TAMPA — Jorge Mateo homered for the first time this spring, making Joe Girardi upset.
Ok, so the Yankees’ manager wasn’t really upset. Girardi just wanted to see the line-drive Mateo hit to right strike the wall instead of go over it so he could see the 21-year-old speedster in action on the bases.
“I was hoping the ball actually didn’t go out because I wanted to see him run,” Girardi said. “And the other day I got mad when the ball bounced out, because that’s what I want to see. It’s exciting.”
Girardi has liked what he’s seen from Mateo, the tantalizing prospect with the tumultuous past. Last season, Mateo was given an in-season suspension, and saw his stock plummet as a result. Now, he’s looking to get back on the right track.
“(Jorge) has a lot of talent and he’s played extremely well in spring training,” Girardi said. “He’s hitting the ball well. His outs are hard and he’s played good defense.”
Asked about his focus this spring, Mateo replied through a translator that he wants to stay healthy and work on a routine that enables him to stay consistent.
Girardi said he has and continues to keep a close eye on Mateo to monitor his progress and see how he’s doing. “One of the first things I do is check on how our minor-league kids are doing in their games,” Girardi said.
KAPRIELIAN’S SPRING DEBUT COMING SOON
Joe Girardi said James Kaprielian will make his spring debut on either Thursday or Friday. The thought had previously been that Kaprielian would only pitch in simulated games, but that has since changed.
Kaprielian is expected to open his 2017 season at High-A Tampa. He missed nearly all of last season due to a flexor tendon injury and will be on an innings limit, but could fast-track to the majors later in the year if he pitches well and stays healthy.
The Yankees assigned 11 players to minor-league camp, highlighted by lefty Justus Sheffield, who is expected to pitch at Double-A Trenton once the 2017 campaign begins.
“We really like what we see,” Joe Girardi said of the 20-year-old starter, who allowed a run and struck out four in 3.2 innings over his two spring appearances. “He’s got really good movement on his fastball. His changeup is good. His slider at times is really, really good, but it’s something he needs to become more consistent with. He’s a tremendous worker. His focus is really good.”
The others cut: Joe Mantiply, James Reeves, Nick Rumbelow, Daniel Camarena, Kellin Deglan, Francisco Diaz, J.P. Feyereisen, Brady Lail, Evan Rutckyj and Jorge Saez.
ANDUJAR LEARNING THIRD
Prospect Miguel Andujar has made five errors this spring at third base – including one on Sunday.
“He’s had some tough days. But he’s young and he’ll get through it,” Joe Girardi said. “I think when we signed him, he was a second baseman. The throw becomes different. He makes some great stops. It’s just not being able to finish the play. You can look at it two ways: a lot of people don’t make that stop. So now it’s just getting him to finish the play.”
Published at Sun, 12 Mar 2017 23:14:03 +0000