TAMPA — Mike Ford is conscious of the gamers the Yankees introduced into camp on minor league offers, together with established veterans equivalent to Jay Bruce and Derek Dietrich — each lefty swingers who can play first base, identical to Ford.
“I at all times attempt to carry out, particularly after I’ve bought a bit of chip on my shoulder,’’ Ford stated Wednesday. “There’s nice competitors right here with loads of expertise. Who is aware of the place the chips are gonna fall?”
Bruce, who had made a working catch in left discipline already this spring, regarded sharp at first base in Wednesday’s 4-1, seven-inning win over the Blue Jays. He additionally added two hits, together with a double.
Dietrich, who performed third base on Wednesday, additionally hit his first homer of the spring.
Ford, who roped a double on Tuesday in opposition to the Orioles in Sarasota, Fla., stated on Wednesday, “it was an awesome feeling,” particularly following a tough 2020, when he had simply 10 hits in 74 at-bats and his OPS plummeted to .496 after a .909 mark the earlier season.
“I haven’t misplaced any confidence hitting,’’ Ford stated. “You study from it and transfer previous it. 2021 is a brand new 12 months and hopefully it will get higher.”
The double, Ford hopes, is an indication of issues to return after he dropped weight throughout the offseason. He stated he’s in “the very best form in a really very long time.”
“I don’t assume I’d had a success in in all probability 5 months,’’ Ford stated. “It was feeling to get that one out of the way in which.”
Darren O’Day, together with his sidearm supply, threw reside batting follow on Tuesday on the Yankees minor league advanced, instantly after batters had confronted Aroldis Chapman.
O’Day famous that Chapman will probably be throwing 100 mph throughout the season, whereas he tops out at 85.
“You possibly can’t actually quantify deception, but it surely’s a helpful device to have,’’ O’Day stated. “To have totally different appears to be like.”
It’s one motive O’Day believes this bullpen will probably be efficient.
“Simply messing with the hitters’ timing [is important],’’ O’Day stated. “The extra we are able to do to disrupt that timing, the extra outs we’re going to get.”
The correct-hander is able to contribute in numerous roles, very like he stated he was utilized by Buck Showalter in Baltimore.
O’Day pointed to Showalter utilizing his relievers to get “4, 5 six outs an evening.”
“We had an awesome relationship,’’ O’Day stated. “I actually loved enjoying for him, particularly the early years in Baltimore when the workforce was just about the doormat of the league for a very long time. We type of introduced the great baseball custom again there.”
O’Day famous Showalter was “a very, actually good bullpen supervisor. The longer I’ve been within the league, the extra I recognize that. You recognize Buck, he had some credit score constructed up with the league, so he type of managed the way in which he needed to and it wasn’t essentially, ‘Effectively this man has to match with this man.’ It was simply, ‘I’m going to have my man get 5 outs tonight after which he’s going to have tomorrow off and pitch the following day.’ So Buck was nice. I beloved studying from him.’’
Brett Gardner, who signed shortly earlier than camp opened, began in left discipline in his spring opener and walked in his first plate look.
The Blue Jays needed to get their pitchers extra work, so the groups performed the underside of the seventh, though the Yankees have been forward.