Patrick Teale

Eduardo Rivera was one of a number of super-subs in Thursday's Spring Training action.

TAMPA, FL - Neither the starting pitchers nor the starting lineup from either A-ball club did much in Thursday's minor league Spring Training action but the Yankees had several impressive performances off of the bench and out of the bullpen, highlighted by Charleston reliever Eduardo Rivera.

  • Right-hander Eduardo Rivera had a mini-breakout season last year in short-season Pulaski, posting a 1.26 WHIP and striking out better than a batter per inning pitched, and he appears to be keeping his momentum going this spring.  Sitting 92-95 mph on Thursday, he helped Charleston to a 6-1 victory over the low-A Phillies by tossing 2 1/3 scoreless innings.  While he did walk one batter, he was in control for the most part.  His plus breaking ball was on full display as he recorded two strikeouts with it.  He did get some help though on a nice defensive play by third baseman Drew Bridges [0-4, K] who ranged to his left and made a nice short-hop grab to keep the leadoff hitter from reaching.
  • Just like in the Charleston game, it was Tampa's bench that made the most of their opportunities.  Down 11-0 at one point, Tampa finally put some runs late in the game in a 13-5 loss.  It was outfielder Frank Frias [1-2] who had Tampa's most impressive blast, crushing a monstrous solo home run to deep left centerfield. 

Tampa Starting Lineup: Thairo Estrada, Carlos Vidal, Miguel Andujar, Connor Spencer, Austin Aune, Zach Zehner, Michael O'Neill, Gosuke Katoh, and Santiago Nessy.

Charleston Starting Lineup: Jeff Hendrix, Kyle Holder, Hoy Jun Park, Jhalan Jackson, Trey Amburgey, Luis Torrens, Drew Bridges, Kane Sweeney, and Ryan Krill.

  • It was a rough day for the Yankee starting pitchers in both games, especially for right-hander Chance Adams.  While he was sitting mostly 94-96 mph with relative ease, his control was uncharacteristically very shaky.   He gave up three earned runs [all in the first inning] in his three innings of work as the first five batters he faced reached base, two by getting hit by pitches.  He settled down after the first inning and began showing his devastating curveball but at that point the damage had been done.
  • While the end result was completely different, Charleston left-hander Jeff Degano was even more wild.  Sitting mostly 89-90 mph, he had a consistently hard time finding the plate in general.  Forget for a moment that he walked four batters in his three innings of work, he threw a couple of wild pitches too, one of which went about four feet over the catcher's head.  However, as shaky as he was, he didn't allow any runs and a big reason why was the defensive prowess of Luis Torrens [1-3, SB].  Torrens threw out one would-be base stealer at second base and later made a nifty athletic move to scoop up a wild pitch that went to the backstop and throw it to Degano covering the plate to tag out a would-be run scorer.
  • Tampa second baseman Gosuke Katoh [1-3, K] was the only position player in the starting lineup to drive in any runs.  He smacked a missile two-run triple into the left centerfield gap in his third at-bat to plate Tampa's first two runs of the game in the sixth inning.  He also showed a lot of range defensively at second base.
  • Estevan Florial didn't start the game for Charleston but once again made his presence felt coming off of the bench.  He hit a towering fly ball into shallow right-centerfield and once again got credit for a double because he busted out hard and immediately from the batter's box, taking advantage of the ball being lost in the sun.  A batter later it was his all-out hustle that allowed him to score too.  The first baseman dropped a throw from his shortstop on a routine grounder from Isaiah Gilliam [0-1] and Florial, running hard all the way from second and rounding third properly, scored on the bobble.
  • Like Frias, Tampa first baseman Bo Thompson [1-3, K] didn't start the game but finished it in mammoth fashion, blasting a two-run home run to deep left field to score Nelson Gomez [1-3, K, run].  Thompson, as he's prone to do, worked the count deep in all three of his plate appearances.
  • If Rivera's relief stint wasn't the most impressive from either ball club on Thursday than it was turned in by Julian Aybar.  Relieving for Charleston, the Rule 5 Draft pick from the Chicago Cubs had the cleanest outing of any Yankee pitcher in either game.  Sitting 92-93 mph, he retired all six batters he faced and struck out three along the way.  He showed a plus curveball and a borderline above average changeup.  At 23 years old he's a bit old for the lower levels [he has pitched just one professional season and it came in the Dominican Summer League last year] but the stuff and control are very impressive.
  • Ricardo Ferreira was yet another super-sub in Thursday's Tampa loss, going 2-2 with a run scored.  He singled hard to left field in his first at-bat and later laced a triple to the right centerfield gap.  He hasn't started many games in camp thus far but he's been extremely productive in his limited playing time.
  • Both Charleston's Jhalan Jackson [0-2, BB, SB, run] and Tampa's Carlos Vidal [1-4, BB] didn't have much go their way in the batter's box on Thursday statistically but both turned in very good at-bats all day long.  Jackson's two outs were hard hit liners to right field and Vidal grounded out sharply, barely got thrown out on a would-be bunt hit attempt, and later hit a towering fly ball to the right field fence. 
  • Charleston's Ryan Krill [3-4] and Tampa's Santiago Nessy [2-2] were the only Yankee starters in either game to collect more than one hit in their respective games.
  • Like Jackson and Vidal, Charleston's Trey Amburgey [1-3, RBI, SB, K] and Tampa's Thairo Estrada [1-3] each had better games than their final lines would suggest.  Amburgey got called out on strikes on a questionable call and later hit a screaming liner directly to the right fielder.  Estrada, aside from singling sharply to centerfield for his only hit, grounded out extremely hard in his other two plate appearances.
  • Tampa relievers struggled nearly as much as starting pitcher Chance Adams.  Luis Cedeno, known for his ability to throw strike after strike, couldn't find the plate at all on Thursday.  He went down 3-0 to the very first batter he faced before promptly serving up a home run on pitch number four, proceeded to walk the next two batters, threw a wild pitch, served up a booming two-run double, and then hit a batter.  As bad as he was, however, right-hander Garrett Mundell struggled even more.  He didn't allow an earned run in his entire debut season last year but got smoked for four runs on Thursday, including serving up back-to-back home runs.  In fact, it easily could have been three consecutive home runs had the first batter [who doubled high off the centerfield wall] hit it about eight feet higher.

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