The Yanks beat the Rays 7-4 today in spring training action to go to 23-7-1 on the spring, but concerns linger after this game.
Chris Carter, signed for $3.5 MM by the Yanks to be an insurance policy in case Greg Bird struggled, is struggling mightily himself, going 0 for 3 with 3 more strikeouts today (he did walk and score a run). In some 48 spring training at bats, he has struck out 23x and is hitting .128. When Tyler Austin heals and is ready, and if Carter keeps doing this, could Carter face an early release?
Jon Niese was released by the Yanks and has 24-48 hours to decide if he’ll accept a minor league assignment. He likes the Yanks, liked the routine, so it may be that he re-signs and goes to extended spring training.
Besides Carter, the other concern today is that Bryan Mitchell did not step up and claim a starting rotation spot. He struggled, much like Adam Warren did yesterday. This is the time of spring training where you want to see someone step up, be dominant and claim that #4 or #5 starter spot. Wednesday and Thursday, when Severino & Montgomery start in games (I forget in which order; Yanks are off Monday, Tanaka’s last outing before Opening Day is Tuesday), could be huge in determining who gets those spots.
The Yanks scored one in the second on a SF by Ronald Torreyes on a play in which Aaron Judge was thrown out at third.
Mitchell gave back two runs in the top of the third.
The Yanks got three in the third on RBI singles by Hicks, Bird and Romine. 4-2 Yanks.
After the Rays got another run in the fourth off Mitchell, the Yanks came back with two in the bottom of the fourth on a two-run HR by Aaron Hicks, who is giving Judge a battle for that RF spot. 6-3 Yanks.
Ruben Tejada homered in the sixth. 7-3 Yanks.
The Rays got the final run of the game in the eighth.
Mitchell 3 IP, 3 R, 6 H, 2 walks, 3 K.
Chapman (H) 2/3 IP, 0 r, 0 H, 0 walks, 1 K.
Heller (H) 1 1/3 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 1 walk, 3 K. My friend Josh really likes him. Could make the team.
Shreve (H) 2 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 walks, 2 K.
Frieri 1 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 0 walks, 1 K.
Graham (S) 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks, 0 K.
Hicks 2 for 3, HR, 3 RBI. Judge 2 for 3.