Marwin Gonzalez looks from the dugout before a game on July...

Marwin Gonzalez looks from the dugout before a game on July 30, 2019, in Miami. Credit: AP/Lynne Sladky

LAKELAND, Fla. — Utilityman Marwin Gonzalez recently signed a minor-league deal with the Yankees, but the 10-year  veteran fully expects to break camp with the big-league club.

“If I didn’t [expect that], I would have stayed home,” Gonzalez said after homering Thursday  in the Yankees' 5-3 loss to the Tigers. “If you don’t think you can do something, you stay at your house, you don’t even try. You come in with that mentality, you lose right away.”

The 33-year-old switch hitter, who can play first base, shortstop and the outfield, was a member of the World Series champion 2017 Astros. He has a .256/.313/.404 career slash line with 101 homers.

Gonzalez, batting righthanded, blasted a two-run homer on a 1-and-1 pitch from lefty Miguel Del Pozo in the fifth inning. Spring training homers for veterans typically don’t mean much but, though Gonzalez has an excellent chance to make the club out of camp because of his versatility, every homer “feels good,” he said.

“Even if you hit it on the back fields, even in a live BP,” Gonzalez said with a smile. “Feels good every time you hit a homer.”

Cause for concern?

Lefty Joely Rodriguez, who pitched well out of the bullpen after being acquired at last year’s trade deadline, allowed five runs and five hits in two-thirds of an inning. His typical mid-90s fastball sat around 90 mph, which Aaron Boone said might have been a product of Rodriguez coming in immediately after a short rain delay and a stop-start warmup in the bullpen.

Still, Boone said, “It caught my attention.”

He added: “He said it felt fine but it’s something to watch.”  

Extra bases

Former Yankee Roger Clemens, whose son Kody is an infielder in the Detroit organization, spoke to the Tigers in their clubhouse here before the game . . . With the rosters expanding to 28 through May1, Boone said the Yankees likely will choose to leave camp with 15 pitchers and 13 position players.

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