Neither wrist nor Walker deterring Tyler Wade as spring winds down

TAMPA - Tyler Wade has made a strong impression in Yankees camp so far this spring, and was, entering the final two weeks, considered by some to perhaps be the favorite to start at second base on Opening Day. That could all change with the news that the Yankees have apparently signed Neil Walker to a one-year, $5 million major-league contract, but Wade isn't worried about that per se.

"I'm not really worried about it; I just have to go out there and keep playing my game," Wade, who is hitting .292 in 11 games so far this spring, said in the clubhouse Monday afternoon. "(Walker is) a big bat, switch-hitter, can play a few positions…I'm excited, he's a big addition for our team."

Wade is starting at second base tonight, a welcome sight in the lineup after a scary end to his last game; he rolled his left wrist making a dive for a ball on Saturday and immediately left the game, and right away was worried his strong spring might have come to an end.

"I've broken a few bones before, and honestly, it kind of felt like that at first," Wade admitted. "I really dodged a bullet there, for sure."

The wrist felt better even before the end of that game, and Wade didn't need any further tests or evaluation to know he was fine heading into Monday. And so, as the Yankees begin to tick down the final 15 days of spring, Wade is ready for 15 more chances to show the team that if he makes the squad, they'll be getting more of the guy who hit .310 in Triple-A last year and not the one who struggled in his time in the Majors.

"I worked hard this offseason, and so far I'm very pleased offensively," Wade said. "I feel like I'm controlling the strike zone more, and finding the barrel of the bat more often. I've got two weeks left to finish strong, so I just have to keep at it."