TAMPA, Fla. -- The Yankees have marveled from afar at Giancarlo Stanton's exploits, but a deeper appreciation is setting in as they receive regular reminders of the special talent possessed by the reigning National League MVP.The latest example took place in the first inning of Friday's 5-4 Grapefruit League victory
TAMPA, Fla. -- The Yankees have marveled from afar at Giancarlo Stanton's exploits, but a deeper appreciation is setting in as they receive regular reminders of the special talent possessed by the reigning National League MVP.
The latest example took place in the first inning of Friday's 5-4 Grapefruit League victory over the Braves. Standing nearly flat-footed and slightly off balance, Stanton reached for an outside 86-mph Scott Kazmir cutter and was able to dent the wall in right-center field for a double.
"I just found a ball I could get the barrel to," Stanton said. "That one was a little off, so it wasn't fully charged. But if you get the barrel to it, good things happen."
Stanton added another double in the fifth inning, finishing the afternoon 2-for-3 with a run scored. He is 4-for-10 (.400) this spring, and manager Aaron Boone said that he has enjoyed watching Stanton's batting-practice sessions, during which he frequently tries to hit to right field with top spin.
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"What I'm learning about Giancarlo is, he's got a really good idea of what makes him successful," Boone said. "His work is very meticulous, it's very structured. He knows what he's doing in his preparation. It's early, obviously, but always nice when you get some results. I think he leaves today feeling good about another couple of real quality at-bats."
Jacoby Ellsbury was scratched from Friday's lineup with a right oblique strain, which he sustained during batting practice. No timetable was provided, but Boone indicated that the Yankees plan to treat Ellsbury conservatively.
"We feel like it's mild, but anytime you hear that, you always get a little bit of concern," Boone said.
Ellsbury, 34, is 1-for-10 (.100) in four spring games. The 11-year veteran entered camp challenging Aaron Hicks to reclaim a starting role in center field, and recently spoke with Boone about playing some innings in left field.
Masahiro Tanaka served up a career-high 35 home runs last season, but the right-hander said that he was not concerned by his unimpressive spring debut, during which Braves prospect Ronald Acuna Jr. crushed a two-run homer to center field. Lacking fastball command, Tanaka allowed four runs and four hits in 1 1/3 innings.
"You don't really look at the results," Tanaka said through an interpreter. "It's more about going into the outing with a plan in your mind and being able to execute that."
Hours after the Yankees agreed to a Minor League contract with first baseman Adam Lind, Christopher Austin answered by slugging a walk-off two-run homer, lifting the Yanks to their seventh win in eight spring games. It was the second homer in as many games for Austin, who is competing to be a backup first baseman and right fielder.
While Miguel Andujar continues to crush the ball, slugging a two-run double on Friday for his sixth and seventh RBIs of the spring, top prospect Gleyber Torres is off to a 1-for-13 (.077) start. Boone said that he sees Torres as being "just a little bit off."
"Zero concern. I get excited every day when I watch him take BP," Boone said.
Clint Frazier (concussion) was sent for an MRI on Friday after his most recent workout "didn't go as well as we hoped," according to Boone. Frazier sustained the injury making a catch on Feb. 24 against the Pirates in Bradenton, Fla.
Up next:Chance Adams will make his first start of the spring on Saturday as the Yankees visit the Red Sox in Fort Myers, Fla., at 1:05 p.m. ET on MLB.TV and MLB Network. Brian Johnson will start for Boston. The Yanks' travel roster includes Andujar, Greg Bird, Didi Gregorius, Hicks and Torres.