Beeter deals in night start; Stanton hits a heater

March 1st, 2024

TAMPA, Fla. -- was nearly promoted to the big leagues last season, with Yankees decision-makers believing that his fastball and slider combination would generate plenty of strikeouts. This could be the year the right-hander gets the call.

The Yankees’ No. 14 prospect according to MLB Pipeline, the 25-year-old Beeter turned in a sharp effort in Thursday’s scoreless Grapefruit League tie against the Marlins, scattering three hits and a walk over three innings while striking out four.

“I’m trying not to play GM, because it’s hard to pitch and do that,” Beeter said. “So I’m just trying to go out there and be better every time.”

In Thursday’s contest, Beeter had the opportunity to test his stuff against Luis Arraez, who has won two consecutive batting titles with the Twins and Marlins. Beeter retired Arraez twice, inducing groundouts in the first two innings.

“It feels good, obviously,” Beeter said. “It lets me know that my stuff plays and I can trust it.”

Said manager Aaron Boone: “Anytime you get off the barrel of Arraez, which he did twice -- two soft contacts -- right away, you saw the life of the fastball. Down there [in the dugout], it felt quick.”

A leading candidate to be selected to participate in the inaugural Spring Breakout game on March 16, Beeter said he has been spending his time in camp discussing game theory with catchers and coaches, including .

According to Beeter, Trevino has been advising the youngster to trust his fastball and slider more, understanding that he can throw it in the strike zone with good results.

“He’s got some good stuff,” Trevino said. “I like the fastball; I think his offspeed pitches are really good. I think he gets to good locations. Just having conversations with him, he’s a smart kid. He understands what his arsenal is and what he can do with it.”

Beeter was acquired from the Dodgers for outfielder Joey Gallo in August 2022. He went 9-7 with a 3.62 ERA in 27 games (26 starts) last year for Double-A Somerset and Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. In 131 2/3 innings, he permitted 105 hits and 75 walks, striking out 165.

“I think he’s in here with something to prove,” Boone said. “He’s done a really good job ever since we got him in our organization. That’s a pretty strong showing -- night game, he gets the start, and went out there and performed.”

Hitting the heat
promised there would be changes made this past offseason, and the Yankees got a glimpse of what he’s been working on in the second inning on Thursday.

Stanton turned on a high 97.3 mph fastball from the Marlins’ Ryan Weathers, lining a hard single into right field for his first hit of the spring.

“I thought he looked good that whole at-bat, really,” Boone said. “I haven’t noticed anything drastic or anything like that; just early stages here, but it looks good. There’s a lot of times he looks good.”

Boone added that there is “no question” that Stanton, who said he focused on running this offseason, appears to be moving down the first-base line better than he did last season.

“If he can stay healthy, [a bounce-back season] is absolutely in there,” Boone said. “He has all the strength and fast-twitch to get that done.”

Help wanted
The Yankees expressed interest in infielder/outfielder Kiké Hernández, who chose a reunion with the Dodgers because he envisioned more playing time in Los Angeles.

Hernández told the “Foul Territory” podcast on Thursday that his decision “came down to Dodgers or Yankees,” but as a right-handed hitter, he chose Los Angeles because the Yanks “have a lot of right-handed hitters and their lefties are not platoon guys.” Hernández’s one-year contract with the Dodgers was for $4 million.

Said Boone: “I knew the Dodger thing was certainly in play [for Hernández], and I think that was dependent on some move happening that opened up a spot. But I do know he was certainly intrigued about coming here.”

The comments indicate that the Yankees are still working to tweak their bench, where , , , and are among the utility candidates hoping to go north with the club.