This afternoon's contest between the Yankees and the Rays brought the opening week of Spring Training game action to a close, and I think it's fair to say it was a pretty positive first week for the Yanks. All the guys that matter came through healthy, the starting pitching was pretty good, a lot of young players got to contribute in limited action, and Alex Rodriguez made headlines for his play on the field and his good health, not for corrupting the youth of America or doing/saying things that unnamed sources said unnamed front office members didn't like.
Today's game was the 2015 debut for Michael Pineda, and expectations are high for Big Mike this year. He showed everybody what he's capable of in his few starts, now the Yankees need him to put together a full, healthy season of that or something like it. He looked pretty damn good in his first outing today, with following fellow rotation member Nathan Eovaldi looking even better in relief of him. Their strong combined outing drove the Yankees to a slim 1-run victory.
- Pineda's line: 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K. Eovaldi's: 3 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 5 K (!!!). I know he wasn't facing the best Tampa had to offer, but that's pretty nasty for a second spring outing. I have to confess that I was away from my computer and phone for most of this game, so I don't actually have a good sense of how either guy looked. The comment gang will have to fill me in there. But I don't see how they could have looked bad with lines like that. That screams stuff and command (control at worst). That's what you're looking for.
- A-Rod had himself a day in his first back-to-back appearance, going 2-3 with a pair of singles and an RBI in 3 plate appearances as the DH. I know it's only 9 PA, but it's hard to say he's looked bad thus far. Even if you hate him, you have to admit that you didn't expect him to play this well.
- The prospect laser show continued today with #GREGBIRD driving in a run with another double in his only at-bat. He's only hitting .500 right now. NBD.
- The rest of the starting lineup didn't do much offensively, but it's worth noting that it had a very Opening Day feel to it. No offense to Garrett Jones and his favorable splits, but even with a righty on the mound I think the Yanks are going to go with A-Rod at DH on Opening Day. Dude puts butts in the seats.