TAMPA, Fla – The biggest questions at Yankees camp are about starting rotation health, considering Corey Kluber, Jameson Taillon and Domingo Germán threw an inning together in the Major League last year.
According to Kluber, there is no need to worry who thinks he is exactly where he needs to be. The right-hander threw two innings in live putt practice Friday afternoon at George M. Steinbrenner Field, testing his repertoire against a star-studded batting group that included Aaron Judge, DJ LeMahieu, Gleyber Torres and Luke Voit.
“My goal is to hit the ground on the opening day,” said Kluber. “It’s no secret that I probably wasn’t at my best when I started my career. not that I want to agree to that. I always try to tweak what I need to feel like it was better prepared from the start. Every game is important. “
Kluber allowed a Voit Homer and LeMahieu made loud contact during Friday’s workload, but other than that, manager Aaron Boone said he felt the two-time American League Cy Young Award winner was another positive step towards his own defining debuts in the Grapefruit League.
“I feel really good about his progress,” said Boone. “I thought he did better than he started, and I think the stuff is pretty crunchy overall. I am encouraged where he is. We’re sitting here in February and essentially have a stud pitcher that’s been up for a season. “
After signing a $ 11 million one-year deal on Jan. 27, Kluber is glad he won’t have to face the Yankees lineup during the regular season. Kluber said the judge’s presence in particular was impressive from 60 feet and six inches away.
“There aren’t many people in the game who are that big or that strong,” said Kluber. “It’s definitely a different look for a mug.”
Taillon, who has not played in the major leagues since 2019 due to an operation on Tommy John, said he had arrived at camp and believed a 120-150 innings workload was possible. The right-hander is open to discussion about this goal depending on how he feels later in the season.
“We didn’t talk about a specific number, but we talked about communicating and staying vigilant,” Taillon said. “I am ready to be honest and open. I am sure that in spring training we will be talking about any rough idea we have. Right now I feel really good. “
Taillon, 29, said he expected the Yankees to take his measurements in the training room, such as: B. his freedom of movement, closely monitor to ward off future injuries. Taillon has made mechanical changes to its shipment and is hearing positive feedback from its catchers at the start of the camp.
“Fastball plays really well at the top of the zone,” said Taillon. “I’m very excited about that. Overall, all of my parking spaces are extremely defined. They may not look that big and they may not break that big, but everything is really sharp and outside the same release point. Because of the changes I’ve made, I find this consistent release point on the doorstep so everything tunnels really well. “
Sunday’s game against the Blue Jays is set to be a seven-inning competition, according to Boone.
“Our first three or four [games] It will likely be all seven-inning games, “Boone said. “We’ll work out our pitching plans and know which innings to fill and try to stay one step ahead of those talks with the other clubs on certain days.”
Spring training games through March 13 can be five innings, seven innings, or nine innings by mutual agreement of both managers. Games from March 14th through the end of spring training can be shortened to seven innings.
Though his spot on the Yankees’ squad is uncertain at this point, Boone said that Miguel Andújar will be given the opportunity to play early in the spring schedule, which could help him gain momentum into the season. The 25-year-old has trained on the first base, the third base and the left field.
“Miggy is very much in the mix,” Boone said. “He has a proven track record of an elite season. We understand there’s still a lot in there, so it’s really about taking advantage of different options. We saw this happen to Clint Frazier in the past few years. I’m not going to get past Miggy because of the talent. “
Bruce is easy going
Jay Bruce expected to add the Yankees’ pinstripes around the trading deadline in 2017 when the outfielder’s name became rife in rumors. The Mets instead chose to award Bruce to the Indians, where he was part of a historic 22-game winning streak, playing against New York in the postseason.
“I was basically told that I was being traded,” said Bruce. “My understanding was that I was sold to the New York Yankees. … I wanted to go somewhere where I had the opportunity to win a World Series. I was very happy to be in Cleveland. I would have been very happy to be in New York. “
Bruce was a left-handed player who was able to play first base and corner fields. Last year Bruce scored six homers and 14 RBIs in 32 games for the Phillies .198. Bruce said he had an opt-out on March 25 in his minor league contract; he hopes not to use it.
“At the end of the day, I chose the Yankees because I want to win a World Series,” said Bruce. “As a player, I was able to do a lot individually, I’ve achieved a lot in my career, but I haven’t been able to get to the top of this hill. If you want to go there, I think the New York Yankees are for you. “
Gary Sánchez is expected to serve as a designated batsman in the Yankees’ opener against Toronto on Sunday. Then he’ll stand behind the plate to catch Gerrit Cole and Taillon in New York’s second spring game against the Tigers on Monday.
“I feel he’s in a good room,” said Boone. “His job was good defensively and offensively.”
Boone said Giancarlo Stanton and Brett Gardner are unlikely to play in the first two exhibition games as the veterans have no health concerns.
“You will see pretty much all of our regulars in the first two games,” said Boone.