Japan’s Babe Ruth didn’t exactly have it on the mound.
With Brian Cashman watching Shohei Otani pitch from behind home plate, the 23-year-old two-way star gave up four runs in 3.1 innings on Thursday morning Eastern Time in his start for the Nippon-Ham Fighters.
“No comment. Sapporo is a beautiful city,” Cashman said afterward, according to a report.
It was just Otani’s second start of the year as his season has been marred by ankle and thigh injuries.
At the plate, the outfielder is hitting .342 with five homers in 45 games.
Yankees assistant GM Jean Afterman is with Cashman on this scouting trip. They are also slated to see Otani play the field in a separate game, a source said.
If Otani comes out of Japan right now, he’d be eligible to receive significantly less money than if he waits until he’s 25 and becomes a standard free agent.
The Bombers have acquired additional international bonus pool money in three trades.
The hard cap on international players would allow him to sign for around $10 million, according to Yahoo! Sports, if he inked a deal after 2017.
Matt Holliday and Clint Frazier are close to returning. The rosters can expand starting on Friday.
“Clint is definitely getting closer,” Joe Girardi said. “We anticipate that he will go somewhere on the road trip to try to start playing (in the minor-league playoffs). (He) may not start right away, but maybe a day or two of batting practice at that ballpark and then start playing in games. Matty’s getting closer. You may very well see him this weekend (Friday).”
Holliday (back), who has been doing a rehab stint at Triple-A Scranton, has been on the disabled list since Aug. 6. Frazier (oblique) has been on DL since Aug. 10.
The Angels acquired slugger Justin Upton from the Tigers in a trade, giving L.A. a solid outfielder in the team’s push for a playoff berth. The Angels trail the Yankees by two games for the first wild-card spot and are 1.5 games behind the Twins for the second spot. The Yankees called up Giovanny Gallegos from Triple-A Scranton to add an extra arm to their bullpen.