Alex Rodriguez homered on the second pitch he saw in his first spring training game of the year on Thursday afternoon. He said "It caught me by surprise." He said the biggest thing for him this year is that there are no distractions and that he is clear headed. He said he will be coming in everyday with a good attitude and understanding he has a purpose. So far so good with him both on the field and off as he has become somewhat of a leader and kept his nose clean since he came back from suspension last season.
Jacoby Ellsbury will make his spring debut on Saturday and Joe Girardi said it was Ellsbury who asked for extra time. They are saying that Ellsbury is perfectly healthy but he wanted a few more days to workout. He has come down with an injury in the past two spring trainings and maybe they are being extra careful with it, who knows. Gary Sanchez made a strong first impression, he drew two walks in his first action and looked good behind the plate to Girardi and Ivan Nova who pitched to him.
Nova pitched two effective innings in his first spring start of the year. Girardi said " I thought he threw well," "He got a lot of ground balls, and that's what you want to see, so that means the sinker was working pretty good. I think his curveball was a little off today and probably didn't have it today, but he worked on it and that pitch will be there." Jacob Lindgren was shaky, he just didn't have any control in the game at all.
Nathan Eovaldi threw a bullpen on Thursday and he is scheduled to start next Thursday. Chasen Shreve also threw a bullpen. Brett Gardner had a good day hitting inside for the second day in a row. Chris Denorfia will make 1 million with another 1 million in incentives if he is on the big league roster. Jon Heyman reported that.
I know one game doesn't really mean much but Bryan Mitchell did impress on Friday. He knows that there are openings in the bullpen and he wants a job out there. Girardi said " The ability is there. As I said last year, his role, it was a tough role because there were a lot of days in between pitching and not sure exactly what he was going to do, but the idea is to get him on track. He has three or four pitches and his cutter was good today. It's just getting him on track."
James Kaprielian pitched really well also on Friday afternoon. Kirby Yates also had a strong outing against three lineup regulars in Detroit. Austin Romine is still in the conversation for backup catcher and he had another good day. He was 0-3 at the plate but threw out a runner at second base.
Gardner had another good day as he is coming along slowly from a bone bruise. He has had no problems or setbacks. Pete Kozma who is a backup infielder had indoor batting practice on Friday as he comes back from a lower back injury. Utility infielder Donovan Solano had to skip the game today because of a tight back.