Notes & quotes: McCann hits first spring homer
What happened: Brian McCann hit his first homer in a Yankees uniform and New York also got deep drives from No. 1 prospect Gary Sanchez, Jose Pirela and Yangervis Solarte in a 7-4 win over the Tigers at Joker Marchant Stadium in Lakeland, Fla. Adam Warren threw two scoreless innings with help from his defense to pick up the win, and seven of eight New York pitchers fired scoreless ball overall. Brian Gordon was touched for four runs in the seventh inning.
What we learned: McCann doesn’t usually hit home runs this early in the spring, so this may be a good sign — or maybe it’s just proof that he can hit a 2-0 fastball down the middle, even if it’s coming from Max Scherzer. Either way, the Yanks are looking forward to seeing plenty of thunder off of McCann’s bat this year. Torii Hunter tracked McCann’s drive to the warning track in right field and camped under it, but McCann wasn’t fooled. The ball landed about 20 feet beyond the wall, striking the blue batting cage out there.
What we learned II: Adam Warren showed off a pretty sweet pickoff move. Rajai Davis opened the bottom of the first inning with a double off Warren, and an out later, Davis wandered just a bit too far from the bag at second. Warren whirled and fired a strike to Dean Anna on the daylight play.
“It’s neat to pick somebody off, just to get the practice and game experience in,” Warren said. “I just wasn’t expecting it.”
What else: Gary Sanchez hit a line drive homer to left field off Jose Ortega in the third inning, his first Yankees spring homer ever … Miguel Cabrera tried to advance from first base to third base on a first-inning walk. Warren didn’t complain about the free out, which left the Tigers scratching their heads. … Zoilo Almonte threw out Hunter at the plate in the third inning … Yangervis Solarte hit a three-run homer in the seventh. Remember the name. The Yanks like Solarte’s switch-hitting pop, and he could see time in the big leagues this season … Eduardo Nunez returned to action after a bout with food poisoning. He went 0-for-3.
What went wrong: Carlos Beltran went 0-for-2 and is still looking for his first spring hit … The Yanks had a 7-0 lead in the seventh before Gordon entered. Detroit got four runs and six hits off Gordon, a non-roster invitee who pitched briefly for New York in 2011 … Joe Girardi brought the wrong uniform top from Tampa, which is why he was the only one in the dugout with an interlocking ‘NY’ on his jersey. The correct road tops read ‘NEW YORK’ across the chest.
What they said: “I always feel like I’m competing for something. The main thing for me though is just to make sure I’m ready for the season, no matter what role, where I end up. I just want to make sure I’m ready when the season starts. Working on all my pitches, making sure my mechanics feel good.” – Adam Warren
What’s next: Pitching will be the main attraction on Saturday as the Yankees entertain the Phillies in a 1:05 p.m. ET contest at George M. Steinbrenner Field. CC Sabathia gets the starting nod, but most of the attention will be on Masahiro Tanaka as he comes out of the bullpen to handle the pitching for the fifth inning. Sabathia, Hiroki Kuroda and Tanaka are all scheduled to throw two innings or 35 pitches. Derek Jeter is also slated to play. The Phillies are starting right-hander David Buchanan, and you can watch on YES, MLB Network and MLB.tv.
Who’s injured: Right-hander Jose Ramirez’s MRIs on his oblique and back came back clean, but he’s still sore. Ramirez will be off the mound indefinitely.