Yankees’ Trent Grisham round the bases after hitting a three...

Yankees’ Trent Grisham round the bases after hitting a three run homer in the top of the 2nd inning while playing the Detroit Tigers at Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium in Lakeland, FL on Saturday Feb. 24, 2024. Credit: Newsday/J. Conrad Williams Jr.

TAMPA, Fla. — Speaking in December after the deal for Juan Soto was complete, general manager Brian Cashman made sure to mention the other player the Yankees received in the deal, reserve outfielder Trent Grisham.

Said Cashman, “Don’t sleep on Grisham.”

Twins bench coach Jayce Tingler enthusiastically agrees. Grisham played for the Padres from 2020-23 before being traded to the Yankees, and Tingler managed him for two seasons (2020-21).

“He’s going to play outstanding centerfield defense,” Tingler said Monday before the Yankees’ 9-2 victory over the Twins. “He gets phenomenal reads off the bat, goes gap to gap. He covers a ton of ground out there.”

And offensively?

“He could bunt, hit the ball up the middle, he hit for power [in 2020],” Tingler said. “I felt in 2021 . . . he had a tight hamstring and never hit his stride. But he still played great defense when he was in there. He’s a tough kid. He can really run when he’s healthy.”

Grisham, 27, who started in center Monday, went 0-for-2.

“Lunch-pail type of guy,” Tingler said. “Not a man of a lot of words. Gets along with teammates very well but does not speak a lot. Lets his play do his speaking.”

Scary moment I

Rightfielder Juan Soto made a diving attempt but just missed catching Jose Miranda’s sinking liner in the first inning.

Aaron Boone held his breath for a moment after watching the three-time All-Star crash hard to the grass. “A little bit,’’ Boone said. “Just because it looked like he wrenched over, but it was good to see him pop right up. Felt like right away he was OK, but a little bit.  My vision of it, I saw him kind of flip over his glove a little bit, so those can be a little scary for outfielders.”

Soto, who hit a three-run homer in his Yankees debut Sunday, just missed another one in the third inning, settling for a two-run double when the ball hit off the top of the rightfield wall.

Scary moment II

A third-inning ground smash by Jair Camargo took an awkward hop as DJ LeMahieu tried to backhand it, and the ball shot almost straight up and hit the third baseman between the eyes.

“Right on the glasses,” said LeMahieu, who had a prominent red mark above his nose.

After being evaluated by Boone, LeMahieu stayed in the game. He tagged Camargo for the third out of the inning after taking the throw from Ben Rortvedt on a stolen-base attempt. Then, as the second batter in the bottom of the third, LeMahieu dumped a single to right.


Infielder Jorbit Vivas, acquired from the Dodgers along with reliever Victor Gonzalez for shortstop prospect Trey Sweeney, routinely put on batting practice shows during workouts, and it has continued in games. Vivas, 22, homered Monday, giving him two in two Grapefruit League contests.

“Definitely like his bat,” Boone said. “He’s interesting. Excited to see more.”

One NL scout called the 5-10, 171-pound Vivas “a strong little power pack” and added: “The power is there. It’s real.”

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