The Yankees Can Beat a College Team

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As mentioned, most of the regulars got an at bat or two before giving way to a wide mix of players, both in the Yankees’ plans for the season and not. Curtis Granderson had a hit and drove in a run. Alex Rodriguez had a hit. But the rest of the regulars went without a hit and accounted for only an unearned run in the first inning. The real damage was done later in the game by the likes of Cole Garner, Ramiro Pena, Colin Curtis and Zoilo Almonte. Garner may not be a familiar name to you. He signed as a free agent with the team this off season after playing for many years in the Rockies organization. Raul Ibanez and Jorge Vazquez served as the Yankees’ designated hitters and went a combined, 0-3.

The Yankee pitchers in the game did not give up a run or a walk the entire game and only surrendered four hits. Adam Warren started the game and went two innings. Warren gave up one hit and struck out two and was credited with the victory. He was followed by Brett Marshall who pitched for the Tampa Yankees in the Florida State League last season. Marshall pitched two innings while allowing a hit and struck out one.

Marshall was followed by Dan Burawa, a late round draft pick in 2010. Burawa split last season between the Tampa Yankees and the Charleston River Dogs in the South Atlantic League. Burawa pitched an inning and yielded a hit while striking out two.  Burawa was followed by Juan Cedeno. Cedeno is a career minor league pitcher who has pitched in the minors since 2002 for the Red Sox, Royals, Dodgers and Tigers organizations. The Yankees signed him during the off season and invited him to camp. Cedeno pitched an inning and struck out one. He allowed one hit.

Cedeno was relieved by Graham Stoneburner. Stoneburner, whose last name seems like the perfect play on words for a Yankee, is another late Yankees’ draft pick, this time in 2009. He split time between the Tampa Yankees and the Trenton Thunder, the Yankees Double A affiliate last season. Stoneburner pitched a perfect inning, striking out one.

Next up was Ryan Pope, the Yankees’ third round pick in the 2007 draft. Pope had an eventful season last season and pitched for Tampa, Trenton and the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees in Triple A. Pope showed off a good strikeout rate in each of those stops and had one strikeout in his perfect inning yesterday. The game was completed by Kevin Whelan in style as Whelan struck out two in a perfect ninth inning.

Apparently, before the game, Alex Rodriguez gave an impassioned speech to the team as reported by Tim Brown at Yahoo Sports. A-Rod reportedly gave the message that he was “all in” and wanted the same from each team member. A-Rod’s speech, like a game against a college baseball team may not mean anything over the course of a long season. But, it’s a nice way to get the ball rolling.

About William Tasker

William Tasker grew up in Bergenfield, New Jersey but has lived in New England since 1975 and in the far reaches of northern Maine since 1990. Tasker is the author of nine (non-baseball related) books and, besides writing here for three years, has written for his own site at since 2003.

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