Headley lends a hand in Eovaldi's shutdown start

Third baseman homers, drives in three to lead Yankees in rout

Headley lends a hand in Eovaldi's shutdown start

KISSIMMEE, Fla. -- Chase Headley went 3-for-4 with a homer and three RBIs to back another strong outing from Nathan Eovaldi to help the Yankees beat the Astros, 7-0, on Sunday afternoon at Osceola County Stadium.

Alex Rodriguez made his debut at first base for the Yankees and went 1-for-1 with a walk and a run scored while playing four innings.

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Brian McTaggart is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

A-Rod makes debut at first in Yanks' victory

Appearance goes smoothly; Girardi will consider alignment during season

A-Rod makes debut at first in Yanks' victory

KISSIMMEE, Fla. -- At this stage of Alex Rodriguez's career, there are not many new experiences to be found between the white lines. Standing at first base, charging a ground ball and feeding it to a moving target qualified as one of them.

Making his first career appearance at first base, Rodriguez handled three chances in three innings at the position, grabbing that grounder and accepting two throws in the Yankees' 7-0 Grapefruit League victory over the Astros at Osceola County Stadium.

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Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Eovaldi praised by hometown legend Ryan

Strikeout king, Astros advisor watched Yankees righty's scoreless start Sunday

Eovaldi praised by hometown legend Ryan

KISSIMMEE, Fla. -- One of the things that Nathan Eovaldi remembers about growing up in Alvin, Texas, is that Nolan Ryan seemed to be everywhere. His photos were on the walls of restaurants, highways were named in his honor and old-timers still talked about his greatest games as though they happened yesterday.

Eovaldi didn't realize it as he stepped on the mound Sunday at Osceola County Stadium, but the Hall of Famer was there too. Ryan watched the game in his role as an Astros executive advisor and said that he was looking forward to seeing how his fellow Alvin High School alum handled the competition.

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Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Teixeira 'fine' after bruising knee in Minors game

Yankees expect first baseman to play Wednesday after getting hit by pitch

Teixeira 'fine' after bruising knee in Minors game

KISSIMMEE, Fla. -- Mark Teixeira was diagnosed with a right knee contusion after being hit by a pitch in a Minor League game on Sunday morning, the Yankees announced.

Teixeira immediately left the game at the Yankees' Himes Avenue complex and appeared to be limping, but he told reporters that he was "fine." The club said Teixeira is receiving ice treatment and that no tests are scheduled.

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Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Didi reports improvement after straining left wrist

Yankees shortstop was injured diving for ground ball on Saturday

Didi reports improvement after straining left wrist

TAMPA, Fla. -- Didi Gregorius received treatment and reported some improvement in his strained left wrist on Sunday, one day after the Yankees' shortstop awkwardly rolled on his glove hand diving for a ground ball.

Gregorius said that he believes he will be ready for Opening Day. The Yankees' plan is to rest him for the next two days and then try to get him back in the lineup on Wednesday, when New York hosts the Rays at George M. Steinbrenner Field.

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Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Yanks bring back Burton three days after release

Right-hander sidelined with strained lat; Davies, Mitchell sent to Minors

Yanks bring back Burton three days after release

TAMPA, Fla. -- The Yankees re-signed Jared Burton to a Minor League contract on Sunday, agreeing on a new deal with the right-hander three days after he was released by the club, among several other transactions that trimmed their spring roster.

Burton, 33, has been sidelined since March 17 with a strained lat. He had an opt-out in his original contract that he planned to exercise, so the Yanks released him and then agreed to a new deal.

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Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Drew, A-Rod go yard as Baker struggles vs. O's

Right-hander tapped for five runs in second inning

Drew, A-Rod go yard as Baker struggles vs. O's

TAMPA, Fla. -- Alejandro De Aza hit a three-run homer to back Tyler Wilson's impressive start as the Orioles defeated the Yankees, 10-2, on Saturday at George M. Steinbrenner Field.

De Aza's second homer of the spring highlighted a five-run frame as Baltimore jumped on right-hander Scott Baker. Ryan Flaherty had a sacrifice fly and Jonathan Schoop slapped a run-scoring single in the frame off Baker, who is trying to win a spot on the Yanks' pitching staff as a non-roster invitee.

