TAMPA — Aaron Boone called the pitchers the Yankees have in camp this spring as good as any they have had in his four years as manager.
“I do feel like this is, hands down, the deepest group of arms [we’ve had] since I’ve been here,’’ Boone said Saturday. “Almost across the board, guys are standing out.”
Of course, this comes after just three days of throwing, so unless someone grabs their elbow or has to head to an MRI machine, news is generally good this time of year.
But considering the injury history of some of the newcomers, any day when there are no setbacks is a good one.
Though Boone declined to single out any pitchers for having especially good stuff, saying, “Check back with me in a couple of days,’’
Kyle Higashioka obliged.
“I caught [Jameson] Taillon the other day and he looked really good,’’ Higashioka said. “I was really impressed. The fastball was jumping out of his hand. The breaking ball looks good.”
Higashioka is excited to see what both Taillon — coming off a second Tommy John surgery — and Corey Kluber, who’s coming off a shoulder injury that limited him to one inning a year ago, can do.
“We’ve signed some guys who have some pretty darn good track records in the past,’’ Higashioka said of catching the veteran right-handers. “It’s important for us to learn what makes them the best.”
Chad Green has never met Justin Wilson, but their careers are linked and they will be teammates as soon as Wilson’s deal with the Yankees becomes official.
Green came to the Yankees — along with Luis Cessa — from the Tigers in exchange for Wilson following the 2015 season.
At the time, Wilson was coming off a solid season with the Yankees — his only year in The Bronx after arriving in a trade from the Pirates for Francisco Cervelli. Green, at the time, had yet to pitch above Double-A.
“I was so young, I didn’t know how the business worked,’’ Green said of his trade to the Yankees. “It will definitely be a full-circle moment when I actually do meet him.”
Wilson is one of the additions to the bullpen that also brought in Darren O’Day, while losing Adam Ottavino and Jonathan Holder.
Major League Baseball managed to get through last year despite the COVID-19 pandemic, but that was with the help of a 60-game regular season with limited travel and a playoff bubble. Now they’re hoping to play a 162-game schedule and postseason, with regular travel.
Higashioka said he thinks the players will be able to withstand the protocols over a full season.
“I think it’s a little more familiar now to us because we’re used to the protocols,’’ Higashioka said. “I think it’ll be easier to weather a full season with the protocols and hopefully things get better as we go along, too. I think we’re all, this time around, much more prepared to deal with it.”
Boone called recently signed catcher Robinson Chirinos “a pro.”
“He brings a lot to the table,’’ Boone said of the 36-year-old, who finished last season with the Mets. “He’s still in obviously excellent shape. He’s had a really good impact.”