Soto on mission to add final 6 parks to HR collection

February 26th, 2024

TAMPA, Fla. -- has an incomplete set, something that the Yankees outfielder hopes to rectify this season.

Soto has hit regular-season homers in 24 of the current 30 Major League stadiums. Now that he is in the American League, he’ll have the opportunity to begin chipping away at the ones he has missed, beginning on Opening Day.

“I want to finish all 30 ballparks, to hit a homer in all 30 ballparks,” Soto -- who belted a two-run double in Monday’s 9-2 Grapefruit League win over the Twins -- said, according to the YES Network. “That’s my goal for this year.”

Soto’s tour could begin on March 28 at Minute Maid Park in Houston, where he played three games last season and was held to two hits in 10 at-bats. Then again, Soto homered at Minute Maid twice during the 2019 World Series (off Gerrit Cole and Justin Verlander), so that box is probably already checked.

The others on Soto’s wish list are Progressive Field in Cleveland (April 12-14, no career games), Angel Stadium (May 28-30, three career games), Guaranteed Rate Field in Chicago (Aug. 12-14, five career games), Globe Life Field in Arlington (Sept. 2-4, three career games) and T-Mobile Park in Seattle (Sept. 17-19, four career games).

“I enjoy every moment,” said Soto, who has one homer and five RBIs through his first two spring games.

Manny Machado and Giancarlo Stanton are the only players to have homered in each of the 30 current Major League stadiums.

Back on the bump
For many in attendance during Sunday’s 12-6 Yankees victory over the Blue Jays, the visiting sixth inning appeared uneventful -- a scoreless frame around two walks, with two strikeouts. It meant much more to Anthony Misiewicz.

The appearance marked Misiewicz’s first in a game situation since last Sept. 16, when the left-hander was struck in the head by a 100.6 mph line drive during a game at Pittsburgh’s PNC Park. The ball, hit by Ji Hwan Bae, ricocheted off the hurler’s head and landed in right field for a single.

“Anytime something like that happens to you, you never know what to expect the next pitch you throw,” Misiewicz said. “I’m just thankful to get the opportunity to get back on the field. I felt good; a little fired up out there, but it did feel good to face hitters in a game setting.”

Misiewicz ended the season on the concussion injured list and said that it “took a bit of time” to recover, with part of his offseason spent performing brain exercises. He is thankful that his skull was not fractured, and that he is experiencing no lingering effects.

“I definitely wanted to come back here,” said Misiewicz, 29, a non-roster invitee to camp. “I’m glad they threw my name in the mix.”

Step forward
Nestor Cortes came away pleased from his first start of the spring, as the left-hander said he was pitching at about 90 percent effort against the Twins while focusing on command. Cortes scattered seven hits over 2 2/3 innings, permitting two runs while striking out four.

“I feel like I hit every spot for the most part, and the body feels good,” said Cortes, who spent time on the injured list last season with a strained left rotator cuff. “With the workload increasing now, we’re going to see where we’re at. But as of now, I feel like I’m bouncing back pretty good and back to my normal self.”

Bad bounce
DJ LeMahieu was hit in the face by a ground ball in the third inning Monday on what went as a run-scoring single for Jair Camargo. The ball was deflected first by LeMahieu’s glove, and he remained in the game, though he’s now sporting a small bruise near the bridge of his nose.

“It was good to be out there today,” LeMahieu said. “I feel good running, feel good swinging, just moving better. I feel prepared, and I have a good foundation. I’m ready to keep building and ready to build for the long haul.”

Swinging away
Jasson Domínguez took about 20 right-handed swings off a tee Monday at Steinbrenner Field, the outfielder’s first time doing so since undergoing Tommy John surgery last September. Domínguez is scheduled to do so again Wednesday, manager Aaron Boone said.