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Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Betances has more to fix in Spring Training

Yankees closer candidate allows fifth spring run in seventh appearance

Betances has more to fix in Spring Training

TAMPA, Fla. -- Dellin Betances would hate to get on the plane without another clean inning under his belt, so this is going to be an important week for the Yankees right-hander to iron out the wrinkles.

Betances was touched for a run in the sixth inning of the Yanks' 10-2 Grapefruit League loss to the Orioles on Saturday. In seven appearances, the All-Star has permitted five earned runs and is sporting a 7.11 ERA.

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Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

A-Rod adds third homer to consistent spring

A-Rod adds third homer to consistent spring

TAMPA, Fla. -- When Alex Rodriguez hit his first home run of the spring, he remarked that it had been so long, he had forgotten what it was supposed to feel like. This time, when ball met barrel, he knew exactly what was happening.

Rodriguez slugged his third Grapefruit League homer Saturday, a solo shot to left-center off Orioles left-hander Brian Matusz, in the seventh inning of Baltimore's 10-2 victory at George M. Steinbrenner Field.

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Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Gregorius to take time off with wrist sprain

Yankees shortstop injured diving for ground ball against Orioles

Gregorius to take time off with wrist sprain

TAMPA, Fla. -- The Yankees are hopeful that rest will help Didi Gregorius' sprained left wrist after the shortstop was injured diving for a second-inning ground ball Saturday against the Orioles.

Precautionary X-rays were negative, and Yankees manager Joe Girardi said his plan is to give Gregorius three days off, aiming to get him back into action Wednesday.

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Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Minor Leaguers pounce on Sabathia's pitches

Yankees southpaw allows two homers in productive five-inning outing

Minor Leaguers pounce on Sabathia's pitches

TAMPA, Fla. -- It was CC Sabathia's request to pitch in a Minor League game Saturday, not wanting to provide a sneak peek to a division rival while the Yankees hosted the Orioles over at George M. Steinbrenner Field. He may have been regretting that call after one pitch.

It's often said that Minor League hitters swing early and often, and Sabathia barked when his first pitch was slugged over the wall by Alen Hanson, an infielder with the Pirates' Triple-A squad. Sabathia served up two homers in a five-inning outing that he said was productive.

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Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Yankees honor prospects Severino, Refsnyder

Pitcher, Player of the Year ranked first, fifth in organization

Yankees honor prospects Severino, Refsnyder

TAMPA, Fla. -- Rob Refsnyder and Luis Severino have been honored as the winners of the 2014 Kevin Lawn Award as the Yankees' Minor League Player of the Year and Pitcher of the Year, respectively.

The pair of promising prospects received their awards prior to Saturday's game against the Orioles at George M. Steinbrenner Field.

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Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Yankees tab Tanaka for Opening Day start

Righty 'honored' to have assignment that had been CC's for six straight seasons

Yankees tab Tanaka for Opening Day start

TAMPA, Fla. -- Masahiro Tanaka has been named as the Yankees' Opening Day starter for the April 6 contest against the Blue Jays, accepting an assignment that had been issued to CC Sabathia for the last six seasons.

Yankees manager Joe Girardi announced the club's probable pitchers for the first four games of the season on Friday. Tanaka will be followed by Michael Pineda, Sabathia and Nathan Eovaldi in the rotation, with the fifth starter yet to be announced.

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Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

A-Rod to get 5-inning look at first on Sunday

Girardi sees veteran as third option behind Teixeira, Jones

A-Rod to get 5-inning look at first on Sunday

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- The Yankees have been preparing Alex Rodriguez to serve as an emergency backup at first base, and they'll get a chance to evaluate his progress on Sunday against the Astros in Kissimmee, Fla.

Rodriguez is scheduled to play five innings as a first baseman in that afternoon's contest, according to manager Joe Girardi, who envisions Rodriguez as a third option behind Mark Teixeira and Garrett Jones at the position.

