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Nuno Collects Prestigious Award as Yankees Spring Training Winds Down

The New York Yankees are in the homestretch of their spring training calendar. It’s been a rough spring for the Yankees, but positive signs with the likes of Mariano Rivera, David Phelps, and Kevin Youkilis can still put a smile on even the most down trodden fan’s face. Arguably the best story of spring training is that of Vidal Nuno. Nuno is just two years removed from playing in independent ball, but he was awarded the 2013 James P. Dawson Award, given to the top rookie in Yankees spring training.

Nuno has been nothing short of dominant in his inaugural major league spring training. He currently owns a 1-1 record with a sparkling 0.61 earned run average. The lefty has recorded 13 strikeouts in 14.2 innings pitched in Grapefruit League action. Nuno pitched game four of the International League Playoffs last season for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. His spring performance has put him on the shortlist to be at Yankee Stadium very soon. Past recipients of the James P. Dawson Award include Brett Gardner, Al Leiter, Don Mattingly, Willie Randolph, and Tony Kubek.

The Yankees played their second last spring game Thursday afternoon against the Pirates. Hiroki Kuroda dazzled Pirate hitters, allowing no runs on just one hit over six innings of work. Kuroda issued no walks, and struck out five opposing batters. The effort lowered his spring ERA to just 1.53. Unfortunately, the Pirates won the pitcher’s duel by a 2-1 margin.

The Yankees will now break from Tampa and head to Washington D.C. on Friday afternoon to play the Nationals. Andy Pettitte will get the nod for the Yankees, as he starts for the third and final time before taking the hill April 4 against Boston. The Nationals will send right-hander Jordan Zimmerman. First pitch at Nationals Park is scheduled for 2:05 p.m.

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