The New York Yankees will begin their exhibition season on Saturday afternoon against the Atlanta Braves. They will be playing at the Braves. Arod made a statement on Thursday through his PR people. It basically said he is focused solely on his recovery and that he will play again. He can’t wait to play with his teammates again as he feels they have a great team and looks forward to rejoining them at some point. I am not so sure I believe though that he will every rejoin the Yankees. Can they get rid of him? Will they get rid of him or will they even try?? I think if MLB finds him guilty they may try, it won’t be an easy fight though.
The Yankees did announce on Thursday that they will be moving Brett Gardner to center and Curtis Granderson to left field to begin the exhibition games. The move will hinge on Granderson being able to play left field. They have no doubt that Gardner can handle center but Granderson hasn’t played left field too much. Phil Hughes and Mark Montgomery are feeling better. It doesn’t look like anything too long lasting or that will affect them again.
Jorge Posada reported to camp on Friday as a special instructor. The questions came of course about him unretiring like Andy Pettitte did last season. He said he is happy where he is at and he doesn’t think he could play right now. He said he doesn’t want to even try, he will be in camp a few days and then back home to be with his family. He said he will then come back later in camp also and wouldn’t mind being a roving catching instructor for the Yankees. He wouldn’t commit to full time coaching at this point either but said he want’s to be involved and is happy with his life right now.
Joe Girardi announced that Francisco Cervelli will get the start behind the plate for Saturday’s exhibition opener. David Phelps is starting on Saturday and is scheduled for two innings or 35 pitches, which ever comes first. The other pitchers being listed for Saturday are: Brett Marshall, Nik Turley, Mike O’Brien, Kelvin Perez, Branden Pinder and Chase Whitley. Girardi said he isn’t sure exactly which pitchers will get into the game after Phelps. Adam Warren will start on Sunday, Vidal Nuno on Monday and Jose Ramirez on Tuesday. The regular pitchers probably won’t get started until March and then they will be on regular rotation. Mariano Rivera threw his first live batting practice and everyone including himself seemed pleased with it. The most important thing is that he came out of it healthy.
Michael Pineda threw another 25 pitches in the morning. He came out of it feeling good, he is progressing at a good pace and should be ready to help the team by June at this point. Mark Montgomery also threw a 25 pitch bullpen and came out of it good.
Austin Romine, Robinson Cano, Dan Johnson, Eduardo Nunez, Mark Teixeira, Tyler Austin, Slade Heathcott, Melky Mesa and Juan Rivera are the notables on the travel squad for tomorrows game.