Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Recap: Yankees 12, Braves 5

Masahiro Tanaka threw 3 2/3 shutout innings and Andrew Bailey made his first appearance of the spring Wednesday night as the Yankees blewout the Braves, 12-5, in a preseason slugfest in Lake Buena Vista.

Tanaka's Dominant Start: Tanaka surrendered just two hits during his 11-out performance -- striking out three while walking none. He was awarded with a win after getting some early run support, his first decision of the month.

Bailey's Debut: Bailey, like CC Sabathia on Tuesday, pitched competently when on the mound in the sixth -- still not looking very sharp as he gave up two singles. The latter of those knocks -- a fly ball off the bat of Alberto Callaspo -- drove in an unearned run, and highlighted a rally for the Braves that began with two outs and the bases empty.

Using the Long Ball: Up 1-0 in the top of the fourth, the Yankees began to pull away thanks to a two-run home run from Stephen Drew -- followed an inning later by another two-run shot by Brian McCann. All in all, the Yankees scored six times off Atlanta's James Russell in the fourth and fifth to take a 7-0 lead -- their other two runs coming courtesy of a Chris Young single and a Didi Gregorius triple.

A Loud Visit from an Old Friend: Former Yankee Kelly Johnson put the Braves on the board with a three-run homer in the fifth -- a hard-hit blast to right that easily cleared the outfield wall. It cost New York youngster Jose Ramirez a scoreless outing, and allowed another ex-Yankee in Zoilo Almonte to jog home from first.

Other Notable Offense: Chase Headley broke a 0-0 tie with an RBI single in the second, the only run the Yankees mustered on the evening off Braves starter Mike Foltynewicz. Garrett Jones also plated a run with a sac fly in the sixth -- pushing the Yankees' advantage to 10-3 at the time.

Next Up: Esmil Rogers will get the ball against Aaron Harang Thursday night when the Yankees host the Phillies at 7:05 p.m. ET -- a contest which can be seen on both YES and ESPN. Rogers is expected to pitch four innings as he continues to compete for the last spot in the Yankees' rotation -- doing so on national television in a rare occurrence for March. 

Jacoby Ellsbury has a Mild Abdominal Strain

EDIT: MRI reveals Ellsbury has a mild oblique strain and he will miss at least a week.

Jacoby Ellsbury will miss tonight's Grapefruit League game and tomorrow's travel squad game due to a mild abdominal strain. It's hard to tell just how serious this injury is because the Yankees have a tendency of downplaying injuries and also babying their players at this point in the season.

For what it's worth Ellsbury saw a doctor and no further tests were ordered so there is always that to grasp on to.

Spring Game Thread: New York Yankees @ Atlanta Braves 3/18

The New York Yankees will get another glimpse at the health of Masahiro Tanaka tonight when the New York Yankees travel to face off with the Atlanta Braves as a part of their Grapefruit League schedule. Tanaka made his spring debut last week against this same Braves team in George M. Steinbrenner Field as was incredibly effective against the team throwing for velocity with pinpoint control on all of his pitches. Now Tanaka takes his next step in his recovery from his partially torn ulnar collateral ligament tonight against the Braves in his second spring start.

The game will be played at 6:05 pm ET and can be seen locally on Sports South in the Atlanta area and on MLB TV everywhere else. Go Yankees and Go #TANAKA

The Worst Case Scenario for the 2015 New York Yankees

I cringe while writing this admittedly because the last time I posted something like this I considered, well in advance I may add, what the team would do if they lost Mariano Rivera, Robinson Cano, Andy Pettitte and Derek Jeter in the same offseason. Well aside from Jeter the team did lose all three of those and then went on to sign Kelly Johnson and others like I suggested in the three part post making me somewhat responsible and guilty for the way the 2014 season went down. So here I stand again writing about what could possibly be the worst case scenario for the 2015 version of the New York Yankees.

