Yankees manager, Joe Girardi, previously commented that top pitching prospect James Kaprielian would likely not see any live game action this spring; instead, he would only pitch in simulated games. While Kaprielian is certainly anxious to get out there and compete, he said he’d be willing to do whatever the team asks of him.
It appears the plans for Kaprielian have changed once again. According to Yankees beat reporter, Bryan Hoch, Kaprielian’s next spring outing will be in live action in an official Grapefruit League game.
Girardi said that James Kaprielian’s next outing will be in a Grapefruit League game.
When asked about his preparations this spring and the plans the club set in motion for him, Kaprielian described himself as a “caged bull.” Along with announcing his spring training debut, Girardi said that if Kap stays healthy and continues to pitch well, there’s definitely a chance the bull gets released into the majors this year.
Girardi on possibility of Kaprielian of pitching in majors this year. “If he stays healthy and pitches, there’s definitely a chance, I think
Kaprielian seemed to be on the fast track to the big club in 2016, but a right flexor strain put those plans on hold. The injury kept him on the shelf until joining the Scottsdale Scorpions of the Arizona Fall League last fall. Kaprielian reached as high as 97 mph on the gun at times, while sitting consistently in the mid-90s with his fastball.
When the Yankees took Kaprielian 16th overall out of UCLA in the 2015 draft, the team had visions of him being a frontline starter. Kaprieilan helped his UCLA Bruins reach the College World Series as a Freshman reliever before taking over as the team’s No. 1 in his next two seasons.
Kaprielian said earlier in the offseason that he wants to be the ace of the big league staff, and wants the ball every fifth day. It appears as if he’s on the right track towards being that pitcher in 2017, as he hopes to provide a major immediate impact for a Yankees rotation riddled with question marks.
Kaprielian could be an important x-factor as the Yankees go through the season.
Follow me on Twitter, @JaredSaul