KISSIMMEE, Fla. - While most would consider this year a major success if the Yankees simply made the playoffs, manager Joe Girardi said that when it comes to evaluating a season, he still subscribes to the George Steinbrenner World Series-or-bust mantra.
"That's why we come to camp, that's why we train, it's why we do everything," Girardi said before Sunday's 7-0 victory over the Astros. "It's the World Series. That's our goal . . . To me, it's all or nothing. That's why you play."
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With the questions surrounding the Yankees and all the new players being counted on, even snapping their two-year playoff drought would seem to be a tall order. "I think guys understand the expectations here," Girardi said. "Even the guys who haven't been here understand the expectations and feel we have something to prove."
Eovaldi good again
No. 4 starter Nathan Eovaldi pitched 42/3 shutout innings Sunday and lowered his ERA to 0.66. He struck out five and did not walk a batter in the 89-pitch outing.
"Just being able to use all four of my pitches," he said of what he's liked best. "Last year was either fastball or slider. Now I've been able to mix in the curveball first pitch, or using the split and then being able to elevate with the fastball as well. All my pitches are feeling really good right now."
Lefthander Jacob Lindgren, who still was in contention for one of the final two bullpen spots, was reassigned to minor-league camp . . . The Yankees released righthander Scott Baker, 33, who had an out clause in his minor-league contract, but Brian Cashman said he would like to re-sign him . . . Righthander Bryan Mitchell was optioned to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and righthander Kyle Davies was reassigned to minor-league camp . . . Righthander Jared Burton, given his unconditional release last week, was re-signed to a minor-league contract . . . Outfielder Ramon Flores was optioned to Scranton . . . Catchers Francisco Arcia and Kyle Higashioka, infielders Cole Figueroa and Jonathan Galvez, outfielder Slade Heathcott and righthander Nick Rumbelow also were reassigned to minor-league camp.