Greg Bird and the Yanks Are Soarin’ in Spring Training

By Lenny Ortiz

With the conclusion of spring training less than a week away the Yankees look to stay hot and get off to a good start in April. Loaded with one of the best farm systems in all of baseball, some veteran signings, and the return of Greg Bird, the Yankees had plenty of optimism this March.

New York Yankees' Clint Frazier finds groove with Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders | News

New York Yankees’ Clint Frazier finds groove with Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders | News

Gleyber Torres, Clint Frazier, and Justice Sheffield are just a few of the up and coming baby bombers that were looking to leave a lasting impression this March. This has been the first spring training in pinstripes for these three prospects as they were all acquired last summer in the deals that shipped Aroldis Chapman and Andrew Miller out of the Bronx.

The three did not waste any time impressing manager Joe Girardi. Torres, a short stop, who this fall was named the youngest ever MVP of the prestigious Arizona Fall League at age 19, is currently leading the team in hitting with an impressive .448 average and is second behind only Greg Bird in both doubles and slugging.

Frazier and Sheffield haven’t put up the astronomical numbers that Torres has, however they have done more than hold their own with Frazier batting over .300 while patrolling the outfield and the lefty Sheffield only giving up one run on a solo homerun all spring.

Although these prospects will all start this season in the minor leagues, they have proven that they can play at the big league level. The future looks bright, we can only hope they remain healthy and continue progressing at this pace.

Greg Bird takes flight in Yankees spring training. Credit:

Greg Bird takes flight in Yankees spring training. Credit:

As far as the big league roster is concerned, there are a lot who are looking to prove something in one way or another. Two men who have definitely proved themselves this spring are 24- year old Greg Bird and Gary Sanchez. Bird, who did not play at all last season due to a shoulder injury, had a lot of questions to answer once he was healthy.

After an impressive rookie campaign in 2015, he had to prove that it indeed was not a fluke and that his shoulder was healthy enough to become the starting first baseman of this team. He answered all those questions, and them some this spring by mashing a .432 average and leading the squad with 6 homer uns and a 1.045 slugging.

Gary Sanchez, Catcher, NY Yankees

Gary Sanchez, Catcher, NY Yankees

Sanchez, who did not receive Rookie of the Year honors simply because he was a late call up slugged an incredible 20 homers in only 53 games last season. Sanchez answered when his number was called as well hitting .341 with four home runs this spring. Both these guys look like they picked up exactly where they left off.

With the bullpen being locked down with Tyler  Clippard,  Dellin Betances, and the re-signing of  Aroldis Chapman, the Yankees focus is primarily on the starting rotation. Ace Masahiro Tanaka has shown he is 100% healthy with a flawless spring training that saw him throw 19 innings of no run baseball, hopefully he can remain healthy and pitch to his capabilities for the entire season.

With  Michael Pineda and CC Sabathia locking down two other spots,  manager Joe Girardi has a tough decision for the remaining two spots. With Chad Green owning a sparkling 1.50 ERA and Luis Severino, Brian Mitchell and Adam Warren sporting a sub 4.00 ERA it seems there’s a three-man man race for that final fifth spot assuming Green has proven he deserves the fourth spot.

It has been an exciting spring training for Yankee fans as they got a glimpse of the  future and they did not disappoint. With less than 10 days remaining before the start of the season it looks like these guys are ready. 

Lenny Ortiz is a journalism intern and contributor for The Bronx Chronicle. Contact Lenny:



Print Friendly, PDF & Email