Before Wednesday’s game, the Yanks sent a couple of people down, and one of them, Tyler Austin, is the indication that they are going with just three bench people, meaning 12 position players, and 13 pitchers to start the season.
Besides Austin, also going down are Ben Heller, Giovanny Gallegos and Billy McKinney.
It appears that that 25th spot will be going to Jonathan Holder or Domingo German.
I prefer it go to Holder. Here is why. I’m more sold on German as an emergency starter than Luis Cessa (see below for what Cessa did tonight). So as an emergency starter, I want German to stay stretched out to give multiple innings, and not waste away in the Yanks’ loaded bullpen going only an inning or two at a time. Keep him stretched out at AAA. So then go with Holder in the bullpen (and see below for what Holder did tonight).
As for the game tonight, Aaron Judge homered twice, walked twice, scored four runs and drove in four in the Yanks’ 9-4 win over Baltimore. The Yanks’ spring training record is 14-11-1.
The lineup looked like an Opening Day lineup, with the exception of Ronald Torreyes batting 9th and playing 3B instead of Brandon Drury.
The lineup was Gardner/Judge/Bird/Stanton/Sanchez/Didi/Hicks/Walker/Torreyes.
Having written that, the first two innings featured the kind of offensive bludgeoning we hope to see from the Yanks this year.
After Cessa gave up a HR in the top of the first to put the Orioles up 1-0, the Yanks came right back with two in the bottom of the first. With one out, Judge walked, and with two out, Stanton singled, Sanchez walked and Didi doubled home two.
Some don’t like Judge hitting second because of the 52 HR last year. I don’t mind it because he also led the AL with 127 walks. You do want someone on base for Stanton and Sanchez (and others).
In the third, with one out, Torreyes and Gardner singled, and Judge walked again, this time to load the bases. Bird singled in two. After Stanton grounded into a force, Sanchez reached on an error, a run scoring. 5-1 Yanks.
Cessa gave up a couple runs in the fourth to make it 5-3 O’s. By this time, Gary Sanchez had already thrown out TWO Orioles attempting to steal.
In the bottom of the fourth, Judge hit the first of his two homers for the night to make it 6-3 Yanks.
In the fifth, David Robertson ran into trouble then turned into Houdini again. Single, double to make it 6-4, WP. But then foul out, and two strikeouts, to stand that runner at third.
Holder (see above) came in and pitched two scoreless innings. Like I wrote, stretch German out at AAA to have him as emergency starter, keep Holder on the team (until Ellsbury is ready to come off the DL).
In the eighth, Aroldis Chapman got a strikeout, then an error by Hicks and a double put men on second and third for the Orioles, but Chapman got a strikeout and Chaz Hebert then came in and got a strikeout to get out of it.
In the bottom of the eighth, Abiatal Avelino and Brett Gardner each singled, and Judge hit his second HR of the game to make it 9-4.
Gardner 2 hits. Scored 2x
Judge 2 HR, 2 walks, scored 4, drove in 4.
Bird 2 RBI
Gregorius 2 RBI
Cessa 4 IP, 3 R, 4 H, 1 W, 4 K. Gave up 1 HR.
Robertson (H) 1 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 0 W, 2 K
Holder (H) 2 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 0 K.
Chapman (H) 2/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 2 K.
Hebert (S) 1 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 3 K.