Marcus Stroman's second Yankees spring training start went way smoother than his first

Less 2004, more 2009.
New York Yankees Photo Day
New York Yankees Photo Day / New York Yankees/GettyImages

Carlos Rodón kicked off the weekend by allowing four home runs in a non-televised spring batting practice session. Gerrit Cole answered a question about Daniel Vogelbach with a humorous quip and got relentlessly roasted (in a game the Yankees won 8-4 on the strength of a Juan Soto smash). How would Marcus Stroman embarrass himself on Saturday to complete the trifecta?

He wouldn't. Not even close.

Instead, Stroman commanded all corners of the zone and kept Baltimore's lineup -- featuring Adley Rutschman, Ryan Mountcastle, Coby Mayo and Ryan O'Hearn -- off balance for four ruthlessly efficient innings.

Last time out, also on the road, Stroman retired the first four Phillies -- all likely Opening Day starters -- before losing the plate against the bottom of the lineup. Saturday in Sarasota, he carved up the birds like your mom taking over the Thanksgiving duties from your libertarian uncle.

Yankees free agent import Marcus Stroman dominates Orioles in Saturday spring training slate

Just don't wear anymore 2004 shirts before Opening Day and we're good here. Put the man in bubble wrap and get him in the home pinstripes.

Notably, Stroman also felt comfortable enough to employ a hesitation in his windup a few times, evoking Masahiro Tanaka's Yankees prime and Nestor Cortes' cockiest outings. Hopefully, the crafty right-hander -- one of the few non-lefties you can comfortably call "crafty" -- continues to embrace comfort in the Bronx, putting on for his city when the lights are brightest.

As opposed to Saturday in Sarasota, when they're just about as dim as they ever get for the New York Yankees.

Kudos, too, to Anthony Volpe, who lashed two hits to continue a renewal process that seems to have started the second last season ended. No longer selling out for power, Volpe's level swing has made him a menace reminiscent of his pre-rookie days in the minors.

Saturday was, in fact, all about not selling out for power after Friday night's pop show. Stroman sat comfortably in the low 90s and got exactly what he bargained for. He should inspire confidence, too.