The Yankees are relying heavily on the bounce backs physically for Carlos Beltran, CC Sabathia, Mark Teixeira and Masahiro Tanaka. By June Beltran is back to being a full time DH with lingering pain and stiffness in his elbow while Sabathia is having his knee drained almost weekly. Sabathia is still on the mound but he is as ineffective as we have ever seen him in his career, It is no bad it would almost be better for the Yankees if he were injured and they could call up Bryan Mitchell. Ivan Nova is back and is going through his normal growing pains in his first season back from Tommy John surgery while Chris Capuano is still stinking up the place while Masahiro Tanaka recovers from his own Tommy John surgery. Of course that surgery doesn’t happen until the first week of June after it’s basically too late for GM Brian Cashman to do anything about it at the trading deadline. Mark Teixeira took a day just because he read this article.

The team also is relying heavily on a shutdown bullpen, the health of Chase Headley and the effectiveness of Didi Gregorius. The bullpen looks great on paper but there is a reason the Braves got rid of Chasen Shreve and David Carpenter, not even Brian McCann could save them. Andrew Miller and Dellin Betances are great but Carpenter looks more and more like Shawn Kelley while Jacob Lindgren and Luis Severino continue to sit in Triple-A. Chase Headley’s back problems flare up again causing Alex Rodriguez to be an everyday third baseman again. He was doing surprisingly well with the bat bringing the question up of whether he was clean or not but the everyday grind of playing third base gets to him and he continues to break down. He just doesn’t break down enough for the Yankees to collect on the remainder of his contract and just enough for him to collect his home run milestone for passing Willie Mays on the All-Time Home Run list. Didi cannot take the pressure of playing in New York, replacing Derek Jeter or hitting left handed pitching. Gregorius shows a sensitive side of himself that is ripped to shreds in the tabloids, and by the media, bloggers and fans. Total Miley Cyrus type breakdown. Troy Tulowitzki is asked if he would accept a trade to New York by an ESPN reporter and his response is “hell no, the Bronx looks like it’s burning again. “ 

Bailey ready to resume his career with Yankees

After missing the last year and a half with a shoulder injury, Andrew Bailey is ready to compete again.

The 2009 AL Rookie of the Year, 30, is set to make his spring training debut in Wednesday night's Yankees-Braves game in Lake Buena Vista -- likely slated to pitch an inning against a lineup of mostly major-leaguers. It's currently unknown how good Bailey's chances at earning a spot on the Yanks' roster are, or even if the team plans to consider him.

But the veteran is nonetheless looking forward to the opportunity -- his first outing since July 12, 2013.

"What keeps you driving is the opportunity in front of me now," Bailey said Tuesday, according to The New York Post. "I'm a big believer success happens when you take advantage of opportunities."

Bailey is recovering from a torn capsule in his throwing arm, which he suffered while with the Red Sox in 2013.

Bailey had recorded eight saves for Boston before going down, keeping his ERA at a respectable 3.77. In 2009, the best season of his career, Bailey compiled 26 saves and a 1.84 ERA for the A's -- helping him garner enough votes for his first of two All-Star selections.

It's anyone's guess whether Bailey will ever put up those numbers again, but the right-hander is at least feeling healthy for the moment. 

"I feel great," Bailey said. "I've passed all the tests, now it's time to let it go in a game."

Bailey will probably have to impress notably to get the Yankees' attention, though -- seeing as the club is presently stacked with relief options. Five of the Yankees' bullpen jobs for this season have already been locked up, with youngsters Chris Martin and Jacob Lindgren also seen as possibilities. 

Bailey isn't viewing his situation negatively, however, instead opting to praise the Yankees' pen for its talent.

"With the starters we have, coming off injuries last year it's a bullpen you can lean on if need be," Bailey said. "Everyone is excited and hopefully I'm a part of that."

Still, Bailey admits Wednesday's contest is just the first of many steps for him -- not necessarily a milestone to be celebrated. 

"Wednesday's game is the first goal of many goals," he said. "My goal was to get into a spring training game. The ultimate goal is to win the World Series and be a part of it. That's where we all want to be. My road starts with Day 1 in spring training and that's Wednesday."

The Trenton Thunder Present “Welcome North” Event April 7

Welcome North Event Set For April 7

The Thunder, Double-A Affiliate of the New York Yankees, will host a free event prior to the season, the "Welcome North Open House," on Tuesday April 7 from 3:00 PM to 6:30 PM.

