DUNEDIN, Fla. — Mike Tauchman is in the midst of a competition for the final few spots on the Yankees' Opening Day roster. That said, you won't catch him worrying about his numbers or comparing his stats with others trying to earn a roster spot as well.
"No, I don't do that," Tauchman said after New York's 5-1 win over the Blue Jays. "There's a season that starts in two weeks and my job is to get ready for that."
Across seven games played this spring, the outfielder is hitting .222 (4-for-18) with a home run and three runs scored. Beyond a dropped fly ball in Clearwater a few games ago, he's played quality defense—as expected—in the outfield.
"Felt pretty good here the last few days with making some micro adjustments and stuff," he said. "So that's just what my focus is. Played seven innings today for the first time. So just continuing that progression."
In his seven innings on Sunday, the 30-year-old made a slick diving catch in center field and also slapped a base hit to the left side in his second at-bat. He was thrown out trying to get to third on a single later in the frame, but Tauchman explained that those are the types of plays he's eager to work on this spring, regardless of the results.
"Going first to third, going gap to gap for balls, being aggressive with lead offs, trying to see a lot of pitches, stuff like that," Tauchman said. "That's infinitely more important to me than worrying about some competition."
Even if he's not worrying about it, Tauchman is by no means cruising to New York's Opening Day roster. Veteran outfielder Jay Bruce has had a magnificent spring, constantly impressing manager Aaron Boone and showing some defensive versatility at first base.
With Brett Gardner on the bench as the fourth outfielder, Boone and the Yankees' coaching staff may elect to take a player like Bruce for his power from the left-hand side and his ability to play multiple positions.
He's also competing with utility man Tyler Wade, lefty slugger Derek Dietrich, Miguel Andújar (who is sidelined with right hand and wrist soreness at the moment) and more.
The problem is, Tauchman is out of minor-league options. Therefore, if he doesn't make the big-league roster coming out of spring training, the Yankees would need to get rid of him in some way, possibly via trade.
Either way, Tauchman is pleased with how he's performed this spring and again, is focused solely on getting ready for the season as though he'll be suiting up in pinstripes on April 1.
"Got a little bit jumpy but the good thing is that I feel like it was a little bit easier for me to recognize that and then make those adjustments to get back to where I wanted to be," Tauchman said. "I feel like the last few games have been a lot better balanced and I've been able to stay on pitches a lot better and use the whole field. So I've been happy."
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