had to look that one up! It’s the muscle collection right around rib cage.) Hicks said he needed just a few days, feeling something kind of tweaking during his at-bats yesterday. But the Yankees aren’t risking anything, even this early, and placed him on the DL as a precaution. Besides, they are stacked so deep in the depth chart that it’s ridiculous.

So, early this morning, Billy McKinney gets called into the Minor League complex’s Player Development offices. Instead of going home for Easter, McKinney is told to pack his passport and hop a plane to Toronto because he’s scheduled to start in left field (Gardner shift to center) and bat 7th. His first MLB at-bat was a solid single to right, and they saved that ball for him.

With Hicks now out, Ellsbury’s return (potentially April 6) could come into play with a modified Extended Spring after his oblique injury. Frazier is still easing back into baseball activities after his concussion. And again, it’s still early in the season.

Until then, let’s stay healthy, guys!

Go Yankees!

Spring Games 29 & 30: NYY vs. ATL & TOR vs. NYY — Double the win, double the fun

Okay, it was a busy day for the Yankees playing split squad games and dealing with a mix of changes and potential alterations to the lineup. A portion of the Yankees traveled over to face the Braves in Kissimmee (on Disney World property), and another portion stayed in Tampa to face off against the visiting the Blue Jays. They will play both teams later next week — the Braves in a final exhibition game in Atlanta on Monday night and the opening series in Toronto next weekend.

Game 1: Yankees at Braves
This game was oddly routine for most of the game this afternoon. Luis Severino got the start and gave up 2 hits, 2 walks, and 2 runs in his 5 innings, striking out 7 batters along the way. Oddly, all of his allowed hits, walks, and runs came in just the 4th inning. He gave up a single that scored on a big 2-run home run to get the Braves on the board. He then gave up 2 walks but then buckled down and got 2 strikeouts and a ground out to get out of the inning.

Chad Green had a great 6th inning, but then gave up a single in the 7th before the Yankees handed the ball to Adam Warren. A sacrifice bunt moved that runner to 2nd and later a 2-out single scored that runner, charged to Green. Warren came out for the first out of the 8th before handing things over to Ben Heller for a flawless 2 strikeouts. Cody Carroll then flew through the 9th inning. Overall, the Yankee pitchers collected an impressive 14 total strikeouts.

The Braves actually kept the score pretty tight and in their favor for most of the game. The Yankees got on the board first in the 4th, with Aaron Hicks’ lead-off solo home run and Ryan McBroom’s 1-out solo shot. After the Braves tied up the game and then took the lead by the top of the 7th, the Yankees didn’t get their next option until the 9th inning. And boy did they pounce. McBroom led-off with a walk, moved to 2nd on Aguilar’s single, and then scored on Gleyber Torres’ 2-out single to tie up the game.

Then Billy McKinney’s single then scored Aguilar to put the Yankee ahead, and a wild pitch moved runners to scoring position. Shane Robinson’s single scored Torres, and the Braves called for a new reliever to find that elusive 3rd out. But then Hendrix worked a walk to load the bases, and Francisco Diaz followed that up with a walk of his own to scored yet another run. Back to the top of the inning’s order, McBroom then hit a long single and 2 runners scored thanks in part to a throwing error.

Final score: 8-3 Yankees

Game 2: Blue Jays at Yankees
Meanwhile, back in Tampa, the game was anything but usual, with both teams going back and forth for much of the game. David Hale got the start with mixed results in his 3 innings. He gave up a 1-out single and a 2-out 2-run homer right in the 1st inning. In the 3rd, a lead-off single moved to 2nd on a ground out and then scored on a 2-out single.

The Yankee batters kept the score close though. In the 1st, with 2 outs, Stanton worked a walk and then scored as part of Didi Gregorius’ 2-run home run to tie up the game. In the 4th, Miguel Andujar worked a walk, stole 2nd, and then scored on Austin Romine’s long 2-out double that bounced off the center field wall (just inches from the top off the wall to be a home run).

Judge hit a 1-out single in the 5th and then scored with Giancarlo Stanton’s monster 2-run home run that dented the Pepsi sign on the top left of the big scoreboard in left field. In the 6th, they loaded up the bases with singles by Andujar and Florial and a walk to Romine. With 1 out, Brett Gardner hit a long sacrifice fly and scored Andujar. Then Rashad Crawford hit a solid double to scored Florial. That gave the Yankees a nice lead.

Giovanny Gallegos threw a strong 2 innings, before handing the ball to JP Feyereisen in the 6th. Feyereisen had a fairly strong 6th, despite giving up a 1-out solo shot. But the lead-off batter in the 7th hit a sharp comebacker that smacked Feyereisen’s hand. He was flexing it, and they let him continue. But he struggled with control (an oddity for the young prospect) for the rest of the inning — giving up a ground-rule double, a 2-RBI single, a double play, and a walk.

Young reliever Josh Rogers came on to finish off the 7th for Feyereisen and closed out that inning scoreless before plowing through the next 2 innings and keeping the Blue Jays from adding to their score and chipping away at the Yankees’ lead.

Oddly paralleling the other game, the Yankees had a rather big offensive inning at home. This one in the bottom of the 7th. They loaded up the bases with a single, an error, and a walk. Estevan Florial worked a walk to score a run before Erik Kratz powered a big bases-clearing, 3-run double. One out later, Zack Zehner hit a big 2-run home run off the black screen above center field. Despite loading up the bases and a pitching change, the Yankees weren’t able to add more to their score.

But they really didn’t need it.

Final score: 13-6 Yankees

Ones to Watch: for the final Spring Training nominees, we’ve got outfielder Rashad Crawford and pitcher Josh Rogers. Crawford is consistent in his defense, for a second Spring in a row, and his outstanding offense today (2 hits in 2 at-bats, 1 RBI) helped the Yankees power through toward victory. And the dominance of Rogers’ pitching helped keep the Blue Jays away, throwing 7 solid outs and earning the save in today’s game. Both young players (ages 24 and 23, respectively) are certainly worth keeping an eye on, with a call to the Bronx sometime in the near future.

Next up: the Yankees play their final Florida-based Spring Training game tomorrow afternoon in Port Charlotte against the Rays. It’s almost over, everyone. Opening Day is right around the corner.

Injury: Brandon Drury is nursing a bruised elbow, buying an elbow pad to be worn for all future at-bats, and being grateful there wasn’t something more serious that would deter him from playing in the opening series next week. And Greg Bird was scheduled to start the game against the Braves, but during batting practice, Bird felt a soreness in his foot. And what complicates things is that it’s the same area that troubled him for most of last season that hampered his play time. They are sending him to further testing, while crossing fingers and hoping for the best. The small advantage is the ridiculous depth the Yankees do have now — Tyler Austin, Neil Walker, and even Austin Romine can all play 1st if necessary.

Roster: before today’s games, the Yankees sent Domingo German down to AAA Scranton, effectively making Jonathan Holder the extra reliever the Yankees hope to carry into the season. More roster moves are expected this weekend before the Yankees leave for Atlanta, but most of the spots are now pretty set. And that alone should give everyone some really big hope for this season. They’re really good. Their back-ups are really good. This whole team could be something to watch this season.

Go Yankees!

{Media note: limited media available for the home game against the Blue Jays. It was amazing, so I’m sorry you won’t get to see it.}