Wolfe succeeds, while Burnett struggles
Reliever not bothered by cold; starter roughed up in Florida
PHILADELPHIA -- It's been said that when baseball players have to deal with game-time temperatures that are more apropos to football, it makes them bear down even harder. Perhaps nice weather brings out subpar performances as well.
Jays righty A.J. Burnett stayed behind in Florida on Friday and pitched against Tampa, the Yankees' Class A affiliate, and probably wishes he hadn't. Burnett was roughed up for seven hits and seven earned runs in six innings. He walked four and struck out four.
Burnett didn't enjoy the greatest of springs. Heading into Friday, he had allowed 23 hits and 15 earned runs in 18 1/3 innings.
Toronto manager John Gibbons isn't overly concerned with Burnett's numbers.
"We don't worry about A.J.," Gibbons said, smiling broadly. "Just as long as he makes his start."
Health has been Burnett's major nemesis over the years. In his first eight seasons, Burnett recorded 200 innings only twice.
Reliever Brian Wolfe had to endure the cold breezes at Citizens Bank Park, but came away largely unscathed against the Phillies. He pitched the third and fourth innings, yielding just a walk and a single while fanning two.
"It's a different warmup in the bullpen up here than in Florida; [it] takes longer to get the adrenaline and the blood flowing," Wolfe said. "But once you're warmed up, the cold is not much of a factor."
Wolfe was happy with the command he displayed on the cutter and changeup, but fell behind lefties Ryan Howard and Geoff Jenkins in the fourth. Howard walked and Jenkins singled.
Like most players, Wolfe had his share of Spring Training and is ready to get going on the regular season.
"Once we get to Yankee Stadium," he said of Monday afternoon's season opener, "it's a whole different adrenaline."
Erik Cagle is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.