Spring Training Roundup – March 24
A busy weekend was capped off my a walk-off home run by Ronnier Mustelier, but unfortunately it wasn’t all good news for the Yankees organization. Derek Jeter will reportedly begin the season on the disabled list for just the second time in his storied career. Jeter played with the SWB RailRiders in a spring training game this weekend, but it he is not quite ready for big league action. The decision to have Jeter play for the RailRiders allows his disabled list time to be retroactive to the last big league spring training came he appeared in, thus making him eligible to come off of the DL much sooner.
After their walk-off win against the Rays, news broke that Vernon Wells may be headed to the Bronx from the Angels. Wells has tore up the Cactus League, batting .361 (13-36) with four home runs and 11 RBIs. With the play of Ben Francisco so far this spring, left field may not look so bleak until the return of Curtis Granderson. Alden Gonzalez of mlb.com reports that the deal is very close.
The Yankees connected for four home runs on Sunday afternoon, including the walk-off by Mustelier. Kevin Youkilis is looking in form, as he walloped two homers and drove in four runs. After a slow start, Youk’s batting average has risen to .262. Travis Hafner belted his second home run of Grapefruit League play, and Mustelier’s home run was his second in big league camp.
Jeremy Hellickson went deep into the ballgame for Tampa, tossing seven innings while conceding four runs. A defensive miscue doomed Yankee starter Adam Warren, who allowed four unearned runs over three and two-thirds innings of work. Mariano Rivera worked around two base hits to toss yet another scoreless inning. Preston Claiborne factors to be in the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre bullpen to start the season, but today he earned the win in big league camp after recording the final two outs in the 10th.
CC Sabathia will start for the final time before the regular season when the Yankees host the Houston Astros at George Steinbrenner Field on Tuesday afternoon. The Times-Tribune’s Donnie Collins is providing fantastic coverage of the RailRiders at spring training. Check out his blog here.