OK, so maybe it’s a small sample size, but the Yankees topped the Marlins 10-8 in the first major league game played at Marlins Ballpark on Sunday.
With the roof closed on an 85-degree day, Derek Jeter lined the very first pitch of the game from Ricky Nolasco into right field for a double, setting the tone for the day. There were 26 hits in all, including the first homers of the spring for the Yankees’ Nick Swisher and the Marlins’ Gaby Sanchez.
Fortunately, the nightmare sculpture in center field, which will open a portal to Hell for 15 seconds with each Marlins homer during the regular season, wasn’t operational for this one.
Apart from that, the new park received mostly positive reviews, though one player wasn’t so happy with his day at the beach: “That infield out there is like running in sand,” Swisher said after the game.
Expectations were that the park would suit pitchers better than hitters, particularly with the roof closed, as it’s expected to be most of the time. But while that still might the case, it certainly didn’t hold true today. CC Sabathia gave up three runs in his four innings of work, and Mariano Rivera, pitching the fifth, allowed a run in a spring training game for the first time since 2008.
Twins’ right-handed pitching prospect Yorman Landa passed away in a tragic car accident on Friday night, per a team statement. According to Mike Berardino of the Pioneer Press, 22-year-old Landa was in the passenger seat of the vehicle when it struck a fallen tree.
Daniel Szew, Landa’s agent, spoke highly of the young pitcher, who was one of his first clients back in 2010. Szew acknowledged Landa for helping him expand his company, LA Sports Management, and referred to the late pitcher as a leader and his “little brother.”
He was very even-keeled,” Szew said. “That was his personality. He wasn’t wild. That’s why this is so tragic. He wasn’t a wild guy. He was a happy-go-lucky guy who took life as it came, and he was super happy — always happy.
If leadership was one facet of Landa’s personality, so was loyalty. The 22-year-old agreed to a minor league contract with the Twins on Tuesday after getting cut from the 40-man roster, fulfilling a promise to re-sign with the club despite fielding multiple offers from competing teams. The deal included an invite to spring training, and comments from his agent suggested that the right-hander was “super confident” he’d break through to the major leagues in 2017, notwithstanding a troublesome shoulder injury that hampered his progress in High-A Fort Myers during the 2016 season.
“He never wanted to leave,” Szew told Berardino. “It was the only organization he ever knew.”
Our condolences go out to Landa’s family and the Twins organization during this terrible time.
MINNEAPOLIS — The Minnesota Twins say minor league pitcher Yorman Landa has died in Venezuela. He was 22.
The club said in a statement that the Twins are “deeply saddened by the heartbreaking loss.” The team did not say how he died.
Landa pitched in the 2016 season with the Fort Meyers Miracle, going 2-2 with 7 saves and a 3.24 ERA in 41 2/3 innings pitched. His career minor-league ERA was 2.66.
Landa had been on the Twins’ 40-man roster, but was dropped after the season. The organization signed him to a minor-league contract last week.
Landa was signed by the Twins in 2010 as a 16-year old from Santa Teresa, Venezuela.