Saturday, March 6, 2021

Boone Returns To Yankees, Says Watching Cole Pitch "Always a good way to get back into it"

Yankees Manager Aaron Boone on Saturday. @Yankees.

Yankees Manager Aaron Boone returned to the team on Saturday, just three days after having surgery to install a pacemaker, and he was in good spirits being back at the Yankees spring training complex in Tampa.

"I'm really excited to get back," Boone said Saturday morning. "I just want to extend my gratitude to everyone. I've heard from so many people the last couple of days. That's really been touching and humbling. I'm just really appreciative of that."

Boone was in Tampa to observe ace Gerrit Cole throw a live batting practice session instead of start the Yankees' road game against the Pittsburgh Pirates. 

Cole was excited to see the skipper, saying, "I thought he was going to be able to get in here (Sunday), but he got in a day early. It's good to get him back and feeling good."

Gerrit Cole. @Yankees.

On Wednesday, the Yankees announced that Boone would be having the pacemaker surgery after he struggled with lightheadedness, low energy, and shortness of breath over the last two months. He had open-heart surgery in 2009 for a congenital defect.

"It's good to watch Gerrit Cole pitch; that's always a good way to get back into it," Boone said after watching the Yankees ace throw 50 pitches over two innings of the simulated game.

Boone then traveled to Bradenton to watch the Yankees take on the Pirates. 

Jameson Taillon on the hill in Bradenton. Provided by the New York Yankees.

Jameson Taillon got the start for the Yankees, his first of the spring, and he threw two shutout innings, striking out four while allowing two hits and a walk against his former team.

Jay Bruce, the veteran outfielder/first baseman attempting to earn a spot on the roster, hit a home run in the first inning, his first dinger of the spring, and after six games, he is hitting .667 with a 2.000 OPS.

Jay Bruce connecting on his home run. Provided by New York Yankees.

Jhoulys Chacin, the big right-hander, had a tough afternoon, as he allowed two runs on three hits in the third inning. 

Pittsburgh then tacked on another run against Luis Cessa in the fifth inning, and Clint Frasier got that run back with a home run in the sixth, but Pittsburgh held on for a 3-2 win in the seven-inning game.

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