SARASOTA, Fla. – Jay Bruce has an opt-out coming up on March 25.
But the Yankees outfielder / first baseman made another effort Saturday night to avoid having to make a big decision.
In addition to his case for the Yankees 26-man roster, Bruce provided further proof that he was healthy when he made a sliding catch in left field during a 2-1 loss to the Orioles at Ed Smith Stadium. .
“I take great pride in my defense,” Bruce said. “I feel great. My body feels good physically. I’m in a good place.”
Regarding the opt-out in his contract, Bruce said the decision was not entirely up to him.
“I’m not the person to ask when it comes to whether it’s going to be a tough decision,” said Bruce, who is now hitting 6-of-26 with two home runs in 11 games. “I really have no control over that. I know I came to spring training physically ready to go. I feel like I have shown that I am capable of handling multiple positions. My swing feels good.
“So we’ll see in five days. I do not know. I am eager to find out. My goal is to continue preparing for the season and I hope to help the club. “
Giancarlo Stanton’s return to the outfield won’t come in spring training. Yankees manager Aaron Boone last month opened the door for the slugger to have some outfield action this season, but Stanton said Saturday it wasn’t going to happen before the team breaks camp.
“During the season, that’s the plan,” Stanton said. “But as the discussions progressed, Boonie and I talked about how they would need me later, in the first month or two. So now it’s not so important to be ready to go for the season, in a few weeks. “
Stanton said having action in the outfield this spring wouldn’t be of much use if he weren’t playing there in a game right early in the regular season.
“If I go in there every now and then I don’t go out for three or four weeks, it’s the same as making sure I’m ready during practice,” Stanton said. “So that’s the thought.”
Mike King, after striking out six and allowing a run in four innings early Saturday, said his goal this season is to pitch 100 innings for the Yankees, no matter how they come.
“I don’t care where they are, whether it’s starts, wheelies, long relays, whatever,” King said. “But I think if I can bring 100 solid innings to this team, I think it would be very beneficial for this season.”
Clint Frazier was originally scheduled to make the trip and play in Saturday’s game, but the Yankees stopped him in Tampa. The left fielder tweeted that he was “fine.”