Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon
news

MLB News

Yankees enjoy first taste of '18 Subway Series

Interborough rivalry renewed with first-year managers at the helm
Special to MLB.com

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- The Subway Series doesn't crank up in earnest until a June 8-10 series at Citi Field, and then back at Yankee Stadium, July 20-22. But on Wednesday the Yankees and Mets got together for the first of two Grapefruit League meetings. Another will be played on Saturday at Steinbrenner Field in Tampa.

Yankees skipper Aaron Boone talked about the importance of the rivalry, which features two first-year managers. The Mets are in their first season with Mickey Callaway.

View Full Game Coverage

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- The Subway Series doesn't crank up in earnest until a June 8-10 series at Citi Field, and then back at Yankee Stadium, July 20-22. But on Wednesday the Yankees and Mets got together for the first of two Grapefruit League meetings. Another will be played on Saturday at Steinbrenner Field in Tampa.

Yankees skipper Aaron Boone talked about the importance of the rivalry, which features two first-year managers. The Mets are in their first season with Mickey Callaway.

View Full Game Coverage

"Anytime you're talking about New York and two important major franchises, I think it's something that's exciting and good for the game," Boone said. "Where I'd put it, I don't necessarily know. We know we play them every year, and they have a lot of talent over there. It's a team that at some point in the season will create an obstacle for us."

:: Spring Training coverage presented by Camping World ::

Boone inherits a 60-44 all-time regular-season edge for the Yankees over the Mets. That doesn't include the 2000 World Series, which the Yankees won in five games.

"As to what it all means, it's fun to be in any game that matters to a lot of people," Boone said.

Yankees Spring Training info

McKinney slams
Yankee sluggers Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge did not make the trip to Port St. Lucie to face the Mets. Not a problem, first baseman Billy McKinney did. The 23-year-old Minor Leaguer blasted an eighth-inning grand slam, his fourth homer in 16 at-bats this spring. That coupled with a three-run homer from non-roster invite Trey Amburgey in the ninth inning propelled the Yankees to an 11-4 win over the Mets.

"It's just quality at-bat after quality at-bat," Boone said of McKinney. "He's really impressed me all the way around."

The left-handed hitter -- ranked as the Yankees' No. 19 prospect -- has belted 41 homers over eight Minor League seasons, including a career-high 16 last year.

Video: NYY@NYM: Amburgey belts a three-run home run in 9th

Injury updates
Outfielders Jacoby Ellsbury (oblique) and Clint Frazier (concussion) continue to improve.

"Better, we'll find out how their work goes today, but yesterday was a step in the right direction," Boone said. "I think Ell's really started to ramp things up and started to do some things physically."

Ellsbury was scratched from Friday's game with the Braves, experiencing tightness in his right side after taking batting practice.

Boone said Frazier played catch after a bike session on Wednesday. Frazier sustained a mild concussion crashing into the wall during a Feb. 24 game with the Pirates.

"Hopefully another step in the right direction and we can maybe start to see the light about a possible game," Boone said. "But on that, I guess we'll see how today shakes out."

Sabathia, Tanaka throw sim games
Both CC Sabathia and Masahiro Tanaka pitched in sim games Wednesday back in Tampa.

"They'll be getting their work in that way this go-round," said Boone, who added that both starters would likely appear in games next week.

Camp battle
Catcher Austin Romine continued his torrid spring Wednesday, going 2-for-3 with a pair of singles to lift his batting average to .667 (8-for-12).

Romine looks to play a significant role for the Yankees again this year. He played in a career-high 80 games last season as a backup to starting catcher Gary Sanchez. Kyle Higashioka is also in camp battling for playing time behind the plate.

Up next
The Yankees return to Steinbrenner Field on Thursday for a 1:05 p.m. ET game with the Phillies (watch live on MLB.TV). Right-hander Luis Severino gets his first start of the spring after posting a 14-6 record with a 2.98 ERA in 2017.

Glenn Sattell is a contributor to MLB.com and covered the Yankees on Wednesday.

New York Yankees