The annual event begins at 3:00pm with the team's first practice of the year at ARM & HAMMER Park and tours of the stadium. Following practice, fans will have the opportunity to meet this year's team and seek autographs for approximately one hour. Concession stands will be open throughout the event and will serve free hot dogs and sodas. This is a rain or shine event that will conclude for the general public at approximately 6:30pm.

"We're excited to continue the tradition of giving our fans an opportunity to meet the current team and coaches," said Thunder General Manager Will Smith. "It's a unique opportunity for all fans to see our players and coaches in action before the season begins."

Members of the Thunder's 90% Club, a group of season ticket holders who attended at least 90% of the team's games last year, will have a special reception in the Yankee Club and Conference Center from 5:00 PM until 7:30 PM. The reception will feature a buffet dinner and an approximately 45 minute exclusive "meet and greet" with Thunder team members.


WHEN: Tuesday April 7, 2015 (3:00 PM - 6:30 PM, 7:30 PM for 90% Club)
WHO: Open to Media, Sponsors, Season Ticket Holders and General Public

Gates Open For Fans: 3:00 PM
Stadium Tours: 3:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Team Practice Ends: 5:15 PM
Player Autograph Session: 5:30 PM - 6:30 PM
Players visit 90% Club in Yankee Club (Private): 6:30 PM - 7:15 PM
Ballpark Closes: 7:30 PM
Times are approximate and may change

The Thunder, the Double-A Affiliate of the New York Yankees, will begin the 2015 season on April 9 in Erie against the Seawolves. The first home game at ARM & HAMMER Park is on Thursday, April 16. Tickets for 2015 games are on sale now All Thunder games can be heard on 91.3 FM WTSR and online at


Players to Avoid in Your Fantasy Draft

If you haven’t already had your Fantasy Baseball draft this season you may want to read this first as I introduce some players that I think you should avoid this season. Most of these players had career years in 2014 and will be picked up a lot higher than they should be, in my opinion, in 2015.

Nobody better to start off with then the Astros Jose Altuve who won the American League batting title in 2014. Altuve isn’t going to hit .341 again and the offense around him is not significantly better that it will improve his runs, stolen bases or RBI total. The same can be said for the Twins Phil Hughes who walked a total of 0.69 batters per nine innings in 2014. Hughes dialed up his velocity in Minnesota but was still prone to the fly ball and to being hit hard, which he was even in his career season in 2014, so I expect his ERA and peripherals to rise. He’s still worth taking, just not in the first few rounds.

Yoenis Cespedes will be hurt from a change in his home park. Cespedes has played in the Oakland Coliseum but Comerica Park is no friendlier than his stadium was in Oakland. He should get plenty of pitches to hit with Victor Martinez and Miguel Cabrera in the lineup but his average is dropping and so are his home run and RBI totals. He doesn’t take walks and he doesn’t steal bases. Unless he’s a no brainer kind of late in the draft I say you pass. The same can be said for Nelson Cruz as he moves from one of the most beautiful stadiums in Major League Baseball to Safeco Field in Seattle. I think Cruz peaked and had a chip on his shoulder in 2014, the same will not be said in 2015 with a much bigger salary and only Robinson Cano protecting him in the lineup.

We finish with Masahiro Tanaka as the ultimate high risk high reward type player in fantasy. If he’s healthy and he’s on he is as dominant as anyone else on the field and in fantasy. If the elbow pops, and it could at any second of any day and ultimately it probably will before his pitching career is over, then you ultimately wasted a first or second round pick on a guy that will end up on waivers and in the free agency bin for the next two seasons more than likely. 

The Best Case Scenario for the 2015 New York Yankees

Ideally, what is the best case scenario for the New York Yankees? What cards have to fall just right and what acquisitions have to succeed for the fans to call this team a success in 2015? Me being the optimist that I am, although I was accused of not being in recent weeks, I wanted to take a look at just how far this team could go if all the stars aligned and all the dominoes fell where they may.

