Well, they are now 12 games into the exhibition schedule down in Florida. And, it has been so far so good for the extended spring training squad. In these first 12 games, they are 8-4. There are some guys there that are out to prove something, some there to prepare for their first season on United States soil and some to make adjustments.
Some of the best news to come out of the Tampa Complex has to be in regards to Mario Holmann. His sore wrist is finally healed and he is back in the lineup. Since returning to the lineup, the second baseman is 3 for 9 with a double, an RBI and a run scored. So, he is back on the right foot and most importantly healthy. After playing for three straight games, Holmann will likely sit out Friday's contest. But, that is not due injury, but just how things are done to keep the packed squad fresh. Remember, there are far more players in extended spring training than a normal team.
Not all news can be positive news, but all you can hope for is that the negative news isn't all that severe. That is the case here. High profile international signee, Jose Tabata has gone down with a minor injury. The teenage, Dominican center fielder is resting a bone bruise in his wrist. In fact, the injury is quite similar to the one Mario Holmann just recently recovered from. However, like it was stated above, the injury is not serious. He will be ready to start in the outfield again by Monday after sitting out the past 11 ballgames.
News and Notes
Not too many people may remember him, but Edgar Soto is one of the most valued young left handed arms in the Yankee farm system. And, it was very discouraging to see him go down with elbow problems last season while pitching well for Staten Island. However, it appears he is on his way back. The lefthander is scheduled to begin rehab in extended spring training after he arrives on Friday at the complex. If the Yankees can get him back at full health, he will be an enormous addition to an already deepening crop of young pitching prospects.
It appeared during spring training that the Yankees had Nate Phillips just about locked in behind the plate. But, that plan seems to have hit a small bump in the road. As of late, Phillips has been the designated hitter for the extended spring training squad. This is mainly because he has been having some issue with the way he is throwing behind the plate. Not to mention, they are now also bringing back the idea of him playing third base. There are no details yet on just what the Yankees are planning to do with Phillips, but expect him to still stay on the path to being converted to a full time catcher. This is likely only a small setback.
It is this time of year that the Yankee Player Development department has some personnel decisions to make. Slowly but surely, players will be released, promoted or sent back to the Dominican Summer League. So, far there have been three such decisions made.
The biggest move made so far is in regards to Jonathan Angola. According to the organization, Angola has perhaps the highest upside of any pitcher coming out of this most recent Dominican crop. However, he is still incredibly young and the Yankees don't feel he is quite ready for United States baseball as of yet.
Next, international signee, third baseman, Dionisio Tineo was also optioned to the Yankee's Dominican Summer League team. That was more than expected because the Yankees are looking to improve and capitalize on his raw skills. Also optioned along with him was outfielder Melquisedec Mesa.
For some promotion news, the organization sent Abel Gomez to pitch for the High A ball Tampa Yankees after a brief stint in extended.
Extended Spring Training Report: 4/28
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