MOOSIC — Entering spring training flying under the radar, Vidal Nuno showed what he is capable of by keeping Grapefruit League hitters at bay while pitching for the New York Yankees.
The 25-year-old left-hander had a dazzling 0.61 ERA in 14 2/3 innings pitching for the Bombers during the spring only allowing 10 hits and one earned run in seven games, including two starts. That led to him being one of the last players sent to minor league camp.
He gets recognition being selected to get the honor of the first home player in team history to start a game for the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders.
Nuno, who started a playoff game for SWB last season, went 10-6 with a 2.54 ERA in 31 games (21 starts) for Class A Tampa and Double-A Trenton last season.
“It’s an honor. It’s a blessing. It’s just going to try to go out there and pretty much give it all and try to put up zeroes and try to get a victory and just try to help the team come out strong,” said Nuno, who was awarded the Yankees’ 2013 James P. Dawson Award given to the outstanding Yankees rookie in Spring Training. “Every year I have confidence. It’s just how I did my workouts in the offseason. That’s the big key to have a good successful season, stay healthy and just try to build on what I did in the spring.”
Nuno will be followed in the first trip through the rotation by right-handers Dellin Betances on Friday, Brett Marshall on Sunday and Chris Bootcheck for the opening game of a three-game series against Rochester on Monday.
It has been reported by several outlets that New York’s rehabbing starter Phil Hughes (bulging discs in his back) will get the start on Saturday for the RailRiders. Though it has not been announced by the team.
Betances, who struggled at times last season with Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and Trenton, appears to have regained the form that made him a top prospect in the organization after a few solid starts at minor league camp during spring training. The 25-year-old has turned the page on last year and is eager to start the season.
“I put in a lot of work down there in spring,” the 6-foot-8, 260-pounder said on Tuesday at RailRiders Media Day. “Worked on a lot of stuff tried to get ahead of counts and I feel like for me that’s definitely a big confidence booster for the season…just try to to kick it from there.”
Players also got a look at the restructured $43 million project that is PNC Field for the first time and they can’t wait to start playing games.
“I was excited to come see it and it’s beautiful,” said infielder Luke Murton, who blasted 25 home runs last year for Double-A Trenton. “It looks awesome out there. This reminds me of a big league stadium.”
Nuno and Betances are likely to be tossing to catcher Austin Romine the first two games of the season. The 24-year-old backstop will be making his first Triple-A Opening Day start. Ryan Baker and Jeff Farnham are the other two catchers on the RailRiders’ roster.
Playing behind the pitchers are infielders Murton, David Adams, Dan Johnson, Corban Joseph, Addison Maruszak, and Gil Velasquez. Outfielders on the roster are Zoilo Almonte, Cody Johnson, Melky Mesa and Thomas Neal.
Rostered right-handed relievers are Preston Claiborne, Sam Demel, Jim Miller, Mark Montgomery and Ryan Pope. Lefties coming out of the bullpen for manager Dave Miley are Juan Cedeno and Josh Spence.