It starts with health and ends with effectiveness. I think every team that has ever won a World Series or has made the playoffs can and would say that, luck cannot be quantified nor relied on in Major League Baseball. The Yankees luckily had all three in 2015 with 35 starts each from both Masahiro Tanaka and CC Sabathia. Sabathia was never the ace he was in the late 2000’s and early 2010’s but still managed to win 15 games with a low 4.00 ERA while Tanaka was the first Yankees pitcher to win 20 games in a season since Sabathia with 22, just because it’s one more than Sabathia’s 21 in 2010.

Mark Teixeira was also much healthier in 2015 and had to take fewer and fewer days as the grind of the season wore on. Teixeira never came close to hitting .300 again but a very respectable .260 with 38 home runs kept the Yankees in a lot of ball games. Carlos Beltran was on base when almost all 38 of those Teixeira home runs cleared the fences proving that he still had something left in the tank and that his production was affected by the elbow spurs. Beltran never hit the 30 home run power New York may have hoped for but he did flirt with .300 for much of the season before settling in with a .289 average in 151 games played, 135 of them in right field. Alex Rodriguez was not only effective in 2015 he was surprisingly good all things considered. Considering that he is 40 years old and coming off a second hip surgery with a yearlong steroid suspension and a platoon role with Garrett Jones thrown in Alex still shows a good batters eye at the plate and some good opposite field power. Rodriguez only hits 12 home runs in 2015 but his OBP is 125 points higher than his batting average and in years past a lot of his doubles would have been home runs inside Yankee Stadium.

Finally the Yankees got a ton of help from their farm system that they finally began to rely on more heavily. Tyler Austin came up when Chris Young injured himself assaulting a pitching machine (yes, he struck out again) and shined for the Bombers while Luis Severino came up in September and put the rest of the league on notice for 2016. The bullpen was easily the best in the game as the Yankees boasted the first four-headed monster with Dellin Betances, Andrew Miller, Adam Warren and Jacob Lindgren while the likes of David Carpenter and Chasen Shreve shined in their 6th and 7th inning roles. The Yankees rode their fresh legs and their young arms and their veteran presences all the way to the World Series because probably seven times out of ten talent always wins out over luck. 

TGP Daily Poll: Masahiro Tanaka Stays Perfect This Spring

Masahiro Tanaka makes his second start of the spring against the Atlanta Braves on Wednesday after he shut them down for two innings in his spring debut. Tanaka will go at least three innings and not allow a run while staying healthy for the Yankees.

Vote in our prediction poll on

My 2015 March Madness Bracket

Charleston Riverdogs Promotional Schedule

RiverDogs Unleash Jam-Packed 2015 Promotional Schedule

The club outdoes itself this season with nights ensuring there’s something for everyone

CHARLESTON, SC – The Charleston RiverDogs’ promotional schedule is historically highlighted by unique promotions, desired giveaways, explosive fireworks and special nights, and the 2015 version is no exception.

Headlined by Bobble Boobs giveaway, which is the RiverDogs’ matchless way of bringing awareness to breast cancer, and the special “Shoes for Joe” night that honors Greenville native Shoeless Joe Jackson, the 2015 Charleston RiverDogs promotional schedule has a little something for everyone and a lot of fun for all.

Another spectacular highlight of the promotions calendar is the Bill Murray replica “Tune Squad” jersey giveaway on April 25.

The season gets underway with Opening Night, April 9, when the Lexington Legends come to Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Park to begin a seven-game homestand. The Opening Night festivities feature an extended postgame fireworks display and fans will receive free magnet schedulesthat are sponsored by SC 811.

“As our fans have come to expect, we have a fun-filled slate of promotions and theme-nights,” said General Manager Dave Echols. “There will never be a dull time at the ball park this year.

“We’ve increased the number of postgame fireworks nights, our giveaways are of better quality, and we’ve added a few more wrinkles that should make everyone smile as they enter and depart from Riley Park.”


· Mondays: Monday Night Baseball. Mondays are “Dollar Dogs and Beers” nights, thanks to our friends at Coors and Apex Broadcasting, as fans can enjoy $1 drafts and $1 hot dogs in the Ashley View Pub. The RiverDogs will take the best from Monday Night Football and bring it to The Joe Monday Night Baseball style.

