Before the Yankees’ first spring training 2.0 game Saturday night against the Mets at Citi Field, Aaron Boone spoke glowingly about his club’s reserves.
“I really like our depth and in the first couple of weeks I think it is going to be important that you lean on that depth a little bit, keep guys sharp but building guys up properly,’’ Boone said. “We have guys that will get a day off in the first couple of weeks from a building standpoint but also I have a lot of confidence in our extra players right now.’’
The way Clint Frazier, Mike Tauchman and Mike King performed in a 9-3 Yankees victory it is difficult to disagree with Boone’s assessment of the Yankees’ depth.
Frazier, who as a fifth outfielder with the 30-man roster in play for the first two weeks has a chance to stick, sent a two-run homer into the second deck in left off Rick Porcello in the fourth inning. Tauchman, the fourth outfielder who can play all three spots, doubled and singled in the first two at-bats and scored a run. He drove in a ninth-inning run with an opposite-field single to left.
King, a 25-year-old right-hander who could work his way into the early-season rotation if Masahiro Tanaka isn’t all the way back from a concussion or land a bullpen spot, allowed a run and three hits in four innings. Following Brandon Nimmo’s leadoff single in the first inning King retired the next nine Mets and stranded two in the final frame.
“Definitely different but I was happy about my performance,’’ King said of spring training 2.0. “I guess we will see from here on out.’’
Boone used the exhibition game to bring Miguel Andujar from left field to the shortstop side of second base in the fifth inning to provide Zack Britton with five infielders while pitching to contact to Tomas Nido with one out. Nido then dumped a single into right.
“I think it makes a lot of sense depending on the situation and the hitter that is up there,’’ said Britton, who worked an intrasquad game with the same alignment.
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