TRENTON, N.J. -- Mark Teixeira and Kevin Youkilis didn’t provide much exciting fodder for Yankees general manager Brian Cashman in their rehab start with Trenton on Wednesday -- although things did get interesting for a moment when Youkilis was taking a practice swing in the box and the Thunder's golden retriever mascot emerged in a flash to fetch the bat discarded by the preceding hitter.
While Teixeira and Youkilis were going a combined 0-for-4 with two walks, several Trenton prospects were making a more positive impression on Cashman.
Center fielder Slade Heathcott hit an opposite-field home run off Erie’s Patrick Cooper in the fourth inning, and right fielder Tyler Austin launched a two-run homer in the sixth for the deciding runs in Trenton’s 3-1 victory over the Seawolves. Catcher J.R. Murphy also had a nice moment when he made an impressive throw to cut down Hernan Perez on an attempted steal of second base.
ESPN's Keith Law ranked Austin 52nd on his top 100 prospects list this spring and slotted in Heathcott behind him at No. 57. Austin is hitting .266 this season, while Heathcott has recovered from a slow start to raise his batting average to .231.
"Obviously this is a new level for them both," Cashman said. "They’re relatively young, and the weather hasn’t cooperated for anybody here in the northeast out of the gate. Now it’s the first real beautiful day here, and to see those guys turning up the heat when the heat turns up, it’s great.
"It’s nice to be able to tell people, 'These guys are going to play in New York.' It's nice to have that dialogue with our fans and point out different players and say, 'Hey, hey, keep an eye on this guy -- he’s going to be special.' It’s fun to do that."