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Jacoby Ellsbury says two stolen bases Thursday no big deal

Atlanta Braves shortstop Ozzie Albies, left, waits for

Atlanta Braves shortstop Ozzie Albies, left, waits for the throw from catcher Kurt Suzuki as New York Yankees' Jacoby Ellsbury (22) steals second base in the third inning of a spring training baseball game, Thursday, March 9, 2017, in Kissimmee, Fla. Credit: AP / John Raoux

KISSIMMEE, Fla. — Don’t get too carried away about the two bases Jacoby Ellsbury stole Thursday.

He certainly isn’t.

Though Joe Girardi has talked about wanting Ellsbury and Brett Gardner to be more aggressive on the bases than they were last season, Thursday had little to do with that.

“Legs felt good and I was DHing today, so I didn’t have to run in the outfield,” said Ellsbury, who went 3-for-3 at the plate and 2-for-2 in steals in the Yankees’ 8-7 victory over the Braves. “So I thought I’d get a few. That’s really it.”

Ellsbury has said in the past that stealing bases in spring training isn’t a priority. But as his regular-season stolen-base totals have dipped with the Yankees — 39 in his first season in 2014, followed by 21 and 20 — it’s a hot topic.

“Really won’t try to get too many more [in spring training],” Ellsbury said. “There’s really no need.”

As for the regular season, he said he has a target number, but not one he wished to publicize.

“Try to get as many as I can,” Ellsbury said. “I have a number in my head I’d like to achieve, but that’s every year.”

Shaken up

Catcher Austin Romine, who has suffered several concussions the last three years, took a foul ball off his mask in the third inning and was held up momentarily by plate umpire Laz Diaz as he staggered back.

“I’m fine,” said Romine, who stayed in the game. “Part of catching.”

Wade, Fowler impressing

In discussing prospects Tyler Wade and Dustin Fowler, who have had good camps, a few opposing team scouts have used the phrase “he’s a baseball player” in describing each.

“Good at-bats, good baserunning, plays defense anywhere you put him,” Girardi said of Wade, who has played the outfield in spring training, started at second base Thursday and had two hits. “I think the same is true for Fowler . . . I just think there’s good decision-making in these two kids.”

Fowler went 1-for-2 with a triple after replacing Gardner in centerfield.


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