TAMPA, Fla. -- Chance Adams' excellent 2017 performance did not carry over into big league camp this spring, and though the right-hander was optioned to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on Thursday morning, the Yankees' hopes for the touted right-hander have not dimmed.Adams was sent to Minor League camp following a rough outing
TAMPA, Fla. -- Chance Adams' excellent 2017 performance did not carry over into big league camp this spring, and though the right-hander was optioned to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on Thursday morning, the Yankees' hopes for the touted right-hander have not dimmed.
Adams was sent to Minor League camp following a rough outing on Wednesday, in which he permitted five runs and seven hits -- including long homers to Adam Jones and Jonathan Schoop -- over 1 2/3 innings against the Orioles in Sarasota, Fla.
The 23-year-old Adams is rated as the Yankees' No. 6 prospect, according to MLB Pipeline, and the game's No. 75 prospect overall. In 2017, Adams was 15-5 with a 2.45 ERA over a career-high 150 1/3 innings between Double-A Trenton and Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
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Yankees manager Aaron Boone said on Wednesday that he believes Adams needs to build fastball velocity, which reduced the effectiveness of his slider this spring. In 4 2/3 innings over three games (two starts), Adams allowed six runs and nine hits for an 11.57 ERA.
"It hasn't been too great of a spring for me," Adams said. "Just got to let it go, and I have to get better as the season goes on. Nothing really happens too good if you just dwell on what happens. Just got to be focused on the future and let the past go."
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Won't get fooled again
Shane Robinson's cell phone has been buzzing more frequently of late, having been on the undesirable end of an amazing no-look pickoff throw by Twins catcher Willians Astudillo in the sixth inning of Monday's 2-1 loss. The clip has gone viral, garnering more than three million views on MLB's official Twitter account.
To set the scene, Astudillo received a 90-mph pitch from Adalberto Mejia, a swinging strike on Greg Bird. The 26-year-old catcher never broke eye contact with the pitcher, whipping a perfect throw to first base, where Robinson had gone into his secondary lead. Robinson scrambled, but Kennys Vargas received the throw and slapped on a tag.
"I really didn't know what happened," Robinson said. "I thought I might have just looked down and missed it. Then when I watched the replay, I was actually looking at him. You see me trying to pick the ball up and it's not there. I'm like, 'Where did the ball go?' He put it right on the mark. For him to fall to a knee, not look and throw it behind our batter? It's impressive."
A non-roster invitee to Yankees camp, the 33-year-old Robinson said that he has been hearing from former teammates as the clip circulates -- particularly catchers, who have delighted in warning the former Cardinals, Twins and Angels outfielder not to fall asleep on the basepaths. Yankees catchers have also tried to replicate the throw on practice fields in recent days.
"It was a weird play, but a good play," Robinson said. "I had some guys tell me that they were trying to do it the other day on the back field. They were throwing the ball all over the place. Some of the feedback from the catchers in here, they're like, 'I don't have that in my bag.' I think there's very few people who would use it. I won't let that happen again."
Tyler Wade continues to impress in his bid to serve as the Opening Day second baseman, making a pair of flashy plays in the field during Thursday's 9-5 win over the Pirates. Wade robbed Colin Moran of a third-inning hit with a diving stop in the first-base hole, then threw out Josh Harrison with a stab up the middle to end the fourth.
"He just opens your eyes with the dynamic he brings," Boone said. "The range that he showed on the ball in the hole to his left, that's elite. The ball that's smoked up the middle from Harrison, that's not an easy play. He had to go to the ground to create and he handled an in-between hop."
Wade was 0-for-1 with a walk on Thursday and is batting .310 this spring. Boone lauded Wade's fourth-inning at-bat against hard-throwing Pirates closer Felipe Rivero, during which Wade spun away from an up-and-in fastball on a 1-2 count, then fought to work the free pass.
"You go out there against one of the elite relievers in the game from the left side and [Rivero] throws one up at your face," Boone said. "[Wade] digs right back in there, sticks his nose in there and works a walk. That's a big-time at-bat. That's not easy to do."
• Sonny Gray was not thrilled with his third spring start, in which he permitted three runs (two earned) and two hits while walking three. Gray struck out four and allowed a two-run homer to Francisco Cervelli. The runs were the first allowed by Gray in 8 2/3 innings this spring.
"I think my breaking ball was really good today, but I just couldn't throw enough strikes," Gray said. "That's kind of the way it can go sometimes, especially if you're struggling to find the zone with your fastball. Overall, I felt pretty good."
Neil Walker is expected to make his Yankees spring debut on Friday as the Yankees host the Astros at 6:35 p.m. ET. Left-hander Jordan Montgomery is making his third spring start opposite right-hander Lance McCullers, who will see the Yanks for the first time since throwing 24 straight curveballs to close out Game 7 of the American League Championship Series. Listen to Friday's game on Gameday Audio.
Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and on Facebook.