YMLN - Bird Is The Word

Greg Bird keeps up his hot hitting

CLEARWATER, FL - Split into two squads at Instructs, the Yankees had two different final outcomes against the Phillies, winning 8-6 in one game and losing 6-5 in the other, but the offensive production in each game remained a constant and it was highlighted by a surging Greg Bird.

  • First baseman Greg Bird hit .400 in his eleven-game trial with the Staten Island Yankees late in the season and his hot hitting has carried over into Instructs. He led off his game with a towering solo home run to right field in his first at-bat and then singled to right in his second at-bat before singling sharply to left field in his third and final plate appearance in a 3-3 performance that helped the Bombers keep it close in a 6-5, abbreviated seven-inning loss.

  • Gary Sanchez, the Bombers' designated hitter on Monday, also went deep with a no-doubter solo home run deep over the left field fence in a 2-3 afternoon that also included a laced broken bat single hard to left field.

    Bombers Starting Lineup: Jake Cave, Austin Aune, Greg Bird, Miguel Andujar, Chris Breen, Gary Sanchez, Rob Refsnyder, Ravel Santana, Claudio Custodio, Eduardo De Oleo.

  • Right-hander Jordan Cote started the game for the Bombers and had a bit of a rough go of it, surrendering four of the six runs allowed, but he certainly wasn't helped by his defense. He allowed three hits in his 1 2/3 innings, showing a very good curveball at times, but fell victim to three Austin Aune [0-4, K] errors that led to two unearned runs.

  • Reliever Danny Burawa was showing pretty good command in relief of Cote after allowing a two-run triple to the first batter he faced on a misplayed ball by right fielder Ravel Santana [0-3, K]. He retired the next four batters he faced though in order and looked quite strong for somebody who missed the entire 2012 season.

  • Outfielder Chris Breen had a similar no-doubt home run of his own in the loss, a monstrous two-run home run deep over the left field fence in a 2-3 [K] afternoon.

  • Rob Refsnyder [1-3, K] had a decent day at the plate but a remarkable day in the field, making a few good looking defensive plays at second base. Word around camp is he has looked quite good at the new position and he certainly proved it on Monday.

  • Right-handers Gabe Encinas [2 IP, 1 H, one unearned run, 1 K] and Zach Arneson [1 IP, 2, H, 1 ER, 3 K's] both looked overpowering when they kept the ball down. Both, however, left a couple of pitches up in the zone and that's when they gave up their hits.

  • Jake Cave [1-4, RBI], Miguel Andujar [1-3, 2 K's], Claudio Custodio [1-2, HBP, run], and Francisco Arcia [1-1, 2B] each had hits in the loss.

  • The Yankees' lineup on the other field was a bit more evenly spread out from a production standpoint, including designated hitter Slade Heathcott. He led off the game with a booming double over the right fielder's head and later had an RBI single to right field. He did, however, strike out in his only other two at-bats.

    Yankees Starting Lineup: Slade Heathcott, Abiatal Avelino, Angelo Gumbs, Tyler Austin, Dante Bichette, Yeicok Calderon, Kyle Roller, Peter O'Brien, Saxon Butler, and Erickson Leonora.

  • While he didn't have the greatest offensive day, second baseman Angelo Gumbs [1-2, RBI sacrifice fly] had the play of the day in either game. With the bases loaded, a ball was hit sharply up the middle. Gumbs ranged far to his right, made a stretched-out grab for the ball, and with his momentum carrying him to left field he flipped the ball behind his back to second base to turn an inning-ending double play to save right-hander Hayden Sharp from giving up a run.

  • Dominican shortstop Abiatal Avelino made quite the impression in Monday's Yankee victory. He not only went 3-4 with a triple, three runs scored, and a stolen base, but he played a smooth and error-free defensive game in the field. The 17-year old looked like he not only belonged on the field but commanded it.

  • Catcher Peter O'Brien didn't mash the ball like he had at the end of the Staten Island season but he did chip in with a 3-3 performance and scored a run.

  • Dominican right-hander Luis Severino gave up four of the six runs allowed in the Yankee game in his lone inning of work and he battled command issues [he walked two, threw a wild pitch, and allowed three hits], but he has an electric arm. Stuff-wise and even physically he resembles a young Jose Ramirez.

  • Tyler Austin [1-2, 2B, RBI sacrifice fly], Dante Bichette [1-3, RBI, K], and Erickson Leonora [1-2, RBI, BB] all had hits in the win. Saxon Butler [0-1, 2 BB's] also reached base safely in the game.

  • Reliever Nick Goody allowed a double in his lone inning of relief, a scoreless final frame.

  • Word around camp is that left-hander Manny Banuelos is slated to have Tommy John surgery in the next week or so.

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