Yankees takeaways from Saturday's 8-3 spring training win at Phillies, including Anthony Volpe's Opening Day roster case
Anthony Volpe strengthened his case for a spot on the Yankees' Opening Day roster and New York's bats came alive during an 8-3 spring training win over the Philadelphia Phillies in Clearwater, Fla.
Five things to know from Saturday's game
1. What more does Volpe need to do? The Yankees' top prospect delivered a 3-for-4 statement -- a home run shy of the cycle -- that included a leadoff triple to down the right-field line in the first inning that sparked New York's offensive outburst. Volpe enters the Yankees' final three spring training games this week slashing .314/.417/.647 with three home runs and five RBI. He reminded once again why starting shortstop should be his to lose.
2. Gleyber Torres, New York's former starting shortstop, could be a potential name to watch on the trading block if the Yankees pursue a starting pitcher -- especially considering Aaron Boone's pregame revelation that Luis Severino is expected to start the season on the injured list -- but the second baseman reminded the front office what he can do at the plate. Torres produced a 2-for-4 afternoon in the box, including four RBI. Batting third, Torres followed Aaron Judge's no-out walk with a single up the middle that scored Volpe from third and drew first blood for the Yankees at 1-0. With two on and none out in the fourth, Torres dotted the exclamation point of an 8-0 advantage by sending a home run to left field that scored Volpe and Judge. Torres is slashing .259/.259/.519 with two homers and six RBI in nine spring training games after his four-RBI day.
3. Josh Donaldson went yard for the third time in as many games, bouncing back from Friday's hitless game against the Minnesota Twins and following up on his two-homer performance Tuesday versus the Detroit Tigers by breaking open the rout of the Phillies with a first-inning long ball. He picked up Giancarlo Stanton, who followed Torres' aforementioned RBI single by grounding into a 6-4-3 double play, with a two-run home run to left off Aaron Nola. Spring training has been rough for Donaldson, who has emulated his down 2022 season by slashing .222/.333/.583, but he is up to four home runs and 10 RBI through 14 games now.
4. While Volpe eyes shortstop, Isiah Kiner-Falefa -- last season's starter -- started in left field while batting ninth and enjoyed a 2-for-4 afternoon. Kiner-Falefa deposited singles in the third and seventh innings, bringing his average to .278 through 15 spring training games. His days as the starting shortstop may be behind him, but he does bring versatile value to the Yankees.
5. On the mound, Randy Vasquez -- New York's No. 14 overall prospect and No. 5 right-handed pitcher in the organization's farm system, according to mlb.com -- made the most of his first spring training start. He limited the Phillies to three hits in four scoreless innings, striking out four and walking two. Vasquez, whose stuff overcame command issues as he threw 34 strikes on 62 pitches, lowered his ERA to 5.14 in three spring training games.
The Yankees return home to nearby George M. Steinbrenner Field in Tampa, Fla., for Sunday's 1:05 p.m. game against the Toronto Blue Jays.