TAMPA — The first time JP Sears visited New York City, he was scheduled to undergo shoulder surgery in 2018.
The Yankees southpaw is about to make his second trip a much happier experience.
After pitching three innings in his Grapefruit League final on Monday, Sears said manager Aaron Boone informed him he had made the team. Boone later told reporters that Sears would “probably” be on the opening day roster, but wanted to wait a day before making anything final.
“We were impressed with what we saw from JP,” Boone said after a 5-2 win over the Phillies at Steinbrenner Field. “We think his ability to throw shots, his fastball will play. I thought he was really good today mixing up his three lengths. I saw life on the fastball and saw him play, but his secondary was also effective today. … So there’s a good chance he’s sure.
Sears, 26, was an 11th-round draft pick of the Mariners in 2017 before being traded to the Yankees that year as part of a deal for Nick Rumbelow.
After splitting last year between Double-A Somerset and Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre mostly as a starter, the 5-foot-11 Sears was added to the 40-man roster and entered the camp with the aim of making the team. This spring, he allowed six runs in 6 ²/₃ innings, although five of those runs came in a single outing against the Blue Jays.
“I struggled with a few injuries early on [in my career] and I learned a lot from that, knowing availability is the most important thing to progressing in the minor leagues,” Sears said. “So I used the COVID year, 2020, to really work on cleaning up my arm path and mechanics. It helps my long term health.
Two days after the Yankees acquired him in a trade from Rangers, Jose Trevino made his debut Monday, catching a new pitching staff and going 0 for 3 at the plate.
“That’s going to be the thing I’m most proud of, taking care of the pitchers and making sure they’re ready to go,” Trevino said. “After that, we’ll see what we have.”
Trevino, who is expected to support Kyle Higashioka, started watching videos and reading Yankees pitching scouting reports on his flight to Tampa on Sunday night to speed up the learning process.
“As a kid, you just look up to this team and always want to be a Yankee,” Trevino said. “For me, it was my dream.”
Miguel Castro also arrived at the Yankees clubhouse on Monday, a day after the reliever was traded from the Mets in exchange for Joely Rodriguez.
“The way I see it is wherever they need me, I’ll be there to help in that bullpen,” Castro said through an interpreter.
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