Atlanta Braves vs. New York Yankees

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March 19, 2016

Atlanta Braves vs. New York Yankees
George M. Steinbrenner Field
Tampa, Florida

By: Rocky Julich

The Atlanta Braves are 5-14-2 during Spring Training games of the Grapefruit League. To date, the Braves 14 losses are the most within the Cactus League of Arizona and the Florida Grapefruit League.

Of the fifteen Major League Clubs training in Florida, since 2015 Spring Training, the Atlanta Braves in 2016 have the largest turnover of Spring Training players. In 2016 the Braves lead the teams with a list of players gone-26, new Braves-11 and non-roster invitees-29. The team began spring with 70 players in camp.

The Braves have 12 new players from outside the organization on the 40-man roster this season, including five that were acquired by trade; INF Erick Aybar, OF Ender Inciarte, RHP Casey Kelly, LHP Ian Krol and RHP Jose Ramirez. Six were free agent signings; INF Gordon Beckham, C Tyler Flowers, RHP Jim Johnson, INF/OF Kelly Johnson and RHP Bud Norris. LHP Evan Rutckyj was selected during the Rule 5 Draft in December. On March 18th the Yankees re-acquired Rutckyj from Atlanta as Rule 5 return and assigned him to Triple-A Scranton Wilkes-Barre.

The Atlanta Braves are among the Major League Baseball clubs experiencing a rebuilding process during the 2016 season. The Braves reorganized over the off-season and are set for a promising future with a wealth of prospects. For many of the 30 Major League Baseball teams, the future appears to be about the Minor Leagues and all about youth.

This week the teams commenced assigning from Spring Training a select number of their non-roster players, their prospects, to their respective Minor League Baseball teams. Considering, this too will allow more playing time for the MLB teams 25 man rosters.

The Braves sent five top prospects to the minors. INFs Dansby Swanson, Ozzie Albies, RHP Aaron Blair, RHP Lucas Sims, OF Mallex Smith.

Atlanta Manager Fredi Gonzalez said “These guys, when they come up, they’re going to be long-time Major League Baseball players.” “They have the intangibles, the work ethic and great character. I feel comfortable that if we need somebody, any of them can help the team”.

Atlanta vs. New York.

After thunder and rain, after an hour and seven minutes of delay, the tarp was removed off Steinbrenner Field and the game between the Braves and Yankees delivered its’ first pitch, to the satisfaction of a packed stadium sold-out with 10,972 fans.

Atlanta’s starting line-up featured three players with 10+ seasons of Major League experience; 1B Nick Swisher, 2B Kelly Johnson and RF Michael Bourn. Included in the line-up 3B Adonis Garcia (Ciego De Avila, Cuba) LF Hector Olivera (Havana, Cuba) second in the majors with 17 hits this spring and CF Ender Inciarte (Maracaibo, Venezuela).

On the mound pitching for the Braves, his second game of spring, RHP Julio Teheran is scheduled to be Atlanta’s Opening Day starter. The twenty-five year old native of Cartagena, Colombia was 11W-8L pitching thirty-three games during 2015.

Teheran gave up six hits over 4-1/3 innings, walked one and struck out two. At the bottom of the fifth inning, coming in on OF Jacoby Ellsbury with a 90 MPH pitch, he struck Ellsbury on his right wrist. To the relief of the New York Yankees, the X-Rays and CT scan were negative of injury.

The Yankees sent their charismatic starter RHP Michael Pineda to the mound. Pineda limited Atlanta to a run on four hits over four innings, as he completed his third appearance and second start. The right-hander struck out four of the 14 batters he faced, throwing 41 of 62 pitches for strikes.

Atlanta’s top of first inning saw Braves CF Ender Incarte connect a triple off Pineda. The second batter in the line-up RF Michael Bourn followed with a single to Yankees LF Chris Denorfia, who on a strong throw cut down Incarte at home plate. In that same inning, Jacoby Ellsbury made a terrific diving catch on the warning track in right-center field, to steal what would have been an extra-base hit for former Yankee Nick Swisher. Swisher, ever laughing, took off his batting helmet in recognition.

The Yankees got the fans started in the first inning when Denorfia threw out Incarte at the plate and Ellsbury made a diving catch against Nick Swisher.

Michael Pineda comments to the media; “I’m happy. I got into a little trouble in the game and I competed” “It was a good outing. I’m doing my work that I am suppose to be doing. I’m good.”

Yankees Notes:

PLAYERS IN CAMP ROSTER (52) Pitchers: 25 Catchers: 5 Infielders: 12 Outfielders: 9 DH: 1

Yankees to Minor Leagues:

RHPs Domingo German, Chad Green, Kyle Haynes, James Kaprielian, Brady Lail, Tyler Cloyd, Mark Montgomery, Vinnie Pestano

LHPs Jacob Lindgren, Tyler Webb, Richard Bleier

Cs Francisco Diaz, Kyle Higashioka, Santiago Nessy, Sebastian Valle

INFs Jorge Mateo, Deibinson Romero, Tyler Wade, Jonathan Diaz and Donovan Solano

OFs Lane Adams, Dustin Fowler, Aaron Judge, Ben Gamel

The Yankees are proud to announce the return of H.O.P.E. Week (Helping Others to Persevere & Excel) in 2016 for the eighth consecutive season. With the kick-off March 19th in Tampa, the initiative will run in New York June 6- June 10.

In the game: Yankees 24 players, including 6 pitchers. Braves 20 players, including pitchers


Yankees 3 Braves 2

WP: Michael Pineda (1-0)

LP: Julio Teheran (1-1)

Save: Kirby Yates (2)

Time 2:26

Rain Delay: 1:07

Attendance: 10,972

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Rain Delay

Rain Delay

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its Clubs.

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