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Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Drew goes 3-for-3, shows signs of heating up

After uneven start to spring, second baseman drives in two runs vs. Phils

Drew goes 3-for-3, shows signs of heating up

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- The Yankees are hoping that a more normal Spring Training will allow Stephen Drew to return to the form he showed two seasons ago, and that belief was not shaken by the veteran infielder's slow start at the plate.

Entering Friday afternoon batting just .167 (6-for-36) in his first spring with the Yanks, Drew showed signs of busting out in New York's 10-0, rain-shortened Grapefruit League win over the Phillies, going 3-for-3 with a double, a run scored and two RBIs.

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Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Drew, Yanks' bats erupt behind solid Pineda

Second baseman goes 3-for-3; righty fans five in five scoreless innings

Drew, Yanks' bats erupt behind solid Pineda

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Yankees second baseman Stephen Drew had three hits and two RBIs in Friday's 10-0 rain-shortened victory over the Phillies at Bright House Field. The game was called with one out in the top of the sixth inning.

Phillies left-hander Jake Diekman allowed seven runs on six hits and a walk in just one-third of an inning as the Yankees broke up a scoreless tie in the fifth.Diekman's Grapefruit League ERA rose from 3.86 to 12.27 in his seventh appearance.

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Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his Phillies blog The Zo Zone. Follow him on Twitter. Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

A-Rod makes first 180-foot dashes of spring

Yanks DH runs first to third, second to home against Phillies

A-Rod makes first 180-foot dashes of spring

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- As Alex Rodriguez checks the boxes off his mental to-do list this spring, he was waiting for an opportunity to make the pair of 180-foot dashes from first to third and second to home. Both were knocked out on a busy Friday afternoon.

Rodriguez went from first to third on Stephen Drew's second-inning double, then scored from second base on Chris Young's two-run single in the fifth. For good measure, Rodriguez even tried to score on a fly ball to right field, a play that ended with him being tagged out.

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Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Warren works to further cement status as fifth starter

Right-hander still favorite to land role; official word may come in a few days

Warren works to further cement status as fifth starter

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- Adam Warren may not be thrilled with his new nickname of "Secretariat," playing off a comment offered this week by Yankees general manager Brian Cashman, but he is certainly happy with what it represents.

Cashman likened Warren to the legendary racehorse in evaluating the Yankees' fifth starter competition, and though the right-hander is in no danger of a photo finish, he said that any celebration would be premature before it is officially announced by the club.

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Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

64 years ago, Mantle hit a 550-660 foot HR

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64 years ago, Mantle hit a 550-660 foot HR

We've seen some incredible rookies impress over the last few years. From Jose Fernandez to Bryce Harper to Mike "The Fish God" Trout. But 64 years ago today, a 19-year-old Mickey Mantle may have topped them all during a Spring Training game against USC.

 

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Warren solid in latest bid for rotation spot

Right-hander strikes out five over 3 2/3 innings vs. Rays

Warren solid in latest bid for rotation spot

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- The Rays had a "bullpen day" on Thursday as they did not use a starting pitcher, rather a stream of relievers were backed by home runs from Evan Longoria and Desmond Jennings in a 6-5 win over the New York Yankees on Thursday at Charlotte Sports Park.

"You had to be prepared a little earlier," said Grant Balfour, who pitched a scoreless third. "Guys are going six, seven innings now. Today was one of those days where we just threw all the relievers out there."

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Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Ellsbury swings bat, optimistic for opener

Outfielder takes cuts for first time since straining his oblique on March 15

Ellsbury swings bat, optimistic for opener

TAMPA, Fla. -- Jacoby Ellsbury said that he is excited to pick up a bat for tee work and soft toss on Thursday, which he believes will be a good test as he attempts to be ready for the Yankees' Opening Day lineup.

Ellsbury has not played in a game since March 15 due to a right oblique strain that the Yankees have characterized as "extremely mild." Manager Joe Girardi has said that as long as Ellsbury can play in a game by March 31, he is unconcerned about the season opener on April 6.

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Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Steinbrenner confident in Yankees' chances

Managing general partner discusses prospects, A-Rod in radio interviews

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- Yankees managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner is confident about his club's chances of competing in the American League East this 2015 season, voicing that optimism in a pair of New York radio interviews on Thursday.