· Tuesdays: Tuesday Date Night. Presented by Miller Lite and NASH FM, Tuesdays can be a special night for you and your belle, or bro, as for only $20 a pair of fans can enjoy a pair of upper reserve tickets, two tacos, two small fountain drinks and a plate of nachos.

· Wednesdays: HealthSouth Senior Wednesday. Presented by MeTV and Cumulus Media, seniors (65 and older) eat free between the hours of 6 - 7 pm and receive a complimentary hot dog, soda and chips for coming to midweek RiverDogs games. The RiverDogs will also incorporate special senior awareness initiatives to The Joe every Wednesday.

· Thursdays: Budweiser Thirsty Thursday. Get an early start on the weekend with $1 beers in the Ashley View Pub presented by Budweiser. Returning again this year will be DJ Natty Heavy, who spins popular tunes throughout the game much to the musical delight of those in that special area. Presented by 95SX.

· Fridays: Postgame Fireworks sponsored by Home Telecom & ISHPI Red Shirt Fridays. This popular night makes a return as fans who wear red to the ballpark, just like the RiverDogs will don their special ISHPI Red Jerseys, receive $1 off their walk-up ticket. Carolina Canines, the wounded-veteran service organization that brings “Titus the Bat Dog” to The Joe to retrieve bats during the game, will make an appearance on Fridays. Every Friday will be punctuated with explosive postgame fireworks courtesy of Home Telecom. Fans are encouraged to secure their tickets in advance for this trendy night at The Joe. ISHPI Red Shirt Friday is presented by WEZL with postgame fireworks courtesy of Home Telecom.

· Saturdays: Giveaways on Select Saturdays and Kids Run the Bases. To assist with families, all Saturday game times this season are 6:05 pm and all are presented by Apex Broadcasting. Select Saturday games feature free collectable giveaway items to the first 1,000 fans. This year’s freebies are much improved and will consist of a Bill Murray "Tune Squad" jersey giveaway (April 25); fanny pack giveaway (May 16), Negro League’s Larry Doby Newark Eagles replica jersey giveaway (June 20), Military Heroes Baseball Card set giveaway (July 11); and – get this – Bobble Boobs giveaway (Aug. 22) that supports Breast Cancer Awareness. Following the action on the field every Saturday, all kids can stick around and run the bases, thanks to CPI Security Systems.

· Sundays: Kids Club Sundays - Presented by Charleston County Parks and Recreation Commission and Y102.5, Sundays at Riley Park feature Free Parking and Kids Eat Free courtesy of Pepsi as all members of the RiverDogs Kids Club get into the game for free and all kids that enter The Joe receive a voucher for a free meal upon entering. The RiverDogs Kids Club, known as the RiverPups, is free to join and open to all kids 12-under. But that’s not all as the RiverDogs pull out all the stops to cater to families, offering a pregame catch on the field, reading with the RiverDogs and the popular postgame autograph session with the entire RiverDogs team and loveable mascots, Charlie T. RiverDog, Chelsea and Bark.


· Opening Day: April 9; "Firsty" Thursday: The RiverDogs will celebrate a series of "firsts" throughout the park, so be sure to get here early as you may win something spectacular. The RiverDogs’ first fireworks spectacular will cap off the festivities at the end of the night. Opening Day is sponsored by SC 811, as well as the magnet schedule giveaway to the first 5,000 fans.

· Kids Opening Day: April 12; Kids take over the park, box office, public address system, radio and even Dave's General Managing Duties. Kids t-shirt giveaway to the first 1,000 fans 12 and under is presented by Vapor.

· Prostate Cancer Awareness Night: "Night of Man": May 2; Ed Randall “Bat for the Cure” will be in attendance. We will celebrate manliness with on-field push-up and pull-up contests, beard contests and much more. Prostate exams will be given on The Joe's concourse through a simple pin prick. Expect our own general manager, Dave Echols, to take getting a prostate exam to the extreme.

