Whit Merrifield hit his first home run of spring training, Bowden Francis pitched well, and more as the Blue Jays beat the Yankees 5-2

Photo credit:© John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports
Brennan Delaney
6 months ago
It’s always a good day when the Blue Jays beat the Yankees.
On Saturday afternoon, the Jays beat the Yankees in impressive fashion. Let’s look at the standouts, as well as some other things worth mentioning.

Blue Jays Nation’s player of the game: Whit Merrifield

Merrifield had a productive game on Saturday afternoon, hitting his first spring training home run and driving another insurance run in his next at bat.
The battle for second base continues to brew, with Merrifield’s slash line sitting at .360/.393/.640. This is better than Santiago Espinal’s slash line (.324/378/.500) and Cavan Biggio’s slash line (.270/.341/.351).
I have no idea who will be the starting second baseman, but this battle is fun.

Things worth mentioning:

Bowden Francis looks damn good, doesn’t he? On Saturday afternoon, he pitched three innings, gave up three hits, two runs, and walked a batter. However, he also struck out a game-high five, generating a game-high nine whiffs. His role is yet to be determined, but I think there’s a good chance he will start the season as a starter with Buffalo.
Vladimir Guerrero Jr.’s knee is doing better. He hit his third home run of the spring in only 21 plate appearances. That home run tied him with George Springer for the most, but the latter has 36 plate appearances. Hopefully, he can find his 2021 form.
Jackson Rees continues to pitch well. He only faced three batters on Saturday afternoon, where he walked one and struck out two. The last batter he faced was Aaron Judge, whom he struck out on four pitches, generating two whiffs from the 2022 American League MVP.
Thomas Hatch had his third straight solid game. On Saturday afternoon, he struck out two in two innings pitched. He didn’t allow a run or a walk and allowed just two doubles. It’s likely that Hatch starts the 2022 season with the Triple-A Buffalo Bisons. It’s to be seen if the Jays plan to use him as a starter or bulk reliever.
The next Blue Jays game will be on Sunday afternoon against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Somehow, the games are not televised, nor do they have baseball savant. Thankfully, there will be a radio broadcast.
As always, you can follow me on Instagram and Twitter @Brennan_L_D.


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