The big story of the day was Mariano Rivera's announcement of his planned retirement following this season, but it was also both his and Derek Jeter's first time back in game action since their injuries last year. Jeter kicked off his game with a typical line drive single to the opposite field on the first pitch from Mike Minor, prompting a rousing ovation. Most of the game was carefree and enjoyable for the Yanks, as they got to watch pitching prospect Jose Ramirez dazzle in four innings of one-hit, four-strikeout shutout ball. Ramirez's pitching impressed everyone, including YES broadcaster David Cone and manager Joe Girardi. FanGraphs writer Marc Hulet noted that Ramirez had some "easy 95 mph velocity," making it a "killer change of pace" from his already-potent changeup. He has not allowed a run in nine Spring Training innings now; in fact, only five batters have even reached base against him. Baseball-Reference's new OppQual stat shows that hitters facing him were around the major-league level in his previous two appearances. Since he started this game facing a Braves lineup that had only two players without big-league experience, that OppQual will stay about the same. The bottom line is that the 23-year-old has really opened some eyes this Spring following a strong season in High-A Tampa. The Yankees will have to keep a close eye on him as he develops further in Double-A Trenton.
Jeter, Mo Return to Yanks in 2-1 Loss to Atlanta
Pinstriped Bible | Mar 9