A Mars landing highlighted another day of spring training reps.
If Anthony Volpe’s spring debut was one to remember, his offensive performance Monday night — an 8-5 Yankees victory over the Tigers in Tampa — was one to forget: The Yankees’ top prospect stepped up to the plate twice and hit two doubles. player.
Obviously, this one exhibition game does nothing to diminish Volpe’s sky-high ceiling; if anything, his long-term prospects improved because of his solid performance at second base. A throw to the plate with the infield in and a runner trying to score highlighted his slick glove work on the night.
The other interesting youngster to get the starting nod, Oswaldo Cabrera, overcame a fielding error in the third and made a diving catch on a liner in the fifth. On the offensive side, he laced an RBI single with a frozen rope to right-center:
Cabrera drove home Isiah Kiner-Falefa, who worked two six-inch hits in his quest to maintain his position atop the Yankees’ depth chart.
The Martian, Jasson Domínguez, grounded out to center field to start the fifth. At the plate in the seventh, he looked silly and dropped the bat on a changeup, but immediately lined the next pitch up the middle for a single. He came around to score on a Tayler Aguilar double. Aguilar, a 15th-round pick last summer, also threw out Tigers prospect Colt Keith, who was trying to score on a fly in the top of the eighth.
Domínguez also walked and scored in the eighth.
On the pitching side, Luis Severino’s fastball looked sharp in his first spring lineup. The heater produced five elements in 27 pitches. Unfortunately for the righty, he only had a whiff of 18 pitches of soft stuff. The cutter and slider looked especially rusty, as they didn’t cut a single whiff over 15 pitches and one cutter ended up over the fence in center field:
In an interview with Meredith Marakovits after his outing, Sevy expressed no concern about his breakouts, indicating that he had achieved his goal for the appearance — to get out of it and feel healthy.
Severino mentioned that his slider usually needs more tweaking to get ready for the regular season. He bunted a lot in this outing, throwing the cutter and slider a combined 34 percent of the time, which marked a significant increase from 28.6 percent last year. He notably leaned more on the cutter, a pitch the Yankees have seemingly stressed this spring with the likes of Clarke Schmidt, so it will be interesting to see if that trend continues into the season for Sevy as well.
Wandy Peralta also got his pitches in. The lefty sat over a tick higher on his sinker and got three whiffs on the change. He allowed a couple of hits, but none of them came off the bat at even 90 miles per hour.
Overall, tonight’s competition was pretty much spring training business as usual. The regulars didn’t have their best stuff, and some surprising youngsters that Aguilar took advantage of. Although this catch was a bit out of the blue:
Otherwise, the Yankees will look to continue their spring streak tomorrow against the recently expanded Jeffrey Springs and Rays. Prospect Sean Boyle, who pitched to a 3.71 ERA in 155.1 innings across Double- and Triple-A last year, will get the ball for the Yanks in a first-pitch matinee at 1:05 PM ET.