· Shoes for Joe: May 16; Fans that bring in used shoes for donating to Souls4soles will receive a free general admission ticket to the game that will be highlighted with a pregame ceremony, involving both teams, honoring Greenville native Shoeless Joe Jackson. The game will be against the Greenville Drive, and both teams will be shoeless for the pregame introductions.

· Memorial Day: May 25; Red, white and blue will be the theme of this game as we honor those who have served and are serving our country. The festivities will conclude with another spectacular fireworks display.

· Bromance Night: June 2; A Tuesday date night that is an “Ode to the Bros.” Leave your lady at home and bring out your best bro to the ballpark. "Brotivities" features a secret handshake contest, a game of "Know Your Bro," and "What Would a Bro Do?" will help highlight the night.

· Charlie T. RiverDog's Surprise Birthday Party: June 7; Keep this a secret! Join us in celebrating the lovable mascot’s birthday in surprise fashion. This Sunday will also double as a Dog Day at The Joe where owners may bring their pooch(es) to the game.

· We Heart Dave Night: June 18; A celebration and night of appreciation to everyone's favorite General Manager: Dave Echols. Festivities include a game of "Are you smarter than Dave?” photo and autograph opportunities with the man himself, and anything we can find to make him turn red.

· Larry Doby Weekend: June 20-21; The RiverDogs pay homage to the Negro Leagues. Saturday includes a Larry Doby Replica Jersey Giveaway sponsored by SC State and a celebration of the Cannon Street All-Stars 1955 team, and on Sunday, we will honor the Negro Leagues with an appearance from former Negro League player Clifford Layton. The teams will wear throwback jerseys of the Homestead Grays and Newark Eagles.

· Independence Day Celebration: July 4; Put simply, this is the best fireworks display in the Lowcountry.

· Military Appreciation Night: July 11; The RiverDogs will wear their special "Green Army Men" jerseys presented by ISHPI, which will be auctioned off through a silent auction during the game. It is also our Military Card Set giveaway – this is not your normal card set as it profiles actual military members, not baseball players.

· Second Annual Charleston Rainbows Night: July 27; The RiverDogs honor the Charleston Rainbows and will wear special Rainbows jerseys, courtesy of Dudley's on Ann. The jerseys will be auctioned off through a silent auction throughout the game.

· Big Splash Day: July 28; This rare 12:05 pm start features The Joe’s transformation from a BALLpark to a WATERpark!

· Shark Week: Aug. 11-13; The RiverDogs will feature the most feared creature in the water.

· HOPE Week: Aug. 17-21; Once again the RiverDogs team up with the New York Yankees "Helping Others Persevere and Excel" initiative and bring it to Charleston. The RiverDogs and all of the Yankees’ affiliates garner awareness for highlighted causes, individuals and organizations.

· Breast Cancer Awareness Night: Aug. 22; The RiverDogs highlight breast cancer awareness with a unique Bobble Boobs giveaway, mammograms at the park and a Pink- Out the park.

· Princess and Pirates Night: Aug. 30; This is also a Kid's Club Sunday and all kids who dress up as princesses or pirates will gain free entry.


· Apr. 25: Bill Murray "Tune Squad" Jersey giveaway, presented by WCIV TV-4.

· May 16: "Run Forrest Run 5K," presented by Fleet Feet Sports, features a Fanny Pack Giveaway courtesy of Kickin 92.5.

· June 20-21: Larry Doby Heritage Weekend, presented by SC State University and WCSC TV-5. As part of Larry Doby Heritage weekend, the RiverDogs will give away Newark Eagles replica jerseys.

· July 11: Military Heroes Baseball Card Set giveaway, presented by WCBD TV-2.

· Aug 22: Breast Cancer Awareness Bobble Boob giveaway presented by Benefitfocus.


· May 16: The 9th Annual Run, Forrest, Run 5K Race presented by Fleet Feet Sports, is a unique 5K race that features a finish at home plate and a post-race meal and party prior to the RiverDogs game.

· June 16-19: Charleston RiverDogs Baseball Camp presented by Kickin’ Chicken is for all kids ages 6-13. Have your child learn the fundamentals of the game from RiverDogs players and coaches.

