Camp Report: Charleston Plays To a Draw

The games are finally underway in minor league spring training and the action is beginning to roll in. is here to cover it all as we continue to report on the game action down in Florida. In this Camp Report, we'll look at some game action, news and notes, and much more.(Free Preview!)

Saturday, the Charleston spring training squad started their exhibition season off on the right foot with a victory over the Tampa Bay Devil Rays affiliate. On Sunday, they played another strong game but the result was not quite the same. The game ended in a 4-4 tie. However, there were several positive performances for some of the organization's top prospects.

Taking the ball for Charleston was Phil Hughes, who was looking for a strong opener to his exhibition season. And, to the great pleasure of everyone, he did just that. But, at the start, things didn't look so perfect. The game opened with back to back hits by the opposition, but the righthander was able to work in and out of trouble, allowing no runs in the first. Then, in his final inning of work, the second, Hughes cruised. With that, he ended up with a very strong first outing. Taking a look at his final line now, Phil tossed two innings, allowing no runs on two hits, while walking none and striking out two. "It was definitely not my best performance, but its a start and we still have time before the season." Hughes told "This is what spring training is for." Coming in relief of Hughes was fellow top pitching prospect, Christian Garcia. For his first outing, it was a solid performance for the tall righthander, but not his ideal outing by any means. Garcia also went two innings, allowing one run on two hits while walking two and striking out three as well. "I'm not angry about how I pitched," he explains. "I didn't pitch that well but it was only the first time out." Not bad, not great but a solid first outing for Christian Garcia. After the two top arms on Charleston staff got a chance to throw, in came three more relievers, Phillips Coke, Carlos Rosario and Jose Tadeo. Rosario, a converted catcher, turned in the best performance, shutting out the Devil Rays affiliate for two innings.

On the offensive side, there actually was not much to speak of from either team. But, perhaps the brightest spot of the day was the return of the lineup's sparkplug, Mario Holmann. After being hampered by a sore wrist, Mario did not start the first exhibition game on Saturday. But, he returned to the lineup on Sunday and went 1-2 in the game and, like always, played a solid second base. Marcos Vechionacci also returned from big league camp and started at shortstop for Charleston. But, he was hitless in his first game back in the lineup. Continuing to hit well in the early going was Tim Battle. The center fielder laced an RBI single in the contest. Also adding an RBI, line drive single was Nate Phillips. Phillips could be making a case for himself to stick in full season ball, but only time will well.

News and Notes. Well, two of the lineup's most important components returned to action on Sunday, but one of them did not. Jon Poterson, who sat out Saturday's game with an irritated hamstring, once again took a seat for Sunday's contest. He was scheduled to play but they elected to keep him off the field for one more day. Again, this isn't suppose to be serious but we will be monitoring it very closely. Remember, Poterson did have a hamstring injury at the end of his senior year in high school. But, considering it is only two spring training games, now is not the time to be alarmed.

Reporting more on the Yankees' newest international prize, Ramiro Pena, he got a chance to play again on Sunday despite the return of Marcos Vechionacci. Although, he again, did not pick up any hits, he has done nothing but impress with his glove at shortstop. "He is really good defensively from what I have seen from him," says Phil Hughes. It appears that the Yankees just want to give Pena some spring training action but they expect to keep him in extended spring training until rookie league starts in late June. "I am just very happy to be a part of the New York Yankees organization that is known around the world," the shortstop told "I am happy to be here with them in spring training and improving my game to become a better player."

In other news, Jeff Marquez is scheduled to take the ball for the Charleston squad on Monday. The reason this is news at all is because the original report was that the righthander would be with the Tampa Yankees spring training squad. But, that proves not to be the case as he will start tomorrow for Charleston against the Toronto Blue Jays affiliate.

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