Spring Training Notes: February 25, 2021
by Tamar Chalker
Aaron Judge showing off his new “gapless” smile. (Photo: nj.com)
We are just days away from the Yankees first Spring Training game and I know I couldn’t be any more excited. An actual game, with actual players in a place that isn’t covered in ice is hard for me to envision if I look outside my window, but it is close! Anyway, here is the latest news from camp as the 2021 season inches closer.
First, the ugly stuff. There has been a fair amount of discussion about Domingo German and Zack Britton’s comments about German. I, personally, agree with Owen’s thoughts on the situation from his post yesterday. For that reason, I won’t delve into it beyond saying that, after apologizing to his teammates finally, German made his first public statements about it as well.
Reggie Jackson, who has served as a special advisor for the Yankees for many years now, has officially stepped down from his position. At 74, Jackson admitted he was shifting more towards retirement, although he clearly still wants to be involved with the game. “It’s just time to step back. I want to be around the game, and I want to contribute. I want to leave my knowledge. But it’s just time to move on,” Jackson stated. That doesn’t sound like someone who really thinks it’s time to move on, but that might just be me.
The Yankees have finalized their deals with both Brett Gardner (I called that one wrong) and Justin Wilson. They have designated outfielder Greg Allen and moved Luis Severino to the 60-day disabled list.
Speaking of Severino, there is positive news on his recovery from Tommy John surgery. The pitcher is already tossing 90 feet and could throw off a mound before the end of Spring Training. While everyone is excited by the possibility of having Sevy back sooner rather than later, Jordan Montgomery had words of caution from his own recovery. Regardless, it sounds like there is a very good possibility Sevy will play a big part in the upcoming season.
Gio Urshela is working his way back from elbow surgery in December. He’s expected to be ready by Opening Day and should be ready for batting practice shortly. Unfortunately, on the other end of the spectrum, Clarke Schmidt has been shut down for 3-4 weeks with a common extensor strain near his right elbow.
Gerrit Cole is excited about the potential for Jay Bruce to be on the Yankees’ roster this year. This is partly as Bruce seems to be one of the few hitters to figure out how to hit Cole. He has hit .308 against Cole over the years with a couple of homers. Cole had a lot of praise for Bruce’s bat and his ability as a veteran to help the younger guys.
Oh, and to the surprise of no one, Boone has virtually named Cole the Opening Day starter.