Yanks Spring Training FAQs, important dates

February 18th, 2021

Gerrit Cole remains the unquestioned ace as the Yankees get their first glimpse of a remodeled rotation this week, with pitchers and catchers reporting to the club's complex in Tampa, Fla.

Jameson Taillon and Corey Kluber will be among the hurlers trying on the pinstripes, aiming to bounce back from injuries and join Cole near the front of the rotation. The club has also bolstered its bullpen in recent weeks, adding Darren O'Day and Justin Wilson.

"In Taillon and Kluber, not only are we excited about where they are physically, but we feel those are two guys that are going to be valuable contributors to our pitching culture," manager Aaron Boone said. "I'm really excited for them to get into our clubhouse."

Here are some of the questions that Yankees fans will have about Spring Training:

Given the pandemic, how is Spring Training going to be different this year?
This Yankees camp will be unlike any we've seen. Pitchers and catchers will be separated from the position players when workouts get underway; position players will use the diamonds at the George M. Steinbrenner Field complex, while pitchers and catchers will remain at the Minor League training facility on Himes Avenue, about a half-mile away.

Workouts at Steinbrenner Field and the Minor League complex will be closed to the public.

Under a revised Grapefruit League schedule intended to limit travel, the Yankees will only play exhibition games against the Blue Jays, Orioles, Phillies and Tigers. New league-wide protocols restrict certain activities deemed high-risk for players when they are away from the ballpark, including indoor dining and visiting bars or lounges. Players will also wear electronic devices while at the park that should aid in contact tracing.

What are the key roster/position battles to watch?
Gary Sánchez is expected to begin the season as the starting catcher, though he has a viable challenger in backup Kyle Higashioka, who caught five of the club's seven postseason games. Non-roster invitee Jay Bruce is hoping to push Mike Tauchman for a bench spot, with both outfielders seen as adding left-handed depth to a lineup that skews heavily toward right-handed bats.

On the pitching side, the fifth-starter derby appears wide open, though Deivi García and Domingo Germán are likely the early favorites. Other candidates include Nick Nelson, Michael King, Clarke Schmidt, Luis Medina and non-roster invitee Jhoulys Chacin, some of whom could also contend for bullpen roles.

When is the first Spring Training game?
The Yankees will host the Blue Jays on Feb. 28 at Steinbrenner Field. First pitch is scheduled for 1:05 p.m. ET.

When will Spring Training tickets go on sale?
The Yankees have not yet announced an on-sale date for Grapefruit League tickets.

What are the health and safety protocols at Steinbrenner Field?
Face coverings are required for all guests age 2 and older, including those who have received a COVID-19 vaccine. Guests must wear the face covering over their nose and mouth at all times, except when actively eating or drinking at their ticketed seats. Facial shields without an accompanying facial covering will not be permitted.

Capacity at Steinbrenner Field will be limited to maintain physical distancing. Seating will be sold in pods that range in size from two to six seats.

How can I watch/listen/follow Spring Training games?
An official broadcast schedule has not been finalized. Select contests will be broadcast via the YES Network and MLB.TV. WFAN 660 AM/101.9 FM and WADO 1280 AM (Spanish) will also carry select games.

Who are some prospects to keep an eye on in camp?
We'll be hoping for a Martian sighting -- as in Jasson Dominguez, the Yankees' No. 1 prospect. The switch-hitting 18-year-old has already drawn comparisons to Bo Jackson, Mickey Mantle and Mike Trout, even before playing in his first professional game.

With Schmidt and García already having received tastes of The Show, other prospects from the MLB Pipeline rankings that fans should be on the lookout for include: right-hander Luis Gil, righty Yoendrys Gomez, shortstop Oswald Peraza, righty Alexander Vizcaino, shortstop Anthony Volpe and catcher Austin Wells.

What's the story with Luis Severino and when will he be back?
The Yanks' rotation could receive a boost for the playoff push from Severino, who underwent Tommy John surgery in February 2020 and has been forecast for a "late summer" return, according to general manager Brian Cashman. That sounds like a conservative timetable for Severino, who is playing catch and has been slated to return anywhere from June to August.

When is Opening Day and who is the opponent?
The Yankees are scheduled to host the Blue Jays on April 1 at Yankee Stadium.

Is the team planning to sell tickets to regular-season games?
Yes. Tickets for most games are on sale now at Yankees.com or by calling 212-YANKEES. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo recently announced that arenas and stadiums with seating capacities of 10,000 or greater will be allowed to operate at 10 percent capacity beginning on Feb. 27.