Notes: Arms rule, Deivi's spin makes you drool

July 10th, 2020

NEW YORK -- The second inning of Thursday’s intrasquad game at Yankee Stadium belonged to , and the veteran left-hander only needed a few minutes to record three outs, pitching around a walk to . Then he remained in the home dugout, eagerly taking in the rest of the bullpen show.

“I think guys look fantastic right now,” Britton said. “ looked outstanding today. as well, -- everyone I've seen throw out of our 'pen has looked great and looked ready to go. That's nice, considering that we've had that long layoff. Guys have been putting in the work, which is always good to see.”

As it was last year, the Bombers’ bullpen is expected to be a strength in 2020. Each reliever has seen the mound in intrasquad action thus far in Summer Camp, with the exception of left-handed closer , who could face hitters on Saturday.

The pitchers have appeared to be ahead of the hitters -- everyone except infielder , who slugged a home run Thursday off left-hander for his second long ball of Summer Camp. Otherwise, the arms have ruled.

“When you're at home, I think for pitchers it might be easier to simulate a game atmosphere than as a hitter,” Britton said. “Right now, guys are throwing just as hard as they would in the regular season for the most part. I've been pretty impressed with the velocity on our guys.

“With hitters, unless you have an opportunity to face live pitching, you're just not going to be able to simulate velocity and breaking pitches, things like that. It was to be expected; I thought that hitters would be a little bit behind.”

With less than two weeks before the Yankees are scheduled to open the regular season on July 23 against the Nationals, outfielder said that he expects the hitters to begin evening the score with some loud contact.

“The pitchers are always going to have enough advantage early, and they always have an advantage as it is -- you get a hit 30 percent of the time, you're pretty good,” Tauchman said. “One of the advantages to facing our pitching is that they're just running out All-Star after All-Star, elite arm after elite arm. I think that that's going to help us adjust pretty quickly when competition starts.”

Spin class
Right-hander Deivi Garcia needed only 12 pitches to zip through three batters on Thursday, retiring Tauchman on a flyout, getting to chop a grounder to third base and sitting down via strikeout.

Catcher said that he continues to see the signs of a bright big league future for the 21-year-old, who is ranked by MLB Pipeline as the Yankees’ No. 3 prospect.

“I think a common theme in today's game is, high spin rate plays on the fastball,” Higashioka said. “I believe his breaking ball has high spin as well, but obviously in the other direction. He's got good velo, high spin rate and he knows how to pitch. I think he's got a good chance to be pretty successful.”

Pump up the jams
Left-hander said that he expected the atmosphere to be “nostalgic” for games in a fanless Yankee Stadium, reasoning that players would hear the pure sounds of their youth -- the crack of the bat, infielders calling for popups, chatter from the dugouts.

Yet some players have said that they would be in favor of adding artificial crowd noise to the mix, something that teams have done in other countries this year. The Yankees are exploring the idea of adding that ambient sound, according to Britton.

“I think that would be good for the guys; obviously, it gets really quiet out there,” Britton said. “I know they'll probably play walkout songs and things like that. I'm not sure how loud it's going to be or what that's going to look like, but I think it's a good idea. I know our team would like that. It would create at least some type of atmosphere in the stadium.”

Higashioka said that he wouldn’t mind hearing some cheers, even if they are of the canned variety.

“We have some music playing out there very lightly while we're playing to break up the dead silence,” Higashioka said. “It's better than it was the first day, where we were just playing in an abyss, a void of sound. So I wouldn't be opposed to crowd noise.”

Up next
The Yankees continue Summer Camp action on Saturday, playing an intrasquad game at Yankee Stadium that is scheduled to begin at 5:15 p.m. ET. Left-hander and right-hander Clarke Schmidt are scheduled to start the contest. YES Network will air coverage beginning at 4:30 p.m.