Spring Training Roundup – March 9-10

Today brings a combined spring training update as my fellow RailRiders staff and I were out at the St. Patrick’s Day parade in downtown Scranton all day yesterday. After weeks of bad news plaguing the Yankees, it seems things may be starting to turn the corner. Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera made their 2013 debuts in style on Saturday. Then on Sunday, the Yanks received a dominant start in a Grapefruit League victory.

On Saturday, Jeter batted first in the Yankee order and was the DH. He went 1-2, and had no complaints about his ankle after the game. Rivera was inserted into the game in the fifth, and retired the side in order with two strikeouts. Earlier in the day, he announced the 2013 season will be his last. Right-handed pitching prospect Jose Ramirez started Saturday’s game, and went four scoreless innings, conceding just one hit, while striking out four Atlanta Braves batters. All in all, Saturday was a great day for the Yankees despite the 2-1 loss.

On Sunday, David Phelps got the start against the Toronto Blue Jays, and it appears he’s getting stronger with each outing this spring. Phelps worked five shutout innings, allowing just three hits with a trio of strikeouts. Phelps’ spring earned run average sits at a tiny 0.64 mark. Vidal Nuno worked the final two and one-third innings for the Yankees, not allowing a run to reduce his spring ERA to just 1.23. Add in the four innings he tossed with the Dominican Republic, and Nuno’s ERA would be below one.

While the pitching staff shutout Toronto, the offense scratched across three runs on five hits. Three of those hits came from Juan Rivera, including a bases clearing double in the fifth that made the difference. There are a couple of ways Rivera could make the big league club, and he played first base this afternoon. His efforts raised his batting average to .346.

After throwing 50 pitches in a simulated game on Sunday morning, the Yankees announced that C.C. Sabathia will be making his 2013 debut on Friday. New York will now host the St. Louis Cardinals in Tampa on Monday afternoon. First pitch at George Steinbrenner Field is scheduled for 1:05 p.m.

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