The New York Yankees could face Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston when they play Florida State on Tuesday in an exhibition. Winston is the baseball team's closer. (Phil Sears / Associated Press)
Tampa, Fla. — The New York Yankees could face a hard-throwing Heisman Trophy winner in their first spring training game.
Florida State University, with 2013 Heisman winner and closer Jameis Winston, will play the Yankees on Tuesday at Steinbrenner Field.
“I’m looking forward to seeing him,” Hall of Fame closer and Yankees’ spring training instructor Goose Gossage said.
Winston led the Seminoles football team to the 2013 national championship in a 34-31 victory over Auburn on January 6. The 6-foot-4, 230 pound sophomore has allowed one hit over four scoreless innings in three games this season.
“It will be fun to watch,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. “Obviously, he’s extremely athletic when you watch him play the game of football. He’s got a great arm. Pretty mature for his age.”
New York outfielder Brett Gardner, whose $52 million, four-year contract that starts in 2015 was finalized Monday, will play in Tuesday’s game. The Yankees scheduled starter is Vidal Nuno.
Masahiro Tanaka was impressive again in his second batting practice session, a 35-pitch outing Monday,
“He was nasty,” catcher Francisco Cervelli said.
Girardi has not announced when Tanaka will make his first start.
“I just feel that I’m pretty much ready to throw in a game,” Tanaka said through an interpreter.
CC Sabathia (35 pitches) and Hiroki Kuroda (36) also threw BP for the second time. Ivan Nova will pitch in Wednesday’s road game against Pittsburgh.
Fifth starter candidate David Phelps is scheduled to start the spring training home opener Thursday with the Pirates, a game in which Derek Jeter, limited to 17 games last season due to injuries, is set to play in his first exhibition game this year.
Jeter announced earlier this month that he will be retiring after the 2014 season.