With Opening Day approaching, Steinbrenner called in to both WFAN's Mike Francesa and ESPN Radio's Michael Kay and said that he has been pleased by the overall health of the club, as well as some of the exciting young prospects who have been on display during Spring Training.

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Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Yankees release right-hander Burton

Yankees release right-hander Burton

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- The Yankees have unconditionally released right-hander Jared Burton from his Minor League contract.

Burton, 33, had been sidelined since March 17 with a strained lat. He pitched four innings over four spring appearances, allowing no runs and two hits with no walks and two strikeouts.

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Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Manfred content with A-Rod's smooth return

Commissioner confirms Yanks vet will be tested frequently in wake of suspension

Manfred content with A-Rod's smooth return

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- Commissioner Rob Manfred has been pleased to see Alex Rodriguez re-assimilate into life as an active player and with the Yankees following the slugger's historic suspension, Manfred said on Thursday.

"I think I've been pretty public about this," Manfred said. "Alex served a very long suspension. Once he served that time, baseball ought to welcome him back -- and I think we've done a good job. The institution as a whole -- teams, central baseball, everybody. He's played well. Good for him."

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Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Tanaka strikes out 7 Mets in solid outing

Righty goes 4 2/3 innings, surrenders homer; Betances also taken deep

Tanaka strikes out 7 Mets in solid outing

TAMPA, Fla. -- John Mayberry Jr. homered off Masahiro Tanaka and Juan Lagares cracked a two-run blast off Dellin Betances as the Mets defeated the Yankees, 7-2, on Wednesday at George M. Steinbrenner Field.

Lined up to serve as the Yanks' Opening Day starter, Tanaka permitted three runs (two earned) and four hits over 4 2/3 innings, walking one and striking out seven. The right-hander threw 47 of 59 pitches for strikes and said that he has been working on throwing his two-seam fastball more often this season.

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Paul Hagen is a reporter for MLB.com. Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Warren clear favorite to be Yanks' fifth starter

Warren clear favorite to be Yanks' fifth starter

TAMPA, Fla. -- Adam Warren has all but secured the fifth-starter's job on the strength of a strong spring, according to general manager Brian Cashman, though the Yankees are in no hurry to etch that decision in stone.

"I think there's a predictable favorite. I guess that's as far as I can go on that one," Cashman said on Wednesday. "Right now, if we had to make a decision today, I think we all know what that decision would be. There's a Secretariat right now in this race for me that's got a number of lengths ahead of the field."

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Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Tanaka working on improving two-seamer

Righty not eliminating four-seamer, but says pitch was vulnerable in 2014

Tanaka working on improving two-seamer

TAMPA, Fla. -- If it appears that Masahiro Tanaka isn't lighting up the radar gun like he did during his terrific rookie campaign, the Yankees right-hander is armed with a good explanation, and it's one which he says is unrelated to last year's elbow injury.

Tanaka revealed on Wednesday that he has decided to throw his two-seam fastball more this spring, a pitch that has less velocity than his four-seamer but adds downward movement. Tanaka said that he thought his four-seamer was vulnerable last season, and so he is looking to make an adjustment.

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Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cashman: A-Rod showing he could be everyday DH

Yankees general manager likes what he's seen from slugger at the plate

Cashman: A-Rod showing he could be everyday DH

TAMPA, Fla. -- The Yankees were not sure what to expect from Alex Rodriguez this spring, having seen him in just 44 games over the last two seasons due to injuries and suspension, but general manager Brian Cashman said on Wednesday that he has been pleased with the slugger's output.

"He's done well," Cashman said. "I'm not looking at performance and statistics as much as just how he's been swinging the bat. He's got a lot of life in his body. If he continues to show athleticism, that means he's going to impact the baseball. That will be good for us."

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Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

NYCFC hopes Cathedral will strike fear in opponents

NYCFC hopes Cathedral will strike fear in opponents

NEW YORK -- It's finally starting to feel a little bit like home.

New York City Football Club is settling into Yankee Stadium, and it invited the media to an open practice Wednesday in advance of its second home game. NYCFC will take on Sporting Kansas City at Yankee Stadium on Saturday night, and the players are hoping for another capacity crowd.

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Spencer Fordin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.