Spring Training Roundup – March 11

Hiroki Kuroda dominated the St. Louis Cardinal offense, and the New York offense pushed across four runs on seven hits as the Yankees defeated the Cards, 4-0, on Monday afternoon. Kuroda tossed four scoreless innings, striking out six while only allowing three hits. His performance, added in with Mariano Rivera‘s this past weekend, has to give Yankee fans comfort. Adding to the positivity parade: C.C. Sabathia will make his spring debut this Friday.

Kevin Youkilis struggled his first couple weeks in Grapefruit League action, but the past couple games have proven much more fruitful for his bat. He hit a solo home run of St. Louis starter Lance Lynn in the fourth inning, and also added another RBI. Corban Joseph got the start at second base. He had two hits, and made a couple of fine defensive plays.

Ben Francisco was released by the Indians despite putting up good numbers this spring training. The Yankees quickly snapped him up, signing him to a minor league deal. Its not clear when Francisco will make his debut, but New York will take on the Tampa Bay Rays on Tuesday afternoon. Ivan Nova gets the start against Rays prospect Alex Cobb.

Tomorrow, I’ll be posting my interview with RailRiders’ hitting coach, Butch Wynegar. While his assessment of Yankees spring training proved very insightful, his story of catching the 300th win by Phil Niekro is fascinating. Look for it tomorrow morning here on Porcupines in Pinstripes and swbrailriders.com.

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