Gerrit Cole stood near Gary Sanchez’s locker Tuesday following a workout at Steinbrenner Field and spoke animatedly to the catcher for more than 20 minutes Tuesday.
Marlon Abreu, the Yankees’ Spanish interpreter, provided translation when necessary. Aroldis Chapman stopped by briefly. It seemed like quite the meeting. Except Cole described it as “very standard” for him.
What the Yankees knew from their research and are learning firsthand is that when it comes to pitching, no detail is too minute for Cole. So after his one-inning spring debut Monday, he used this impromptu session less than 18 hours later for educational purposes.
“We were just talking about [Monday] night’s pitch selections,” Cole said. “We went over a couple of shakes that I had to get some clarity on what he was thinking and to let him know what I was thinking, so that hopefully we can make better decisions and have more continuity next time. Not that shakes aren’t going to happen, but just so we better know why he is shaking a pitch and why I am shaking to something else.”
When asked if this was new because he is new to the Yankees and Sanchez, Coles explained that he did this constantly as an Astro.
“In Houston it was great to have A.J. [Hinch, a former major league catcher, as manager] also, to have a perspective there because he was as veteran as [Astros catchers Robinson] Chirinos or [Martin] Maldonado,’’ Cole said. “If Maldonado had the day off, we would be talking the three of us or AC [hitting coach Alex Cintron] would be contributing from a hitter’s perspective. … We will have these conversations in the tunnel [during the season].”
There was nothing to read into Luis Cessa being listed as the Yankees’ starter for Tuesday before Nick Tropeano started in his place. Manager Aaron Boone said the switch was made “because we preferred” to have Cessa pitch in relief, which he did for one scoreless inning in a 4-1 win over a Blue Jays split squad. Tropeano went two shutout innings to open the game.
As for the possibility Cessa’s main role will be out of the bullpen, Boone pointed in that direction.
“Probably, but he does have the ability to give you length,’’ Boone said of the 27-year-old right-hander who had no starts in 43 appearances last season, when he went 2-1 with a 4.11 ERA and worked 81 innings.
Mike Tauchman played in his first spring training game Tuesday, starting in center field and going 0-for-2. Boone said there were no concerns about Tauchman’s left calf strain late last year carrying over into spring training, but the manager did admit the outfielder was being brought along slowly.
“We kind of took our time. We wanted to make sure he ran the bases a number of times at a high pace,’’ said Boone, who wants to use Tauchman as the DH on Thursday against the Rays at Steinbrenner Field.
Before the Yankees announced Luis Severino was going to have season-ending Tommy John surgery, eight Yankee pitchers allowed one run, four hits and struck out 13 in nine innings against the Blue Jays. Non-roster invite Nick Tropeano started the split-squad game and worked two scoreless innings.
Luke Voit’s had an error on a high throw that pulled shortstop Tyler Wade off the bag, though it was the only error by the Yankees.
Shortly after announcing Severino needs surgery, GM Brian Cashman was struck by a ball that came over the wall down the left-field line and left a smudge on his shirt.
Yankees play host to the Nationals at 1:05 p.m. Wednesday. Masahiro Tanaka starts for the Yankees.
— Joel Sherman in Tampa and George A. King III in Dunedin, Fla.