Yankees’ Nick Burdi draws high praise from Aaron Boone

TAMPA — Aaron Boone’s face said it all.

When asked what impressed him about Nick Vardy’s first few live batting practice sessions, Boone shook his head and paused for a few seconds in disbelief.

“You talk about a lot of different things, which is great,” Boone said Friday afternoon.

Nick Vardy pitches during Yankees batting practice on Friday. Charles Wenzelberg/New York Post

The 31-year-old right-hander impressed in the first two live sessions of camp, including Friday when he struck out DJ LeMahieu, Anthony Volpe and Giancarlo Stanton.

Burdi threw a 98-160 mph fastball from his forearm slot and paired it with a slider and changeup.

The biggest hurdle for Bourdy will be staying healthy — he’s battled injuries throughout his career, including two Tommy John surgeries and surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome — but if he can do that, the Yankees will With a non-roster invitee who could land an early candidate for a bullpen gem.

“Early camp was really good,” Boone said. “Things are great.”

The Yankees haven’t given up on Oswaldo Cabrera as a switch hitter, but they will be tweaking their approach this season.

Boone said the team will sit down with Cabrera before each series to decide which left-handers it’s okay to hit left-handed and which left-handers they want to move to the right side. he said.

On Friday, Oswaldo Cabrera had a hit during a simulated game during the Yankees' spring training practice.
On Friday, Oswaldo Cabrera had a hit during a simulated game during the Yankees’ spring training practice. Charles Wenzelberg/New York Post

“We’re going to think carefully,” Boone said.

After Cabrera batted left-handed against left-handed pitchers late last season, he batted all of his at-bats as a left-handed pitcher in the Venezuelan Winter League as he has recently improved in his at-bats on that side. batter.

“He’s just a more powerful left-handed hitter,” Boone said. “I think he wanted to focus more on that and be more committed to that side of things. Because I feel like I can hold my own and there are some left-on-left matchups that we don’t necessarily want. …Of course, if we need to make adjustments on the fly, we’ll make adjustments.”

Boone said Jasson Dominguez, who is recovering from Tommy John surgery, is scheduled to start swinging a bat on Monday.

The switch-hitting outfielder will start developing on the right side and will be adding a left-handed swing to the mix within a few weeks.

“I’m sure it’s pretty slow progress,” Boone said.

After Friday’s practice, the Yankees held a ping pong tournament and barbecue to strengthen team bonding ahead of games starting Saturday.



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