Wednesday, February 22, 2012

New York Yankees notes on a pretty quiet Wednesday

Here are some notes from the beat writers down in Tampa who are covering the team.  I mix in my personal opinion and observation on some of the notes as well.

Rivera is actually planning to go on the road this spring.  I know when I first saw the headline this afternoon I said to myself what, this is a definite sign he is retiring.  It isn't what it seems though, from March 31 through April 3, the Yankees play four consecutive road games, including two exhibitions at the new Marlins stadium in Miami. Rivera said today that he’s actually planning to make that trip. At that point, he’ll need to pitch, and apparently he’s going to do it on the road against big leaguers rather than in Tampa at the minor league complex.  This makes sense and then they return to Tampa to begin the season against the Rays. 

Speaking of things Rivera is saying: The Yankees closer acknowledged today that Derek Jeter is one of the few non-family members who know his plans for next season. Speaking to reporters at the minor league complex this morning, Jeter refused to spill the beans.  Would you think Jeter would say anything against his friend and teammate or anything controversial.  There wasn't a chance that he would ever say anything. 

“You appreciate him while he’s here,” Jeter said after a morning workout. “I think everyone should just focus on that as opposed to if and when he’s going to retire.”  I do like this statement and agree, you have to appreciate every moment that he has and is going to be a Yankee. 

 Except for Rivera, all of the obvious big league pitchers threw bullpens today. Rivera said he’s thinking Sunday might be the day of his first bullpen. That seems a little earlier than usual, and Rivera said that’s because it’s a little warmer than usual. “I know that when it’s time, he’ll be ready,” Girardi said.

Joe Girardi on the David Aardsma signing: “Power arm. Closer. We’re looking at him down the road, maybe being ready in August, possibly. It’s another option you have for your bullpen. You look at our bullpen, last year we went through a lot of arms. We had some injuries to Soriano, Joba, Feliciano, so we kept changing people out. I think the more you have, the more options it gives us, and that’s a good thing.”  I like this signing, he is more for the future then now.  He is like Joba where he is coming off of Tommy John and could be ready in July or maybe August.  He doesn't cost much and could help them even next year, if Mo retires he is another guy who has closer experience.  He did well in Seattle in 2009 and 2010. 

 A few young starters threw live batting practice today, and Girardi said it was in anticipation of early spring training games. “We want to make sure everyone’s ready to go,” Girardi said. Manny Banuelos, Dellin Betances and D.J. Mitchell threw live BP, and Girardi’s wording suggested at least one of them could get an early start this spring. Lefty Rule 5 pick Cesar Cabral also threw batting practice.

 It was reported earlier this winter, but the YES Network announced today that Lou Piniella has joined the network as a special contributor who will provide game and studio analysis.  It is nice to see Sweet Lou return home.  George Steinbrenner always had a soft spot for him and must be smiling about this.  Lou played on the Bronx Zoo teams of the 70's and managed the Yankees in the 80's before going on to have a long managing career that ended in Chicago with the Cubs. 

 Girardi’s fairly generic comment on today’s workout: “I thought it went great. I thought the guys threw well. You see them throwing more breaking balls, and they increased the amount that they threw. You’re always curious to see how they bounce back, but they seemed to bounce back pretty well.”

The Yankees after signing David Aardsma today also signed Burt Reynolds.  When I read this one I said are they doing this again with an actor.  It isn't that Burt Reynolds and there is no relation but he is a cousin of Robinson Cano.  Reynolds is a utility man who has spent time in the Nationals and Rays systems.  He is 23 years old and played for the Newark Bears last season.  They are in the independant Can Am League.  He hit 232 with 13 home runs last season. 

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