Patrick Teale

Luis Torrens looks like he hasn't skipped a beat after missing last season.

DUNEDIN, FL -- Luis Torrens has looked fantastic in the early part of Spring Training, so much so that it appears he hasn't skipped a beat after missing all of last season after shoulder surgery. He's been powering his way back from the injury and that was on full display as he helped the Charleston RiverDogs to a 5-2 victory over the Blue Jays in Dunedin on Tuesday.

[Julius Bzozowski & Nathan Bond contributed to this article]

  • Luis Torrens continues to do what he does best offensively, go to the opposite field.  He went 1-2 in Tuesday's Spring Training affair and the lone hit was a towering two-run home run deep over the right field wall, plating Drew Bridges with what eventually would be the game-deciding runs.  Defensively he wasn't tested at all after gunning down a Blue Jays runner on Monday.
  • Tampa starter Ian Clarkin had a a better day on the mound than his final line would indicate. He scattered four hits and one run in 3 2/3 innings but finished the day with five strikeouts.  It took some time for his fastball to heat up, sitting 86-88 mph in the first inning before ramping it up 89-90 after that, and topped out at 91 mph. He gave up a home run to a lefty but bounced back nicely by retiring the next two batters he faced.  Both his curveball and changeup were nasty.  In fact, he had four swinging strikeouts, thanks in large part to his secondary pitches. He looked in control for the most part throughout his start.

Charleston Starting Lineup: Jeff Hendrix, Kyle Holder, Hoy Jun Park, Trey Amburgey, Drew Bridges, Luis Torrens, Kane Sweeney, Kendall Coleman, and Estevan Florial.

Tampa Starting Lineup: Jorge Mateo, Angel Aguilar, Nelson Gomez, Austin Aune, Zach Zehner, Nathan Mikolas, Ricardo Ferreira, and Alvaro Noriega.

  • Charleston starting pitcher Will Carter worked three scoreless innings and showed off his potent array of pitches. The tall, right-hander routinely hit 94 miles-per-hour with his fastball. He then showed off his breaking ball, which hit 79 on the radar gun. The effectiveness of his curveball was on full display in the third as he struck out the first batter of the inning with a nasty breaking ball. Although Carter got into jams in the first and second inning, he showed a key ability to throw a big pitch when he needed it. Carter got the Toronto offense to hit ground balls with runners on, and the defense behind him ended the first two innings with double plays.
  • Jorge Mateo [1-4] was 'Mr. Instant Offense' for the Tampa Yankees on Tuesday, hitting an inside-the-park home run to the left-centerfield wall to lead off the game.  By the time he was rounding second it was a forgone conclusion he was going home.  The blast came off of an 87 mph from a left-handed pitcher. It was his only hit of the game but he did walk once and had a loud out to the warning track too. 
  • Frecier Perez is starting to turn some heads in camp.  The towering 6-foot-10 righty, who flashed 95 mph in the Dominican Summer League last year, is sitting 94-95 mph in camp so far.   He relieved Carter in Charleston's victory and went 1.2 innings.  He struggled a bit to find the zone consistently and wound up walking a couple of batters as well as serving up two hits and run, but it's clear that progress is being made.  He showed a surprisingly  lightning-quick pickoff move to first base to pick off a base runner in the fourth inning and he also broke off a nasty curveball [a pitch he didn't have last year] to strike out the second batter he faced, and he showed an uncanny ability to make adjustments on the fly during his outing.  The tangible results were mixed numbers-wise but overall he was very, very impressive.
  • Nathan Mikolas and Ricardo Ferreira had back-to-back home runs to right field in the second inning off of a righty to give Tampa an early 3-0 lead [in a game they eventually lost 5-4]. The former was a wall scraper while the latter was a no doubter.
  • Charleston third baseman Drew Bridges was one of the standout performers for the Yankees on the afternoon as he went 1-for-2 with a stolen base, a walk and two runs scored. Bridges not only showcased a good eye by drawing a walk in his second at-bat but he hit the ball hard all afternoon. His lone out was on a line drive that was snared by the Toronto first baseman.
  • Right-hander Cody Carroll, last year's 22nd round pick out of Southern Mississippi University, had a fine debut season last year in Pulaski [1.75 ERA, 26 strikeouts in 25.2 innings] and he's keeping that momentum going in camp thus far.  He allowed three hits in 2 1/3 innings of relief for Charleston but was showing some very impressive stuff.  Sitting mostly 93-95 mph with his fastball and what appears to be a plus curveball that ranges 79-81 mph, he struck out three batters.  The changeup, however, needs some work.  He flashed one that showed above average or better potential but the majority of them were below average.  If the changeup can improve the Yankees could have a real 'sleeper' on their hands because the other two pitches are already big league quality.
  • Hoy Jun Park went 0-for-3 while batting in the three-hole but made solid contact twice in his two ground outs to the Toronto first baseman. He also struck out looking but the natural shortstop, playing a lot of second base in camp thus far [including Tuesday's game], recorded a couple of quality defensive plays, including making a beautiful turn on a double play in the fifth inning to back Frecier Perez.  He has looked quite good at second base.
  • Charleston had some quality at-bats turned in from the bench in their victory.  Isaiah Gilliam finished his day 0-1 but was impressive at the plate as well, as he hit the ball hard in both of his at-bats.  The switch-hitter flew out to centerfield twice, one from each side of the plate -- one was a booming RBI sacrifice fly -- but showed a lot of promise in his bat. He was about a combined 30 feet from being 2-for-2 with two home runs.  Erick Mendez, who replaced Estevan Florial [0-2, 2 K's], went 2-for-2 with a pair of singles after coming on the seventh inning. Mendez’s impressive showing in limited playing time in camp thus far could lead to more time in the outfield, especially in Extended Spring Training.  He has opened up some eyes.

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