S.T. Game 1: Gleyber and “The Martian” HR, but Yanks fall 7-4; Will new rules cause problems?

Gleyber Torres and Jasson “The Martian” Dominguez homered, and Oswaldo Cabrera had a 2-run RBI bloop single, but the Yanks fell to the Phillies 7-4 yesterday in their first spring training game.

Torres will soon be leaving the Yanks to join Venezuela in the World Baseball Classic. Also leaving the Yanks soon will be Kyle Higashioka (USA) and Jonathan Loaisiga (Nicaragua).

Dominguez, who turned 20 just a few weeks ago, is the youngest player in Yankees camp. He will probably begin the season at AA. He hit a hard (102.7 MPH off the bat) as he grounded out his first time up batting lefty, homered (about 110 MPH and 420 ft) batting righty his second time up, and popped up batting lefty his last time up.

Of the nine Yankees pitchers used, Ryan Weber pitched in five games last year for the Yanks, being on the shuttle and DFA’d a few times. Greg Weisssert was up and along with Nick Ramirez, is looking to make the Yanks’ bullpen. Randy Vasquez is a top pitching prospect who struggled yesterday. Alex Mauricio looked good, as did Ramirez.


Kiner-Falefa 1 for 3, double.
Torres 2 for 3, double and solo HR.
Cabrera 2 RBI but misplayed a ball in LF
Dominguez solo HR (#2 prospect)

Weber 1 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 0 W, 1 K.
Vasquez 1 IP, 2 R, 6 H, 1 W, 1 K. Gave up 1 HR. #14 prospect
Mauricio 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 3 K.
Weissert 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 1 K
Danish (BS) 1 IP, 2 R, 2 H, 0 W, 2 K.
Ramirez 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 2 K.
Snelten (L) 2/3 IP, 2 R, 1 ER, 0 H, 3 W, 1 K.
Pestana 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 0 K.
Fitts 1 IP, 1 H, 1 H, 0 W, 1 K. Gave up 1 HR. #29 prospect.

These rule changes could cause problems. I don’t like a lot of them. I understand Manfred is trying to speed up the game, but the beauty of baseball is that it doesn’t have a clock. Now there is one. And imagine if this happened in the regular season:

In the Red Sox/Braves exhibition game yesterday, it was tied in the bottom of the ninth. Two outs, full count on the batter, and since the batter wasn’t ready in time, strike three was called ending the inning (and since it was just a spring training game, it ended the game as well). Can you imagine that happening in a regular season, or worse, a postseason game? What a travesty!

I understand the desire, but is the time to get ready too short? You know I hate the extra innings rule with that “man starts the inning on second” rule. I understand the desire to speed the game along and save pitchers arms, but…. and I wonder if the clock—by not allowing pitchers to compose themselves—will hurt more pitcher’s arms.

I can live with the bigger bags. I like banning the shift. And those, along with another change I don’t like which I’ll mentioned next, are going to make the speed game more important. I understand (again) the desire not to turn baseball into a beer-league softball game where HRs decide everything, and to put speed and athleticism back into the game. But limiting the pitcher to only two step-offs or pickoffs, then giving the runner the base if the third try is unsuccessful is too much. Maybe after five, ok. But this is another rule I don’t like. And how will records be affected? Will someone steal 100 bases in a season in which 15 of those are actually bases he was given because of a third unsuccessful attempt at a pickoff? Will a pitcher lead the league with 250 strikeouts in which 15 are because of the batter not being ready in time? What about consistency of records over time? How will those records stack up against these new rules?

I see the intent. But with all these changes will it still be baseball or morph into something unrecognizable and unlikeable?


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