Luis Cessa started and looked about as good as he’s looked at any point in his big league career. Thirteen up, 12 down, four strikeouts. He filled up the strike zone with everything. Looked great. Maybe it’ll last this time. Albert Abreu labored and walked three in his 1.1 innings. Phil Diehl struck out two of the five batters he faced. He’s struck out nine of the 19 batters he’s faced this spring, or 47.4%. Here are the box score and video highlights, and here are the day’s notes from Tampa:
- It is official: Masahiro Tanaka will start Opening Day. Aaron Boone made the announcement earlier today. It’ll be his fourth Opening Day start in the last five years. James Paxton and J.A. Happ will start the second and third games of the regular season, respectively. [Kristie Ackert]
- Didi Gregorius (Tommy John surgery) has started taking dry swings. Hooray for that. “He’s doing some dry swinging. He’s already started a little bit with the fungo. Real bat? Probably the first of next week. It’s kind of a graduation there,” said Boone. Good news. [Kristie Ackert]
- Aaron Hicks (back) is still experiencing discomfort and will see a doctor Monday. It sure sounds like the issue everyone insists is nothing is turning into something. Good thing there’s still more than two weeks to go until Opening Day. [James Wagner]
- CC Sabathia (knee) threw 31 pitches in his fourth bullpen session of the spring earlier today. He’s likely to face hitters in live batting practice next. Progress. [Associated Press]
- Boone seemed to indicate Clint Frazier will begin the season with Triple-A Scranton. “He needs to play every day. That doesn’t necessarily mean (the at-bats) don’t come here. We expect him to impact our club this year,” said Boone. [George King]
- And finally, Paxton will be away from the Yankees for a few days. There was a death in his family. Our condolences go out to him and his family. [George King]
If you’re interested, tonight’s game will be replayed on MLB Network (2am ET). The Yankees have a pair of split squad games tomorrow afternoon. Sadly, neither game will be televised. J.A. Happ will start the home game against the Pirates and Nestor Cortes will start the road game against the Tigers. Randy Miller has the travel squad roster. Not many regulars, as you’d expect.