TAMPA – Corey Kluber threw his first live batting practice of the spring on Sunday at the Yankees’ minor league complex, behind the plate with Gary Sanchez and Aaron Boone voicing his delight.
The manager called the outing “good”.
“Obviously, a lot was talked about,” Boone said when Kleber came in a year, the $ 11 million deal was signed after pitching in just one innings in the last two seasons due to a fracture in 2019. Had occurred and suffered a shoulder injury last year.
He said, “He is here to come live and even brighter than that [Sunday] Was. It was good to get Gary with him in a live setting. Another good step in the process for him. “
The health of Kluber’s right hand is key to a rotation that sees Messhiro Tanaka, James Paxton and Jae Happ to support Gerrit Cole after losing to free agency during the offseason.
Aroldis Chapman unveiled a split-fingerprinted fastball last year, but he used the pitch. Expect to see more of it this season.
“I believe this is definitely a pitch for me,” Chapman said through an interpreter. “I think I’ve incorporated that pitch into my pitch mix.”
He hopes to use a splitter more than his changeup, which he “just throws around for a while.”
“I’m definitely feeling pretty good with it,” Chapman said of the splitter. “[It’s] Definitely a weapon to be used in the future. “
Austin Wells was drafted in June last year and never got to play a game due to an epidemic, so he is trying to gain as much as he can with being in camp.
“I’ve been out of distance training for a year,” said Wells. “Any batting against any pitcher I get is beneficial for me.”
Wells is one of just minor leaguers who lost as much as a season of development when the minor leagues closed last year.
Reese said it is “interesting” to develop a player with no play.
“It’s a challenge,” Reese said. “This is difficult. You throw the game plan for a year and adjust it on the fly. “
The Yankees opted not to finalize the instructional league, with Reese stating that the organization decided there was a lot of risk in COVID cases growing up in Florida at the time and that the Yankees had the option to safely go to the hotel for their home players. was not.
Miguel Andujar is not the only position player due to report for camp this week, with the hope of proving that he can deliver value at more than one place.
Boone also mentions the recently signed Jay Bruce and Derek Dietrich, as well as Andrew Velazquez, a Fordam Prep product that is also on a minor league deal.
Dietrich can play second and third base, Bruce first and Velzczek short and they can all be used at corner-outfield positions.
“I think we’ve got some guys with very good defensive versatility and flexibility,” Boone said.
– Additional reporting by Ken Davidoff