The Yankees and Blue Jays are currently underway in Tampa, but unfortunately, the game is nowhere to be seen. The next game on MLB.tv is tomorrow though, and the team returns to YES on Friday. In case you missed it earlier, we have the spring training TV and radio broadcast schedule here for your convenience. I’ll touch on the progress from tonight’s game in a bit, but first, there’s more important news to address.
The big story: Boone’s surgery goes as expected
We found out earlier today that Aaron Boone needed a pacemaker, and as scheduled, he underwent surgery to insert one. The surgery went as expected and he’s currently in recovery, per the Yankees. That’s very good to hear. We all wish him the best as he rests up and recovers.
In between the initial announcement and the surgery, Brian Cashman spoke to the media to address the situation.
Carlos Mendoza will take over as the #Yankees’ interim manager. Brian Cashman said that Aaron Boone could return in as little as 48-72 hours.— Bryan Hoch (@BryanHoch) March 3, 2021
Boone noted in his statement earlier that he expected his leave to be short-term, but I don’t think I anticipated him coming back in as few two or three days. Good for him if he feels up for that, but no one should blame him for needing extra time. It’s the spring training, and the early stages of camp at that, after all. There’s plenty of time to get back to full strength and return to the helm. For the time being, bench coach Carlos Mendoza will handle Boone’s duties.
Brian Cashman says he wants to provide a “reassuring tone” about Aaron Boone’s procedure.— Lindsey Adler (@lindseyadler) March 3, 2021
“If I could replicate Aaron Boone’s demeanor and the information sharing he was providing, I literally felt so comfortable.”
As scary as the news sounded earlier, Cashman relayed that Boone basically made it sound like no big deal. Boone comes off as a very optimistic and confident person whenever he holds press conferences, so perhaps this isn’t a huge surprise. Mendoza and Brett Gardner received the message similarly:
Interim NYY manager Carlos Mendoza says Aaron Boone’s message from the hospital, via video, had the designed effect to put players & coaches at ease.— Pete Caldera (@pcaldera) March 3, 2021
“At the end of the day, seeing Boonie made all of us feel better about the situation.”
Brett Gardner says news of Boone’s hospitalization today came “as a shock to most of us” players. Said Boone’s video message did put club at greater ease.— Pete Caldera (@pcaldera) March 3, 2021
In passing recently, Gardner asked Boone how he was, and the manager replied he was tired, now a telling response.
- The Yankees and Blue Jays are currently playing in Tampa. Corey Kluber made his debut, and it’s too bad we didn’t get to see it. He tossed two perfect innings and struck out three. It only took him 22 pitches. He faced Santiago Espinal, Teoscar Hernández, Rowdy Tellez, Danny Jansen, Joe Panik, and Josh Palacios. Not exactly Toronto’s best, but it’s not like he mowed down a bunch of minor leaguers either. Kluber topped out at 91.8 on his sinker and average 91.2 on the pitch. That’s not far off from the 92 he averaged in 2018, his last fully healthy year.
- Prospect Alek Manoah, who entered in relief of this one, drilled Aaron Judge with a 96 MPH fastball in the fourth inning. Do not like. Looks like it hit him in the upper back, so hopefully it just leaves a bruise and nothing more. Michael Beltre pinch ran for him. Let’s not sound the alarm just yet as he probably was going to be removed quite soon anyway. Gleyber Torres, DJ LeMahieu, and Aaron Hicks were all replaced after the Yankees’ turn at-bat that same half inning was complete.
- Adam Warren, Nick Goody, and Luis Cessa have also pitched so far. Cessa just gave up a run as I write this, but Warren threw a 1-2-3 inning and Goody struck out two batters and allowed a hit in his single frame.
- Gary Sánchez hit another homer. This one against a 93 MPH Nick Allgeyer fastball. You love to see it, folks.
- Derek Dietrich also homered against Allgeyer, who’s a lefty. To left field on a breaking ball, no less.
- As expected, Giancarlo Stanton and Brett Gardner are playing in their first Grapefruit League game this evening.
- Reliever Darren O’Day said that the Yankees “have a great stable of arms here”. I see what you did there, Darren. (Erik Boland)
- Righty Albert Abreu apparently has another minor league option remaining. He was presumed to be out of options all offseason, but apparently not per MLB Trade Rumors and Roster Resource‘s updated Yankees Depth Charts. This certainly changes the calculus in the team’s bullpen competition. I have a piece on that coming tomorrow morning.
- In case you missed it earlier, there’s a new episode of our podcast out.