Letâs take a look at the winners and losers from the first day of the 2020 spring training schedule.
Draw no conclusions from what follows. After all, weâre through exactly one day of the 2020 spring training schedule.
At this stage teams are a lot more interested in assessing position or roster battles rather than actual team performance.
But for what itâs worth, here are the winners and losers emerging from the opening slate of games.
Winner: J.A. Happ, New York Yankees pitcher.
The health concerns that suddenly surround the Yankee rotation â James Paxton and Luis Severino are both idled â make it imperative that Happ deliver. With Paxton sidelined until May and Severinoâs status in question, Happ suddenly projects to be the No. 3 starter.
Thatâs a big step up from this winter when Happ was viewed as so far down the rotation pecking order that he was considered expendable.
Facing the Toronto Blue JaysÂ Saturday, Happ looked reassuringly solid. He needed just a dozen pitches to record his six outs, fanned three and did not throw a pitch outside the strike zone. The Jays eventually beat the Yankees 2-1, but all the damage was done by and against guys who arenât expected to make an impact this summer.
The Yankees are counting on Happ to make an impact, and Saturday he couldnât have looked better.