Yankees’ Luis Gil impresses in first spring start since Tommy John surgery

LAKELAND, Fla. — Lewis Gil hopes it’s not just his UCL that improves after Tommy John surgery.

The Yankees right-hander made his spring training debut on Saturday and showed some intriguing potential before undergoing elbow surgery.

Gill, who had three strikeouts (but two walks) in two innings and 41 pitches, averaged 96.4 mph with his fastball and topped out at 98 mph, an encouraging sign as he continues his return from surgery in 2022. .

Lewis Gil celebrates while getting off the mound after pitching a scoreless inning in spring training. Charles Wenzelberg/New York Post

“Honestly, I actually feel like I’m in a better place right now as far as speed and movement,” he said, averaging a fastball of 96.8 mph before the surgery. Gill spoke through an interpreter at Joker Merchant Stadium. “It has to do with all the effort we put in during the offseason and after the injury. But the work doesn’t end there. … But I felt really good and happy with the speed and movement today. Masu.”

Gil currently serves as an important starting pitcher for the Yankees beyond being a top-five starting pitcher.

At some point, he could find a role in the bullpen, where he could shine, but the key for him will be throwing enough strikes.

“When you walk somebody, it’s because you try too hard to be perfect with the pitch,” Gill said. “I try to hit the mitt accurately in certain areas, not in the inside area. If I can recognize that and understand the counts I have to work on, I think I’ll have a better chance.”

Manager Aaron Boone said trying too hard to be perfect, especially when it affected the count, may have hurt Gill as he was hit with a walk and a two-run homer in the second inning. He suggested that there was.

“Obviously, he’s got a lot of stuff. Just because you’re up in numbers doesn’t mean you have to make it better or worse,” Boone said. “Overall, it was a good day for Lewis. A big day for him since his return home. There is certainly something to build on.”

Trent Grisham is known for his defensive prowess as a center fielder, but he also has pop.

The left-handed hitter smashed a three-run home run Saturday that hooked a 421-foot ball from a left-handed pitcher down the right-field line.

“The results feel good early on, but they’re also temporary,” Grisham said.

Trent Grisham circled the bases after hitting a three-run home run during the Yankees' 22-10 spring training win over the Tigers.
Trent Grisham circled the bases after hitting a three-run home run during the Yankees’ 22-10 spring training win over the Tigers. USA TODAY Sports (via Reuters Con)

Grisham, who was acquired in the Juan Soto trade, has hit left-handed batters better than right-handed batters during his career.

“It’s always a fun at-bat and something I’m proud of,” Grisham said.

Catcher Luis Torrence and second baseman Jorvit Vivas also hit home runs in the Yankees’ 22-10 win over the Tigers.



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