· July 25: Kindness Beats Blindness Auction Night: The RiverDogs’ 16th Annual Kindness Beats Blindness Auction where all proceeds benefit the MUSC Storm Eye Institute.

· Aug. 7: Charleston Baseball Hall of Fame Night: On this special night, we welcome the newest members into the hallowed halls of the Lowcountry baseball’s elite.

· Sept. 2: Fan Appreciation Night: Sept. 2; The RiverDogs honor their fans with a huge celebration where EVERYTHING MUST GO! It will also be Employee Appreciation Night as two lucky gameday employees will be selected to win a $500 grand prize for their excellent work throughout the season. And it wouldn’t be a Fan Appreciation Night without a postgame-fireworks spectacular.

Fans are encouraged to visit, or call the Box Office at 843/577-DOGS (3647) for tickets and additional information. If you can't make the games, remember that RiverDogs baseball can be heard throughout the season on the flagship radio home, WTMA 1250AM.


Recap: Blue Jays 4, Yankees 2

CC Sabathia pitched two innings of two-run ball and the Yankees fell to the Blue Jays, 4-2, Tuesday night at Steinbrenner Field.

Sabathia Returns: Sabathia's 2015 spring debut went about as well as it could through the first six hitters, with Sabathia retiring all but one of the Blue Jays he faced and recording two strikeouts. After getting Dalton Pompey to go down looking, however, Sabathia surrendered an RBI double to Dayan Viciedo and an RBI single to Devon Travis -- the lefty only getting out of the second when Travis was thrown out at home. 

A Surprise Tex Message: Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira has struggled over the first few weeks of camp, but showed some signs of life in this one's bottom of the fourth. With the Yankees down 3-1 and Toronto righty Drew Hutchison on the mound in that inning, Teixeira lifted a high solo shot over the left-center field wall -- his first four-bagger of the preseason.

Betances' Blues: Dellin Betances labored noticeably while pitching the top of the third, allowing three of five hitters to reach while striking out none. The Blue Jays scored once off him when Jose Reyes tripled and Josh Donaldson drove him in with a groundout, making Betances' outing the second consecutive one in which he's given up a run.

Drew Beats the Shift: Batting with men on first and second and one out in the Yankees' half of the second, Drew lined an RBI single through the vacated left side -- plating Garret Jones and putting the Yankees on the board. Jones had walked and Chris Young had singled prior to Drew's knock, his lone one in two at-bats on the evening. 

A Blown Opportunity: Following a Jonathan Galvez base-on-balls and a Tyler Austin double, the Yankees had the tying runs in scoring position with just one out in the eighth -- a seemingly-ideal situation for them with Greg Bird at the dish. Unfortunately, though, the usually-clutch Bird struck out swinging against the Blue Jays' Roberto Osuna, who then induced an Austin Romine groundout to end the threat.

Next Up: The Yankees will head to Lake Buena Vista Wednesday night for a meeting with the upstart Braves -- beginning at a slightly-earlier 6:05 p.m. ET. Masahiro Tanaka is slated to start for the Yankees opposite Atlanta's Mike Foltynewicz -- a matchup set to air live on MLB.TV and on tape delay on MLB Network.

This Day in New York Yankees History 3/18: Virginia Tech Heals

On this day in 2008 the "Evil Empire" attempted to help with the healing process on the campus of Virginia Tech University after 32 students and staff became victims of a shooting spree the previous April. The Yankees played the Hokies at Virginia Tech's English Field and George Steinbrenner donated $1 million to a memorial fund while also making arrangements for his team to participate in the exhibition. The ESPN Red Sox did nothing.

Also on this day in 1943 the New York Yankees, and five other teams, had to open spring training camps in northern locations. The Yankees opened up camp in Asbury Park, New Jersey.

Finally on this day in 1937 Lou Gehrig ended his holdout after agreeing to a one year deal worth $36,000 with a $750 signing bonus. Gehrig had originally asked New York for $50,000. The deal still made the Yankees first basemen and last season's American League MVP the highest paid player in all of baseball.