With the count full against ex-Yankee Eduardo Nunez to start the fifth, Severino got Nunez to swing over a slider in the dirt. The ball fell just short of its mark and bounced under Sanchez’s glove and to the backstop.
That allowed Nunez to reach despite the strikeout. He eventually scored on a two-out single by Andrew Benintendi. That cut the Yankees’ lead to 2-1.
The Red Sox tied the score, 2-2, when Mookie Betts tripled home Nunez in the seventh. Aaron Judge put the Yankees ahead for good in the bottom of the inning with a hard single to left field, scoring Neil Walker.
Some would deem that a lot for a 26-year-old back, especially when some in the organization believe that his 25-year-old backup, Tevin Coleman, who has one year left on his cheap deal, is better.
Freeman doesn’t quite have the size to be a true bellcow… would the Falcons invest another $20-plus million guaranteed to retain Coleman?
Both bring valuable flexibility to the passing game, and, stylistically, they fit Atlanta’s outside zone scheme.
The third starter is Ricardo Allen, who was drafted as a cornerback and has become one of the league’s top dozen free safeties.
“We’re going to basically expose him to everything,” Maccagnan said. “We’re going to give him the opportunity to go out there learn and earn the position. Of course our focus is not necessarily to throw him into the fire until he’s earned it. We’re very excited about him, his upside and potential. He’s going to have every opportunity to go out there and hopefully fulfill every potential we see in him.”
There have been plenty of cases where rookies have made it clear they are the top option before the summer is out, others when a change was made shortly after the start of the season and, of course, situations where a rookie season is devoted to learning while observing. The Jets will start sorting out which way things will go for Darnold during their minicamps and OTAs this spring.